Chances of disability

How likely are you to experience a disability in your life?

If you are young and healthy, you probably think of disability as a thing completely removed from you, something others suffer from and will suffer from. Disability happens at birth, or disability happens to the elderly, you might say, it doesn’t happen to young people with their whole lives ahead of them.

The fact is, though, you are at a greater risk than you think. Take a look at these statistics on this lawyer’s page. The first one that jumps out at you is the fact that anyone under 45 has a 1 in 4 chance of suffering from a disability at some point in their lives. Think of yourself and your closest three friends: one of you will suffer from a disability at some point.

That makes disability feel more personal, doesn’t it?

Of course, your chances are higher in some professions than in others. In construction, the likelihood is an astounding 20 percent. If you aren’t looking to go into construction, that doesn’t mean you don’t have anything to worry about. Even professional workers have a 7 percent chance of serious illness or injury.

Okay, so you may have a potential disability ahead of you: what are you likely to be dealing with? Well, again, looking at that lawyer’s page, you’ll find almost a third (30 percent) of all disabilities are musculoskeletal disorders. That makes sense when you think about how many people sustain back injuries and neck injuries.

Beyond that, though, there’s still a high chance of nervous system and organ trouble (14 percent) and cardiovascular disorders (12 percent).

These problems are obviously severe, and they often affect your long-term ability to work. If that’s the case, you will be in a very bad situation without long-term disability insurance. Even then, though, it’s clear that not every claim is immediately accepted. Sometimes, lawyers have to be brought in to wrestle payments out of the insurance company just to get the money that will allow you to live.

This is all very bleak and upsetting information, but it’s important to think about such problems now while there is time to prepare. Be sure to get long-term disability insurance, even if you are young and strong at the moment. At the same time, document any health issues that develop in the course of your life. The more documentation you have of your health, and potential lack of it, the better shape you’ll be in to be approved by your insurance, should that moment arrive.

Finally, crucially, be careful. Be attentive to what you are doing. Even if you feel like it now, you are not invincible. Being careful and thorough in your actions and avoiding unnecessary risks will reduce the chance you are on the 1 in 4 to have to deal with these problems.

And no matter what, be grateful for the health you have today.

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Great Birthday Parties aren’t just for Kids

Kids are not just the ones who can have birthday parties and not be awkward about them. Even adults deserve birthday parties, more so now that they have the money, time, and connections to make them on their own.

But what makes a great birthday party for adults? Well, they are quite different from what you would expect from a kiddy party.

Unique Venue

You are not a kid anymore. You can afford a venue that is more exciting than your living room, backyard, or your school gym. One of the factors that make a party awesome is a cool venue. It doesn’t have to be so expensive just to impress your guests. You can opt for VIP rooms in reputable bars. If you want something more exotic, you can try aquariums, castles, and even gardens.

But you can also go all out. According to the website of the Anita Dee Yacht Charters, a yacht can be used for social events such as birthday parties. So, you have that as an option. Other nice options include ballrooms and hotels.

Interesting Theme and Decors

You can pair the unique venue with an interesting theme and appropriate decors to complement them. Like the venue, you don’t have to be over the top with this one, but it will be nice to capture the notice of your guests by having interesting elements around.

These give the impression that you are serious in making the party as authentic and interesting as possible, so the guests hardwire their brains to have a good time – which is the secret recipe of having a good time.

Your theme and décor can go from elegant to wild, depending on the venue and the atmosphere you want in your party.

Appropriate Music

A party is just a meeting without music. Music is one of the many elements that make a party lively and interesting. It can be approached in two ways – you can either search for music yourself or hire a DJ. The decision will depend on the venue and convenience.

Music can also be a tricky thing. Don’t be too consistent with the lively music. Don’t be afraid to play with different tones. You can start with lively music, tone down a little during dinner, tone up a little after eating, and go full dance music the rest of the night. Having appropriate music for each part of the party can control mood.

Good Food and Drinks

What’s a party without food and drinks? These are the backbones of an adult birthday party. Though you should consider the theme to determine the appropriate food and drinks, you should also consider the preferences of the guests. These are your friends, so you would know if they would prefer barbecue over seafood. But since you are renting a venue, it is likely that it can also help you with the food.

Also, don’t disregard plates, serving platters, and chafing dishes, as they don’t just make the food serviceable, they can also contribute to the theme, and make your party more dynamic and planned.

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Federal Laws that Firms and Their Brokers must Follow

In 2003, a stockholder of the biopharmaceutical company ImClone Systems was convicted of insider trading due to her selling of her stocks after a broker at Merrill Lynch informed her that the chief executive officer (CEO) of ImClone Systems sold all of his company shares. The convicted stockholder made an early sale, selling 4,000 shares of her stocks which saved her losing as much as $45,673. Punishments for her conviction included payment of a $30,000 fine and five months imprisonment.

The crime insider trading refers to the unfair practice of making investment decisions based on undisclosed (not yet made public) information about a company’s securities or stocks. An insider has access to valuable non-public information on stocks or other securities of the corporation. It can either be a person (like a broker, a client, a key employee, an executive, a director or a major owner of stocks) or an entity (such as bank, a law firm or a government institution). There are two reasons why insider trading is illegal: it gives tipped individuals market advantage over common investors (this weakens the sense of fairness in investing); and, it violates the trust investors place in the securities market.

Not all acts of insider trading are illegal, though. Its legal version is when corporate insiders, officers, directors, employees and large shareholders, buy and sell stock in their own companies. When corporate insiders trade in their own securities, they must report their trades to the SEC.

To determine illegal insider trading activities, the SEC monitors the trading volumes of stocks. Volume of stocks usually increases after information on company securities is released to the public. If volumes increase dramatically, however, even when no substantial information has been released, this will be interpreted by the SEC as a warning flag. This will then be investigated by the SEC to find out if illegal insider trading was committed.

According to securities fraud lawyers of Erez Law, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other organizations set federal regulations for brokers, investment advisers, and firms in the United States. A few of the federal laws that firms and their brokers must follow include:

  • Securities Act of 1933. This act requires brokers to give financial and other significant information about securities offered for public sale. It also prohibits misrepresentation, deceit, and fraud in the sale of securities.
  • Securities Exchange Act of 1934. This act created the SEC. The SEC has the power to oversee and regulate brokerage firms, ensuring they abide by the rules.
  • Investment Company Act of 1940. This act minimizes conflicts of interest between companies that engage in securities trading. It requires companies to disclose their investment policies and financial status to investors on a regular basis.
  • Investment Advisers Act of 1940. This act regulates investment advisers, requiring that any firm or sole financial adviser compensated for giving advice about securities investments be registered with the SEC.

These four acts describe a few of the dozens of laws that people and companies in the securities industry must follow. In addition to federal securities laws, every state enacts their own securities law. An attorney who specializes in broker misconduct will have a comprehensive list of all laws and regulations that brokers and brokerage firms must follow and can help you explore all your legal avenues. Contacting an attorney about your losses will give you a better idea of your recovery options.

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Hit-and-Run

A hit-and-run is the Illegal activity wherein an individual causes an accident yet refuses to stop and provide appropriate identifying information between him and the other participant of the crash. Rather than assume liability, the individual continues driving. According to Mazin & Associates, such individuals unfairly diffuse the responsibility of the accident to the innocent party. The term hit-and-run may conjure an image of an assailant fleeing the site of a major accident. This is not always the case. The underlying concept of a hit-and-run is not the extent of damage caused by the accident, but rather the action of fleeing the scene. In this way, if an individual performs a minor accident such as a small fender-bender or accidentally bumps into a parked car and fails to leave a note with appropriate personal and financial information, then he or she has engaged in a hit-and-run. Similarly, if you are the victim of an accident, and you do not disclose personal information to the wrongdoer, then you have committed a hit-and-run. In summary, anyone involved in an accident, whether the offender or the victim, is capable of engaging in hit-and-run.

When an accident occurs, the participants involved acquire the appropriate information i.e. insurance cards and personal contact information and, dependent on the state, they must alert emergency services. When an individual does not do this, then he or she must face certain penalties. The penalties from fleeing from a scene vary widely by state. The classification of hit-and-run are dependent on the damages accrued, some are felonies while others are misdemeanors. Again, the monetary penalties of a hit-and-run vary by state with some ranging up to $20,000. Apart from the financial consequences, the wrongdoer is also subject to suspension of his or her driver’s license for a specified amount of time dependent on circumstances of the accident as well as the state in which it occurred.

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What To Do If You Were Misclassified As An Independent Contractor?

For most employees, not getting the right wage is an injustice. You work hard for 8 hours and even work overtime if necessary only to end up not being paid the wage they deserved. This is a longstanding problem that has plagued the American workforce. The website of William Kherkher reveals that misclassifying a regular employee as an independent contractor leaves them out on many important benefits.

For many employers, such practice saves them a lot of money so that even if the employee should be treated as such under the law, companies are willing to break the law just to save some money. The US Department of Labor revealed that around 10 to 30% of employers misclassify their employees. IN four states that have conducted studies, it was found out that around 1.8 million workers were found to have been misclassified.

As an employee, what can you do to recover the wages you have lost? First, try to talk to your employer. Clarify with them your real classification with them. Explain to them that you think they have wrongly classified you as an independent contractor. After all, you deserve an explanation from them why they consider you as a contractor than an employee.

If talking to your employer does not solve the problem, get the attention of the IRS. You can ask the agency to determine your employment status for the purpose of taxation. You can file IRS Form SS-8 and there is no fee for doing so. Upon receipt of your complaint, the IRS will call your employer in order to determine what your status should be. The decision of the IRS shall be binding on the agency and not on your employer. However, non-compliance by an employer can have legal ramifications.

If you were fired or laid off by your employer, you can file for an employment insurance claim. Tell them that you were misclassified as a contractor. If after the investigation and the state unemployment agency deemed that you should be treated as an employee, you will be entitled to receive your backpay as well as insurance premiums.

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Types of Visitors in a Premise Liability Claim

Property owners have the responsibility to ensure that your premises are safe for your tenants. This is also the assumption that they will have once they occupy one of your units. But at the same time, visitors also have a reciprocal duty of care towards the property owner. When this responsibility is breached, the tenant or visitor can file a premise liability claim.

According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, it is the duty of property owners to ensure the proper upkeep and maintenance of their surroundings. However, the liability of the property owner depends on the legal status of the visitor. Generally, there are three types of visitors in a property:

Invitee

An invitee enters the premises for business purposes at the owner’s request. Examples of an invitee include customers, contractors, sales people, repair men, and others.

Licensee

This is a person who was invited at the premises by the property owner through invitation. For example, there is a party at the property. A licensee can make the property owner liable if they are able to prove three elements:

  1. The owner was aware of any condition or would discover the condition and realizes or should realize that it has an unreasonable risk of harm to the licensee
  2. There is an expectation that the licensee will not discover or realize the danger or will fail to protect themselves from it
  3. The owner failed to show reasonable care to protect the licensee from potential risks

Trespassers

A trespasser is neither an invitee nor a licensee so the property owner does not have any duty of care to them. If they get injured while inside the premises, they cannot file a claim. However, the owner cannot deliberately make the surrounding risky for trespassers. If he does so, the trespasser can make him civilly and criminally liable.

While they are just visitors to the premises, they have the legal duty to mitigate any injuries. They should take reasonable precautions to prevent injury. If the visitor gets injured, they should properly treat the injury or else they could not make the property owner liable.

Likewise, in most states, comparative fault is adopted. Thus, if the visitor was partially or fully responsible for their injuries, they cannot recover damages.

 

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Seat Belt Defect: Cause of Thousands of Fatal Car Crashes Annually

If the same problem has been the reason why a group of vehicles of the same design has been involved in an accident, then it may be necessary that such vehicle be recalled. Vehicle recalls, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), may be necessary:

  • If the defect complained about poses a risk to the safety of the driver, passengers or anyone else on the road
  • If the vehicle itself or any of its parts does not comply with the minimum performance requirement set by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). These standards help make sure that a vehicle can be operated safely and that the driver and passengers would have enough protection from serious injury or death in the event of a crash. Thus, there are standards for tires, brakes, lighting, child restraints, air bags and safety belts, among others.

Vehicle recalls usually happen due to complaints consumers make to the vehicle manufacturer or to the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI), a department of the NHTSA. Regarding safety belts or seat belts for example, Chrysler, specifically, is said to have recalled (in October of 2014) about 184,215 SUVs around the globe due to defective airbags and seat belts; this is besides the more than 850,000 Ford vehicles that were recalled a month earlier due to the same problems.

Seat belts are still considered the best protection for drivers and passengers during car accidents. This is because these crash-safety devices protect drivers and passengers from hitting with great force any of a car’s interior parts (such as a door window, dashboard, or windshield) after the primary impact, that is when a car hits another vehicle or object. But while seat belts may be said to save thousands of lives, there have also been instances when it was rather the cause of injury or death – due to defects.

A defective or malfunctioning seat belt, may be due to poor manufacturing or poor design, can cause a person to suffer serious injuries during a secondary impact (when he or she slams into an interior part of a vehicle, or is thrown outside, smashing into the windshield and then with whatever thing in the exterior environment). In fact, every year, at least 10,000 (of the more than 30,000) individuals who die in car crashes are said to have died due to faulty seat belts.

The Massachusetts car accident lawyers at Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, know for a fact that all those who purchase vehicles fully assume that the vehicle, with all its parts, is in good operating condition, has complied with all the safety requirements set by the FMVSS and is free of any defect. While it can be said that no one more than the manufacturers would want their vehicles to be defective and, worse, be the cause of accidents and injuries, thorough tests on their vehicles’ design and performance may just show a flaw they never think might exist. In short, despite the never-intended defects, once an accident occurs, its consequences would be on their shoulders.

The website yvonnefraserlaw.com also shares vital information on accident victims’ right to file a lawsuit against manufacturers of defective vehicles in order to seek compensation for all the injuries, pains, sufferings and damages resulting from the accident.

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Outsourcing in the Philippines: Types of Services and Its many Advantages

There are two factors that make offshore outsourcing a continuously growing industry in developing countries: the need of a host company (from a developed country, such as the United States or United Kingdom) to cut costs and maximize profits, and the capability of a third party organization to access and deliver digital data (fast and easy) almost anywhere around the globe through the use of global electronic internet network.

Offshore outsourcing refers to the practice of contracting out a business process to an external third party organization (located in another country). Besides cutting costs and maximizing profits as the main reasons why host firms resort to this business strategy, lack of individuals with the necessary skills is also cited as another essential factor – a concern that can easily be addressed by the chosen third party firm and at a much lower cost too. This is because cost of salary and operating costs in developing countries, considering currency conversion, is definitely so much lower compared to performing the same business functions in the host firm’s own country.

According to www.ppocoutsourcing.com, among the many developing countries, the Philippines is one country where offshore outsourcing has grown particularly fast. Some of the reasons for this include: the government’s increasing support on IT investment and the availability of good telecommunication infrastructures that are reasonably priced; high-quality locations at low cost; income-tax holiday offered by the government; and, a large pool of graduates (up to 400,000 every year) with good English communication skills and knowledge in ICT as potential candidates for needed job vacancies (this means that outsourced projects are handled by English speaking and highly-skilled professionals).

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Workers’ Compensation: Source of Cash Benefits to Workers Who Sustain Injuries or Illnesses that are Work-related

There are different reasons why workers get injured on the job, with some injuries being serious enough as to affect their financial capacity. This happens if an injury renders a worker not capable of reporting back to work immediately due to the severity of the physical harm that he or she has sustained. Some of the most common causes of injury that the US Department of Labor has identified include:

  • Arguments or office politics leading to violent acts
  • Continuous repetitive motion, which can result to back pains and carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Getting entangled or caught in machines, a case most common in factories
  • Driving accident , a case common among company drivers
  • Being struck by a falling object, machine or vehicle, which is common among construction workers
  • Falling from a scaffold, ladder, stairs, roof or any elevated place
  • Slipping or tripping, which is actually the second most common cause of workplace injuries (the first is falls)
  • Overexertion due to pulling, pushing, carrying, or lifting heavy objects

The law allows workers who suffer job-related injuries or who develop an illness due to exposure to hazardous substances to receive financial benefits through the Workers’ Compensation Insurance program (also known as Workers’ Comp). This financial assistance may be received by an injured worker, regardless of whose fault the accident (which caused the injury) is; it is specifically intended to cover cost of medical treatment, lost wages, vocational rehabilitation and death.

Workers’ Compensation is mandated and administered by the state. While the Federal government, through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), requires employers to create a safe and healthy working environment where all their employees can perform their daily job without risk or fear of getting injured, this same government, as well as state governments, also require that employers make Workers’ Compensation coverage a part of employee benefits. Often, however, despite the injury or illness, employers and insurance providers make it so hard for workers to claim the benefits they are legally entitled to receive. The reason, clearly, is higher cost on the part of employers, meaning, the more workers getting injured or the higher the amount of benefits being claimed by an injured worker, the higher the insurance premiums the employer will have to pay.

Regardless of the costs an employer will have to pay though, the website of law firm Robert Wilson & Associates emphasizes the right of workers, whose injury or illness is job-related, to the cash benefits that they have a legal right to receive. It is necessary, however, that workers also understanding this right, its limits and the requirements that will make them qualify to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits.

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Severe Complications Caused by Zoloft and Stryker Hip Implants

According to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), about 118 million prescriptions are written by doctors for antidepressant drugs every year, making these the third most prescribed type of medication in the US. Antidepressants are usually prescribed by psychiatrists to people suffering from severe illnesses or severe cases of depression. Many doctors, however, prescribe this type of drug to those with only mild cases and even for off-label use, that is, for purposes not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), such as treatment for headache, insomnia, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and as an aid in helping people quit smoking – this act is actually an issue of concern to the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse of the World Health Organization, which says that so many people in the US, who should not be taking the drug, are being prescribed with it anyway.

One example of antidepressant drug is Zoloft (sertraline chloride), a drug developed by Pfizer in 1990 (in the United Kingdom where it was sold under the name Lustral). It was later introduced in the US and approved by the FDA as treatment for depression, anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). After being proven effective and with fewer side effects, as compared to other types of antidepressants, Zoloft eventually became the number one antidepressant in the US with close to 30 million prescriptions every year.

Zoloft actually comes from a group of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs); these drugs have been formulated to control major depression and other types of mental illnesses by controlling the level of serotonin in the brain (serotonin is a neurotransmitter believed to affect sleep, mood and learning.

Zoloft may have been proven safe and effective in treating depression and certain types of disorders in patients, however, if used by pregnant women or those trying to conceive, risks of serious birth defects become a threat (there is also danger if Zoloft is taken while being treated with certain types of drugs, like methylene blue injection, pimozide, and MAO inhibitor, such as selegiline, isocarboxazid, rasagiline, phenelzine, tranylcypromine and linezolid). The website of the lawyers at Williams Kherkher offers helpful information about Zoloft and the serious threats pregnant women may face if they take the drug.

Prescription drugs are not the only ones identified as causing adverse effects in patients, though. Different kinds of medical products or devices have also been linked to the development of new and serious medical conditions instead of improving patients’ quality of life. One specific example of a medical device that causes complications is the Stryker Hip Implant, a prosthetic implant intended to treat people suffering from fractured hip joint, or improve or replace a patient’s biological makeup.

Introduced by Stryker Corporation in 2008 and approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) a year later, this artificial medical device is placed inside the body of a patient through surgical procedure. Two products from Stryker Corp. obviously caught the attention of surgeons due to their advanced design which can be mixed and matched to suit a patient’s life style and preference: the ABG II Modular Neck and Stem and the Rejuvenate Modular Hip Neck and Stem.

As many as 20,000 patients were said to have been implanted either with the Stryker ABG II or the Rejuvenate Modular Hip Neck and Stem from 2009 to 2012. Then, in 2012, even as these Stryker products continued to be implanted in patients, Stryker Corp. had these recalled due to complaints, namely, implant failure and metallosis or metal poisoning, which is the buildup of metal debris in the body’s soft tissues, causing bone and tissue death and severe pain.

The website www.williamskherkher.com/practice-areas/mesothelioma-lawyer/ offers vital information about Stryker hip implants, examples of complications reported by recipients of these implants, Stryker’s responsibility over patients harmed by its defective products and rights of those injured by such products.

Patients have the right to demand, first, quality care and service from doctors, who they trust will effectively treat their condition and, second, safe and effective products from manufacturers, who they believe would produce only products that will neither worsen their condition nor develop in them worse complications. Surgeons and/or manufacturers who end up violating patient trust can be made to answer in court, where they may be ordered to compensate anyone they harm, as well as be prevented from making harmful mistakes in the future.

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