Posts made in October, 2014

Criminal Defense – Expunction

Posted by on Oct 8, 2014 in Criminal Laws | 1 comment

Expunction or expungement of a criminal record is the legal process of concealing certain past crimes to help a person get on with his/her life, taking away the shadow of a past criminal offense that continues to negatively affect everything he/she does.

The effects of a criminal conviction extend beyond the courtroom, influencing the decision of certain individuals in matters involving a person who has been convicted in the past. The decision on whether to employ or not employ a former criminal, to lease or not lease to him/her an apartment, or to allow him/her to travel or not are some of these. As if to further disadvantage him/her, decisions regarding a divorce case, child custody, visitation rights (and other divorce-related issues), as well as on active participation in civic activities, and so forth, are affected by past crimes.

To give those who have been convicted in the past a chance to live a more meaningful life by helping them enjoy all the wonderful opportunities in life again, the US Congress made a proposal to amend the Federal Criminal Code. The proposal, known as the Second Chance Act, was aimed at allowing the expungement of criminal records (but only for non-violent crimes) and giving formerly convicted individuals to say “No” to questions regarding past crimes during job interviews or inquiries by landlords.

The many hardships and, often, discriminatory treatment are experienced by convicted individuals. It is due to this unjust treatment and painful experiences why many convicts seek the assistance of a competent Dallas criminal lawyer to have their past criminal record expunged. They cannot be discriminated against for their pasts if no one knows what that time in their lives held for them.

Not all states, however, recognize expungement, while those that recognize it vary in some of the types of criminal record that they allow to be expunged. One specific (and major) difference is the position of some states to allow the expungement or expunction only of non-violent crimes; others, however, allow concealment of all types of criminal records.

Expungement is a lengthy and complicated procedure and the result of an application and legal process are mainly due to a lawyer’s capability and expertise in handling the case. It is absolutely necessary, therefore, to choose only a lawyer who can represent his/her client well.

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Talcum Powder Dangers

Posted by on Oct 6, 2014 in Dangerous Products | 0 comments

To treat diaper rash and minor irritations on infants’ bottoms, nannies, nurses, and mothers usually use a silky white powder that is developed from talc (or magnesium silicate), a naturally-occurring mineral made up of magnesium, oxygen and silicon. Besides the very popular Johnson’s Baby Powder, which contains talcum powder, talc is also used as a component in foot powders, medicated powders, facial powders, perfumed powders, blush products, deodorant powders, sanitary & incontinence pads and many others. In fact, talcum powder has been a fixture in majority of American nurseries and bathrooms due to its soothing substance and the absence of warning to the public about its possible dangerous effect, especially to babies and women.

In 1971 a warning was issued regarding the development of ovarian cancer in women, who were more frequent users of talcum powder (studies have shown that many women sprinkled talcum powder on sanitary pads and undergarments and used it to dust private parts; diaphragms and condoms were also sprinkled or coated with it).

Ovarian cancer claims the lives of almost 16,000 women in the U.S. every year, making it the fourth deadliest type of cancer in women. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, despite the warnings and studies from medical experts and private organizations (like the Cancer Prevention Coalition, the New York Center for Constitutional Rights, and the International Association for Humanitarian Medicine), though, the US Food and Drug Administration remains unmindful, taking no action – not even the inclusion of the dangers of talc or talcum powder on product labels.

The FDA’s silence remained even after the first baby powder-related ovarian cancer lawsuit was won by the plaintiff in 2013. Presently, class-action filings have been made, especially against Johnson & Johnson, by women who used the giant firm’s product for many years.

A talcum powder lawsuit will not erase or take away any of the victims’ sufferings, but it can provide the compensation that may help the victim receive and afford the costly medical treatment caused by the use of the product.

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Medical Malpractice

Posted by on Oct 5, 2014 in Medical Malpractice | 1 comment

Quality care and effective treatment are legal and moral obligations that every health care provider has over patients. These, plus the trust that patients place in their hands are more than enough to always require doctors with timely treatment, correct and accurate diagnosis, and medication that works.

The reality, however, is that medical malpractice continues to be an alarming reality in the US. Though it is difficult to predict the actual count, as many acts of malpractice remain to be unreported, the Journal of the American Medical Association estimates at least 225,000 yearly deaths due to errors, which include:

  • Unnecessary surgery
  • Wrong medication
  • Infections (form hospital procedures, such as surgery)
  • Wrong dosage of anesthesia
  • Delayed treatment
  • Adverse effects of medication (these are the right types of medicine prescribed to patients, but who are affected by the drug in unexpected ways)
  • General hospital errors

There are many reported causes of medical mistakes, like nurse and doctor miscommunication, erroneous interpretation of laboratory results that lead to wrong treatment and medication, a mix-up in patients’ records that sometimes results to the wrong patient being made to undergo an unnecessary surgery, overworked and fatigued nurses and medical staff, and so forth.

On its website, personal injury law firm Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, outlines the devastating consequences a medical mistake can have on victims and their families. Thus, filing a lawsuit for a medical malpractice claim is definitely important as the compensation for the damages would definitely help the victim undergo the additional medical treatment that he/she needs.

Like any type of accident, medical malpractice is most often due to someone’s acts of carelessness or negligence and, therefore, can easily be avoided. To save patients from becoming possible medical error victims, though, some watchdog organizations, as well as concerned private individuals, have posted lists of good and bad doctors and hospitals online, so that patients will know where to go, or not to go, and who to, or not to, consult.

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Car Accidents and the Importance of Auto Liability Insurance

Posted by on Oct 3, 2014 in Automobile Accidents | 1 comment

When a car accident occurs, the consequence of property damage can range from minor dents to total wrecks, while the injury a victim may sustain can extend from simple, minor bruises to serious harm, such as head injury, internal organ damage, fractured bones, physical and/or emotional trauma which can lead to permanent disability or, worse, death. Car accidents, however, are definitely preventable occurrences, if drivers would only remain focused on the road and be strictly observant of traffic safety rules.

Despite drivers’ growing awareness of the necessity to drive safely and the technological advances on car safety devices, car accidents still remain to be a major cause of serious injuries and wrongful death in the US. And even if the injury sustained were minor, the victim will definitely still be affected emotionally, mentally and, of course, financially (due to costly medical treatment).

Studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) show that, once behind the wheel, many drivers have the tendency to become reckless, more so, distracted, either due to that belief that they have perfect control of the situation or because they are just not really aware of committing distracted driving; thus many still drive despite being under the influence of alcohol, overspeed or fail to keep their focus on the road.

Depending on the type of traffic violation committed (or the frequency of the offense), a traffic violation charge can either be a misdemeanor or a felony, with harsh punishments and fees facing offenders. One serious violation of the driving requirements in the US is failure to carry car liability insurance. Liability insurance coverage is one of the primary mandates on drivers to ensure financial protection of people (and their properties) who have been injured by the insured driver. According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, this insurance is meant to cover cost of medical treatment, among others, of the injured victim.

Due to the high cost of car insurance, many drivers have resorted to seeking expert and professional assistance from auto insurance firms that have staff specially trained to help drivers find the best policy at affordable premiums, regardless of the car driven and the driver’s driving record.

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Foreclosure Defense through Mortgage Modification

Posted by on Oct 2, 2014 in Money | 0 comments

A change in one’s financial situation, usually resulting from increase in tax payment, necessary medical treatment, loss of job and/or divorce, have/has affected the capability of many Americans in paying their mortgage obligations, resulting to the foreclosure of their property. Foreclosure does not happen overnight, though; it follows a process which gives the borrower all the time to search for ways that will enable him/her to pay the mortgage and contact the mortgage lender or mortgagee, to explain why the missed payments.

Foreclosure, according to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, is a legal procedure wherein a mortgage lender tries to recover from a borrower whatever amount of balance still remains from a loan that has not been paid for about three (successive) months; the amount of balance is collected from the forced sale of the property used as loan collateral.

There are three types of foreclosures, all requiring the issuance of public notices and notification of the proceedings to all parties concerned:

Judicial foreclosure is wherein a lender files a suit against a borrower for payment of unpaid mortgage. Notice of demand for payment will be mailed to the borrower who will then have 30 days to make the payment (or raise a legal defense to save his/her property)or suffer foreclosure. A property not paid is sold to the highest bidder in an auction carried out by the sheriff’s office or a local court.

Strict foreclosure, which is allowed in a few states, is possible only if the amount of the loan balance is still higher than the value of the property to be foreclosed. In this type of foreclosure, the lender files a suit against the delinquent homeowner. If the borrower still fails to pay within the specified court-ordered timeline, then the lender takes total hold on the mortgaged property.

Power of sale or statutory foreclosure, which many states allow (but only if a power of sale clause is included in the mortgage), gives the mortgage company the authority to hold a public auction on a property with defaulted mortgage payments despite notices of payment demands.

There are legal solutions to the plight of many homeownerswho suddenly experience hardship in mortgage payment due to an unexpected change in their life’s situation. There are legal ways for homeowners not to lose their homes; that there are ways that can delay or prevent any legal process of foreclosure which, apparently, has always favored lenders and banks due to their expertise in the practice and laws of the process. One way is through mortgage modification.

Mortgage modification may include a change or reduction in the interest rate of the loan or in the amount of monthly payment, a reduction or removal of penalties for non-payment or late fees, and forbearance of the lender to temporarily allow the homeowner from making payments and allow an extension in the time for paying the mortgage.

Mortgage modification may be the simplest way to prevent foreclosure, but its success depends entirely on the knowledge and expertise of a foreclosure defense lawyer, his/her ability to pinpoint the imperfections of the mortgage industry and in questioning the legality of the way it operates.

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