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Accidents during a Cruise Ship Holiday Tour: The Issue of Jurisdiction

Posted by on 8:27 pm in Cruise Ship | 0 comments

Accidents during a Cruise Ship Holiday Tour: The Issue of Jurisdiction

Shore excursions and other inland itineraries have become additional sources of fun for cruise ship passengers and another major money-making activity for cruise lines that in almost every port of call these are offered. Some of the most common activities held during shore excursions are archaeological explorations, cultural tours, dining on land, shopping, island visits, scuba diving, parasailing, jet skiing, and ziplining.

Anyone who has been on a cruise vacation would be familiar with the different shore excursions offered by cruise lines and, no matter what ship it is, the advertisements regarding shore activities are the same: shore excursions are safe and totally fun.

Totally fun these may be, but only if no untoward incidents occur, such as a passenger falling into the water while transferring from the cruise ship to a tender boat (a smaller vessel which will take them to land), an accident on the tender boat or on land that will injure a passenger, a passenger getting robbed or sexually harassed by the locals, and so forth. It is sad to say, but in some of these land activities, a few passengers have had unfortunate experiences. These are those who have sustained serious injuries even while on the tender boat still, while a few others suffered emotional and/or physical trauma after being abused or attacked by those on land.

The personal injury or tort law allows individuals, who suffer injuries due to the negligence or recklessness of another to file a civil lawsuit in order to claim compensatory damages. However, filing a personal injury claim due to an accident while on a cruise ship holiday tour (this includes shore excursions) is not as simple as filing for the same claim due an accident that occurs on land.

This is because, unlike a car accident lawsuit, a medical malpractice lawsuit or a premises or product liability lawsuit, which an injured victim can file in the state where the accident occurred, the maritime law, which enforces legal concerns affecting the cruise industry, contains unique issues such as jurisdiction, which means the specific court where a lawsuit involving injuries sustained while on a trip may be filed and the time frame within which such lawsuit may be filed (many major cruise lines are usually tried only in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida).

To avoid legal issues, many shore excursion contracts contain clauses that limit or waive an excursion operator’s or cruise line’s liability. The Vucci Law Group, P.A. points out, however, that, regardless of what these clauses say, these can never hinder an injured victim to file a civil lawsuit for the hope of claiming monetary compensation for whatever damages his/her injury may result to. But for better chances of being deemed worthy by the court to receive compensation, it may be advantageous for a victim if he/she were represented by a highly-qualified and experienced maritime lawyer who is familiar with cruise lines’ court tactics and who will be prepared with a strong argument that will uphold the rights and interests of the injured.

There are More Than Eight Million Incidences of Slip And Fall Accidents Every Year: If You are One of Them, it is Better if You Know Your Rights

Posted by on 4:20 pm in Slip and Fall Accidents | 0 comments

Premises liability refers to a landowner’s liability for certain types of injuries suffered by anyone on his/her property where some type of unsafe or defective condition exists. Though the leading basis of a premises liability is injury due to slip and fall accident, it also includes in its scope any type of injury that may be due to falling objects, open excavations, broken benches or chairs, electrocution, broken stairways, and so forth.

Owners, especially of public places, such as government offices, restaurants, food courts, swimming pool areas, hospitals, churches, playgrounds, malls, etc., are fully responsible to see to it that their premise is free from risks of accident at all times. Anyone who gets injured while in their premise will have the right to pursue legal action against them.

Based on records from the National Safety Council (NSC), there are more than eight million incidences of slip and fall accidents every year. According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), a 501(c)(3) non-for-profit organization, half of all accidental deaths in the home are due to slip and fall and though it is not the primary cause of fatal occupational injuries, it remains to be the primary cause of lost days from work and, thus, the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims.

Slip and fall accidents can result to strained ligaments and muscles, a fractured wrist or elbow, a fractured hip, a broken or sprained ankle, a spinal column injury, a neck injury or a head trauma. Causes of this type of accident include wet, oily, icy or slippery floors, staircases or surfaces; uneven, loose or broken floor, floor tile, steps, or sidewalk; unsecured rugs or carpets; hidden or tangled extension wires or other forms of obstruction; lack of handrails; and, inadequate or poor lighting.

In a legal standpoint, Toronto personal injury lawyers of Mazin & Associates, PC, affirms that “Owners can be found negligent and responsible for the serious slip and fall injuries caused by inadequate lighting, surfaces that are excessively slippery, not removing snow or ice, or allowing dangerous conditions to exist on their property. The law relating to owners’ duties to maintain safe property, however, is extremely complex, with different rules affecting private and public entities. Limitation periods for slip and fall injury claims as well as safety standards apply differently depending on whether the owner of the property is a private person or the government. Therefore, it is extremely important that you contact a slip and fall injury lawyer right after a slip and fall accident as time limits for submitting claims can be extremely short.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Posted by on 3:39 pm in Car Accidents | 0 comments

Proving financial responsibility by carrying auto liability insurance or a state-approved bond, which will show a driver’s financial capability in compensating anyone who he/she may injure in an accident is a requirement in all 50 states in the U.S. This requirement is meant to ensure injured victims that they will receive compensation, which ought to cover cost of treatment for their injury and loss of income.

The type of auto insurance, however, differs among states. While most states require a tort-liability policy, there are a few that require a no-fault auto insurance coverage – the difference simply on how compensation may be sought.

In tort states, a victim of an accident can seek compensation from an at-fault driver’s car insurance provider; he/she also has the right to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver if the compensation paid by the insurance provider does not cover the total amount of damages suffered by the victim (any amount lacking from the payment made the car insurance firm will already have to come from the liable driver’s own pocket).

In no-fault states, however, cost of medical treatment resulting from the injuries (of both drivers) sustained in the accident will be paid by each driver’s insurance provider, regardless of whose fault the accident is. This means filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver is no longer necessary, unless the injury of the innocent victim is too severe and requires too costly medical treatment that cannot be covered fully by his/her own insurance provider.

This state requirement, of carrying auto liability insurance, particularly in tort states, should be enough assurance to anyone of the compensation that he/she may be deemed eligible by the court to receive. However, there is one very troubling major problem (related to this auto liability coverage) that the Insurance Research Council has identified – that 1 in every 8 drivers in the U.S. continues to drive freely on roads and highways despite being uninsured. Instead of catching these drivers and making sure that they purchase a policy, however, insured drivers are the ones given an additional requirement: of carrying Uninsured /Underinsured Motorist coverage on top of their auto liability insurance.

Due to the absence of coverage on a vehicle, Uninsured motorist coverage will cover all economic losses and damages suffered by an innocent victim. This coverage is most helpful if a person is hit by an uninsured driver, a stolen vehicle or a victim of a hit & run. Underinsured motorist coverage, on the other hand, is intended to cover the amount in excess of the policy limit of the underinsured motorist.

According to Tennessee car accident lawyers, while it may initially seem like there is no way for an accident victim to obtain the compensation needed in the wake of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, the good news is that with legal assistance, there are several different ways in car accident-related costs can be effectively handled. Seeking assistance from a highly-skilled car accident lawyer can be the best way to obtain this compensation.

Spousal Rape: Not a Crime in the U.S. Until After 1979

Posted by on 11:12 am in Sex Crimes | 0 comments

Marital rape, also known as spousal rape, is non-consensual sex wherein the offender is the victim’s spouse. This, now considered, criminal act, which is widely experienced by women, though is also committed against me, is a form of domestic violence and sexual abuse. Marital rape often takes place within abusive relationships; it is also chronic or repeated form of violence instead of just a one-time occurrence.

Until 1979, however, U.S. citizens held the belief that no man could ever be held guilty of raping his wife. This belief is rooted from the English common law, which is actually the source of various traditional laws in the U.S., which said that it was legally impossible for a man to be pronounced guilty of raping his wife. This is due to a woman’s implied permanent consent, which could never be retracted, once she enters into a marital union.

A spousal rape conviction after 1979, however, totally changed America’s view regarding the act of rape happening between married individuals. The conviction was based on invasion and sexual abuse while the couple was in the middle of a divorce. The importance of this conviction, however, rested on the fact that that the merits of the decision was not exclusively confined in case, but rather served as a precedence to so many other spousal rape cases and convictions from the 1980s to the 1990s. Due to these early convictions, state criminal codes’ definition of rape no longer excludes spouses as victims. Besides this, refusing intimate time with one’s husband is no longer considered ground for divorce and, probably the most importance consequence of the early court pronouncements: spousal rape is now declared illegal in every state in the U.S.

As explained by the Nashville spousal rape lawyers at Horst Law, married individuals may be charged with spousal rape if they engage in sexual penetration that is unlawful because it is alleged that the defendant was armed with a weapon, caused serious bodily harm, or the couple has been separated and at least one partner has filed for either divorce or separate maintenance. A charge of spousal rape can be elevated to aggravated sexual assault if the defendant was particularly vile, cruel, or otherwise inhumane and either caused serious bodily harm or was armed with a weapon.

Why Many Individuals are Wrongfully Convicted

Posted by on 1:46 pm in Drug Crimes | 0 comments

Drug-related activities, which include simple possession, possession with intent, sale of a controlled substance, drug manufacturing, drug trafficking, and drug conspiracy, are serious federal and state crimes and are punished with mandatory sentences, steep fines, and possibly many hours of community service, among others. (A mandatory sentence refers to the penalties a court must hand down to a person convicted of certain offense. Felony offenses, under state law, are punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of at least one year imprisonment. Class A felonies, which are the most serious of offenses under state law, carry a mandatory minimum of 15 years jail time. Mandatory minimum sentences, however, may be increased due to certain factors, such as prior convictions or aggravating factors.)

Every year, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) makes more than 30,000 arrests due to drug-related crimes. Two specific arrests frequently made by state or federal arresting officers are simple possession of illegal drugs and possession with intent. As explained in the website of the law firm Brent Horst, simple possession alleges that an individual had a controlled substance for his or her own personal use (illegal or controlled substance includes cocaine, heroin, marijuana and ecstasy, which is otherwise known as 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). Heroin, marijuana and ecstasy are Schedule I drugs or drugs with no currently accepted medical use and have a high potential for abuse; cocaine, on the other hand, is a Schedule II drug or a type of illegal drug that has high potential for abuse, the use of which can potentially lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.

A worse offense than simple possession is possession with intent. This offense alleges that a person who possesses illegal drugs has intent to sell, distribute, deliver, or even manufacture the controlled substance. A simple possession charge can be elevated to possession with intent due to the amount of drugs possessed – it being too much for one person to use. Besides this, the presence of some items, like sand/mall plastic bags, containers, or scales are more likely indicative of a possessor’s intent to sell. While simple possession may only be a misdemeanor, possession with intent is always considered by state and federal authorities as a felony.

Those involved in drug crimes and other drug-related activities should be caught and punished according to the stipulations of the law. However, many law firms, like Brent Horst, for example, know that many individuals are made to suffer years of jail term despite innocence on the charges brought against them. Wrong conviction can be due to:

Systemic bias, or institutional bias, which refers to an inherent tendency to support particular outcomes (such as excluding black jurors from trials involving African Americans);

“Tunnel vision” or confirmation bias,” which involves forming an initial impression about one person’s guilt, and then tunneling or focusing on proving that person’s guilt while overlooking exculpatory information and other suspects; and,

Plea bargaining, wherein an accused would rather confess to a crime despite innocence so as to be given only a minimum sentence for her offense. While a plea bargain would save a person from a lengthy time in jail (the sentence the crime really deserves) it also forgoes the necessity


The EB-5 Visa – Facts That You Need To Know

Posted by on 6:52 am in Helpful Tips | 0 comments

Many people dream of permanently living in the United States. Often called the “Land of Opportunity,” it provides people with a chance to have the life they have dreamed of. But applying for a visa can be a long and tedious process. Add to that, some applicants end up getting rejected just for minor filing problems. This can be a frustrating experience for most people to the point that they will think that they will never have their dream coming true.

Fortunately, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is now offering an easier and faster way to become a permanent resident of the United States. According to the website of the AmLaw Global,there are numerous advantages of applying for an EB-5 visa compared to other visa types. The EB-5 or Immigrant Investor Program has emerged as an important source of investment and development projects in the United States. Since its inception in 1990, it has attracted billions of dollars to the US economy while generating tens of thousands of jobs in the United States.

What Is The EB-5 Program?

Created in 1990, the EB-5 was designed to beef up the US economy by generating jobs and capital investment through foreign investors. In its initial stages, the program required investors to create an entirely new business. Back then, it only offered 10,000 available visas a year. This was attributed to the complicated nature of application, changes in financial requirements, and the high denial rates for investor petitions. Since 2005, however, approval rates has seen a marked improvement from 38% in 2005 to 6% in 2012.

How Does The Program Work?

To qualify for the program, the applicant should satsify the following requirements:

  1. They should invest in $500,000 in a project located in a Target Employment Area (TEA) and $1 million outside of the TEA.
  2. The foreign investor should create or maintain a minimum of 10 full-time jobs for American workers
  3. The applicant should have no record of prior convictions or violations of US immigration laws
  4. The cash to be invested must come a legal source
  5. The investment period is for at least 5 years

The Benefits of the EB-5 Program

Aside from being the fastest, easiest, and most reliable way to become a green card holder in the United States, the EB-5 program offers other benefits:

  • The amount of investment is just $550,000 in exchange for a green card for the investor and their family
  • The program does not require specialized skills or qualifications. It is also not subject to lottery system compared to other visa types.
  • The investor’s children is eligibile for state and federal financial aid and pay lower “in-state” tuition at public universities
  • Reside and work anywhere in the United States and can pursue a wide range of professional and business opportunities regardless of where the investment was made.
  • There is no travel or age restriction, and no language skills required
  • The investment and other aspects of the project are managed by third parties
  • The investor can apply for US citizenship 90 days before the fifth year of reciept of conditional resident status
  • The investor need not be proficient in English

Becoming a US citizen is just an investment away with the EB-5 Program. So what are you waiting for. Don’t miss this opportunity to become a permanent resident.

Common Injuries in Emergency Rooms

Posted by on 3:02 pm in Injuries | 0 comments

When someone is in need of medical attention, they are generally taken to an emergency area to receive instant and specific attention. Regrettably, sometimes emergency rooms, which are supposed to be a place for people who need medical attention, can wind up being unsafe for patients when workers or medical practitioners are careless or not diligent. In a few cases of medical negligence, medical professionals are accused of emergency room errors that led to sickness, physical injury, or wrongful death of an innocent individual. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you’ll find lots of blunders that can be produced in a hectic and high-pressure emergency room situation, but every medical professional should be held responsible for her or his activities.

In line with the internet site of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, while professionals might cite overwork, exhaustion, of making an error or alternative causes, this really does not always absolve them of blunders that caused an injury to one of their patients. It is because many sufferers who are hurt by a blunder are faced with severe consequences – not just results that are physical, but financial ones as well. Because subsequent medical treatment may be extremely expensive, in some instances, the financial burdens of an emergency room error can be harder to cope with than other types.

4 Mistakes in Emergency Rooms

While there are several potential mistakes that can happen in an emergency situation, a few of the emergency room errors that are most common involve:

  • Wrong Identification
  • Treatment that is delayed
  • Incorrect Treatment
  • Anesthesia Blunders

Contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney today to determine if you meet the requirements for a lawsuit, in case you or someone you know continues to be victimized by medical malpractice. These instances of medical negligence can change a person’s well-being and health insurance exceptionally. They may also cause future difficulties for someone. Fortunately, an individual who wrongfully suffers medical negligence may actually be given monetary compensation through a medical malpractice litigation.

How Do I Deal with Wrongful Death?

Posted by on 11:57 am in Injuries | 0 comments

How terrible it is… to love something death can touch.”

This is a quote that gets thrown around a lot. The main source of it comes from Albus Dumbledore, a character that J.K. Rowling penned, but the real, first source of it remains unknown – even to the practically omniscient Google. However, it is a thought so poignant and true that it resonates with every single person who has lost someone.

Grief may be felt in different ways but it is something universal amongst all beings. Everyone grieves – even if the universe at large does not. And since everyone deals with grief in a different way, there is no real proper way to go about it. Some people gorge themselves on comfort food, some are reliant upon the presence of close loved ones, and some prefer the company of solitude and quiet in order to process the loss of the recently deceased.

It is never easy to deal with death – no matter what your age, ethnicity, financial class, creed, or whatever class you fit into or identify with – and that much is certain. But there are some very real effects that a death can have upon you that need to be dealt with immediately, no matter how much you may not want to at the time. This can be especially felt if the death at hand were wrongfully dealt – such as through the negligent actions of someone else.

Wrongful death, according to the website of the lawyers with Williams & Kherkher, is a subset of personal injury that deals with the death of a person that was due to the negligent actions of another party. This is usually unintentional – as is one of the differences between wrongful death and criminal murder – but the guilty party must be held accountable for the damage and injury that they have caused. This includes the lost wages that the surviving dependents or beneficiaries may be dependent on as well as all the other costs that may have been included in the case. There are many variables to consider – but dealing with the legal circumstances of wrongful death is somewhat more objective and straightforward than that of dealing with the grief of a wrongful death.

Signs of a Traumatic Brain Injury

Posted by on 8:18 pm in Brain Injury | 0 comments

Traumatic brain injury is not always obvious. People aged 75 and up make up most of hospital visits due to traumatic brain injury. Those in nursing homes often suffer from traumatic brain injury during falls that largely go unreported. Other people who are likely to suffer from it are those that are involved in vehicular accidents and falls from height.

Traumatic brain injury is any physical damage to the brain brought on by an external force. This can be anything from the mildest concussion that a victim can recover from without intervention to severe damage that can cause death or permanent disability. However, the brain is very delicate. Any trauma can have long-term effects that may not immediately manifest. A mild concussion now can mean Alzheimer’s disease 40 years down the road.

Medical personnel have learned to be suspicious of even the slightest possibility of traumatic brain injuries in an event such as a car crash. Even if there are no obvious signs of head trauma such as a wound or bruising, it does not mean that the brain did not sustain a brisk rattle that can lead to unconsciousness, seizures, and other symptoms that may get progressively worse. The first thing that a doctor will look for is brain damage in certain situations, such as someone falling from a ladder or being struck by a car.

Louisville KY personal injury lawyers would be first to tell you that it is important for anyone to recognize the symptoms of traumatic brain injury. Early intervention can minimize the adverse effects of brain damage. These symptoms include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired vision
  • Headaches
  • Incoherence
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Auditory problems
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Mood swings
  • Changes in behavior

If you suspect that you or a close family member suffered traumatic brain injury because of a negligent accident, do not hesitate. Tell your physician immediately. It should be easy enough to find out with the right tests. If the injury is due to the negligent actions of a third party, consult with a personal injury lawyer as well.

Tips for Keeping a Self-Storage Unit Organized

Posted by on 9:02 am in Helpful Tips | 0 comments

Self-storage units come in all shapes and sizes to accommodate the many needs individuals may have. From a large two car garage to a simple walk-in closet, there is a size of unit that will fit the belongings you need stored. It is after delivering these items to your new storage space that problems may arise. Individuals often have issues fitting and organizing their possessions in an orderly manner that still allows for easy access to their belongings later on.

First things first, it is always important to stack the heaviest objects on the bottom. While packing away the objects being stored, make labels that state the contents of the boxes and if those contents are heavy and sturdy or light and delicate. You may choose to include a priority area that holds contents that you may need easy access to.

Box up as much as possible, making sure that there are no empty spaces in the boxes. If there are openings or air pockets within boxes, they can dent or fold under the pressure of another box. Packing materials like paper or packing peanuts can easily mold around the contents of the package and fill any holes. Being able to stack boxes without worrying about one crumbling makes the process much more fluid.

Specialized storage containers exist for more delicate items. Clothes and valuables such as expensive dishes should be placed in boxes specifically designed for that possession. This is to help prevent mildew or other hazards from damaging your belongings. Avoiding plastic and verifying that there is no excess water within the storage unit will prevent humidity and mold from forming and ruining possessions.

Large objects and furniture can cause problems and turn your storage unit into a real life game of Tetris. According to the website of Mopac Self Storage, couches can stand vertically to make space for other boxes or furniture. Chairs can also be stacked to save space. As long as protective coverings are securely in place around the objects in the storage unit, creativity is encouraged to fit all of your belongings inside the designated space.

Once everything is in place, make sure there is an aisle or u-shaped opening to allow access to your belongings should you need to. No one wants to pay for storage space they do not need or will not use, pre plan a way to organize your belongings to the most efficient and effective way and enjoy your peace of mind about the wellbeing of your valued items.