Is Filing for Bankruptcy the Same as Giving Up?

May 19, 2015 by

A lot people associate filing for bankruptcy as admitting hopelessness or being totally and completely broke. This is not, however, the case. More often than not, it is filing for bankruptcy that allows for indebted citizens or businesses to salvage what they have in order to start their credit anew. There are several different kinds of bankruptcies that could be filed for and depending on the situation and financial standing of the person in question.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, for example, is more commonly known as straight bankruptcy. It allows for assets to be liquidated, thereby clearing a person of all debts and allowing for them to have a better grasp of handling their financial situation. According the website of lawyers Gagnon, Peacock, Vereeke, PC, filing for this kind of bankruptcy is often how people are able to get back what they have lost and allow them the break and fresh financial start that they need in order to not be so debilitated by debt. However, this kind of bankruptcy demands a certain means test and the person filing for it must fit into a particular income bracket in order to qualify for this kind of bankruptcy.

There are other types of bankruptcies to file for, though. Chapter 13 Bankruptcies are more targeted towards farmers and fishermen, for example, as it allows payment plans that extend for three up to five years. Filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy also allows for you to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the future as well, if that is an option that is deemed necessary for your financial situation.

It is recommended that, whatever your situation or the type of bankruptcy that seems most attractive to your circumstances, you contact a legal professional who has had experience in dealing with cases of this nature. This is advised since the matters of bankruptcy are rather complex and having the help of someone who knows their way around the block, so to speak, would be better equipped for the journey.

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Long –term Injuries’ Value to Your Claim

Feb 15, 2015 by

Being injured in a car accident can have long-lasting effects in your life, especially if it resulted to serious injuries that have been diagnosed as long-term or permanent. Suffering from a long-term or permanent injury after a car accident can make the awards for damages in your personal injury claim significantly higher. These injuries tend to provide higher awards because they could potentially increase the difficulty of everyday activities, and can lower your quality of life.

According to the website of the Ausband Law Firm, car crashes can lead to a number of serious long-term or permanent injuries. One of them is scarring and dis-figuration. A car crash that leads to a fire can cause scarring and disfigurement. Specially large and obvious scarring can cause serious emotional and physical distress; it can give you low self esteem because of the physical appearance, and it can cause inflexibility in the affected area that could loss of mobility. This type of injury can be significantly valuable if the location is around a visible area. If the area can be covered but can still cause embarrassment, then it can still be considered significant enough to increase the value of the injury settlement. Additionally, you should be aware of how social prejudice can affect the value of your injury settlement. In order to prove how the scarring and dis-figuration can affect your everyday life, you have to provide a medical opinion, possible with information regarding the cost of re-constructive surgery or repair.

Another long-term or permanent injury from a car accident is back and joint injuries. Spinal and bone injuries are very common in serious car crashes, and they are often permanent in nature. Although there are instances where the injury can heal or recover, it may reappear or even worsen through time.

Suffering from any of these injuries or any of the long-term or permanent nature would establish your need for a higher compensation. You have to present evidence through a documented support (such as a notation from your doctor) to validate your claims. You can ask your doctor about the likelihood of recurring or degenerative complications from your injuries and take note of it on your medical records, for your insurance claims. Even if your doctor did make notes of it, you still have the option of raising the issue in your settlement negotiations.

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Prompt Pay Attorneys: Insurers will think Twice about “Stiffing” Healthcare Providers

Dec 30, 2014 by

The practice of insurance companies, specifically Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO) and Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO), stiffing healthcare providers has been a major problem for doctors, hospitals, and even pharmacists. “Stiffing” actually means colloquially “to tip poorly” but in this case it is to delay payments. It got to a point that many states perceived the need to enact legislation that would penalize HMOs and PPOs that subscribed to this practice.

In Texas, the Texas Prompt Pay Act is designed to discourage insurers from delaying payments for “clean” (defined under the Texas Department of Insurance Rule §21.2803) claims by an eligible party. Prompt pay attorneys would explain that the penalties for delayed payment depend on several factors, and the length of the delay will dictate the amount of the penalty. In other words, the longer the insurer delays payment, the higher the penalty. This is significant leverage for healthcare providers to get paid quickly.

For example, if a “clean” claim is filed by mail, the PPO or HMO is required to make a payment within 45 days. If it is submitted electronically, the payment period is shortened to 30 days. If the insurer fails to make the deadline but pays up 45 days after the deadline, the insurer is considered in violation of the Texas Prompt Pay Act.

Violators may be levied a fine $100,000 or 50% of the difference between billed amount and the applicable contracted rate, whichever is less. When the payment is made 46 to 90 days after the deadline, the penalty is either $200,000 or 100% of the difference between billed amount and the applicable contracted rate, whichever is less. If the insurer still doesn’t pay until 91 days or more, the same penalties for the 46-90 day period will apply plus 18% annual accrued interest counting from the payment deadline until date the claim is actually paid.

If your insurer is delaying payment for your healthcare services, consult with prompt pay attorneys in your area to assess your case. If you meet eligibility requirements, the lawyer you choose will file a complaint on your behalf through the proper channels.

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Cruise Ships’ Tender Boat Accidents

Sep 14, 2014 by

The primary concern of cruise ships is always the safety of all passengers, whether during voyage, shore excursions or other shore-related activities. This, of course, implies hiring qualified ship officers and personnel, giving them adequate training and being equipped with everything necessary to address emergency situations efficiently and on time.

While it is true that nothing can compare to the excitement and fun a cruise vacation can provide, cruise lines should accept too that where people are, then accidents may happen. Be it due to natural causes, such as rogue waves or bad weather, or human error and negligence that result in fire, collision with another vessel, or hitting a rock that can create a crack on the ship’s bottom, causing it to sink, when an accident occurs, everything is left to the preparedness and ability of the crew members to think and act correctly despite the pressure.

Another activity that cruise lines have introduced to passengers, for added cruise excitement (as well as income) is shore excursions and other shore activities. These can range from water thrills, like scuba diving, jet skiing and parasailing, to land adventures, such as island visits, rock climbing, hiking, ziplining, cultural and archeological tours, inland dining, shopping, and so forth.

Despite being the source of additional fun, these shore activities can also very well be sources of accidents and injuries to passengers. However, before getting on shore for these thrilling experiences, passengers will need to be transported first from ship to shore and vice-versa, via tender boats.

A tender boat is a ships’ boat service – it definitely provides lots of benefits but, sadly, causes a number of injuries to passengers too. Due to its small size (it can usually accommodate about 100 to 150 passengers plus about three crew members) a tender boat can easily be swayed by waves, making boarding or getting off it quite dangerous. In some instances, passengers have slipped, sustaining a leg or back injury, or falling off into the sea. In another situation, a tender boat was reported as having sped off from the dock, with its rope still tied to the cleat, causing its bitt (a post on a boat where cables or ropes are tied) to break loose, propel through the air, hit and cause serious injury to a passenger.

The Vucci Law Group’s website, with the address, http://www.thevuccilawgroup.com/practice-areas/cruise-ship-excursions/, provides passengers, who have injured during a cruise vacation, with vital information regarding tender boat injuries, the best legal options available and the best source of legal help they will definitely need.

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Reverse Mortages

Feb 9, 2014 by

reverse mortgageI’ve been noticing a lot of commercials on TV inquiring elderly watchers to to take out what is called a “reverse mortgage.” These commercials do a great job of outlining why a reverse mortgage is a good idea, but, in the nature of advertisement, they fail to point out the negatives of such an action.

While a reverse mortgage is a great way to have an income in your twilight years, it entails selling your home back to the bank. This means that your children and grandchildren will not be able to benefit from you bequeathing them with such a valuable asset. The wealth simply leaves your family.

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What About Asbestos Related Lung Cancer?

Nov 13, 2013 by

There is no question that asbestos is a health hazard; that has been established since the 1970s when the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) banned its use in gas fireplaces and patching compounds initially because it was likely to release the fibers into the environment. Asbestos fibers are considered dangerous because the silicate compound once inhaled or ingested interfere with activity. The damage is mechanical rather than chemical, and is due to the extreme fineness of the fibers ( The most common diseases associated with asbestos exposure is malignant mesothelioma, cancer of the lining of the organs in the chest and abdomen called the mesothelium, and asbestosis, a chronic medical condition presenting as inflamed and fibrous tissue of the lungs. This may be because these are diseases which are nearly always associated with asbestos alone as the causative factor.

However, asbestos related lung cancer is actually a much more common disease in the US and makes asbestos one of the most dangerous occupational hazard for many workers. The estimate is that up to 10,000 workers annually die of asbestos-related lung cancer in the last twenty years. Smokers are more likely to develop this disease because the habit weakens the lungs, making it more vulnerable to asbestos exposure.

Most people are exposed to low levels of asbestos, but not enough to get sick unless the exposure is frequent and regular. People who get asbestos-related lung cancer do so because of their occupation which not only exposes them regularly to the compound, but are constantly in an environment where asbestos fibers are continually being replenished, such as the construction, demolition and auto part industries. Employers in these industries are mandated by law to provide reasonable safety precautions for their workers; failure to do so may render them liable to civil lawsuits.

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Social Security Disability Funds Running Low

Sep 5, 2013 by

Disabled Americans who rely on monthly checks from the Social Security Disability Insurance Program (SSDI) face a sobering reality in the future, as the program’s reserves are on track to run out completely in 2016.

SSDI provides funds for disabled Americans who cannot work due to a medical issue. Currently, the program serves more than 11 million Americans, who receive an average of $1,129.51 each month to supplement any job income they receive. SSDI is just one piece of the problem; the entire Social Security program is predicted to dry up by 2033.

Potential solutions include reallocation of funds from other Social Security programs into the SSDI fund, which would stave off the deadline and give Congress more time to find a long-term solution for Social Security’s woes. Critics portray that idea as “pushing the problem down the road” and argue that if Congress can’t find a solution in three years, it won’t ever be able to fix Social Security.

Without a solution such as a reallocation of funds, the SSDI fund will evaporate, forcing Congress to cut benefits for disabled Americans or hike up Social Security taxes to cover the balance. Americans must hope the threat of the looming deadline will be the impetus Congress and other lawmakers need to effectively tackle Social Security’s problems.

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The Hazardous Effects of Manganese Fumes

Aug 29, 2013 by

The turn of the twentieth century witnessed an increase in the number of workers getting injured in the workplace, especially in construction sites. This prompted the US government to pass the following into law to significantly lessen workplace accidents or ensure financial assistance to injured workers:

  • Workers’ Compensation Benefit of 1908, aimed at covering wage replacement, medical costs, rehabilitation or healing period, disability or death
  • Social Security Act of 1935, intended to provide financial benefits to workers suffering from a long term / permanent disability or medical condition usually lasting for at least a year
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an off-shoot of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, which is tasked to establish and enforce the standards that will render workplaces safe and healthy, as well as provide training, outreach, education and assistance.

The safe and healthy workplace standards required by OSHA ought to be enough solution to faulty or poorly-maintained equipment, unreported malfunctioning tools and equipment, poor management or co-worker decisions that may put you in danger, incompetent managerial skills or exposure to hazardous substances which, according to a legal website owned by Williams Kherkher, are oftentimes the cause of various accidents and serious injuries. In fact, one dangerous substance that many workers have been exposed to is manganese fumes from welding.

Manganese, one of the most abundant elements on earth, is a highly-reactive metal that is usually added to carbon steel and stainless steel for added hardness and strength; it is also found in various types of welding rods and wires. Even if used correctly and properly, manganese welding rods will emit manganese fumes, the most damaging metal present in welding fumes.

Exposure and inhalation of manganese fumes can cause different illnesses, including damage to the brain and central nervous system, liver, lungs and kidney; it can also result to fertility problems among males and the development of “manganism,” also called “welder’s disease” or Parkinson’s disease.

Those in ore-crushing, mining, and metallurgical operations for steel, iron ferrous and non-ferrous alloys are the ones always exposed to manganese fumes and, so, are in the greatest risk of developing an illness. It would be an obvious failure by your company’s management or the carelessness and unconcern of welding rods and wire manufacturers that workers get exposed to a kind of danger that will affect their health for the rest of their lives. Your injury, being due to another’s negligence, requires justice and deserves the compensation that should restore your original health.

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Are All Pharmaceutical Products Truly Safe and Effective?

Aug 28, 2013 by

Pharmaceutical companies are obliged to ensure that the drugs they intend to market are products of extensive research and strict testing, and that these are truly effective in treating certain medical condition, work the way these are expected to and are safe when used as directed. Only if such standards are met will the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approve their use by the general public.

The FDA’s regulation of medicines introduced in the US and the strict compliance of pharmaceutical companies to FDA standards have obviously resulted not only in the prevention and treatment of various diseases, like AIDS, cancer, hepatitis and cardiovascular illnesses, but also in prolonging the life expectancy of many people.

However, despite FDA approval and “safe and effective” claims, complications or drug side-effects (sometimes serious) happen, leading to FDA warnings and the withdrawal of these products by their own manufacturers. For, as proven, a particular medicine, though effective at a certain time and at a certain dose for one person with a specified illness, may prove to be poison to another under different circumstances.

Drugs are either classified as prescription (may be purchased only if prescribed by a medical professional) or over the counter (does not require any prescriptions) drugs. Most of these drugs, though, can be prescribed by doctors for “off-label” use, that is, not in accordance with FDA-approved use, though an entirely legal and very common practice. If a physician prescribes a drug for use in a way other than what has been approved by the FDA, then that drug is said to be an “off-label” use – like a drug approved to treat a certain type of disease, but is used as medication for another disease or if the dose recommended by the physician is different from the one indicated in the approved label.

To ensure that every pharmaceutical product is safe and effective before being made available to the general public, the FDA issued two legislations in the past:

  • The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938: required that drugs are safe
  • The Kefauver-Harris Amendments of 1962: required that drugs are efficient

Besides the off-label use of drugs, there are also many other types of drugs, herbs, dietary supplements and food (which have no specific claims regarding health and, therefore, outside the scope of the regulatory authority of the FDA) consumed in the US but which the FDA has neither evaluated nor approved.

The website of a certain law firm belonging to Williams Kherkher, an expert when it comes to product liability lawsuits, says that some pharmaceutical products, which are inadequately tested, are made available to the general public, causing serious side-effects that further burden patients. Due to this, so many lawsuits, according to the same website, have been filed either against medical professionals or pharmaceutical companies.

Defective pharmaceutical products can cause serious effects in your health, besides the additional costly medical treatment it will require you to undergo. Certainly, there are individuals, parties or pharmaceutical companies who ought to admit liability for any unjust personal injury caused. Asking a legal professional to help you understand and pursue your legal rights would be a really wise move.

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Pool Covers and Their Many Advantages

Aug 25, 2013 by

Americans, definitely, love and enjoy safe and healthy water activities, like swimming; this is probably the reason why there are about 10.4 million private and 309,000 public swimming pools in the US to date, besides the fact that the world’s largest residential pool, which measures 40,000-square-foot, is located in El Campo, Texas.

It is totally interesting to know how much development has been introduced in the pooling industry for the past 10 years. That with a complete makeover or some minor touches or changes, your pool, even if built many years ago, can become the envy of many friends and neighbors.

A few of the remarkable developments introduced in the industry, which will definitely add to your backyard’s aesthetic looks while helping you save much in energy and maintenance costs, include: a built-in spa, a vanishing edge or a perimeter overflow, fire woks, fire pits, fiber optic & led lighting, mosaics and all-tile finishes, waterfalls, water curtains, rain walls, weeping walls, water arches, fountains, bubblers, aerators, scuppers, energy efficient heat pumps and solar heaters, ozonators (to reduce the use of chlorine), mineral systems (to stabilize the water), salt water based chlorine generators, computerized automation systems, robotic cleaners and built-in automatic pool covers.

Among those in the list, a pool cover is one improvement you can greatly benefit from. This “horizontal fence” (another name used to refer to it), significantly reduces pool maintenance and heating costs and the amount of chlorine which the pool requires. Furthermore, while it reduces the amount of solar heat that the pool absorbs, it also eliminates heat loss at night due to its insulating properties or during the day, which is caused by evaporation. Additionally, when a pool is covered, it reduces the chance that an unsupervised child will wander in and drown.

A pool cover can be operated manually, semi-automatically, or automatically. While the first two requires manual operation (semi-automatic covers require a person to pull the cover as it is unrolled or guide it onto the reel when being rolled up), the third or the automatic pool cover is designed with permanently mounted reels which will cover and uncover your pool by simply pushing a button – a very convenient pool safety device, indeed.

Deciding to improve your pool need not be a burdensome task. By getting in touch with experts, those who know how a pool really should be, all the advantages that a masterly-designed pool can provided are yours to benefit from.

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