As long as man has existed, he has looked at the heavens and envied the domain of the birds and clouds. “How can I join them?” he’d ask himself with sincere longing. It was the kind of impossible dream that sent imaginations soaring and led to incredible technologies.
For centuries, we used ballistic weapons. From throwing rocks with our arms to using slings to propel them, to bows, catapults, and artillery. Overcoming gravity through weaponry apparently made sense to humans, but it did not help us get much closer to realizing that dream of flight.
Perhaps the first concrete step to overcoming gravity’s pull was understanding what it is. Everything with mass exerts a tiny gravitational force. The thing is, the only gravitational forces that really matter are those that are very large. Think planet, or star, sized objects. Objects of this magnitude exert strong gravitational forces that pull smaller objects towards them, even if that’s not exactly where the objects want to be. This is why planets orbit around the sun. The sun’s gravity pulls the planets towards it, even though the planets are trying to “fall” away.
For human flight, this means that we’d have to find some way to create enough lift in an object to overcome the Earth’s gravitational pull to a great enough extent that the object can lift off. Airplanes do this by taking advantage of the way air interacts with wings. By tilting the wings at the proper angle and moving quickly, the force of the air pushing the wings up from underneath is strong enough for the plane to lift off. Voila! You’ve overcome gravity!
Texas is considered the worst state in terms of the quality of its nursing home facilities. Nearly all facilities (91%) have been cited for some violation of the regulations on government health facilities, and about one-third (36%) have been reported for some form of elder abuse.
Many cases of reported abuse in the state refer to neglect, due mostly to the shortage of experienced staff in these facilities. However, more than enough of these cases indicate some active form of abuse such as physical violence or psychological cruelty and because the residents seldom report these incidents on their own, it is up to family and friends to take action.
But because they have not personally witnessed the abuse and may not get corroboration from the resident, proving abuse can be an iffy situation. Fortunately, it is legal in Texas to place surveillance cameras in the rooms of residents in nursing homes and other assisted living facilities to prevent elder abuse, although audio is not allowed due to a federal statute forbidding it.
However, as experienced by a family in Dallas who did just that for their elderly relative, the video was worth a thousand words. They watched as two nursing aides slapped and yelled at their relative, and then went straight to a Texas nursing home abuse attorney to help them lodge a complaint with the Department of Aging and Disability Services as well as file a civil case against the nursing aides and the facility. The nursing aides were fired and brought up on criminal charges.
If you have a relative in a nursing home in Texas, you may want to consider placing a hidden camera in the room to see how the nursing home staff treats him or her. If surveillance shows that abuse is going on, do what needs to be done to protect the rights of your elderly relative to the full extent of state criminal and civil law.Read More
Young children are frequent victims of dog bites. In one study, the average age of dog bite victims was 5.9 years old. This may be because they are smaller and less able to deter an attacking dog; it may also be because they are less cautious when approaching or being approached by a strange dog, and more prone to provoke an attack. Whatever the reason, the most common dog bite injury sites in children are to the face, and these injuries frequently lead to facial scars.
Scars per se are generally accepted without comment; in some cases, they can even engender awe and admiration for supposed bravery. But facial scars are disfiguring, and for young children, the psychological and emotional impact can be considerable and long-term. More often than not, scar revision is recommended a certain length of time after the recovery period to alleviate the adverse effects of the disfigurement.
In a study of 107 children, primary surgery was required to close the wounds and it was carried out without incident except in the most severe attacks, where the risk of infection was highest. Facial scars are always permanent, but with revision surgery, it is possible to minimize them. In the severe cases, several surgeries were required to achieve an approximation of the desired outcome.
The treatment and outcomes for these children were duly recorded to document what the victims and their families had to go through. In 39 of the victims, this documentation was used in premises liability lawsuits filed against the dog owners.
The study noted that the dog was known to the victim in 77% of the cases, which could mean a dog that is habitually in the immediate neighborhood. This supports a premises liability claim because it the dog owner had a duty to ensure that the animal would not be able to inflict harm on his or her neighbors, especially children. According to the website of The Seegmiller Law Firm, this lapse constitutes negligence, and must be duly addressed.
If your child sustained dog bite-related facial scars, you will need to file a case against the dog owner to get compensation for your emergency medical and revision surgery expenses, as well as the emotional and psychological injury to the child. Find a dog bite lawyer in the area to get started on your case.Read More
Most people in the US, despite their avowed cynicism, are inherently trusting. They expect to be safe in using commercially-available products because they believe that the laws and regulations that oversee these products are enough to protect them. While this may be true in most instances, there are always exceptions.
One of the most common sights on the streets is SUVs or sports utility vehicles, which are intended to function equally well on rough roads and paved ones. They look great and are quite functional, which is why they are so popular. The problem with SUVs is in its general design; it usually rides high on its axle, which means that in certain situations it is less stable than a lower vehicle. This makes it vulnerable to rollover accidents when turning a sharp curve at high speed, for instance, or when it jumps a curb. A good portion of fatal car accidents in the US every year is attributed to rollovers, so that SUV in the garage poses a potential danger.
Other everyday products in the home that may also be dangerous are certain medications that have been found to have unacceptably high risks for serious side effects. Many popular oral contraceptives and contraceptive devices have had the dubious honor of being the topic of conversation in numerous court rooms. The same is true for the anti-epilepsy and migraine medication Topamax (topimirate), which had been marketed as safe enough for pregnant women. According to the website of law firm Williams Kherkher, the problem is it was not safe for the unborn children, many of whom developed birth defects such as cleft lip and cleft palate.
If you have been injured because of product defects in the everyday things you use, you may be able to get compensation from the manufacturers. Confer with an experienced product liability lawyer in your area to find out if there was negligence involved.Read More
Buying a home is one of the most important decisions an individual will make, and it is commonly understood that the value of real estate depends on three things: location, location, location. So when the ideal home with a great view comes into the market, it is a race to snap it up. But home buyers in the US should do their homework before making an offer; they may be buying only the surface rights. The subsurface portion of the property, typically referred to as mineral rights, may be owned by someone else.
Many builders and developers routinely sell homes without disclosing that the mineral rights have been severed. Most states do not require disclosure of mineral rights ownership upon purchase of the property, with the most current exception of Colorado, where a recently passed bill is going into effect by 2016. But even there, home buyers would have to be on their toes until then. Since mineral rights ownership still has to be documented in the registry of deeds, home buyers can find this out on their own prior to purchasing the property even if the developer or builder keeps mum about it.
Mineral rights can be valuable, especially in locations where there are known deposits of natural gas, oil, and other marketable resources. A home owner who does not own the mineral rights will not benefit from a mineral rights sale or lease. For homeowners who have already purchased their homes only to find out that somebody else owns rights to the subsurface, it is possible to negotiate for the sale or return of the mineral rights to them. There are financial and legal consequences for property with severed mineral rights, so it is in the best interest of homeowners to at least be aware of the status of their own property.
If you are one of the lucky (or well-informed) ones who own mineral rights to the property, you may want to consider selling them to developers. There are many benefits to selling mineral rights if you do it right. Before entertaining inquiries, however, you should consult with a company that makes it its business to known anything and everything about how to maximize benefits from mineral rights sales.Read More
It is mandatory for employers in all states to have workers’ compensation insurance in case their employees are injured on the job and become unable to perform their duties. This inability may be temporary or permanent, depending on the nature of the injury. According to an article on the website of Spiros Law, P.C., the injury incurred by one in five workers in the workplace will be severe. Since a workers’ comp claim is not dependent on fault, the worker is theoretically secure that they will be financially covered.
However, workers’ comp benefits are not in full and not infinite. A worker who suffered severe enough injury to qualify can expect medical expenses for the injury as they incur and lost days of work during recovery to be covered as well as training for other work if returning to the old work is not possible. The benefits will depend on the state, the nature and severity of the injury, and the term of disability.
In general, for an employee who is temporarily disabled, the amount of time-loss compensation is two-thirds (approximately 67%) of the injured worker’s salary at the time that the injury occurred, and may or may not include the cash equivalent of what the employer paid for employee benefits, such as health insurance. This compensation is typically paid divided into twice monthly payment, but may be given monthly or divided into weekly increments.
In some states, a temporarily disabled worker who is able to take on lighter duties may receive “loss of earning power” benefits from the employer via workers’ comp, which is the difference between the current wage and the wage at the time of the injury.
The benefits for temporary disability stops when the worker has recovered sufficiently to go back to work or to find other full-time employment. In cases where the employee is found to be permanently and totally disabled, the claim is considered closed and workers’ comp benefits will be converted into a pension. If the disability is permanent but partial, the worker can also continue to receive periodic benefits unless a structured settlement agreement is in place.Read More
States in the US have different laws on cocaine possession, but they all impose heavy penalties for Class B (Schedule II substance under the Controlled Substances Act) drugs. In Massachusetts, a person convicted of even simple possession can have certain privileges permanently suspended, such as being granted a license for a gun or any establishment dealing with liquor.
Cocaine possession is governed under Title XV Chapter 94C Section 34 of Massachusetts General Laws (MGL). There are four ways of being charged with possession of cocaine depending on the amount and/or purpose of possession: simple possession or personal use, possession with intent to distribute, drug trafficking, or conspiracy to violate the drug laws.
Simple possession is the charge when the amount of cocaine found is more than a gram and is usually a misdemeanor for first-time offenders although multiple offenses can escalate this to a felony. The same amount may be considered as possession with intent to distribute if the arresting officer observes an exchange being affected, indicating that the cocaine was not for personal use.
Under a trafficking charge, the amount of the cocaine found will determine the severity of the punishment. State prison time ranges from a minimum of 3 years to 10 years, and minimum fines of $2,500 to $10,000. Drug trafficking is a felony.
Any cocaine possession makes the suspension of a driver’s license automatic for at least a year. The loss of privileges, imposition of hefty fines, and imprisonment is enough to motivate anyone charged with cocaine possession to mount an aggressive a defense as possible. An experienced lawyer specializing in criminal defense for drug possession would be an invaluable ally in such situations, especially for first-time defendants. Do not hesitate to engage one at the earliest possible opportunity to avoid a conviction, or at least minimize the severity of the charges.Read More