Factors That Would Make a Court Disapprove Visitation Rights

In a divorce or child custody action, visitation rights refer to the approval granted by the court to the non-custodial parent in being with his or her child at times agreed upon by spouses (during their divorce process) or at times that have been determined by the courts; courts, however, prefer that visitation schedule is decided by both parents.

Once a courts approves a non-custodial parent’s visitation rights, this should be respected and observed by both the custodial and non-custodial parents. If, in case, a custodial parent denies his or her former partner the right to visit their child, then non-custodial parent gains the right to request the court for a modification in the child custody decision.

While a court has the authority to grant visitation right, it also has the authority to deny a non-custodial parents this right. Denial of this right is necessary if the non-custodial parent would only negatively impact the child’s growth and development if he or she spends time with the child. According to the law firm Marshall & Taylor PLLC, this is most likely the case if the non-custodial parent: poses immediate danger to the child due to alcohol or drug abuse; does not want to be visited by the child; has a history of domestic violence; and/or, resides in an unsafe neighborhood. On the other hand, to make sure that ‘fit’ non-custodial parents are given time with their child/children, some states have found it necessary to determine specific days when parent and child can spend bonding moments.

Some states, like Utah and Texas, for instance have determined specific times a non-custodial parent can spend with his or her child. In other states, a court may just allow divorced parents to draw a “reasonable visitation” schedule – a schedule that will actually work for both parents, considering their specific jobs and available time.

Industrial Explosions may be Partly Due to Poor Regulatory Oversight from the Government

Despite the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) having regulatory oversight over fertilizer warehouses, many fertilizer warehouses continue to store ammonium nitrate in wooden bins that are housed inside wooden buildings that do not have a sprinkler system. With this poor storage system, the huge gap between federal and state regulations on the rules on how to prevent explosions, the lack of clarity in OSHA’s standards on the operation of ammonium nitrate storage facilities as well as the laxity in the enforcement of whatever standards have been set, and volunteer firefighters’ lack of preparation for fires at chemical facilities, authorities should have seen and felt that any of these warehouses could soon be consumed by a deadly fire and explosion.

In April of 2013, that was just what happened: one warehouse caught fire, its 40 to 60 tons of stored ammonium nitrate exploding immediately after. The explosion, which registered a 2.1 magnitude on seismographs, took the lives of 14 individuals and leveled a whole neighborhood.

Because of the scorching heat and the balls of flame it releases, its thick, black smoke which can suffocate and kill, the ear-piercing loud noise it produces, its powerful shock waves that can knock down doors and walls, and smash glass doors and glass windows, an explosion can definitely cause serious injuries, among which are severe burn, fractured bones, lacerations, lung injury, loss of limb/s, traumatic brain injury (TBI), trauma or shock, or death. Explosions are extremely damaging; however, damages even become bigger and more lives placed in danger if these occur in oil rigs, manufacturing facilities or industrial factories.

Many fertilizer plants in rural America, especially those that have been in existence for decades, often get overlooked by government authorities, making the storing of large amounts of potentially combustible fertilizer a continuing threat to the lives of workers and nearby residents. Despite its threats, government regulation for fertilizer-storage facilities, compared to power plants, refineries and other larger polluters, remain to be much more lax.

The website of Williams Kherkher says that, despite being relatively rare, industrial explosions are very dangerous occupational hazards faced by workers. Besides the serious physical injuries these can cause, these also leave majority of victims struggling with substantial medical bills that they may not be able to pay.

Rules of Owning Gun Suppressors

Known to have been invented as early as the 1900s, gun suppressors or silencers have a staple for many gun owners and shooting enthusiasts all around the world. In the United States, gun suppressors are considered “silencers” and are under the regulatory monitoring of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) according to federal laws. Despite the openness of the sale and use of gun suppressors, there are still criticisms regarding the possession and use of these silencers, especially when it comes to civilian use.

Gun suppressors or silencers are typically composed of metal cylinders containing internal structures made to reduce the noise of firing through the shuffling of the escaping gas and can even raise the speed of the exiting bullet. Gun suppressors can either be devices that are affixed to or a part of the gun’s barrel in order to reduce the amount of audible noise and visible muzzle flash created by the firing. There are significant differences in sizes and effectiveness of gun suppressors. Aside from the primary advantages, gun suppressors can also lower recoil by slowing the propellant gasses. The suppressor’s weight and where it’s positioned on the muzzle can greatly influence the recoil reduction.

For those who wish to spend more money and not trouble themselves with attaching and removing the gun suppressors, there are integral suppressor products from Zion Armament. These types of suppressors are built as part of the firearm and are generally permanent, with some types allowing disassembly for maintenance purposes. Often, the barrel are ported at several areas to allow the propellant gasses channeled off the firearm’s barrel and dampened inside the body. There are even those that can slow down the velocity of the bullet. Because of majority of permanent integral suppressor products from Suppressed Weapons Systems can only be replaced by changing the barrel, they are often restricted for special uses.

Gun suppressors are legal in 41 states in the US, but only for lawful use and purposes. Because possession and use of gun suppressors are under federal laws, severe penalties are often given for crimes and violence from firearms that are equipped with silencers, with 30 years being the minimum prison sentence. This makes the requirements for possession and use of gun suppressors very strict and often bans civilians from owning them.

Spinal Cord Injuries: What You Need to Know

The spinal cord plays a vital role in how the human body functions. It follows that any damage to this bundle of nerve tissues and support cells critical to the body’s central nervous system is a serious cause for alarm. Such an injury is sure to leave profound consequences that are sure to affect a person’s basic bodily functions, particularly causing issue to one’s motor, sensory, and automatic abilities.

According to the National SCI Statistical Center, roughly 276,000 people are currently living with a spinal cord injury or SCI in the United States. The average age for SCI patients since the year 2010 is at 42, and most of these patients are men. For majority of these patients, their spinal cord injury came as a result of having been involved in a devastating accident. Common causes of such an injury include car wrecks, slip and fall accidents, physical assault and other acts of violence, as well as accidents that occur while participating in contact sports.

An injury to the spinal cord is sure to cause some form of disability that may be temporary or permanent. In any case, patients that have been diagnosed with a spinal cord injury are sure to find their basic bodily functions and ability severely compromised. Paralysis is also a great concern. The Law Offices of Cazayoux Ewing notes on its website that severe damage to the spinal cord can lead to either paraplegia or quadriplegia.

Paraplegia refers to partial paralysis, where a patient loses function and control of the lower extremities. This happens when the lower part of a patient’s spinal cord is damaged. Meanwhile, quadriplegia refers to total paralysis, where a patient loses function and control of their torso and both upper and lower extremities. This is due to the fact that the area of damage is much higher up in the spinal cord, affecting a significant portion of the nerves and tissues vital for movement and control.

The consequences of spinal cord injuries move beyond physical control and abilities, as well. A lot of SCI patients also suffer from emotional and psychological trauma. On top of these issues, they also have to deal with the financial burden caused by their condition.

Top 6 Reasons for Car Accidents

Hundreds of car accidents occur in the U.S. every day. It is reported that up to 40,000 people are killed annually in car crashes. While there are a number of factors that cause these fatal accidents to occur, distracted drivers, driver fatigue, drunk driving, speeding, aggressive driving, and weather are the main six reasons for vehicle collisions.

Distracted driving includes a number of behaviors that remove the driver’s focus from the road. Common sources of distraction include electronic devices, other passengers in the vehicle, scenery, and other accidents on the road. Police officers often report multiple vehicle accidents occurring at once due to distracted drivers that “rubberneck” watching the initial accident, therefore causing another accident to occur.

Driving on the road while tired is dangerous and causes around 100,000 accidents every year according to the U.S. National Traffic Safety Administration. Exhausted drivers suffer from heavy eyelids, loss of concentration, and suddenly falling asleep behind the wheel. This dangerous situation endangers the driver and other vehicle operators or pedestrians in the surrounding area.

Drunk driving, speeding, and aggressive driving behaviors are all negligent driving habits that can lead to serious injuries or fatalities. Heavy consumption of alcohol severely inhibits necessary functions required to safely operate a vehicle. Speeding and aggressive driving further limits the driver’s control over the car and increases the likelihood and severity of injury of an accident occurring.

While the majority of car accidents are due to poor driving decisions, there are cases in which weather conditions are at fault for serious incidents. Rain, hail, snow, and heavy fog increase the difficulty to maneuver a vehicle on the road.

According to the website of the John Michael Baily personal injury lawyers, a victim of another driver’s negligence is due compensation for the emotional and physical injuries sustained in a car accident. The financial costs of car accidents are often thousands of dollars and injuries require extensive medical bills. If you or a loved one was involved in a car accident, consult a personal injury in your area to discuss your legal options.

Discrimination at Work

A California prison guard filed a lawsuit against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) for discrimination at work based on his race and religion. The plaintiff is a Muslim and a native of Sudan, and alleges that he has been the recipient of racist and derogatory comments at work. He had filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) which he alleged aggravated the discrimination even more as retaliation. The U.S. Department of Justice did not act on the EEOC’s finding that discrimination may have occurred in the CDCR, which prompted corrections officer of 12 years to file a suit in federal court, seeking unspecified damages.

Workplace discrimination or any type of discrimination is considered a violation of an individual’s civil rights, and renders the tortfeasor (the individual or entity acting in a wrongful manner) liable in civil court. While the case above names a government entity as the defendant (this is allowed in California), civil rights violations are actionable in the private sector as well. In fact, discrimination is one of the few exceptions to the at-will employment regulations.

According to http://www.ritterpersonalinjury.com, all US citizens are protected by the Constitution against discrimination in general, and workplace discrimination is a particularly touchy part of the law. However, proving discrimination in employment can be difficult, and plaintiffs are generally required to seek administrative relief by filing a case with the EEOC first prior to filing a case in civil court. This can take time, and many people are afraid to take action for fear of retaliation as alleged in the above case.

If you believe that you are a victim of discrimination because of your gender, race, religion, or any of the protected classes of people, then you may be able to get compensation for it.

Regain Control of your Financial Future through Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

A sudden major change in one’s financial situation due probably to loss of job or the need to pay child and/or spousal support can be financially crippling, especially if you are paying a mortgage, credit card bills and others bills on top of monthly utility charges. This is a very common scenario involving thousands of American wage earners, who end up being faced with overwhelming debts.

A debt crisis is a major stress, and unless one finds an acceptable way of rising up from surmounting debts, this crisis will continually haunt the person through phone calls at home at the most inconvenient hour of the day or at the office demanding to speak with you to ask you to pay your debts, emails and text messages, and letters from collection firms warning you of the possible lawsuit you can be faced with if you do not start paying immediately.

Those are just some of the harassing tactics employed by creditors, collection firms and agents to make you pay. Scary and embarrassing, definitely! Yet, this proved effective, at least before, when many never knew that there are legal ways that will not only save them from the debts, but which will also put a stop to all forms of harassment; one of these is through Bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy is a legal declaration (either by an individual or by a business firm) of the inability to further pay debts that have worsened to an unmanageable amount. It is one of the legal means that will help individuals (and businesses) rise up from debts and regain control over their finances.

There are different chapters in the Bankruptcy law, each designed to address the specific needs and financial situation of the individual. With the help of a knowledgeable and experienced bankruptcy lawyer, one can effectively assess his/her financial situation and choose the right bankruptcy chapter that can erase some of his/her debts (dischargeable debts, such as personal loans, credit card bills and medical bills which the court may release you from) and render paying the non-dischargeable ones (like alimony, child support, student loans, court fines, and mortgage) in a more affordable scheme.

One particular bankruptcy chapter that a person may be advised to file is Chapter 7. The law firm of Ryan Ruehle explains on its website how Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy law can immediately stop all forms of harassment and save the person from all debts to enable him/her to start a new financial life.

Chapter 7, which is a liquidation bankruptcy, is best for people who own a business or who have properties, but whose salary or income falls below this chapter’s stipulated limit. While the court may erase the person’s dischargeable debts, the liquidation of some of his/her properties would be required in order to pay the non-dischargeable loans.

After a court-appointed trustee sells the properties that the debtor is willing to give up, he will then distribute the amount earned to the creditors in payment of the debts; whatever remains from the amount will be returned to the debtor.

Before qualifying for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, however, the applicants will need to take a means test to ensure that his/her income is not above the limit prescribed by this chapter. The business owned by the debtor (if he/she runs a business) may also be required to discontinue operations (unless otherwise decided by the appointed trustee) as the company’s assets will need to be sold.

Other Side Effects of Xarelto

Uncontrollable bleeding is the most common cause of severe injuries that drive patients that have been prescribed with the anticoagulant drug Xarelto (rivaroxaban) to file personal injury lawsuits against US distributor Janssen Ortho LLC, a division of Johnson & Johnson, and German manufacturer Bayer Corp. However, there are other side effects that occur less commonly but can nonetheless be severe and can cause harm or injury. Some of these other side effects of Xarelto that may be severe can be found on the website of lawyers Williams Kherkher but these are still manifestations of bleeding.

Side effects that may not necessarily be caused by bleeding include:

  • Back pain
  • Bowel or bladder dysfunction
  • Tingling sensation
  • Breathing or swallowing difficulties
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • General weakness or numbness
  • Painful urination
  • Blurred vision
  • Fever
  • Halitosis

Some of these side effects may dissipate over time and would not require medical intervention. However, there is no question that these can affect quality of life even if they are not in themselves life-threatening. Consultation with the prescribing physician is recommended, who may then decide if alternative medication is necessary.

Xarelto is part of a class of anticoagulants that act on the factor Xa (10-a) of the coagulation cascade, preventing the formation of blood clots. It is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for patients who are recovering from hip or knee replacement surgery, suffer from atrial fibirillation, or at risk for deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism. Janssen is currently looking to expand approval to include three other medical conditions but FDA has so far denied the application. In light of the lawsuits being filed for Xarelto, which has no reversal agent to circumvent uncontrollable bleeding, this circumspection is perhaps not surprising. If you have suffered Xarelto side effects that have led to serious injury or harm, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit yourself.

Domestic Violence – Causing Great Harm to Both Victim and Children

Every year, close to 10 million cases of domestic violence are reported in the US, the most common victims of which are women aged between 16 and 34 years old. Domestic violence is often hard to prove, as one partner’s oversensitivity may be the only real issue. But where this crime is really committed, then the victim is not the only receiver of violent acts, but the children too, whose mentality and emotions will be affected by every violent thing that they will hear and see.

Domestic violence includes forced sexual acts, emotional abuse, physical abuse, financial abuse and psychological abuse. All these acts are actually intended to gaining control and power over the perpetrator’s partner, to whom he or she may be married or just living with.

Thus, in cases involving domestic abuse, the perpetrator is always an intimate partner, who performs actions that will terrorize, injure, threaten, intimidate, frighten and humiliate the other partner until that partner losses whatever confidence and self-worth he/she has and becomes totally submissive to the abuser’s ways.

Some of the specific types of domestic violence include:

  • Emotional Abuse – Weakens the abused partner’s self-esteem through total indifference to his/her abilities or through continuous name-calling and criticism
  • Sexual Abuse – forced sexual act or humiliating sexual treatment. Sometimes this form of abuse involves inflicting injuries to the abused partner’s private parts
  • Physical Abuse – may include slapping, hair-pulling, punching, forcing the other to use illegal drugs or alcohol, and so forth

While victims of domestic violence end up becoming withdrawn, problematic, uncertain and mostly embarrassed of his/her actions, children in homes where domestic abuses take place also become afraid, stressed, ashamed, confused and guilty due to their failure to protect and defend their abused parent. It will not be long too before these children start to develop problems in school and in their various relationships with everyone around them.

Anyone, regardless of professional standing, religion, educational attainment, race, financial status, age and nationality, can be a victim of this crime called domestic violence. Though afraid, victims will just have to conquer their fear to have their abusive partner brought to justice.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits: What They are for and How to Apply

For individuals whose main source of livelihood is work, sustaining a job-related injury will definitely have a devastating effect. Besides the physical harm brought about by an injury, there are other (financially) crippling consequences that can only further a victim’s predicament, such as costly and, sometimes, prolonged medical treatment and medication, and loss of income due to days or weeks of failure to return to work.

The passing into law of the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Benefit in 1908, which certain employers had to provide for their workers who get injured on the job or who developed work-related illnesses, was a really big factor in improving the over-all condition of workers. Previous to this law, injured workers were always forced to file a lawsuit against their employers for the simple purpose of getting compensation for whatever suffering the injury subjected them to.

The lawsuits, however, only destroyed the workers’ relationship with their employers; these were also usually decided in favor of employers who always used any or all of the following arguments:

  • Contributory Negligence – an argument that puts the blame (on the accident) on the injured worker himself/herself, based on the fact that it was his/her carelessness or negligence which actually caused the accident
  • The Fellow Worker Rule – A fellow worker caused the accident and so the injury must be blamed on him or her and not on the employer
  • Assumption of Risk – The job entailed danger; thus accepting it also meant accepting all possible dangers it could result to.

With workers’ comp, immediate financial assistance, without the need for litigation, is provided to the injured workers. The financial benefits are intended to cover lost wages, medical treatment, rehabilitation, disability and death.

Each state, which enforces the workers’ comp law, has also issued the requirements that claimants need to comply with; there is also a statutory period set within which claimants will have to file their application.

According to the website of Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC, unfortunately, some claims get denied, some applicants wait long for the decision of approval or non-approval, and so many other issues arise, which get the decision for the application either rejected or delayed.