My Experience in the Justice System

I’m very proud of myself today because I did my bit for justice in the world. No, I didn’t march in a protest or get signatures for an important issue. I didn’t call my congressperson or vote or even voice an opinion, for that matter. All the same, I did my part, and I’m going to take a victory lap here.

How did I do my part, I hear you asking, internet person. Well, internet, I testified in a lawsuit. That’s right. I put on my best suit, I bought a new tie, I combed my hair for once, and I testified. I didn’t actually testify in court. It was just in a lawyer’s office, and there wasn’t a judge there to urge me on or a hardened criminal to stare me down, just a lawyer and a table and a couple cups of coffee. They did record my testimony though, so I think it counts, even if it wasn’t quite how they do it in the movies.

I was called upon to do my duty because I witnessed an accident a few months ago, and there’s a lawsuit going forth with one party suing the other party. I don’t know any of the people or the actual circumstances, but they needed me to testify for the record.

I don’t know if I was much help to anyone, I hope I helped the victim at least. I told them I wasn’t even sure what exactly I had seen. I was behind the crash, and I saw an SUV swerve and crash into the car in front of it, but I don’t really know if the SUV caused the crash or something the car ahead did cause it. They didn’t press me too hard on that point, though, they just wanted me to tell what I saw.

I drove by the crash slowly afterward, and I saw the two vehicles were totaled. Otherwise, all I remember is it was misty but not yet raining, so the road was a little wet but not too wet.

They seemed satisfied afterward.

Regardless, they were actually satisfied or not, it did feel good to do something so important. They were quite nice and straightforward in the office, and it went quickly. The coffee was good too.

So, now I have officially done my civic duty for the day, which I think ought to put me in good stead with the civic authorities (or whoever is keeping count) for the foreseeable future.

I hope this doesn’t mean I get more jury duty notices. That’s maybe a little too much participation in the justice system for me.

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Trees Do more than just Add to a Property’s Aesthetics

Finding price tags on live trees, as if these were on sale, is not a familiar sight. In fact, it has never been a familiar sight all. However, in the Portland Parks & Recreation community in Oregon, park employees and volunteers saw if fit to hang price tags on trees to give people a sense of the benefits trees provide.

Whether for your residential home, apartment complex or commercial building, trees will always be an important investment due to the various environmental and economic benefits these green assets provide. This is why arbor care companies are ever busy providing services to general contractors, landscape companies, residential communities, commercial buildings and local governments. Services, such as tree pruning, tree trimming, tree removal, stump removal, tree installation, commercial tree services, tree pest management/insect control, tree fertilization, and tree storm cleanup.

According to the environmental nonprofit organization Tree People, the following are only a few of the top benefits of trees:

  • Trees combat climate change;
  • Trees clean the air;
  • Trees provide oxygen;
  • Trees cool the streets and the city;
  • Trees conserve energy;
  • Trees save water and help prevent water pollution;
  • Trees help prevent soil erosion;
  • Trees shield children from ultra-violet rays;
  • Trees provide a canopy and habitat for wildlife;
  • Trees create economic opportunities;
  • Trees increase property values;
  • Trees increase business traffic; and,
  • Trees help reduce crime.

As pointed out by the U.S. Forest Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, trees do more than just add to a property’s aesthetic looks; they help create an outdoor living environment that is beautiful, healthy and safe, and tree protection, through preventative maintenance, will help in protecting the value of your property.

Trees help in protecting the environment too. Aside from producing oxygen, they help reduce smog, intercept airborne particulates, promote greater physical activity, reduce stress, improve the quality of life, and help meet a city’s regulatory clean air requirements.

All these benefits, says the Hamlin Tree Care, are what make landscaping an essential part of any structure because it makes people, communities and environments healthy and businesses, better.

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Criminal Defense for Minors in Possession of Alcohol

Spring break, for young individuals, means time for great fun and great fun can mean skipping out of town to a perfect vacation retreat. A long drive to another state with friends can really be exciting; however, before hitting the road towards your chosen destination, it may be necessary to first get to know the specific laws of that state, especially its laws on driving, DUI, and possession of alcohol or illegal drugs, which young vacationists sometimes use recklessly.

States may differ in treating or in punishing illegal acts, like DUI or minor in possession (MIP) of alcohol but, definitely, what is considered a crime in one state remains to be a crime in another. And, if caught committing an illegal act in the state visited, it is that state’s law to be applied rather than the state where the violator resides.

Living with a criminal record, regardless of how serious the crime is, is a huge hindrance to life’s opportunities and pursuit of one’s dreams. A conviction, especially, will have serious consequences on every aspect of life; it can result to loss of job, denied employment applications, difficulty in finding an apartment to live in, as well as in applying for professional licenses. This is because employers, landlords and license providers always ask about possible criminal convictions.

One serious offense vacationing youths often commit is Possession of Alcohol under the Legal Age (PAULA), or Minor in Possession (MIP). In 1984, the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, a federal mandate, was passed. This law strictly prohibits the possession and purchase of alcoholic beverages in public by individuals under the age of 21, except under certain circumstances

Punishment for violators of PAULA or MIP differs from one state to another. For first time offenders fines may range from $100 to $200. Repeat offenders can suffer fines, besides participation in an alcohol education program or ordered by the court to render community service. Other states also apply a suspension on the offender’s driving privileges.

PAULA or MIP may only be a misdemeanor, but if it sticks on one’s records, it will surely affect a violator’s future life. Hoping to be acquitted from the charge, or in the event of a conviction, working to have such conviction expunged from your record, can be possible, but only with the help of a well-seasoned lawyer who will be determined to fight for your defense, as well as care for your future as much as you do.

According to a Destin criminal defense lawyer, “Since the legal drinking age in Florida is 21, anyone who is younger than 21 and deemed to be in possession of alcohol in the Destin area may face a MIP charge. Though only a misdemeanor offense, MIP charges may lead to jail time, heavy fines, and a permanent criminal record if a conviction is achieved against a minor.”

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Truck Collision Cases

Sharing the road with 18 wheelers may, to some, be an everyday reality of the road. These large trucks play an essential role in our economy, especially in states such as Texas where trucks carry millions of gallons of oil per year. The average semi truck and trailer is 70 to 80 feet long – 4 of them end to end make a football field.

One thing people rarely consider is the qualifications of the drivers of these 18 wheelers. It can be extremely difficult to maneuver a 40 ton vehicle, so drivers must past a variety of tests before hitting the road. Attaining a commercial Drivers License is the first step, and requires the driver pass a written test on general knowledge, air brakes, and combination vehicles. Truck driving school and the truck driving skills exam are also required before one can be legally authorized to operate an 18 wheeler.

Despite all this training the Texas Department of Transportation reported that, in 2012, there were 389 fatal crashes involving a semi-trailer throughout the state, as well as 133 fatal crashes involving a truck (distinguished from “pickup truck”). These crashes can leave victims injured and overwhelmed. According to the Dallas personal injury lawyers at the Benton Law Firm, truck drivers are often fatigued while driving multi-state routes and despite all safety precautions, can sometimes cause traumatic accidents.

In a truck collision case, the qualifications of the driver, their training, education, experience, traffic violations, physical attributes and mental status are relevant and extremely important. In the immediate aftermath of the accident details are freshest in the victim’s mind, making this the ideal time to make a truck collision claim. Insurance companies require a huge amount of information to do their job, so drivers should be prepared to give a detailed account of the incident to the insurance adjustor.

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Speeding: A Major Reckless Road Behavior

Every day, millions of cars fill U.S. roads and highways, transporting people from one place to another. The convenience, comfort and speed of travel that a car provides have made this means of transportation a necessity for Americans, but like any other piece of invention, if abused or misused, it will cause bad results.

The sad thing in relation to cars is the fact that many drivers do not know how to use these responsibly. Once behind the wheels, drivers easily forget all the education, advertisements and reminders that speak about road traffic rules and safe driving. As a result, more than five million vehicular accidents are registered every year, with at least 30,000 of these resulting to deaths. The top four causes of car accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), are reckless driving, speeding, drunk-driving or driving under the influence (DUI) and driver error. It is totally surprising, however, to know that the many drivers, who are scared of speeding and hate speeders, are guilty of driving over the speed limit too.

Speeding increases the chance of an accident and, thus, compromises the safety of others on the road. As the law firm Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, puts it, this is because speeding:

  • Decreases driver visibility;
  • Decreases a driver’s reaction time to danger;
  • Decreases ability to slow down or stop;
  • Decreases a driver’s control over his/her vehicle;
  • Increases chance of rollovers on turns;and,
  • Increases chances of rear-end accidents.

No matter what reason speeders have for going over the speed limit or for driving too fast for road condition, one fact holds – they make the road dangerous for everyone else. The injuries that may result from car crashes due to speeding can be more severe because speed increases the force of impact. This is why speeding drivers should be held totally responsible for their reckless actions.

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Determining The Cost of Shoulder Replacement Surgery

For people who are suffering from tremendous pain in their shoulders, replacement surgery is a good option to getting relief and comfort. In shoulder replacement surgery, a metal ball replaces the head of the upper arm or the humerus and a polyethylene cup replaces the socket. This implant takes serves as the artificial shoulder and helps restore normal functioning of the shoulder. Due to the side effects that come with it as well as the cost, shoulder replacement surgery is only resorted to as the last option.

Over the years, there has been a rise in the number of shoulder replacement lawsuits. The use of faulty replacement devices has made the cost of surgery more expensive due to the second surgery that may be required by the doctor. Reports of the implant falling soon after the surgery can lead to more expenses. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, the faulty devices manufactured by medical technology companies can cause metal poisoning, bone and tissue damage, and implant failure.

Typically, the cost of shoulder replacement surgery will vary depending on the kind of implant that was used and where the surgery was performed. If you have health insurance, shoulder replacement surgery is usually shoulder by the insurer. The costs would usually include the initial consultation with the orthopedic surgeon. Shoulder replacement surgery entails not just a single appointment but a series of consultations which may include x-rays, physical examinations, and a review of your medical history.

While these are usual costs associated with shoulder replacement surgery, the patient may incur additional expenses if they are implanted with faulty replacement devices. If this happens, they can seek damages from the manufacturer of the defective implant. All they have to do is prove that there was negligence on the part of the manufacturer. There might be other parties who can be included in your case so do consult an attorney.

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What is Arthritis?

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows just how prevalent arthritis is as a medical condition, affecting the lives of over 50 million people all over the United States. According to their findings, almost half of adults aged 65 and older have reported being diagnosed with some kind of arthritis during the years 2010 to 2012.

While arthritis is popularly believed to be a specific disease affecting the joints, it’s actually a group of different types of related conditions differentiated by how they cause joint damaged in the body. The two main kinds of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The first kind causes damage to the joint’s cartilage, while the second refers to arthritis caused by damage to the synovial membrane which protects and encloses the inner surfaces of a joint’s capsules.

Regardless of the specific kind, arthritis can be caused and worsened by several risk factors, the most significant of which is age. The CDC has found that around 62% if adults living with arthritis are 65 years and older. In some cases, arthritis can be caused by genetic predisposition, meaning that people with a family history of the disease are more likely to develop some form of the disease. Other factors that increase a person’s risk to developing arthritis are obesity and any previous joint injuries due to accidents.

Despite its commonality, arthritis can be a difficult condition to deal with. Patients with severe cases of arthritis suffer from extreme pain and difficulty moving. While most patients can experience relief and comfort from medication and physical therapy, some might have joint damage that is so severe it needs to be remedied through surgery. These patients get their damaged joint removed and replaced with implants through a procedure called joint replacement surgery. This surgery is typical for replacing damaged knees and hips, as well as defective shoulder replacement.

Joint replacement surgery has many advantages, but it also comes with certain risks. These risks can be particularly dangerous if the implants used during the procedure are found to be defective due to pharmaceutical errors. These defects can cause metal toxicity and bone and tissue damage. It can also cause the implants to degenerate faster than is typical, as well as cause them to dislodge suddenly. Considering these risks, patients are advised to take active part in their treatment plans and have honest conversations with their physicians regarding their specific concerns.

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Types, Benefits and Life Expectancy of the Single-ply Membrane Roofing System

With the many types and styles of roofing system to choose from today, picking the right roofing system for your home, office or building can be challenging, yet fun. Besides types and styles, there are also more than a handful of materials you can select from – from man-made products, like plastic polymers, sheet metal and asphalt to natural materials, such as wood and slate. Each choice has its own advantages and disadvantages, of course, with each adding a distinctive design too; just make sure it is the fitting crown to your home, office or building.

One type of roofing system that has grown in popularity in the U.S. over the past 30 years is the Single-ply Roofing System. Single-ply is a flat, synthetic or man-made polymer-based roofing material. Besides being safe, fast and easy to install, Single ply roofs have become very popular for refurbishment or new build projects also because of their:

  • Flexibility;
  • Light weight;
  • Cost and energy efficiency, leading to potential HVAC savings;
  • Superior resistance to ultraviolet light (UV) radiation;
  • Resistance to fire, harmful chemicals (like acid rain and other forms of acidic outflow), and potentially harmful micro-organisms;
  • Capability to create a lasting, watertight covering that is guaranteed to protect the roof against leaks; and,
  • Being environmentally-friendly in their production and ability to be recycled.

There are three main types of Single-ply membrane:

PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride). Besides its longevity and durability, PVC is also recognized for its capability to withstand chemical build-up and acidic outflow. This type of Single-ply membrane is also extremely easy to produce, install and repair, and has an estimated life expectancy of 20 to 30 years.

EPDM ( Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer). This versatile and flexible single-ply membrane can be ballasted, mechanically secured or fully adhered. It has excellent weathering qualities and is 100% resistant to Ozone thermal shock, changing weather conditions and UV radiation. EPDM has a life expectancy of between 20 – 30 years, even up to 40 years in some parts of the U.S.

TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin). TPO is also known as Thermoplastic polyolefin or Flexible Polyolefin (FPO). This roofing membrane, which has the potential to last up to 25 years, may not be as flexible as PVC but, as stated in the website of Best Roofing, is extremely Eco-friendly and allows for cooler and more consistent temperature control due to its white color composition that reflects heat: this results to reduction in energy costs due to lesser use of electricity and/or gas to run air conditioning systems. In states where the climate is warmer, like in Florida, TPO roofing systems are said to have shown to last longer than almost all of flat roof systems, saving companies money in maintenance and restoration costs.

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When Man’s Best Friend Turns On You – Understanding First Aid For Dog Bites

A dog has always been considered as man’s best friend. They will protect their masters from burglars or thieves, ensure the safety of the public, or provide companionship to people. But sometimes things can go wrong and these dogs whom we consider as our best friend can suddenly attack and bite you. According to the website of The Benton Law Firm, dog bite injuries can be fatal and can cause severe injuries.

Recent figures from the Centers for Disease Control reveal that 4.7 million dog bite incidents occur in the United States per year. Half of that number are children ranging from 5 to 9 years old. In addition, 1 out of every 5 dog bites result to injuries needing medical attention. Among the various breeds, pit bulls account for 82% of deaths due to dog bites. This breed of dog comprise 6.6% of U.S. dog population. The combination of pitbulls and rottweilers was responsible for 91% of the total recorded deaths in 2015 as well as 76% of all fatal attacks from 2005 to 2015.

Why Do Dogs Bite?

Before we proceed with first aid for dog bites, it is worth knowing the reasons why these animals act in such a way. A dog will bite as a result of stress. When they feel scared or threatened, dogs will bite as self-defense or to protect their puppies or their masters. Another reason that these animals bite is when they are not feeling well or they are startled. By knowing these things, you can keep your pet dog from biting other people.

Treating Dog Bites

While you can treat dog bites with first aid, it is recommended to see a doctor. This is important if the dog that bit you is unfamiliar to you, if the bite is deep, there is continuous bleeding, or may be infected. Dog bites may cause infection that requires treatment with antibiotics. Here are some first aid that you can try first before going to the hospital:

  • Stop the bleeding by placing clean towel over the injury
  • Ensure that the injured area stays elevated
  • Carefully cleanse the bite using soap & water
  • Apply a sterile bandage to the affected area
  • Add antibiotics to the injured area and do it on a daily basis

When it comes to dog bites, you need to bear in mind that treatment will be dependent on the circumstances and level of injury of the bite. For superficial wounds, use running water for cleaning the wound. Afterwards, apply hydrogen peroxide or isopropyl alcohol. Apply a topical cream before covering with a bandage.

For puncture wounds, let the wound bleed and wait for five minutes. By letting the wound bleed, you are also cleansing it. However, if you have lost a lot of blood or is gushing out forcefully or the wound is located in the head or neck, call 911 if this happens.

After five minutes, apply direct pressure to stop the bleeding. If it stops, rinse the wound using running water and mild soap for about five minutes. Again, if it does not stop, call 911.

For puncture wounds, avoid using rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or Mercuchrome as this will slow down the healing process. Although puncture wounds do not require a bandage, you can put one if you want to but do clean it thoroughly first.

In the hospital, the doctor will check if the bite is deep enough to result to damage in the muscoles, tendons, nerves, or bones. They will then thoroughly cleanse the bite wound to remove dirt or bacteria as well as dead tissues. The doctor will do everything to prevent infection. If the health status of the dog is unknown or if it has rabies, the doctor will give you a rabies vaccine as well as a tetanus shot.

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Misdiagnosis, a Common Error in Emergency Departments

A triage nurse is the person responsible in determining the severity of those rushed to a hospital’s emergency department, where priority of treatment is never based on a first come, first serve basis, but rather on the severity of the condition of the patient. Thus, a person with a life threatening condition will need to be treated ahead of everyone else even if they all arrived hours before him or her.

Long waits are very common in emergency departments; but, though waiting can be one infuriating experience, especially to a patient who may be suffering from extreme pain but whose condition is actually much less severe than another, medical personnel have no other option besides attending first to those with more serious complaints. A reasonable rule, definitely, but only if all complaints are diagnosed correctly.

Sadly, but thousands of medical errors are committed in emergency departments, or emergency rooms (ERs), making these very frequent recipients of medical malpractice lawsuits filed by injured patients or the families of patients whose injury has resulted to death. Majority of these errors are wrong diagnosis or misdiagnosis.

Correct diagnosis of a patient’s health complaints is critical in medical treatment since it will enable a doctor to provide timely treatment and correct medication. Many times in emergency departments, however, the contrary happens, maybe due to their overcrowdedness and chaotic atmosphere and, with these departments usually being understaffed despite the overload of patients, poor communication, lack of collaboration between nurses and doctors and, worst, misdiagnosis become very common.

The most common types of conditions that are often misdiagnosed in emergency departments are stroke, heart attack, pulmonary embolism, meningitis, and appendicitis, which has a 28% to 57% misdiagnosis rate in children under 12 and almost a 100% in infants.

A misdiagnosis, or wrong diagnosis, is one kind of medical malpractice that can result to the worsening of a patient’s original health complaint, cause a new serious health condition, or even lead to fatal consequences. Probably worse than all these probabilities, however, is the fact that this type of malpractice is a product of medical negligence, thus, making all of its ill effects preventable.

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