Can a guy get a break?

Tell me, people, how long does a guy have to pay before he’s given a break? According to my ex-wife, a guy can never pay enough for a break, but she’s exactly the last person I’d ask for that exact reason.

I can admit that six years ago when we got divorced, I was definitely the bad guy in the relationship. I wasn’t abusive or anything, but I was a pretty bad guy. I ran around, I didn’t come home some nights, I gave stupid excuses, I spent our money. I drank too much. I drove when I was drunk. I gambled. I lost. I did a lot of bad stuff.

I wasn’t surprised when my wife was given sole custody of the kids, and I wasn’t surprised when the child support demanded was an astronomical amount.

I was fine with it, really, because I knew by then how badly I’d screwed up and how much I needed to clean myself up.

I did clean up, though. I haven’t had a drink in three years. I cut out the bad habits—or most of them. I still allow myself a few bucks on NFL on Sundays, but it’s under control.

I improved so much, my wife and I renegotiated custody, and I now get the little guys on the weekends most weekends. I’m a new man is what I’m telling you. It seems like a new man deserves a break.

Despite my ex- being more than willing, encouraging even, to let me have the kids on weekends, she doesn’t want to hear about the child support. I pointed out to her, I think fairly, that if I have the kids on weekends, I shouldn’t have to pay the same amount now as I did when I didn’t have them at all. I should, by my simple calculations, only have to pay 5/7s. But I’d be willing just to get a little taken off the top, any token gesture to show the amount can go down at some point over time.

The thing is, part of cleaning myself up was getting out of a job that paid well, but that encouraged my bad habits. I have a job I really like now, but I make quite a bit less. So those payments are a larger cut of my salary than they used to be.

I’m talking to a lawyer about all this, but I really don’t want it to get legal. I’d hate to spoil the positive steps I’ve made with the kids and with my ex. We have full conversations now and even crack jokes. I’d hate to spoil it, but I do need the money, you know? I need to be able to live too.

Hopefully, the ex- will come around and give me a break sooner or later. Maybe if I hint it could get ugly, she’ll see it’s better to be generous than to cause more problems for our family, especially the kids.

read more

Plant and Refinery Accident Statistics

There are more than 141 oil refineries in the United States. Workers at refineries and plants face extremely hazardous, often injury-inducing conditions. Refineries already gain a lot of attention for the environmental havoc they wreak. For example, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused by a British Petroleum plant explosion wreaked havoc on the surrounding ecosystem. The media covered the spill for months, and even today people still refer to the BP oil spill as an example of refineries gone wrong. But refineries and plants are also dangerous for the workers who punch in day after day. The EPA records more than 500 oil refinery accidents since 1994 alone. According to law firms like Williams Kherkher, it happens every day. Many argue that the high rate of injury at plants and factories like these is the combination of hazardous materials, tiring labor, and stresses of production rate. Equipment can fail, chemicals can spill, and accidents happen. In plants and refineries, these accidents can cause irreparable damage.

Oil refineries are huge corporations backed by monstrous legal and insurance teams. It can be extremely difficult to navigate a lawsuit alone against such a wall of resources. This is why it’s so important to have support with an attorney or team of attorneys that can help earn the deserved compensation.

It is not strange that the oil refining business is considered one of the most dangerous in the world. There are many chemicals, hazardous equipment, and dangerous environments that must be faced by workers. In fact, since 2012, there have been 28 refinery fires. An explosion in Texas City, Texas killed 15 workers after a cloud of hydrocarbon vapor caught fire and exploded. Another refinery exploded in Anacortes, WA in 2010 due to the failure of a heat exchanger. That explosion led to the injury of 7 workers. Plant and refinery work is dangerous. In fact, there is an entire board, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, that investigates the safety procedures and regulations on plants and refineries because the conditions can be so dangerous.

If you or a loved one was the unfortunate victim of a plant or refinery accident, or an oil investment fraud be sure to make a claim as soon as possible. Waiting too long to file your claim could lead to the loss of compensation. Speak to an attorney regarding the specifics of your case to determine your options and chances at earning compensation. Even if you are doubtful as to the cause of the injury, you should reach out to an attorney. There are many factors that go into work injury cases, and it could be that the working conditions were the cause of the injury. The job is certainly dangerous, so there is no reason not to pursue your rightful payment if you were injured while working in a plant or refinery. There are teams of attorneys ready to help you in winning compensation.

read more

Keep Construction Workers from the Danger of Scaffold Collapse

The Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, LTD, says that millions of Americans make their living by working on construction sites. Working these jobs usually requires a huge amount of physical labor and dangerous circumstances. Construction workers often operate from elevated heights and use heavy machinery, both of which are potentially dangerous. The construction companies that employ these workers are responsible for making sure conditions are as safe as possible, machinery is functioning normally, and structures are stable. Unfortunately, many companies neglect this responsibility, putting their workers lives and well-being at risk. When construction workers are working in unsafe conditions, operating malfunctioning machinery, or working from unstable structures, the likelihood of a construction accident greatly increases.

The law firm Hach & Rose, LLP says that the most common types of accidents in construction sites that result to injuries include:

  • Falling Hazards. Construction sites often contain materials and equipment on scaffolds and rooftops. If not properly secured, these objects can fall onto workers below, potentially causing traumatic brain injury (TBI) accidents, other serious injuries and accidents, or even death.
  • Unsafe Work Site. Construction sites require constant maintenance in order to prevent worker accidents. If this important maintenance is not done, construction sites can pose serious hazards to the health and safety of workers. Debris and equipment, for instance, can cause slip and fall accidents if left out in the open, potentially causing workers to suffer neck or spine injuries, broken bones, head injuries, or even death.
  • Scaffolding Problems. Faulty scaffolding can lead to catastrophic injury accidents or death. Even in less serious circumstances, scaffolding accidents may permanently affect a worker’s ability to earn a living wage.
  • Vehicle Accidents – Forklifts, cranes, and other construction vehicles can harm workers if not used or maintained properly. Injuries that vehicle accidents may cause include broken bones, dismemberment, and death.
  • Crane Collapse Accidents – Cranes can cause devastating accidents due to cargo loss or total collapse. Crane collapse accidents may be entitled to financial compensation beyond workers’ comp in order to cover the full extent of their damages.

All types of working environments should be kept healthy and safe for all workers/employees. Ensuring a safe and healthy workplace is the duty of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Due to this, employers should make sure that they hire only qualified employees, that all employees are trained on how to keep their workplace safe and about the use/operation of dangerous tools and hazardous substances, that standard safety equipment can be found in designated places, and that employees are provided with safety gears and that these are properly worn in work areas.

The 1971 regulation on the requirements regarding the use of scaffolds is one way OSHA wants to make sure that construction workers are kept from the danger of accidents. Scaffolds are provisional work platforms used in construction work. These provide support for the workers and the materials they use. Some scaffolds are self-supporting, meaning these are supported by poles or frames solidly positioned on the ground. Others are called “suspension” scaffolds since these are supported with pulleys and ropes from overhead. Whether built from the ground or suspended from overhead, the greatest danger facing workers is scaffolding collapse, a consequence of scaffolds not properly assembled or if the number of workers and the weight of materials on the scaffold are too much for it to support. For added worker support, OSHA also requires the incorporation of guardrails to which workers can hold onto in cases of slips.

 

read more

How Do You Defend a DUI Charge?

DUI, also known as Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, is an offense that has a very controversial nature, because of how alcohol can compromise driving skills and lead to accidents. Because authorities clearly know the dangers of DUI, they strictly enforce the law, and sometimes, the law becomes misunderstood or exaggerated.

Yes, a DUI Charge Can Be Defended

According to the website of Truslow & Truslow, Attorneys at Law, DUI charges can be defended. That is good news, especially on the instances where the law has become misunderstood or exaggerated. But how can you defend them?

The charge can be defended in a variety of ways. The most obvious defense is – well, that you are not actually drunk. There are times where you may show symptoms of being intoxicated even though you are not, like when you lack sleep and therefore have bloodshot eyes.

Even if you have been determined to be drunk, you can also question the methods. For example, if you have failed a sobriety test even though you are not drunk, you can say that the instructions are not clear enough or confusing, resulting into your failure. Another example is when the blood alcohol content test results are not accurate, maybe because of improper test procedures or defective tools and machines.

Another viable defense is questioning the validity of the arrest itself, like when you have been stopped by an officer without probable cause, and therefore all evidence gathered during the stop cannot be legally used against you.

Yes, You Will Suffer Huge Consequences if You Don’t Defend Yourself

The website of the Bruno Law Offices has described the penalties for DUI in Illinois. First and second offenders can be imprisoned for about 1 year, fined up to $2,500, and get their licensed revoked for up to 5 years. Those who have committed the offense on the third time or have injured someone in the process face more severe versions of these penalties.

If the alleged offender is truly guilty of driving while drunk, these penalties are deserved. But what if they are innocent, and they are just mere victims of misunderstandings and exaggerations? That is when defenses become a truly viable option, so innocent people will not be unnecessarily penalized and truly guilty people will not suffer more penalties than they deserve.

read more

Risk Factors for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease occurs when a person’s digestive tract, or at least a part of it, is suffering from inflammation. There are two common types of IBD, namely Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Their difference lies on where the inflammation is taking place. For Crohn’s disease, the inflammation is in the lining of the digestive tract, either in the large intestine, small intestine, or both. For ulcerative colitis, the inflammation is in the inner most lining of the large intestine and rectum, and is often characterized with sores or ulcers.
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis generally have the same symptoms, but they may vary from person to person depending on the location and severity of the inflammation. The website of GastroCare LI has enumerated some of the most common symptoms for the two classic inflammatory bowel diseases:

  • Abdominal cramps or pain
  • Bloody stool
  • Decreased appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Severe diarrhea
  • Unexplained weight loss

IBD can be sustained because of a variety of factors, including environmental and genetic aspects that may result into negative immune system responses and inflammation. Below are some of the believed risk factors for inflammatory bowel diseases.

Age

Everybody can be at risk of IBD at any age, but those who are 35 and above are believed to be more likely to sustain the disease.

Diet

Excessive consumption of high protein from meat and fish has also been linked to IBD development, and it is believed to be because of the higher amounts of Sulphur containing amino acids on meat and fish protein compared to plant protein.

Family History

Those who have family members who have acquired the disease are more likely to acquire it as well. But this does not necessarily mean that those who do not have such family members are entirely risk-free.

Geographical Location

Since meat and processed food have been proven to be linked to IBD development, countries who rely on these meals more are more likely to develop IBD compared to others. These countries are typically industrialized.

Smoking

Smokers are also at risk of IBD, particularly Crohn’s disease. Smoking is also known to aggravate the symptoms of IBD.

read more

Differences between “C” and “S” Corporations

Sole Proprietorships, one of the six types of business entities recognized by the U.S. government, usually grow, develop and become a Corporation. Now, under subchapter “C” of the U.S. tax code, all corporations are automatically recognized as C corporations unless business owners file for an “S” status (after all shareholders agree in writing to the S corporation election, they must make a timely filing of Form 2553 with the IRS). Taking no action, however, will mean that a corporation is and will remain a “C” corporation.

“C” corp and “S” corporations are types of corporate business entities, their difference is based primarily on ownership and how they pay taxes. With regard to ownership, number of shareholders in an “S” corporation cannot be more than 100, and all of whom must be U.S. citizens or residents. A “C” corporation, on the other hand, can have an unlimited number of shareholders who may also be non-U.S. citizens or non-residents.

On the issue of taxation, “S” corporations are pass-through tax entities, thus, no tax is paid at the corporate level since corporate profits and losses are reported on the tax return of shareholders. Under the “C” corp status,corporate profits are taxed at the corporate level – a case of double taxation, actually. This is because, as C corporations pay taxes, the amount of which is based on its corporate income, this same income, which is distributed to shareholders as dividends, is also the basis of the amount of personal income tax shareholders will be required to pay.

While the pass-through taxation enjoyed under the “S” corp status will definitely mean huge savings for shareholders, many corporations still choose the “C” corp status due to the absence of restrictions, such as having multiple classes of stocks, which is imposed on the S corp status.

Underlying the differences in taxation and membership, is the limited liability protection enjoyed by shareholders in both “C” and “S” corporations. Due to this limited liability, shareholders are, therefore, not held personally responsible for corporate debts and liabilities.

The law firm Russo, Russo & Slania believes that businesses should be given the all the legal assistance they need to make their business grow and flourish and which will help them avoid whatever critical errors could affect and hinder their success.

read more

How To Choose The Right Color For Your Hair

For many people, having colored hair can make them stylish and fashionable. But finding the right hair color is not easy as you think it to be. It goes beyond simply choosing a color you like. There are certain factors that need to be considered when selecting hair color. According to those who are experts in Houston hair and makeup, you need to take a look at the skin tone, natural hair color, and eye color.

How drastic will the color change be?

Choosing the right hair color requires a lot of contemplation on your part. Will the change be just for enhancing your look or you want a drastic change? Likewise, you should also consider the rules in your office or school if you want to change the color of your hair.

Get sample colors of what you want to be your hair like

You can get pictures or images of the hair color that you want. You can bring it to your stylist so they would have an idea of what you really want to do to your hair.

How about having a haircut as well?

While contemplating on the color, you can also decide to have a haircut as well. The shorter the hair, the less dye will be needed, the more money you will save.

Determine your skin tone

When choosing a hair color, check your skin tone first. Check your veins to see if you have cool or warm skin coloring. Another way to check your skin tone is through the colored paper test. This will help determine whether you are warm or cool toned.

Finally, you can check the color of your eyes to determine the right hair color. The color of your eyes should complement that of your hair.

So take these tips into consideration and you can look forward to getting the right hair color.

read more

Pursuing Product Liability Claim due to a Defective and Injurious Medical Product

In 2005, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular metal-on-metal (MoM) hip replacement. This artificial medical product was intended as a longer and lasting alternative to metal-on-plastic and metal-on-ceramic hip replacement systems. Compared to the other two hip joint replacement products, this metal-on-metal hip replacement had higher resistance against deterioration and was designed to withstand more vigorous activities; thus, doctors saw it as as a more sound choice for younger and more active patients.

The hip joint, also called the ball and socket joint, is one largest joints in the human body. Its major function is to provide support to the upper body by supporting the upper body’s full weight while standing, walking, running, bending or stretching.

Full weight support and performance of regular activities (without experiencing pain), however, are possible only if the hip is completely healthy; once an injury or a disease damages the hip joint a person’s movements will definitely be affected.

Examples of injuries and diseases that can damage the hip joint include; a forceful blow, such as one created in motor vehicle accidents; falls, which can cause hip fracture; osteoarthritis, or wear and tear arthritis, which can result to the painful rubbing of the bones; and, rheumatoid arthritis, which is a result of the immune system mistakenly attacking the joints’ lining, causing inflammation in these joints. Though the hip is supported by strong and large thigh muscles, this it can be damaged if a person experiences any of the factors indicated above.

A damaged hip joint can cause persistent pain and can make daily activities quite challenging to perform. To correct this medical condition and so relieve patients from so much pain, doctors, since the 1960s, have recommended hip replacement surgery using a prosthesis, which is an artificial joint. A prosthesis is meant to improve the quality of patient’s lives and the function of their hips.

Hip replacement systems, however, had parts that rub against one another, discharging tiny particles inside its host’s body in the process. This problem was a more serious case where the metal-on-metal hip replacement product was used and, in order to correct the problem created, a reconstructive or replacement surgery was usually necessitated to repair joint failure and tissues damaged by the device.

Besides joint failure and tissue damage, the metal-on-metal hip replacement also caused: Metallosis or metal poisoning; Osteolysis or bone loss; Systemic metallosis or the inflammation of the whole body due to presence of metal ions; Pseudotumors or the development of tumor-like deposits around affected joints; and, Bone fracture, which is the weakening of the bones surrounding the hip implant resulting to their breakage.

As explained by a Wausau personal injury attorney, any kind of product, but more specifically, medical devices and drugs, should be clinically tested first to fully determine their safety and effectivity. If a medical device ends up causing harm to any patient, then this patient should think of filing a product liability claim against the defective product’s manufacturer to recover compensation for his/her injuries.

read more

Benefits of Pre-Employment Functional Testing

Workplace injuries can cause employers thousands of dollars in workers’ compensation claims. Aside from that, they would also have to pay sick leave benefits for the injured employee or employees. For this reason, companies started to look for ways they can reduce the risks associated with workplace injuries. This paved the way for the establishment of functional employment testing.  Such programs are designed to help avoid the risks associated with workplace injuries.

Workplace injuries can have a huge impact on the productivity of an employee. Studies have revealed that the expenses that employers would incur for administering pre-employment testing far outweighs the cost for workers’ compensation benefits. It has shown to reduce workplace injuries and missed work days. In recent studies, implementing functional employment screening has reduced the days lost due to injury by 90%. Likewise, functional employment programs have increased worker retention by 21%.

In addition, functional employment testing can also deliver financial returns to businesses. According to studies, employers received an estimated indirect return of $6 for every $1 spent. They also got a direct cost benefit of $3 to $18 for every dollar spent. Moreover, the cost per claim was four to seven times lower. Cost reduction were reflected in the reduction of the severity of the injuries due to decrease in medical expenses and lost work days.

Given these benefits, functional employment testing has slowly become the standard for site access in some industries. Time will come when such screening programs would become necessary to achieve compliance with requirements in some circumstances. In the future, job offers would become conditional unless the new hire has passed the pre-placement functional test. If the test is connected with the functional aspect of the job and the applicant fails in one or more components of the test, the employer has the legal right to rescind the offer.

While Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits the discrimination of “otherwise qualified individuals,” it also allows employers to reject prospective employees if they deem that they will be a direct threat to the health or safety of other employees. This right is also protected by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

 

read more

Truck Accidents – More a Fault of Truck Drivers

The enormous size and length of semi-trailers or 18-wheelers make maneuvering, especially making turns, challenging for truck drivers. This is why operation of a trailer truck requires special skills and training, and a series of tests. Only after a person completes and passes all requirements will he or she be issued a commercial driver’s license (CDL).

Of the 15 million trucks registered in the US, about 13% (almost two million) are semi-trailers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). And of these two million semi-trailers, about 500,000 get involved in accidents which take the lives of 5,000 individuals every year.

Besides being harder to maneuver and requiring a much wider and longer maneuvering space, trucks also have blind spots or “no-zone” areas. “No zone” areas are spots around a truck where truck drivers do not (or almost do not) notice smaller vehicles. These spots, which include a truck’s front, sides, especially the passenger side, and the back area, are where most accidents occur. Other than truck drivers usually not being aware of the presence of smaller vehicles in their blind spots, there are many other factors that contribute to truck accidents. Some of these factors include: sleepiness and fatigue due to lack of sleep and driving longer than what is allowed under federal rules; use of illegal drugs; intoxication due to legal drugs (prescription and/or over-the-counter-drugs); intoxication due to alcohol, which results to impaired driving; speeding and driving too fast for road conditions; lack of focus on the road; driving distractions; failure to check blind spots; failure to make sure that the brakes are in good working condition; depowering of the front brakes; and, improper attachment of trailer. These and other factors, which fall within drivers’ control, are the most frequent causes of truck accidents. By combining accident records and the results of its own studies, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is able to ascertain that majority of truck accidents are due to errors by truck drivers rather than to mistakes or carelessness committed by drivers of smaller vehicles.

In their website, personal injury lawyers from the Benton Firm mention how many truck drivers drive multi-state routes despite feeling fatigued. Thus, despite all safety precautions, many end up causing traumatic accidents.

The dangers trailer-trucks pose on the road make it a must for drivers to observe all proper safety measures. This refers not only to observing traffic rules but also to the observance of federal rules aimed at ensuring road safety, like getting proper sleep and rest, and not driving while impaired. In the event of an accident wherein the truck driver is at fault (or even partly at fault), the law requires that he or she (or the company where he or she is employed) compensate the victim for all the present and future damages resulting from the accident.

read more