“No Zone” Area: One of the Major Causes of Truck Accidents

Driving for 11 hours straight or with very short rest periods is normal for many truck drivers; thus, due to this very challenging task, the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 strictly requires that truck drivers undergo training, possess the necessary skills in operating a truck, and pass the test set by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), before being issued a commercial vehicle license.

These enormous vehicles transport important cargos that keep businesses operational and profitable. Due to their size, however, they also pose a great threat to smaller motor road vehicles, which they can easily crush in the event of an accident.

Many different laws, therefore, have been passed, all aimed at helping make sure that drivers are qualified and kept from feeling fatigued or drowsy behind the wheel and that trucks are always in good condition and free from manufacturing defects. Besides the licensing requirement enforced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there are also laws on the allowed number of hours of service (HOS) and maximum number of driving hours, quality standards on truck tires and brakes, prohibition on the use of handheld phones while driving and law on the use of a bluetooth headset, and so forth.

Besides these laws, there are other concerns truck drivers and other motorists are cautioned about as these have also been major causes of many truck accidents in the past. One of these concerns is a truck driver’s blind spot, otherwise known as a “no zone” area. This specifically includes the truck’s front, back and driver’s side. This “no zone” area is that spot where truck drivers usually fail to notice smaller vehicles. Thus, when changing lanes or making a (left) turn, a vehicle in this area is at risk of being crushed.

In its website, the law firm Ravid & Associates, P.C., explains that many of those who get involved in truck accidents are just innocent victims and that the accident is actually a result of the truck driver’s negligence or carelessness. Due to this, the law allows victims to pursue compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the liable party.

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What Makes the Philippines the Best Country for Outsourcing

Outsourcing means contracting out a business process by one business organization to a third party organization, which may be located either nationally or internationally (known as offshoring). This business movement is usually resorted to by the host firm as an alternative due to a lack in the number of skilled individuals needed to fit a certain job description.

Outsourcing, more so offshoring, has become a vital business tactic among many big and developing foreign companies due to the much more favorable economic advantages this move offers both the host and third party organizations. Its greatest advantage is the opportunity of the third party organization to earn profits through the creation of new jobs, while for the host company, much lower cost in overhead or operating expenses since employment in the chosen country is much cheaper than in theirs. Furthermore, host firms are offered various incentives by the third-party’s country, like income-tax holidays, vital off-site facilities, foreign investors and their immediate family members are granted permanent resident status, choice of paying a special 5% gross income tax instead of the local and national taxes, and so forth.

One country that has been among the top choices of many giant foreign firms around the globe, including a substantial number of Fortune 500 companies, as the ideal place where to outsource/offshore their services and other projects is the Philippines.

Though outsourcing in the Philippines began only in the 1990s, its worth already to ballooned to $1.5 billion in 2004 and to $9 billion in 2009. That’s a growth of $1.5 billion per year over a span of only 5  years. In 2013 the country was also able to edge New Delhi at the third spot in the 2013 top 100 global outsourcing destinations.

The trend only continues to lead towards the further growth of outsourcing in the Philippines as top companies in Australia have also began to outsource in the country. This is obviously due to the fact that outsourced projects and services are manned by English speaking individuals with a high literacy level. Outsourced jobs include call centers, customer relationship management, HR solutions, back office/chat support, creative processes, content writing, blogging, research, application maintenance, IT services, web design, software development, medical transcription, healthcare information management, legal services, and so forth.

Pinoy Partners Outsourcing Center Inc. (PPOC Inc.) is one company in the Philippines that has grown tremendously over just a period of two years. In 2013 one US-based company made a bold prediction about outsourcing in the Philippines; it said that by 2030 the industry will push the Philippines to becoming a trillion-dollar economy.

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The Major Advantage of a Special Needs Trust

Child support is one of the most important issues separating spouses need to settle during the divorce process. Though each parent may fight for the right to have custody over their child, there are many instances when guardianship is awarded to only one parent, with the other just being given visitation rights.

Though there are instances when spouses are able to settle all divorce-related issues amicably, a friendly settlement just does not seem to be the means for many other couples. Arenson Law Group, PC, explains on its website that where a contested divorce is the case, the spouses would find it easier to address all issues through the help of highly-skilled divorce lawyers; this is especially true when settling child custody and child support issues. Such cases can be energy draining and the help of a divorce lawyer is absolutely needed most of the time.

Regardless of who gets appointed by the court as custodial parent, one common duty of divorced spouses is to support their child, more so if the child were suffering from physical, intellectual or psychiatric disability. A parent who sincerely cares about his/her child, though, despite failing to win custody battle, will do everything to make sure that the child is never deprived of a good standard of living by providing for his/her various needs and, if possible, for his/her future.

Leaving (to a disabled loved one) property and money will have to be planned carefully, for failure to do so can very well result to deprivation of government financial and health care benefits, specifically the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and nursing care, which is provided by the Medicaid welfare program. For while bequeathing a car or a house to a child with disability will never affect his/her SSI and/or Medicaid eligibility, it is not the same if what will be left behind were cash (such as bank savings) and certain assets.

Avoiding this problem is possible, though, through the drafting of a special needs trust (also called supplemental needs trusts). This supplemental needs trust is a federally/state-recognized means of protecting the assets of, and providing benefits to, a loved one with disability. By leaving (for a loved one) properties and cash to the special needs trust, instead of to your loved one directly, he/she will never lose eligibility to SSI and Medicaid. This trust will end, however, once the all the money in the trust has been spent or upon the death of the beneficiary.

The testator (or the person drafting the Will) also has the legal right to appoint his/her chosen trustee, whose responsibility will include management of the properties specified in the trust and the cash, especially where spending for your loved one is the concern.

On its website, the law firm Peck Ritchey, LLC, clearly explains that, whether it is for the benefit of disabled adults or minors, there are ways to improve the quality of their lives through special needs trusts, coordination of public and private resources, and asset planning. Resolving division and conflict among family members due to legal issues, such as administration of estates, Wills, guardianships, etc., can also be mended, especially with the help of a competent and experienced attorney in the field of family law. The only necessary thing is that the family, or the individual concerned, chooses the family law lawyer who will be able to best address its unique needs and issues.

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More than 10,000 Lawsuits Filed against Bayer because of Yaz

After earning the US Food and Drug Administration’s approval for patient use in 2006, Yaz gained immediate popularity due to claims that the drug is safe, effective and provides lots of other benefits. Yaz, a Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals drug, easily became one of the most popular and widely prescribed oral contraceptives in the US (and around the globe). It contained Bayer’s uniquely formulated synthetic progestin known as Drospirenone, which effectively prevented egg cells from evolving, thus averting any possibility of pregnancy. But more than just keeping women from becoming pregnant, Yaz was also marketed as an effective treatment for temperate acne, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

From 2001 to 2013, about 23 Canadian women were reported to have died within months of taking Yaz or Yasmin (another oral contraceptive pill which Bayer released in 2001). Besides these deaths, another 300 cases of adverse events were reported by women who suffered (because of the pills) pulmonary embolism (or blood clots in the lungs), heart attack, cerebral thrombosis (a clotting of blood that prevents blood from being supplied to the brain) or deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or blood clot in the legs.

Yaz was also found to cause other ill effects, including migraine, breast pains, leg pain and queasiness. Bayer’s Drospirenone was also found to be responsible in causing impaired vision, numbness of arms or legs, quickness of breath, and chest ache.

Moves from the FDA, in connection to the reported adverse effects of Yaz, included directions to Bayer, one in 2009, to correct its Yaz advertisement, which assertively stated the drug’s benefits and endorsed it as not necessitating any prescription, while taking lightly the risks to health that it can cause, such as blood clot. The other directive was issued in 2012, wherein the FDA asked Bayer to include in Yaz’s label the greater risk for blood clots in those who would use it.

In 2011 a warning was issued by the US FDA and the British Medical Journal (BMJ), stating the risk of blood clots up to 74 percent in women use would take drugs (such as Yaz) that contained the artificial hormone Drospirenone.

The following year (2012), about 10,000 lawsuits were filed against Bayer; yet, despite these lawsuits and the $1 billion in claims settlement the Bayer paid during the same year, the company maintained its position about Yaz’s safety and never admitted liability.

As of February 2013, the number of individuals who have filed personal injury lawsuits against Bayer has reached 13,600. Substantial information posted on the website of Williams Kherkher states that pharmaceutical firms that manufacture dangerous medications should be held liable for their drug’s adverse effects and should be ready to compensate whoever is proven to have been injured because of the use of their products.

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Violation of Minimum Wage Laws

All across the US, employees are protected by federal and state laws against employment discrimination, especially where wage and overtime pay are the issues. Besides the anti- discrimination laws, there are also laws that specifically specify the lawful number of working hours within a week, the minimum wage, who can render overtime work and the computation for overtime pay.

The Wages and Hours Bill, more commonly known as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which the US Congress passed into law in 1938, is the specific ordinance that mandates both private and public employers on just wages. But while the federal law may determine the minimum wage employees across the nation ought to receive, state laws may also determine an amount which may be higher (never lower) than the federally stated daily minimum pay.

In its website, Cary Kane LLP, clearly explains that while employers, who meet the tests covered by federal law, ought to pay their employees the minimum hourly wage of $7.25, this pay falls lower than the stated-mandated minimum hourly pay in New York, which is $8.00 per hour (with a scheduled increase of 75 cents per hour both in 2015 and 2016) – the amount employees in New York have all the legal right to claim.

Despite the federal law (in general) and the state law, in particular, however, many employees, especially undocumented workers, are robbed of the right to receive the lawful minimum pay by stubborn employers. And to get away with their acts that clearly violate the minimum wage law, employers hint on the consequence of firing anyone who may have any intent of complaining (with regard to undocumented workers, employers usually raise the issue of illegal immigration and the threat of deportation).

Employees deprived of their right to receive the minimum hourly pay determined by the government or by their state (whichever amount is higher), should never hesitate about raising a complaint to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) of filing a private civil lawsuit against their employer. These same employees should also know that, contrary to their fear of being fired or being denied of the benefits due to them if they complain, the law is on their side, protecting them even from any retaliatory acts thought of by their employer or whoever the employer may think of using to perform the retaliatory acts.

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