Pool Accident


When we move from place to place and specifically between buildings, we usually trust and believe that these places and buildings will be safe for us to navigate through like normal people. We usually operate under the assumption, whether or not we’re aware, that if we use the facilities of a certain place properly, then these facilities will serve us as intended. According to these Corpus Christi Premises Liability Lawyers, it’s important that property owners make sure the entirety of their property is well-maintained and functional so people can move in and out safely and easily.

This stood out to me the most recently when I was at the pool with my child. I wasn’t personally swimming – I really don’t enjoy it, the land will do just fine thank you – but my little six-year-old boy was. I was reading and watching him enjoy himself with the other kids there. They were all playing together, trying to do touch the bottom of the pool and see how long they can hold their breath and all the other things kids do when they’re in the pool. While they were doing this, I could see older kids using the diving board at the back. Some would do flips and others would just dive in, the younger ones would just jump as high as the board would help them. The environment was very pleasant, everyone was there to have a good time and was mindful of everyone else.

Things changed for the worst not long after I had really gotten comfortable. A young boy I didn’t know was snorkelling around the pool and had next to no clue where he was in relation to everything else going on. He had eventually roamed over near the diving board and nobody had really paid him any mind. The lifeguards hadn’t said a thing, and I hadn’t really paid attention to this one particular boy and his whereabouts because I was keeping a closer eye on my own son. Suddenly, one of the kids on the diving board took off and landed on the one snorkeling around, not having been warned not to jump or anyone having alerted the snorkeling boy. He landed right on the snorkeler, knocking him unconscious in the water while a few other mothers like myself screamed as soon as they saw the whole thing developing. It only took me a moment to connect the dots when the kid who jumped off the diving board popped his head out of the water looking horrified.

After the mothers screamed, a lifeguard immediately dove in and took care of the situation, and the snorkeling kid woke up fairly quickly, thankfully okay on the surface. I don’t know if he was completely okay later, but in that moment he seemed like he would be okay. However, it was scary to me that the lifeguards could just sit around the pool but be inattentive enough as to let something like that take place.

Know your rights: Texas Pay Day Law


An adult will spend most of their waking hours at work, so it is important that, whether you work full time or part time, in an office or from home, that your employer is not exploiting your labor. One of the most obvious ways an employer can exploit you is by not paying you for your work. According to the Texas Workforce Commission, there are neither state nor federal laws that require businesses to give you additional compensation for working holidays or weekends, and they are also not under any obligation to give you vacation pay or paid leave (unless they say so in writing). Even so, there are many other sneaky ways that a business can get around paying you for your hard work, so it is important to know your rights as an employee.

Does your employer require you to clock out for your lunch break? If your break is 20 minutes or shorter, then you cannot be asked to clock out. It is scientifically proven that short breaks throughout a full work day can increase concentration, increase productivity, and keep workers happy. This means that taking a short break provides immense benefits to the employer, so even though you are not actively “working”, you’re making yourself a better employee. Your lunch break must be at least 30 minutes, and the employer must not make you do anything work related during those 30 minutes for it be off the clock.

Are you paid for on-the-job training? If the training you’re receiving is in any way related to the work you will be doing, then your employer will need to compensate you for your time. What about meetings? Even if the meetings are outside normal working hours, if any useful work occurs or decisions are made that benefit the company, then you are entitled to compensation. The only way an employer can get around paying you for training or meetings is it meets multiple criteria: If the meeting or training is voluntary, it’s unrelated to the work you do on a daily basis, it’s outside your typical working hours, and if no useful work gets done at the meeting or training that benefits the employer. That is a lot of conditions to satisfy at once!

If you were terminated from your job for any reason, you must be paid for all of the work you performed up to the date you were terminated within just six days of that date, NOT the end of the next pay period, like many people assume. Whether you were given notice of the termination or not, six days is the rule.

If any of these stand out to you, then you can either file a report directly to the Texas Workforce Commission, or you can find an attorney that works in Texas employment law like the Leichter Law Firm PC. Knowing these rules will ensure that you’re taking home everything you’re owed.

Can a Government Agency Be Sued Due to Its Negligence to Maintain Roads?


When it comes to enforcing road safety rules and reminding drivers about the importance of observing traffic laws, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA has never fallen short in the performance of its duties. Regardless of the type of vehicle one drives the NHTSA has programs that are intended to provide whatever information he/she needs to know about road safety.

It cannot be denied, though, that millions of vehicular accidents are faults of drivers. There are stories that say that back in 1896, all the registered cars in the whole of the United States numbered only to just four; two eventually collided with each other. Now, regardless of whether this story is true or not, what counts is the underlying message: that drivers commit mistakes and that these mistakes are followed by accidents.

Records from the NHTSA show that the most common causes of road accidents, wherein drivers are at fault, are drunk-driving, driver error, speeding, driver distractions and reckless driving. However, there are also instances when the causes of accidents are outside of drivers’ control, such as a defective car or car parts, or poorly constructed or damaged road. In the case of defective vehicles, manufacturers can be held liable; in the case of poorly constructed or defective roads, though, can government agencies be sued and held accountable?

The majority of states and the federal government agencies cannot be sued due to their immunity from lawsuits. This immunity, when referencing federal and state governments, is called “sovereign immunity”; if applied to cities, counties and other smaller government agencies, it is called “governmental immunity.”

According to the website of the Cazayoux Ewing Law Firm, despite this immunity, many government agencies, under specific conditions, allow lawsuits to be filed against them. Gross negligence in maintaining a roadway, for instance, is one of the conditions that would allow a plaintiff to sue a government office.

The pain and suffering undergone by individuals who sustain severe injuries in car accidents are no small concerns for these can alter the life of the injured and his/her family. If the cause of the accident is defective road, however, proving government negligence can be a mountainous task.

Three Categories of Visitors Who can File a Premises Liability Lawsuit


Slipping, tripping or falling is a very common accident in the US. Though the ones most prone to this type of accident are people aged 55 or older, it can happen to anyone and the results can be from bruises to the hand/s or arm/s to fractured bones or a spinal column injury.

Based on injury facts records of the National Safety Council (NSC), more than 8 million slip and fall accidents occur in the US every year. Some of their most common causes include: wet, oily, icy or slippery floors or surfaces; defective staircases; uneven, loose or broken floors, steps, sidewalks or stairs; unsecured rugs or carpets; and, hidden or tangled extension cords.

While one may immediately think that people who slip or fall should blame no one else except themselves (for being careless), in the mind of a Milwaukee accident attorney, the one at fault may actually be the owner of the property (a homeowner, the owner of a business establishment or a landlord) where the accident occurred.

Property owners, especially places that are open to the public, such as malls, hospitals, government offices, supermarkets, parking lots, playgrounds, swimming pool areas, restaurants, food courts, churches, etc., have the responsibility of keeping their premises free from risks of accident at all times, or they can face legal complaints, more specifically, premises liability lawsuit, from people who get injured while within their premise.

Premises liability is defined as a landowner’s accountability for certain injuries suffered by persons on his or her property where a defective or unsafe condition exists. More than just sustaining an injury due to slipping, tripping or falling, premises liability also includes in its scope injuries that are caused by falling objects, open excavations, electrocution, broken benches or chairs, and so forth.

Proof of ownership of property and breach of the duty of care or negligence on the part of the property owner in making sure that his or her property is kept from risks of accidents, are important factors for premises liability to apply. Thus, an injured person may have the legal right to seek compensation from the property owner whether he or she is:

  • An Invitee – a person (maybe a friend, a relative or a neighbor) who has a landowner’s expressed or implied permission to enter his or her property
  • A Licensee – a person, who has the landowner’s expressed or implied permission to enter the property, but who goes there for his or her own amusement or purpose, rather than for business purposes. Party guests, family friends, people who enter stores to ask about something or to retrieve something that they own, are examples of licensees
  • A Trespasser – a person who, actually, has no authority to be on the property.

The EB-2 or Employment-Based, Second Preference Visa


The EB-2 visa is an employment-based, second preference visa issued to professionals holding an advanced degree or aliens of exceptional ability. There are three categories under the EB-2 visa; these categories and the criteria for eligibility set by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for each are as follows:

1. EB-2(A) for foreign nationals with an advanced degree, such as a master’s degree. Criteria for eligibility includes:

  • A job offer from a potential US employer and the Labor Certification process which is to be complete by the same potential employer
  • An advanced degree or a baccalaureate degree followed by no less than 5 years progressive work experience in the specialty (the USCIS considers a baccalaureate degree plus at least 5 years progressive work experience another way of defining “advanced degree”)
  • Document, such an official academic record for a US advanced degree or a foreign equivalent degree, or an official academic record for a US baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent degree
  • Form ETA-750 and labor certification approved by the Department of Labor
  • Certification from current or previous employers showing that the foreign national has, at least, five years progressive post-baccalaureate work experience in his/her chosen field

2. EB-2(B) for foreign nationals with exceptional ability in the field of science, arts, or business. Criteria for eligibility includes:

  • A job offer from a potential US employer and the Labor Certification process which is to be complete by the same potential employer
  • The foreign national must be able to show his/her exceptional ability in science, arts, or business (exceptional ability refers to a level of expertise that is above what is ordinarily encountered in the specified fields)
  • Form ETA-750 and labor certification approved by the Department of Labor
  • Proof of satisfaction of at least three of the following criteria:
    • official academic record , such as a diploma, a certificate, or any other similar award (in recognition of the exceptional ability) from a university, a college or other type of learning
    • Letters that will verify no less than 10 years of full-time experience of work
    • A license or certification showing permit to practice profession or occupation
    • Receipts proving remuneration for practice of exceptional ability
    • Membership in professional associations
    • Recognition from professional or business organizations, government entities, or peers, of
      achievements and significant contributions to chosen field
    • Any other comparable types of evidence of eligibility

3. The National Interest Waiver. This EB-2(C) visa is granted to foreign nationals who have either an exceptional ability or an advanced degree and who are requesting that labor certification be waived since their rendering of service in the US will substantially benefit the US’ national interest. Those applying for the National Interest Waiver (NIW) do not need a sponsoring employer or a job order. Thus, they may self-petition with the USCIS directly using Form I-140, or Petition for Alien Worker.

Besides the need to prove that working permanently in the US will benefit the nation, they will also need to satisfy at least three of the criteria mentioned above (under 2.c).

Having acquired an advanced degree or its equivalent may be quite easy to prove; however, immigration lawyers agree that having an exceptional ability or an advanced degree and proving that being equipped with any of these would be beneficial to the US entails greater challenge.

The benefits of an EB-2 visa are just too good to allow these to slip through one’s fingers, if only due to mistakes, lack of the proper documents to be presented or wrong type of visa to apply for. Sure, one can make an appeal if ever his/her application were denied, but wouldn’t a denial and its consequences, which include longer additional waiting time and another set of fees to be paid, have been avoided had a highly-qualified immigration lawyer been consulted at the very start of the application process?

What is the Difference between Annulment and Divorce?


Sometimes, married couples end up facing difficult issues that have become impossible to resolve. These couples often come to a decision and agree that they have to go their separate ways. When this happens, a couple can consider a few legal options to officially end their marriage. One option is going through a divorce. Another is filing for an annulment.

According to the website of the Arenson Law Group, PC divorce attorneys in Cedar Rapids IA, an annulment is generally a legal procedure that allows a marriage to be declared null and void. In other words, couples who file for an annulment are found as if they have never been married after the process is over and can legally declare their civil status as “single”. In comparison, a person who went through divorce proceedings will have to identify as “divorced”. The main reason most couples choose this option is because of religions considerations. There are some religions, like Roman Catholicism, that prohibit sanctioning divorce or remarrying. Couples can obtain an annulment within their own religious institutions, but they will also need to undergo the civil procedure in court in order for their marriage to be absolved in the eyes of the law.

Because an annulment declares a couple’s marriage to basically be without value or effect, being granted a positive decision by the court will require notable circumstances. In particular, most states in the United States grant annulments in cases that involve fraud or misrepresentation, if a spouse had been forced into marriage, and if the marriage involved incest, bigamy, or a spouse that was underage at the time of the wedding. Courts also allow annulments for cases where one or both spouses had not been in sound mental capacity during the wedding—like if they were impaired by alcohol or drugs. Marriages that have not been consummated can also be dissolved through annulment, especially if the other spouse had not been made aware of the other’s inability to have sexual intercourse.

Considering these scenarios, it’s easy to see that an annulment might not be the best choice for most couples looking to end their marriage. For others, divorce seems to be a more suitable and accessible option. You can contact a qualified divorce lawyer in your area to learn more about the best solution for your given situation.

Benefits of Marriage


It has long been known that marriage is generally good for your health, but are the benefits of marriage the same for both men and women? Apparently not, as men and women may not experience the same or equal benefits of being in a marriage – men report having more satisfactory sex lives after getting married, while women’s risk of depression decreases after getting hitched, among other benefits. But with the increasing rates of divorce in the nation, is marriage the only way to get these types of benefits?

According to various researchers and studies made, such health benefits may not necessarily have to be exclusive to married couples: it may just simply be a matter of level of mutual attachment and social support. Whether married or not, the benefits of being in a relations can be enjoyed by both partners committed to each other in a long-term relationship. Nevertheless, being married or being in a long-term relationship still carries more weight than simply being single. One of the main health benefits that come with being married is having longer life span; it is a great way to lower the risks of fatal accidents and other preventable disasters. It also lowers risks of serious diseases, possibly due to positive influences on stress, vices, and weight. Another benefit is the physical intimacy – particularly in men – reporting of being more emotionally satisfied compared to those who are unmarried or does not have a partner. Married women, on the other hand, have lower risk of depression, as it reduces the danger of developing or intensifying mental health issues.

Meanwhile, both men and women benefit from financial stability during marriage. Money and financial issues is just among the main reason for divorce. According to the website of Marshal & Taylor PLLC, financial problems can greatly affect divorce proceedings as they can complicate the dividing of debts, assets and properties and cause tension between spouses. Such issues however, can be prevented through a pre-nuptial agreement before getting married.

Marriage is not just an easy decision to live with someone; the nature of marriage and long-term relationships as time changes have greatly impacted the health benefits of both partners, and with gender roles starting to dissolve both men and women may soon experience that same and equal benefits of marriage.

Xarelto: Its Greatest Benefits and Worst Threats


Rivaroxaban is a popular anti-coagulant drug that was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July 2011 for people suffering from: atrial fibrillation (an irregularity in heart beat); deep vein thrombosis (DVT), also known as deep venous thrombosis, which refers to the formation of blood clots (or thrombus) in deep veins, mainly in the legs; and, pulmonary embolism, which is blood clot in the lungs. It is mainly intended to prevent harmful blood clots from forming, avoid chances of blood clots from recurring and reduce possible risks of stroke in people who have just undergone surgery for total hip replacement or knee replacement. In the US, and in some other countries, Rivaroxaban is sold under the generic name Xarelto and it is jointly produced by Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary) and Bayer Health Care.

Xarelto is a new generation blood thinner that is formulated to act as a direct thrombin inhibitor (DTI), to block thrombin from ever forming (thrombin are blood plasma enzymes that cause the blood to clot). Like Pradaxa, another DTI that was approved by the FDA in 2010 and which Xarelto was intended to compete against, Xarelto has been highly commended by pharmaceutical companies and doctors due to its formulation that no longer necessitates frequent testing of blood or diet and exercise monitoring which Warfarin, the anticoagulant drug that has dominated the market since 1954, requires.

Unlike Pradaxa, however, which directly blocks the production of thrombin, Xarelto directly attacks and inhibits the production of Factor Xa, the protein necessary in thrombin formation. Furthermore, Xarelto has been proven as very effective in the:

  • Reduction of risks of stroke in non-valvular atrial fibulation
  • Treatment of pulmonary embolism (PE) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Prevention of DVT following a knee replacement or hip replacement surgery
  • Reduction of DVT and PE recurrence

Despite its effectivity, Xarelto was discovered as not without adverse effects, some of which even fatal, thus, enough reason for the FDA to mandate a black box warning label to the drug’s packaging. One agency that keeps track of problematic or defective drugs is the Institution for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), a nonprofit consumer watchdog organization. Based on ISMP data Xarelto’s adverse effects, which thousands of patients have already complained of, include: internal bleeding (including bleeding in the abdomen, intestines and rectum); blood clots; epidural or spinal hematomas (a condition wherein blood collects outside the blood vessels in the spinal cord area – this increases the risk of permanent paralysis); brain hemorrhaging; uncontrollable bleeding (to which there is no known remedy); blood in the urine and/or stool; severe nosebleeds; vomiting of, and coughing up, blood; stroke; and, risk of heart problems following discontinuation.

Millions of patients had already been prescribed with Xarelto despite its being new in the market. In fact, currently, Xarelto is the number one blood thinning medication in the US. But (in 2012) even before topping market sales (where blood thinning drugs are concerned) about 2081 serious adverse events (151 of these were fatal) had already been reported to the FDA.

It is hard to say exactly how many lawsuits have already been filed against the manufacturers of Xarelto as the lawsuits are based on different issues, like wrongful death, brain hemorrhaging, uncontrolled bleeding, and so forth.

How You Can Find Reliable Legal Advice


There are many reasons you may need to hire and work with a lawyer. No matter what the reason, there are some helpful tips you can use during your time with a law professional. The advice that follows will help you when you find yourself in need of a lawyer.

Don’t choose the very first lawyer you find. Instead, research several attorneys to find the one best suited for your case. You can do this by visiting websites, like William Kherkher’s. Keep asking other people so that you can learn more information concerning certain lawyers.

You have to be able to easily get in contact with your lawyer. Many people complain about not having a lawyer who is easily reachable. This can lead to a lot of issues, not the least of which is the fact that you will wonder if you are getting adequate service or not.

Ask your friends and family for referrals if you are looking for a great lawyer. Others that have had legal issues know how critical a good lawyer can be and will be best able to lead you in the right direction. Get a few recommendations and then do your own research from there.

Before beginning your research, seek the advice of the people you know. When you speak with loved ones, you can get good suggestions and favorable rates. This can really save you a lot of stress and money down the road.

When choosing a lawyer, research their reputation thoroughly. Check with your local bar association, and read online reviews of lawyers. These can help you decide whether or not a particular lawyer is someone you can trust. This will save you a lot of money, aggravation and time, later on.

As you can see, it’s not too hard to find and deal with a lawyer once you have more knowledge. The tips shared here are a good starting off point. Use what you learned and your time with a lawyer can be time well spent in order to win your case.

Houston-Area Woman Convicted of DUI


A Fort Bend woman was convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) on June 21 after a 2011 incident in which she drove across several lanes of traffic and nearly hit a police officer. The jury came to its verdict against the 24-year-old Yesenia Hernandez after Police Lt. Aaron Slater and officer Michael Walden testified about the accident.

Slater stated that Hernandez, after swerving across traffic and narrowly missing his car,  hit a curb and then failed to pull over for several blocks after Slater turned on his flashing lights. Both officers noted her “confused and disoriented nature” and said she failed to complete a sobriety test. Hernandez later admitted to having consumed “five regular size beers, maybe more.”

Hernandez’s sentence sits at one year of probation and a $750 fine, as well as 60 hours of community service. Hernandez will also be required to take a DWI education class and to attend a Victim Impact Panel to hear stories from victims of intoxication crimes.

Being convicted of DUI comes with serious penalties, including minimum jail time, fines and penalties, and license suspension from 90 to 365 days for the first offense and up to two years for the second and third offenses. In addition, Texas’s “implied consent” law requires anyone arrested for DUI to take a chemical test–if they refuse, an automatic license suspension for at least 90 days can be enacted, according to the website of the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter.

In some instances, Texas police departments are able to mandate what are referred to as “no-refusal weekends.” Typically occurring around holidays where it is expected that many people will drink heavily and drive, these no-refusal periods allow officers to legally take blood from those who refuse to submit to a breathalyzer. No-refusal periods are commonly put into effect around days like the Super Bowl or Memorial Day, for example.

If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI, it is important to contact a legal professional. An attorney who specializes in DUI cases can help lessen the penalties and protect your rights during the legal process.

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