Working on an oil rig is a very dangerous job. Even if you follow all the safety rules and regulations, there is still room for error and accident while at work. Working long hours, with heavy machines, and uncontrollable weather, accidents are bound to happen. There are many ways in which accidents can happen, and as always, there is a first time for everything, so some accidents have no precedents. Regardless of the popularity of the type of accident, the gist is that accidents are more common than we think, and even if you think you are at fault, there is still legal action that can be taken.

The number one cause of oil rig accidents is negligence. That is that someone didn’t do their job, didn’t do it well, or skipped over necessary steps. Not using proper safety measures also falls under this category of negligence. Maintenance of oil rigs is also key to avoiding disaster, so when the cleaning, maintaining, and upkeep of the ship is neglected, accidents become much more likely.

Other than accidents that could have been avoided with more diligence and attention, the next leading cause of oil rig accidents is natural calamites. Oil rigs work out in the middle of the ocean, which is already by itself a dangerous situation to be in. Then when you throw typhoons, storms, hurricanes, and gales into the mix, it is a recipe for disaster. These forces of nature cannot be stopped or foreseen, so preparing for them is difficult, thus avoiding accidents during these times is rare to none.

So really, it comes down to negligence and nature when dealing with oil rig accidents. It is important to remember that regardless of who is at fault, in this case yourself or nature, there is still an opportunity to take legal action. According to Williams Kherkher, there are protections that exist specifically to assist those injured on oil rigs. The Jones Act or Merchant Marine Act of 1920, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) all work together to protect oil rig workers.

Other reasons for oil rig accidents, mentioned by Williams Kherkher, are long shifts, equipment failure, and poor communication on the rig. Fatigue can often lead to negligence, along with poor communication. However, equipment failure is something that cannot be controlled. Regardless of the reason behind the accident, it is evident that accidents on oil rigs are common. Due to this high frequency of accidents, most oil rig companies have employees that are ready to handle injuries from the job. Throwing settlements and bonuses at their injured employees might appear like nice gestures, this is really just the company trying to avoid a lawsuit. With good lawyers representing you or a loved one after an oil rig accident, you could be entitled to much more than the settlement is offering. It is important to get what you deserve because no one should be subjected to danger on the job.


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While most would consider boating and other water sports safe, fun, recreational pastimes, there is a surplus of overlooked tragedy happening on our waters every day. Lakes and rivers are meant to be natural places of beauty, but unfortunately, not everyone on the water is as concerned with the rules and regulations as they should be. Boating Facts, provided by Texas Parks & Wildlife, has some shocking statistics that seem to only be growing with recent news reports.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife is responsible for “providing outdoor recreational opportunities and managing habitats such as lakes within the state of Texas”. According to statistics that they released in, Boating Facts,”alcohol plays a role in 50 percent of all boating accidents”. When one out of two accidents is caused by the consumption of alcohol obviously drunken boating is not being addressed. BWI, or boating while intoxicated, offenders “may be jailed for up to 180 days, be fined as much as $2,000 or both.” With such a low fine it is obvious many of today’s boaters choose to operate their vessels under the influence with little fear of punishment from lake authorities. After all, boating is not a cheap hobby, and many of these boat owners are in higher socioeconomic positions and therefore can incur these low fines without worry. This lack of responsibility can not continue to pass through the cracks.

This information serves to enlighten us on building a safer future for this country, in every way. The unnecessary deaths of many innocent people on the water must come to an end. Jarring headlines from Dallas News such as, “Texas man charged in boating accident that killed 8-year old boy” can cease to exist with stricter legislation and boating policy. In this particular accident the driver of the boat was indeed operating well over the legal limit for alcohol consumption and violating the no wake zone. There is no place on our waters for the blatant disregard of lawful precautions. In tragic, life taking events it is expected that the natural course of the law is to conduct an investigation and hold the vehicle operator responsible. In such events, it is typical for a personal injury lawyer to represent the victim and their family in order to pursue appropriate reparations for the victim’s family.

In summary, there is an unacceptable indifference to boating while under the influence of alcohol in our present day. Work must be done to elevate the level at which Texas Parks and Wildlife can continue to provide outdoor recreational opportunities so that they are safe for all parties involved. Meanwhile, cheap, non-threatening fines continue to allow reckless maritime operators access to the water at the risk of causing harm to innocent bystanders, including in many cases, children. Our lakes should not be dangerous places for our recreational activities. These places are to be where we find peace and relaxation. Let’s work together to achieve that for every person who enjoys the lakes of this great state.


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How to Avoid Gum Darkening

Even if you have clean, straight, and complete teeth, your smile will not be perfect if you don’t put your gums into consideration. In fact, it can even be argued that your gums can make or break your smile. Dark gums have been a problem of many individuals. It is important to note, however, that dark gums are not always inherently bad, because they can just be the result of natural skin pigmentation, especially for people who have darker skin. But still, this doesn’t change the fact that many individuals who have dark gums have oral problems – and cosmetic ones.

Brushing and flossing regularly

According to the website of Dental Expressions by Dr. Gary Bram, there are already solutions for dark gums, such as lasers. However, prevention is still better than cure. To prevent having dark gums, one of the most basic things you can do is to clean your teeth regularly. If you don’t clean your teeth regularly, bacteria buildup may be severe enough to affect even the gums, ultimately leading to their darkening.

Avoiding products that are bad for oral health

Certain products are damaging for your oral health, particularly the gums. One of these products is tobacco, as smoking has been linked to gum darkening. Another product that you should be wary about is cocaine, especially when directly applied on the gums.

Getting enough nutrients

It cannot be stressed enough that vitamins and other nutrients are essential factors when it comes to health, and oral health is no exception to this. Having a balanced diet can promote better oral health, and therefore avoid conditions like dark gums.

Visiting your dentist regularly

Certain aspects of your oral health can be beyond your capabilities, so it is still important to get regular appointments with your dentist to have professional help. This is particularly important when it comes to cleaning your mouth, because some particles may be stuck in there, on spots your toothbrush and floss cannot reach. Having regular dentist appointments also makes sure that you do not have rising oral problems because your dentist will be able to detect potential problems and fix them. To avoid gum darkening, you should not solely focus on your gums alone, because your best protection is good overall oral health.


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In the past, employers usually observed a hands-off policy in the event of workplace injuries, leaving an injured worker to hurdle physical and financial difficulties all on his/her own. To avail of financial assistance or compensation, an injured worker had to file a lawsuit against his/her employer.

The results of most lawsuits, though, favored the employers, who used one or any combination of the following arguments:

  • Contributory negligence –the injury was a result of the worker’s own act of negligence or recklessness;
  • The fellow worker rule – another worker’s negligent act was the cause of the accident and, thus, the injury; the employer had, whatsoever, nothing to do with it; and/or,
  • Assumption of risk – the nature of the job was dangerous and so the risk of sustaining injuries was always a possibility. Despite knowledge of the dangers, the injured worker still accepted the job.

The federal government took action in 1908, remedying the economic predicament of workers by passing the Workers’ Compensation Insurance benefit into law. Today, this benefit is enforced on employers, who have, at least, three employees working for them.

Workers’ Compensation is aimed at providing immediate financial assistance to workers (without the need for litigation). It should cover cost of medical treatment, lost wages, disability, rehabilitation and death. The employer’s or the company’s financial capability does not matter too as the benefit to be received by qualified applicants is to be paid by an insurance firm.

While the Workers’ Comp frees the employer from any legal obligations, the injured worker may have the right to pursue further legal action if the benefit is not actually offered by the employer, if there is clear proof that the accident was intended by the employer, or if the injury leads to death.

As explained by Spiros Law, P.C., “Recovering from a serious personal injury is a very challenging and trying experience. Victims often are suffering from severe physical and emotional trauma, making tasks that were once ordinary, seemingly impossible. If that were not enough, personal injuries are usually accompanied by mounting medical bills, extensive medical treatment, and prolonged absences from work leading to lost income. It is quite easy to see why so many victims and their families feel overwhelmed in the weeks and months following a personal injury.”

Those who can avail of Workers’ Comp benefits, according to the LaMarca Law Group, PC, are not only workers who work in notoriously dangerous industries because, in reality, any job can lead to serious injuries and medical conditions.

Anyone who develops an occupational disease, hearing loss, or sustains an injury may qualify for this type of support. Some of the most common reasons that individuals file for workers’ compensation are to address the costs resulting from:

  • Repetitive motion injuries
  • Head and brain injuries
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Shoulder and hip injuries

Workers’ Compensation pays benefits not just for workplace injuries too, but any injury or illness that may result to long-term / permanent disability or short-term / temporary disability.


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Losing a loved one because of the negligence or recklessness of another party is a tragic experience. But it is a good thing that the law is on the side of the victim’s family. According to the Seekonk, Massachusetts wrongful death attorneys of the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, LTD., a death that has occurred because of the wrongful act or negligence of someone else may be liable for a wrongful death claim.

But what exactly are the damages that can be sustained because of a wrongful death? They are enumerated below to prove the point that a wrongful death is more tragic than you realize.

Medical expenses prior to death
There are many instances where the victim does not die instantly. They would suffer hours, days, weeks, months, and even years in the hospital, accumulating medical expenses. This is a huge financial burden for the victim’s family, and it becomes worse if the family doesn’t have the financial capability to support the medical treatment.

Funeral costs
The victim may die instantly or suffer for a long time in a hospital. Either way, there will be funeral costs. Today, funeral services can easily reach thousands of dollars, and the typical American family may not be able to afford it. The family suffers not just emotionally but also financially.

Loss of Income
The most tragic cases of wrongful death claims involve those that are the primary earners in the family, like the father. What makes it tragic is the fact that the family will suddenly have a significant reduction in earning capability, affecting their way of life.

Loss of Benefits
The death of a wage earner does not just mean loss of income. It also means a loss of benefits to his or her dependents, especially in terms of healthcare, social security, and retirement plans.

Pain and Suffering
This is the most obvious damage that can be sustained in a wrongful death. Typically, this does not translate into financial compensation in wrongful death claims, but that doesn’t change the fact that a death in the family can be stressful emotionally and psychologically.


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Despite the threats posed by 18-wheelers or big rigs on roads and highways, truck operation will never cease because of the major contribution these huge vehicles make in the U.S. economy. All the government can do is create and strictly enforce laws that will ensure the safe operation of trucks, like: qualification of drivers; use of truck parts, like brakes and tires that comply with DOT standards; maximum hours of service (HOS) that a driver can operate a truck; and, maintenance of a record of regular truck inspection and maintenance.

Obviously, however, the laws and their strict implementation are not enough as evidenced by the half a million truck accidents that cause 3,964 deaths and 95,000 injuries in 2013 alone.

Currently, there are about 2 million 18-wheelers operating in the U.S. Not all of these are operated, however, due to the lack of qualified drivers which, according to the American Trucking Associations, is at 48,000. With thousands of deliveries to complete every day, many operators require drivers to put in extra hours; drivers, on their part, push themselves to the limit, driving cross counties despite feeling fatigued and lacking sleep just so they can cover more road miles for a higher pay.

Besides allowing drivers and, sometimes, even forcing them to violate the HOS mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), some operators (especially operators of small trucking firms) resort to illegal means, specifically, by hiring very young and unskilled drivers, failing to train those hired, requiring their drivers to drive longer than the allowed number of service and then asking them to alter the number of hours they have rendered in log book; and, failing to properly screen applicants for past records or driving violations – all these just to get as many job orders as they can and have these orders finished on time.

According to Tucson personal injury attorneys, trucking companies have the legal responsibility of ensuring that safety standards in regards to employees and vehicles are strictly upheld, as this will greatly affect the safety of other motorists and everyone else on the road. If and when trucking companies fail to uphold these standards, then they can be held financially responsible for their gross negligence.


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Drug Trafficking

Every year, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) makes 30,000 arrests due to drug-related crimes. Despite these arrests and the untiring surveillance and operation of law enforcement agencies to catch criminals and rid the streets of drugs, trafficking, distribution, possession and use of illegal drugs (including marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), which is otherwise known as Ecstasy) are still significant problems in the country.

Thousands of individuals suffer years of jail term due to the very wrong notion that smuggling drugs into the U.S. is too easy money to pass up. Obviously, they would rather risk being caught and face heavy penalties, than turn down the chance of earning big amounts of cash.

Drug-related activities, especially drug trafficking, are serious federal crimes with harsh mandatory sentences. A drug trafficker can face years of jail sentence; fine amounting to thousands of dollars; loss of right to vote until the completion of the entire felony sentence; loss of the right to carry a gun; and, loss of certain academic and professional opportunities.

For drug selling, offenders can face much three to nine years imprisonment (even longer for those found guilty of selling drugs to minors). For possession of drugs, on the other hand, many states carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 to 40 months imprisonment, besides the steep fines (other states also include many hours of community service, which will serve as additional penance for the crime).

Illegal drugs use is linked to many causes of death, homicide, sexual crimes, violence, suicide, HIV infection, hepatitis, pneumonia, mental illness and motor-vehicle injuries. It is because of these, which put the lives of so many innocent lives danger, that law enforcement officers and the DEA fight the crime with more intensity. Thus, rather than just charging an individual with possession, law enforcers also look for signs, such as small plastic bags, scales and large amounts of cash, which are all possible signs of intent to sell.

The penalties awaiting a person convicted of a drug crime should never be taken lightly; more so, however, are the effects of a conviction as these can ruin a person’s future even years after his/her conviction and despite having completed the terms of his/her sentence. Because whether he/she likes it or not, his/her crime and conviction will be on record accessible, especially, to potential employers.

Drug trafficking, according to a Nashville drug crimes lawyer, can be used to refer to the manufacture, delivery, possession with intent, and sale of all controlled substances; it may also be prosecuted as anything from Class E to Class A felonies at the state level. A person charged with a crime related to illegal drugs will definitely need to do everything to protect himself/herself from the consequences of a conviction. A highly-competent drug crimes defense lawyer, may just be the right person who can provide him/her the strong defense necessary to prove his/her innocence, or lighten his/her sentence in case of a conviction.


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Visitation rights, in a divorce or child custody action, refer to the permission a court grants to the non-custodial parent to be with his or her child/children at times that have been agreed upon by both parents or determined by the court (courts, however, rather prefer that schedule of visitation be decided by both parents).

Visitation rights, once approved by a court, should be respected and observed by both the custodial and non-custodial parents (in Texas, particularly, the terms used to refer to parental custody are “sole managing conservatorship” for parents who have sole custody, and parents with “possessory conservatorship” for non-custodial parents). In situations wherein a custodial parent denies his or her former partner the right to visit their child/children, the non-custodial parent gains the right to request the court for a modification in the child custody decision.

A court has the authority to grant or deny visitation rights to a parent with sole or partial custody. Denial of this right becomes necessary if spending time with the non-custodial parent would only negatively impact the child’s growth and development. This is most likely the case if the non-custodial parent would be proven as unfit, meaning, that such parent is abusive, dependent on illegal drugs or alcohol, would expose the child to immoral and/or illegal activities, has the tendency of abandoning the child, or using of excessive, unnecessary discipline.

To make sure that ‘fit’ non-custodial parents are given time with their child/children, some states determine specific days when parent and child/children can spend bonding moments. The Texas state legislature, for example, has adopted what is known as the “Standard Possession Order.” Under this rule, the non-custodial parent may see his or her child/children:

  • A couple of hours every Thursday night
  • On the first, third and fifth weekends of each month
  • On alternating holidays
  • At least one month in the summer

“The SPO tells the parents where the exchanges of the child will take place, where the child will spend the holidays, and has special rules for parents who live more than 100 miles apart. The court does not have to follow the SPO if a child is under three years old or if the SPO is not in the best interest of the child.”

As stipulated in the website of The Maynard Law Firm, PLLC, there are times when the SPO will need to be crafted to work around parents with non-typical work schedules and for other reason that are in the best interest of the children. The legality of this issue often requires the assistance of attorneys who are adept in visitation rights and custody laws to make sure that no laws will be violated by both parents and that the changes agreed upon will not compromise the best interest of the child. If the parents, however, will fail to arrive at an agreeable new schedule of visitation, then they will just have to follow the SPO.


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Birth Injury Types

Childbearing is frequently romanticized, where the infant appears headfirst, lustily crying and looking like the picture of wellness. In actuality, childbirth is perhaps among the very most challenging and potentially dangerous experiences for both the mother and baby.

According to the website of The Driscoll Firm, P.C., a lot can fail in childbirth, and back in the day, it did. Nearly half of all moms endured problems which were lethal to the kid, the mother, or equally. Pregnant women used to prepare for passing as soon as they discovered these were carrying a child.

Childbirth is not any longer as harmful today on account of the improvement in modern medicine and technology. Now, possible problems could be discovered while the child is still in-utero, and preparations are made ahead to avoid problems during the birthing. Yet, lots of decisions are still made by the doctor and parents that can be wrong and results in birth traumas and injuries.

There are many types of injuries according to the situation. The most common is that of physical injury, where the physician draws too much (Erb’s palsy), takes too long to choose a Caesarean section (perinatal asphyxia), or poor usage of devices (cephalohematoma) But maybe the most disputed among the normally regarded arrival harm is that of cerebral palsy.

Cerebral palsy is a neuromotor dysfunction that’s perhaps not immediately noticeable at birth. You can find four kinds of cerebral palsy, as well as the most familiar is cerebral palsy that is spastic, happening in almost three-fourths of all circumstances. It is questioned that trauma triggered during the time of arrival may have caused cerebral palsy in babies, but how it’s nonprogressive indicates that it comes from just one event that was traumatic. This can not be quite glad for the child and its particular family.

Because it shows across the time the kid turns one, it’s often hard to show medical malpractice. If there aren’t any other factors (low birth weight, maternal diabetes poor prenatal health,) to account for the state, it could be possible to still create a claim with the help of a skilled birth injury attorney. Consult with one as soon as possible after finding to learn the choices legally open for you as the family or parent member of the wounded youngster.


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Statistical data show that from 1999 to 2010 more than 29,000 people in the US died of mesothelioma, a rare form of deadly cancer that affects the mesothelium, the thin cell wall that protects the body’s internal organs. Due to its 20 – 40 years latency period, many of those diagnosed with this illness are already above the age 50, while the cancer itself is more likely at stage 3 or 4, making the survival rate usually lasting only up to two years.

Inhalation of tiny, sharp Asbestos fiber dusts is the only known cause of mesothelioma. These fiber dusts stick and scar the lungs, and then spread to, and likewise damage, the other organs of the body, making the affected person’s health deteriorate until he or she becomes too weak to battle the disease.

The toxicity of asbestos was discovered during the time of Pliny the Younger, a lawyer and a magistrate from ancient Rome; this was around 100 A.D. It was during the19th century, however, when records of numerous asbestos-related deaths became more widespread, especially from the late 1800s up until the 1970s, when people in asbestos-mining towns or those whose work directly exposed them to asbestos, suffered early deaths as their lungs were scarred by asbestos fibers.

The fatal occurrences only clearly prove how widespread mining and the use of asbestos was in many different types of industries. In the US, most particularly in the shipping industry, more than four million workers (including US Navy personnel) were exposed to thousands of tons of asbestos due to their task of building US battleships (during World War II).

Besides asbestos miners, Navy personnel and shipyard workers, there were so many others whose work exposed them to asbestos, such as workers in construction sites, manufacturing plants, railroads, power plants, chemical plants and mills; there were also those whose work involved manufacturing of asbestos-containing products, and demolition, remodeling, or repair of old houses and buildings.

According to the website of Williams and Kherkher, many houses and commercial buildings, like medical centers, offices, malls, and hotels which were built before the 1970s have insulation materials and other equipment and products that contain, or may have contained, asbestos.

The most commonly identified products which contain asbestos include: roofing shingles, textured paint, stove-top pads, floors and walls that surround wood-burning stoves and furnaces, vinyl floor tiles, hot water and steam pipes, door gaskets, oil and coal furnaces, joint compounds used on walls and ceilings, ironing board covers, fireproof gloves, hairdryers, automobile brake pads and linings, and so many others. So long as the asbestos contained in these products are left untouched, then the mineral would be harmless. However, if the product containing asbestos gets disturbed through drilling, repair, damage or deterioration, or if the whole house or building were demolished, then asbestos fibers would definitely be released into the air, becoming a cancer-causing threat to anyone who inhales them.

Asbestos continues to be used in the US despite its already having been banned in 55 countries. With companies continuously exposing workers to, and manufacturing things that contain, this toxic substance there will always be someone to be diagnosed with mesothelioma years after having been exposed to it.


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