Records from the United States Bankruptcy Courts show that by the end of 2015 the total number of bankruptcy cases filed in the U.S. was 844,495. Filed under Chapter 7, specifically, was 535,047, while cases filed under Chapter 13 was 301,705.
Bankruptcy is the government’s way of helping individuals, families and businesses find ways to settle their overwhelming debts in order for them to regain control of their financial future. This legal way through which debtors may free themselves from their debts is made available under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code which the U.S. Congress passed into law in 1978. Many Americans, however, shy away from filing for bankruptcy due to the thought that it will affect their credit standing. While this may true, so is staying in debt, with the latter having more damaging effects to their financial future.
When filing for bankruptcy, many individuals choose Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Law over Chapter 13. Both of which are available options for individuals and businesses, but differ in some of the benefits they offer, in their requirements for qualification, and in the length of their plan. While Chapter 7 Bankruptcy may last only for a short while, a Chapter 13 plan last from three to five years. Despite its length, Chapter 13 offers benefits not found under Chapter 7, which debtors would find more advantageous than those offered under the latter. These benefits include:
- Saving their home from foreclosure
- Debtors can have their creditors modify their mortgage payment. Through a process known as “lien stripping,” debtors’ second and even third mortgages can be modified and, since additional mortgage liens are not secured, a bankruptcy court may even have these stripped or removed.
- Reduction in their car payment. This is possible so long as the date when the car was purchased has not exceeded 910 days. This reduction is called “cramming down” of a loan; the modification is directed at matching the loan amount with the value of the car.
- Discharge of tax debts which, like credit card debts or overdue medical bills, can be considered as unsecured debts. This particular benefit is among the least known benefits under Chapter 13.
Generally speaking, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is some sort of a “pay what you can afford” solution to debtors’ financial problems, regardless of how overwhelming the amount of their debts may be. As mentioned in a website belonging to Ryan J. Ruehle Attorney at Law, LLC, this long-term payment plan, a benefit not allowed under other Bankruptcy chapters, my just be the type of solution which could help debtors get back on their feet.
The issue of emissions fraud involving German car manufacturer Volkswagen which started in the US has now spread to other countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Canada, and even in Germany itself. The use of diesel, which is acknowledged as a gas that is more pollutant and damaging to health than gasoline, can be a legitimate issue for discussion and basis of billions of dollars in fines and compensation; however, rather than the use of diesel, the actual legal concern is centered on the fraudulent means used by Volkswagen to pass tests conducted by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to be able to penetrate the US car industry.
A Volkswagen emissions lawyer would tell you that the sad fate now faced by Volkswagen cars, originally advertised as clean and environmentally-friendly substitutes to vehicles with gasoline engines, is car recalls that number in the millions. In the US, cars equipped with the “defeat device,” which enabled Volkswagen to cheat emissions tests, number close to half a million; in the whole of Europe, about 11 million cars are said to be equipped with the said computer software.
According to the EPA, the “defeat device” allows a Volkswagen diesel car to recognize test scenarios and automatically put the vehicle into safe mode if it does so. This means that once in safe mode, the device makes the vehicle run below its normal power and performance and, more importantly, reduces its emission of nitrogen oxide (NOx), a major factor in the formation of ground level ozone or smog. Once back on the road, though, the engine switches out of test mode and runs under normal power, under which it emits pollutants that are up to 40% higher than the level allowed by the EPA.
While it may be true that Volkswagen’s claimed “clean diesel” cars have lower carbon emissions and ensure up to 30% fuel efficiency or gas mileage, it is also a fact these emit nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter which are more damaging to health.
Clearly, this is not the type of a “clean diesel” car that customers thought they would get to own. Those who have been duped by Volkswagen can maybe file a lawsuit against this German car maker for the justice that may be due them.
The Bard G2 IVC Filter has been associated with many serious health complications. The device is temporarily implanted an individual’s interior vena cava and is used to prevent the migration of blood clots into the lungs that can cause pulmonary embolism. One of the most hazardous risks of the device is the effects it can have on an individual’s heart.
The Bard G2 IVC Filter runs the risk of migrating to an individual’s heart. Patients may experience headaches and severe pain, according to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C., but the actual repercussions of the device can stretch far beyond these side effects. The device can cause major heart complications, including cardiac tamponade. This condition causes fluid buildup in the space around the heart and can lead to blood not being able to be pumped to the heart, heart tumors, and heart attacks. The device may also cause ventricular tachycardia, which leads to improper electrical activity of the heart that can lead to a rapid heartbeat among other side effects. Since the device is originally implanted so close to the heart, it can lead to even more life-threatening heart conditions if not removed immediately after the threat of blood clots is eliminated. Some other heart conditions that can arise from the Bard G2 IVC filter include hemmorhagic pericardial effusion, perforation of the heart, and laceration of the heart. The device can even erode and become embedded into the heart.
All of these conditions of the heart caused by the filter are potentially life-threatening and have already caused the deaths of individuals who had the device implanted. Despite these horrific heart risks, C.R. Bard, the company behind the device, failed to recall the device or properly warn against the risks. If you or a loved one has suffered a heart injury due to the Bard G2 IVC Filter, you may be entitled to compensation for your suffering.
Health care professionals go through long and rigorous training and tests before earning a license which will let them practice their profession, which is treating illnesses and keeping people in good health. To be able to continuously provide the best care, though, these health experts still continue to attend programs and further studies to learn more about what the best doctors have already known ahead of them.
For the same purpose of providing the highest quality of care to patients, owners of different types of medical facilities, especially big and reputedly good hospitals, make sure that they have only the best doctors, dedicated and highly-qualified nurses, medical technicians and other hospital staff, and modern medical devices that will help improve and hasten service, diagnose illnesses correctly and provide timely treatment.
To a number of health care professionals and hospitals, the above statements are facts; to others, though, providing quality care remains to be a goal that they are yet to perform or achieve. The failure to provide the quality of care that patients are entitled to is verifiable through the thousands of medical malpractice cases which, in 2010, claimed the lives of 180,000 Medicare patients (figure from the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services). This number, however, is far from reality, according to a study that was published in the Journal of Patient Safety. According to the study, the number of deaths could very well have been between 210,000 and 440,000 since so many cases were never reported.
Patients have the right to accurate diagnosis, timely treatment, correct medication and safe surgical procedures, if ever one becomes necessary. In quite a lot instances, however, patients rather end up suffering harm than receiving the treatment that he/she direly needs. The reason? Medical malpractice; and its most common cause is hospital negligence.
Medical malpractice is totally preventable, no question about it. Yet, despite the many mistakes already committed and the harm these have caused in patients, the same errors are still committed in hospitals: giving a patient the wrong medication or the wrong dose of medicine; performing a surgery that is actually not necessary; operating on the wrong part of the body; subjecting the wrong patient to surgery; accidentally leaving a s surgical instrument inside the body of a patient; amputating the wrong limb; causing infection due to use of unsterilized surgical instruments; incorrect dose of anesthesia; failure to properly monitor a patient; and so forth.
People who suffer greater or new health problems due to hospital errors (committed by doctors, nurses or any other hospital employee) should pursue legal actions. While a lawsuit may entitle a person to receive compensation from the liable party (doctor or hospital), it will also help bring to the open the mistakes still being committed and maybe help protect anyone else seeking medical care from careless healthcare providers.
Victims of medical malpractice can seek the help of a Louisville lawyer for assistance with injuries that arise due to hospital negligence or other harmful mistakes made by hospital staff.
Never has a town taken to culture as a business center to an altogether new level quite like Austin has. More than just promoting local businesses, Austin, Texas promotes and cultivates “weirdness” to the point that their slogan is “Keep Austin Weird.” As a result, this capital has become home for world renowned events that attract thousands of tourists every single year. Not that that has ever stopped Austin before as their reputation as the party central dates back all the way to the 19th century. A few wars and an economic depression later – they’re still growing strong.
One such event that Austin plays host to is to the Formula 1 race, marking its capability to be able to shelter that big of a crowd as in 2012 alone, more than over a hundred thousand people were in attendance, via the Circuit of the Americas. That is not the only racing event that this town can hold as it is also currently the home of other events such as Moto GP, ESPN’s X Games, Tudor United SportsCar Championship sports car series, and so much more.
The interests also vary as with Moto GP coming along in just a few weeks’ time, increasing the demand for moto gp limo service, as just a few weeks prior was the South by Southwest festival. Many music acts have found themselves on this most coveted stage, with names such as KISS, Nine Inch Nails, Kanye West, Drake, Lil Wayne, Maroon 5, and Kelly Clarkson as only a few among that most prestigious list.
So if you find yourself in Austin, Texas – you might find that you are just exactly where you are meant to be and exactly where you are meant to be. Remember to keep with the town slogan and enjoy the time that you have while visiting!
There are many complications that come with life – bad decisions that you end up regretting later on, missed opportunities creating infinite what ifs that you might reflect on later in life – and these are about as natural as growing up as puberty is. However, there are some instances wherein some complications are just unacceptable. One situation as such is that of abuse.
However, many victims of abuse do not end up filing legal action against their abusers out of fear. This is either due to being intimidated or out of fear or ignorance of what is within their rights. Sometimes, the victims are simply not in a place to fight back. An example of this kind of situation is that of nursing home abuse.
The elderly that need to be in a nursing home are no longer capable with caring for themselves and are now dependent upon external care. It is a difficult decision for any family involved but if the lifestyle of the family cannot cope with caring for their older relatives, sometimes nursing homes are the best available option. After all, according to the website of Abel Law Office, nursing homes are required to hold themselves in a higher standard of care in order to support and properly care for the people in their responsibility. This includes sufficient, well-trained staff as well as an equipped, capable facility.
Some signs are available in order to detect if some things about a certain nursing home are a bit off. If the workers there are a bit more aloof and secretive than most (say that they refuse to answer certain aspects of their care), then that is cause for suspicion. Evidence of physical trauma is also immediate cause for more than just doubt but also due legal action as that is warranted as nursing home abuse, which is a subset of personal injury law.
If you or someone you know has a relative who has been unfairly made a victim of abuse of this nature, do not hesitate in seeking expert legal help at once!
Cracks, fissures, unexplained debris, water damage. These are all indications that a structure’s integrity has been compromised and that the building may collapse at any time. A construction company or contractor bringing people in to work on such a building should take the time to determine whether it is safe to work in and not let pressure to get the job done supersede this duty of care.
But that is what happened on a demolition job in Harlem, where one worker inside the building which was already showing significant cracks was crushed when the floor above him suddenly collapsed as he was working on a wall with a sledge hammer. The 69-year-old worker sustained severe head injuries and died instantly as the building literally fell on him. The contractor had known about the cracks, and had already been cited for the lack of safety gear worn on the work site. Not that a hardhat would have been of any use to the unfortunate worker, who should not have been working in the building in the first place.
Such accidents are not uncommon in the construction industry, and with New York City cutting down on its building inspection budget, more are likely to occur. It is estimated that with the current number of construction sites in the city, it will take the remaining inspectors more than 100 years to thoroughly inspect each and every site.
It is the responsibility of contractors and the construction companies to make sure that their worksites are safe for workers as well as the general public even if they are not inspected by the city regulators. It is just more practical because when a worker or member of the public is injured or killed because of a preventable accident, they are liable for it.
If you have been seriously injured in a construction accident, chances are you are eligible for compensation. Find a good New York construction accident lawyer and make your claim.
Discrimination is one ill human behavior that has affected the working environment for so long. It has caused deep emotional injuries in so many victims, as well as ruined their lives, simply because they have been perceived as, or believed to be, different, weaker, (sometimes) dangerous, or just not preferable or likeable due to their race, color, language, accent, style of dressing, ideology, physical appearance, religion, behavior, and so forth.
In the US, discrimination in the workplace is a major persistent issue faced by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), an agency formed by the US Congress in 1964 for the enforcement of the stipulations of Title VII the Civil Rights Act. This Act or ordinance is aimed at creating a more equal society by prohibiting any form of discriminatory practice and behavior in the workplace based on nationality, race, religion, color and sex; it encompasses all employment-related decisions from employment screening, to hiring and retention, and covers all firms, whether educational institutions, state and local governments, or private companies, that have 15 or more employees.
An additional employment screening and hiring concern that the EEOC has witnessed develop for the past two decades is the questioning of a job applicant on the possibility of having been convicted in the past or a background check for a possible criminal record and then using the information gathered to reject the applicant. Though this may be a clear form of discrimination, the EEOC cannot hold an employer liable for violating the law unless the use of the applicant’s past criminal record can be proven as only a front to cover the real basis of the rejection, such as race, religion, and so forth. One actual example on this involves a case wherein an employer rejected the application of an African American due to his criminal record, but hired a White applicant who has a comparable criminal record.
Background checks are made by companies to make sure that they get to hire the right people for the job – which means people with the right qualifications, skills, attitude and behavior. Although much greater weight is given to qualifications and skills, considering an applicant’s behavior is equally important, especially if the job requires meeting and dealing with people directly, like a customer service job, watering, delivery service, etc. This is because liability for any wrongdoing an employee commits while doing his/her job can be passed on to the employer, who can be accused of negligent hiring, that is, for hiring individuals who they should have known were prone to displaying violent or dangerous behavior.
To avoid discrimination, as well as to avoid ending up hiring someone who poses an unacceptable risk, the EEOC formulated a three-part test that employers can use whenever considering an applicant with a past criminal record:
- The gravity and nature of the conduct or criminal offense
- How long ago was the crime or the conviction
What is the actual nature of the work the applicant is applying into, where is the work to be performed, the amount of supervision the applicant, once accepted, will receive, how much interact with others is required by the job, and so forth.
In its website, Cary Kane LLP explains that inquiring about arrests or conviction during a job application and interview can only be done by employers in government agencies, the Port Authority or enforcement agencies. Those in private companies definitely are prohibited by the law from making inquiries regarding criminal records, much more from using these as ground to deny one’s application. In the event of an infraction of the Civil Rights Act by an employer then Cary Kane LLP, is one law firm that can guarantee competent representation in a discrimination case.
The Book of Redemption starts with Revenge (for some of us, at least)
Depending on context and worldviews, people define the word “redemption” in different ways.
For Christians, it refers to the act of God saving them from inevitable and total damnation. For most everyone else, it’s associated with the act of clearing away a debt. I always see it as an embodiment of vengeance. It’s quite interesting how one word can have such drastically different conceptual differences!
Many prescription drugs are manufactured for specific conditions, but may also be efficacious in others that may not have been intended or studied. Viagra (sildenafil), for instance, was originally formulated as a treatment for hypertension, but is currently more closely associated with erectile dysfunction. Many birth control formulations are also frequently used as a treatment for acne. These are considered “off label” uses and are generally acceptable provided it is done with caution and after some studies have been conducted to investigate the effects of this type of use. In many cases, off label uses have provided unexpected benefits for patients.
But it does not always work out for the best.
One example is Depakote, the anti-seizure medication manufactured by Abbott Labs. It is accepted that prescription medications are likely to have serious side effects, which is why they are not available over-the-counter and patients take it under the supervision of a doctor. But when a drug company in the US encourages the use of a product without the approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and personal injury results, it renders the company vulnerable to criminal and civil action.
Depakote is primarily intended to provide relief for epileptic patients; even when used for this, allegations of the drug causing birth defects have sparked legal trouble for the manufacturer for failing to provide adequate and timely warning to physicians and patients. Add to that marketing strategies that encourage off label uses of Depakote for treatment of bipolar disorder and migraines, and there is a recipe for disaster. Many civil lawsuits focus on the fact that women who suffer from bipolar disorder or migraine are prescribed with Depakote when they should not be, and the resulting birth defects of their children are due to this off label use.
If you or someone you know has been described with Depakote for epilepsy or other uses and a child is born with a birth defect such as spina bifida, there may be a personal injury case in the making. Consult with a products liability lawyerfamiliar with Depakote litigation in your area to get advice on how to proceed with a claim.