Hot Checks in Texas

There are “hot chicks” in Texas, and then you have “hot checks.” One is good; the other, not so much. A hot check, called a “bad” check in the Texas Penal Code (§32.02 and §32.41) is defined as the issuance of a check by a person who knows that there is not enough funds in the account to pay for it in full. In any circumstance, passing a hot check is a crime, and will be punished accordingly. However, there are two ways that such an offense is addressed under the penal code.

Under §32.41, the offense is considered a Class C misdemeanor (unless it was to pay for child support, in which case it is a more serious charge as a Class B misdemeanor) which carries only a fine and restitution. While this is still bad, but there may be a plausible explanation for the act such as an accounting error which would negate the intent to swindle the payee. Under §32.02, however, it addresses hot checks as theft, and as such can be charged as a Class B misdemeanor (for checks less than $20) all the way up to a first degree felony depending on the face amount of the check and other circumstances. All these charges carry a stint in jail from not more than 180 days to as long as 99 years plus fines.

As mentioned on the website of Inglis Defense, passing a bad check is embarrassing, but it can also mean serious jail time and a hefty fine, not to mention a blot on your criminal record if the case is not handled properly. There are many circumstances that can affect a hot check charge, and few laypersons fully understand the ramifications of playing fast and loose with the Texas Penal Code. If you have already been charged with passing a bad check, you are probably on the brink of having a really bad time. Consult with a hot check defense lawyer to watch out for you and to settle the matter as painfully as possible under the circumstances.

Statute Of Limitations On Personal Injury Cases

Has someone caused you an injury? Are you looking at years worth of rehab or medical care because of it? If so, there is a good chance that you have reason to sue them for your injuries. The tips below will help you build a case against the person that have hurt you.

One of the most common types of personal injury lawsuits involve injury from a defective product. Products on the market are required to be safe for use, and when it can be proven a product is not the manufacturer can be held responsible. You and your lawyer have the obligation of proving the product is not safe.

Watch what you say. This is especially true at the site of the injury. You have no obligation to tell people who you think is at fault. You also do not need to provide more information than legally required. Making any statements on the scene of the injury may lead to more complications as your case progresses.

Personal injury lawyers tend to specialize in a number of different fields. For example, one may solely take on medical malpractice cases, whereas another may be proficient in automotive accidents. Don’t assume that all personal injury lawyers are the same and be sure to make inquiries about any lawyer you have under consideration.

Work with a company that focuses solely on the subject of personal injury law. A law firm that handles a number of different legal fields, such as family, tax and criminal law, may not have the experience to secure you a good monetary settlement. An experienced personal injury law firm will handle all aspects of your case such as the initial investigation, offering advice, drafting documents and court representation.

If you take what you have learned here and put it all to work for you, you could win your case. There is no need to struggle for the next several years to pay your bills when the person responsible gets away with it. Make them pay today so you can live a life worth living.

Some of this information was pulled from the web address of the Disparti Law Group.

Things You Should Know About Chicago Auto Insurance

Automobile insurance is a considerable expense in addition to what is already expensive car ownership. Insurance on the vehicles we drive is required though, and of course if there is an accident we are very happy we have it. In most cases we pay the fees and never realize the benefits. There are some things that you really need to know about auto insurance however. We present some important info in this article, and also on our Chicago car insurance website.

Before you add your teenage driver to your auto insurance policy, take a look at your own credit history. If your credit is good, it’s usually cheaper to add a teen to your own policy. But if you have had credit problems, it would be better not to hand that on to your child; start them off with a policy in their own name.

Keeping up with the times is a great way to save money on your auto insurance. Most insurance companies have electronic payment plans set up via their websites. If you use these and make your payments on time, you will be able to save some money. There’s nothing wrong with the old-fashioned way, but you can save some cash by making e-payments.

When buying a new or used car, don’t forget to factor in the cost of insurance. Your dream car may come with an insurance premium that pushes the monthly payment out of your reach. Do some research before you go shopping. You can find average rates for different car models online, or your insurance broker can provide this for you.

Carpooling and public transportation are great ways to lower your insurance costs. Lowering your mileage means less chances of an accident, which means your insurance company will be willing to lower your rates. You could have a discount that lowers your premium if you let your agent know that you use a bus or carpool.

When buying car insurance, consider what coverage you actually need against what coverage is being recommended by the agent. If your car is worth less than about five thousand dollars, collision coverage is probably costing you more than what would pay out in an accident. However, property liability coverage is vital, as it protects you against having to pay out for damage to another party’s car or other property.

You have to have the insurance; it is an unwelcome expense in most households. Don’t forget the peace of mind you experience when you’ve got the right cover. And you can now go about getting a better and cheaper policy based on the shrewd tips that you’ve just read.

The Anti-texting-while-driving and the Zero Tolerance Laws

Drunk-driving, reckless driving, driver error and over-speeding (as well as driving too slowly) are listed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA as the top causes of motor vehicle accidents on US roads every day. From the five million car crashes recorded annually, more than two million individuals suffer injury, while another 35,000 lose their lives.

NHTSA reports also show that usual traffic violators, as well as usual victims of fatal car crashes, are young drivers, whose ages range between 17 and 24. Studies show that while young drivers, mostly students, are aware of traffic laws and would not want to share the road with traffic violators, they, themselves, are guilty of violating traffic rules when asked about specific road behavior, such as driving under the influence (DUI), texting while driving, speeding, and so forth. These same drivers expressed confident control of the wheel, though, despite the violation, which they said were still safe, based on their own standards.

With the intent of curbing the number of car accidents, which always cause property damages, injuries and/or death, the NHTSA has become stricter in the enforcement of road safety laws; it has also passed new laws, such as the anti-texting-while-driving. In some states ban has, likewise, been imposed on the use of any type of text-based communications on mobile devices, such as computers and phones, which are used to send text or email messages. This anti-texting-while-driving is aimed at discouraging any act that would cause distraction – a serious threat to pedestrians, other motorists and all others on the road.

Another law intended at limiting the chances of DUI among teenage drivers is the Zero Tolerance Law, which prohibits those under the age of 21 to drink and drive. Minors who will be caught violating this law are bound to have their driving privileges immediately suspended, as well as suffer the harsh punishments imposed in their state.

Effects of Delayed Commercial Insurance Claims

There are a lot of things that business owners have to attend to, and that includes having the proper coverage not only for property damage but also for business interruption. As a rule, when something like fire, storms, or earthquakes occurs, businesses have to cease operations for the duration of the crisis, and most probably for some time after depending on the extent of property damage, if any. If damage ensues, there are not only the costs of repairing and/or replacing to consider but also the losses from the business closure.

In areas prone to natural calamities such as tornadoes, commercial insurance coverage is much more crucial for business owners than any other type of insurance. This is because in a lot of cases, an insurance claim will spell the difference between a business going on or not after a disaster.

But making a commercial insurance claim, just like any other claim, is an exercise in patience and tenacity. According to the website of Smith Kendall Buxton Law Group in Oklahoma which is tornado country, to make a successful claim for the full value of the policy it is important to have all your ducks in a row. This involves gathering together a team of contractors and engineers to put together a report objectively assessing the extent of the damage and what it will take to put it back to the way it was that will be acceptable to the insurer.

This is just for the property damage, which often goes through a long process of negotiations until an agreement is reached on the final valuation. In the meantime, the business owner has to either wait for the insurer to stop dithering and start paying, or to pay first for what is needed to get the business up and running again and hope for full reimbursement. Each day of delay has a significant impact on sales, customer retention, and production.

If you are experiencing unreasonable delays in your commercial insurance claims, you should address the issue immediately by consulting with an insurance claims lawyer in the area. An experienced attorney will have the resources and know-how to expedite proper insurance payments.

Reglan Lawsuits and Product Liability

If you find yourself involuntarily thrusting out your tongue, blinking rapidly, smacking your lips, and/or grimacing, you may want to check on whatever medication you are on if it contains metoclopramide. This is the generic version of the prescription drug Reglan, which has been found to induce a neurological syndrome called tardive dyskinesia characterized by involuntary movements like the ones described above.

There is no known cure for tardive dyskinesia, and although it is a non-fatal condition, it can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. Tardive dyskinesia sufferers may easily be mistaken as weird or strange. Imagine being across from a stranger who seems to find you lip-smackingly good or alternatively chastising you by tongue clicking, and you can see how it can be embarrassing. According to the Williams Kherkher website, other serious side effects of Reglan include cervical dystonia, akathisia, Parkinson’s symptoms, and neuroleptic malignant syndrome.

Reglan was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1980 for the treatment of chronic digestive disorders such as acid reflux and diabetic gastroparesis as well as nausea resulting from chemotherapy or surgery. Reglan has also been prescribed by migraine-induced nausea and queasiness associated with early pregnancy, although it was never approved for these uses by the FDA. This off label use has significantly increased the customer base for metoclopramide which is estimated at 2 million in the US.

The most recent label change for Reglan and other preparations containing metoclopramide was ordered by the FDA in 2009 to warn patients about the increased risk of developing tardive dyskinesia with prolonged use and higher doses. This latest Black Box warning is believed to account for the sudden influx of Reglan and other brand-name metoclopramide lawsuits against drug manufacturers, many of which went to trail in mid-2010 and early 2011. Plaintiffs allege that the defendants knew about the risk but failed to warn patients and doctors, one of the common bases for product liability cases.

If you developed any serious or permanent physical conditions from taking Reglan, consult with a product liability lawyer in your area as soon as possible. You may be able to get some financial compensation, if not actual physical relief, for the harm you sustained.

Toxic Substances Exposure

If you like Julia Roberts, chances are you have seen the film Erin Brockovich which in a nutshell dramatized the events that led to one of the largest settlements for a direct-action suit in the history of the US. At the heart of the case was an example of toxic substance exposure, with this particular instance involving hexavalent chromium which was leaking into the drinking water of Hinkley, a town in southern California.  A similar case was the subject of another movie A Civil Action where the groundwater in Woburn, Massachusetts was also contaminated, this time with trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene.

A toxic substance is defined as something that is dangerous to any living organism when taken internally (swallowed, inhaled) or externally (skin contact) interrupts or disrupts vital functions or causes death.  The substance need not be a strong chemical or poison. Some workplaces are inherently dangerous because it involves constant exposure to toxic substances such as coal mines (coalminer’s lung from coal dust) and cotton mills (cotton lung from cotton dust).

In the cases of water contamination with hexavalent chromium, trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene, the affected population was comprised of residents rather than workers who developed some type of cancer from drinking the tainted water and bathing in it. There have also been cases when the toxic substance has been embedded in the walls, as with paint containing lead or asbestos. The financial, physical and emotions effects of these toxic substance exposures are often life-threatening, and as pointed out on the website of Hull & Zimmerman, P.C., it can be overwhelming.

If you have been needlessly exposed to toxic substances in the workplace or at home and contracted a serious injury, you could be eligible for a personal injury claim against the responsible parties. Contact a personal injury lawyer in your area and get compensated.

Automotive Defects that Kill

Cars that won’t start and won’t stop have been the issues facing two of the biggest car manufacturers in the US, GM and Toyota. When a person gets behind the wheel of a car, the expectation is that the driver is in control, and not the other way around.

A car that suddenly speeds up as if it had been possessed by an evil entity is not conducive to safety, especially when driving in a busy highway. This was the issue with the 2005 Toyota Camry, and hundreds of personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits have been filed against the Japanese automaker precisely because of this defect.

For GM, the problem was with the ignition switch in some of its 2005 and 2007 compact models including the Pontiac G5 and Chevrolet Cobalt. For some reason, this automotive defect caused air bags to malfunction and engines to stall, which in certain situations can and has had harrowing results for the car passengers. GM, like Toyota, is also facing numerous lawsuits, but the buck does not stop there for GM dealers.

According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® in Lake Geneva, these two automakers is that both knew about the defects for years, but did nothing to warn the public about the potential for menace. GM had issued a bulletin to its dealers warning them about the defect, but only directing that a stop-gap solution will be offered to customers who complained, and even then not all of them got the band-aid. This is the reason some dealers are also facing their own civil litigation. Toyota kept mum about the spontaneous speeding problem of their products until someone got hurt.

What these companies should have done was to order a recall of the vehicles with the automotive defects as soon as they found out about them and replaced the parts that were causing the problem. Instead, they buried their heads in the sand, hoping the problem would go away. For a while, it seemed it had, and then it came back with a vengeance.

If you have been seriously injured because of an automotive defect, there is a good chance the manufacturer already knew about it but kept quiet, and that is negligence. Go straight to a product liability lawyer and get started on your a lawsuit against the negligent parties.

Concerns for Business Owners: Keeping Employees Safe

The average worker in the US is protected under the law against an unsafe workplace, no matter what the industry. It is true that some occupations are inherently more dangerous than others, but that does not excuse any action or inaction that will needlessly place the life and health of workers in jeopardy. It is not enough that the employer follows minimum wage and overtime pay rules without prompting; wealth without health is a losing proposition. Employers have a mandated duty of care to maintain a safe and healthy work environment.

In the long run, it makes good business sense to follow workplace safety and health regulations. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, employee absenteeism due to workplace accidents and sickness costs American businesses about $200 Billion in lost productivity every year despite having workers’ compensation insurance. Spending the resources to keeping employees safe and healthy means employers actually make more money at the end of the day by minimizing absenteeism and workers’ compensation premiums.

Unfortunately, many employers are not so enlightened. They can only focus on short-term goals. They cannot see the consequences of buying less expensive ordinary workstations rather than spending the extra for ergonomic ones that can prevent stress and repetitive motion injuries or providing substandard equipment that can malfunction, causing an accident. When workers get sick or injured, not only do they not produce, they make claims against their workers’ comp insurance. This will raise the premiums for the employer. And if the negligence is bad enough, it can even mean that the employer may get sued.

If your employer’s negligence caused you serious harm or a disabling injury in the workplace, you may be able to get compensation for the pain and suffering you suffered. Consult with a personal injury lawyer in your area and see if you are eligible to file a lawsuit against your employer.

The Costs of Cruise Ship Accidents

Representatives of cruise liners that have lately come more frequently under fire for the unsafe conditions on their ships point out incidents such as slip-and-fall accidents can happen anywhere.  But it may also be argued that if a guest at a hotel slips and falls because of uneven steps or a wet spot on the floor, the hotel could be sued under premises liability laws.

The biggest difference is that cruise liners are typically harder to sue because they are frequently not registered in the US, and cannot be held accountable to US laws. According to the website of Vucci Law Group, P.A., injuries sustained on a cruise ship present unique problems.

There are considerable costs associated with any injury, but especially if the injury is serious enough to require medical evacuation. Passengers who sustain serious injuries while on a cruise ship may find that they will not get the medical attention they need onboard. An air ambulance can cost anywhere upwards of $10,000 per flight, depending on the distance as well as staffing requirements.
And because the nearest modern hospital may be in a foreign country, there are significant administrative and medical costs that may not be covered under most health insurance policies. Most hospitals will require a patient to pay the bill in full before they can be released, and for serious conditions this can be alarmingly high. If the patient does not speak the language, it will be difficult to dispute any of the items in the bill.

Once back in the US, the patient will either need to be admitted to another hospital or sent home to recuperate. A single day in ICU can cost upwards of $5,000 and the average hospital stay for unintentional injuries is $48,000 per patient. Factor in the number of lost work days and the costs just multiply. This could potentially drive the average person to the brink of bankruptcy, and all this because of an eminently preventable accident on what was supposed to be a pleasure trip.

If you have been seriously injured as a result of negligence on a cruise ship, you will need expert help to recover damages from the responsible parties. Engage the services of a law firm specializing in handling injuries resulting from cruise ship accidents to get back some of what you have lost.