Sinkholes are considered as geologic hazards (or natural geologic occurrences) that can harm men and damage properties. Like landslides, these ground movements can occur suddenly or with very little warning signs, causing major damages (deaths and destruction of property) at times.
Sinkholes usually occur in areas called “karst” terrains, or landscapes where the rocks beneath the earth surface are soluble and can, therefore, be dissolved by circulating groundwater. Examples of soluble rocks are limestone, gypsum, domes, salt beds and carbonate rocks. When these rocks crumble or collapse, caverns and spaces, whether big or small, develop and oftentimes suddenly give in, swallowing any structure on top (road, vehicles, houses, building, etc.), into it.
Karst terrains are common in Alabama, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Kentucky, Texas, Missouri and Florida, making these states most susceptible to sinkholes. Meanwhile, intense rainstorms, droughts or sudden lowering of the water level under the ground are the more common reasons why grounds collapse.
There are two types of sinkholes, the cover-collapse, which can cause terrible damages due to its abrupt development, and the cover-subsidence, which forms slowly and remain unnoticed for long periods. When grounds collapse, the formed sinkhole differs both in size and depth. While some extend to just a few feet in diameter, others can be acres across; in the same manner, some sinkholes may just be a feet deep, while others are beyond a hundred feet in depth.
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Most people would like to think that the absence of love or discovered incompatibilities is the reason why half of all marriages in the US end in divorce. The fact is, financial stress can adversely affect a marriage and continues to be the leading cause for its break up. But it is not as simple as all that.
Money by itself is not a reason for a couple to disregard their marriage vows and break up their family. Financial stress in a marriage often results from a lack of communication between a couple regarding finances, the deliberate nondisclosure of debts and other liabilities that one partner may be bringing into the relationship, or the unwillingness to involve a partner in financial decisions. When this financial stress eventually leads to bankruptcy, it is just the last straw on a shaky camel’s back.
Getting a divorce is so commonplace that most couples do not take the time or effort to work out their problems with money. Societal pressure that used to keep families together is now working against the institution of marriage by fostering a “me” attitude rather than a “we” attitude. The recent economic crisis has also made people perceive bankruptcy in a more positive light, which can encourage couples to simply cut their losses in other aspects of their lives.
This is not to say that people with no financial stress will live happily ever after the wedding. But eliminating financial stress certainly makes it a little bit easier to smooth over the rough edges in a relationship. The most often cited reason for divorce is psychological incompatibility, which actually means a failure or unwillingness to communicate. Some couples go into the marriage for the wrong reasons. Add money problems into the mix and that will practically guarantee a divorce.Read More
New is not always better, as demonstrated by medical dangers of new products that have recently come into the market.
There are about 40 hospitals in Massachusetts that are equipped with the aggressively marketed and significantly expensive da Vinci robotic surgical system produced by Intuitive Surgical, Inc. The most recent purchase in the state was by Milford Regional Medical Center for a single-site system, setting the hospital back about $2 million, but administrators believe it was worth it. This confidence in a system whose effectiveness as a safer alternative to more traditional minimally invasive such as laparoscopy is largely unconfirmed has raised concerns in the medical community.
The much-lauded system continues to be the target of patient complaints of robotic surgery mistakes which resulted in serious, if not fatal, injuries. There are currently more than 30 complaints filed against Intuitive for alleged design defects of the da Vinci robotic surgical system, and that number is expected to rise. While the number of complaints is quite small compared to the procedures that have been successful, medical experts believe patients run unnecessary risks when opting for the admittedly “cool” alternative because there are no proven advantages to using the system over other methods.
Another medical breakthrough that has hit the market recently with much fanfare but failed to be as wonderful as believed is the Type 2 diabetes treatment marketed by Merck & Co. as Januvia. Januvia, or sitagliptin, is a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor which is designed to control blood glucose levels without the usual side effects of more traditional oral antihyperglycemic drugs.
Introduced to the public in 2006, disturbing news has since come to light regarding a suspected link between Januvia and development of pancreatic duct metaplasia, or cancer of the pancreas. This is ironic as DPP-4 inhibitors are believed to suppress certain cancers from developing, but apparently encourage others. While Januvia side effects are fewer than traditional antidiabetic medications, the few it has may turn out to be whoppers.Read More
Most people in hazardous occupations know they are at constant risk for disabling injuries. A fireman, for example, is trained and prepared to handle situations that routinely arise from battling fires and proving first-responder aid in an emergency. Oil rig or coal mine workers know that the volatility of the materials they handle and the worksite they frequent increase their risk of explosion injuries every minute they are at work. While these are adverse events that they take measures to prevent, disabling injuries are an accepted danger in their occupations.
But disabling injuries can happen to anyone, anywhere and at anytime.
For example, a careless driver on the interstate can collide with a bus or truck carrying hazardous materials, involving several innocent people and perhaps causing serious harm. Or a dog in the neighborhood could suddenly attack a person walking by. Dog bite injuries can be disabling, especially if the dog is large or ferocious enough.
When these disabling injuries occur, it can mean a significant loss of income for the victim and financial difficulties for the family, especially if the disability turns out to be long-term and total. In such cases, it is possible that the victim may have to apply for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance, especially if there is no other way to get compensation. This is provided, of course, that the victim has the required work credits and the injury qualifies for SSDI. Disability that is less than 12 months and not total is not eligible for SSDI.
However, if some form of negligence is involved in the adverse event, it may also be possible to make a claim for personal injury, workers’ compensation, or if there is a dog-bite law in effect and a dog owner in evidence, a claim against the owner. If you suffered from disabling injuries and require financial relief, consult with a lawyer in your area about your legal options.Read More
Insurance laws can be incredibly complex, and proving bad faith can be difficult. However, if an insurance lawyer is consulted from the first, unreasonable coverage disputes and other willful breaches of contract and the good faith covenant of insurance can be managed properly.
It is an open secret that insurance companies take every opportunity to delay or avoid paying out claims, especially when a case is “fairly” debatable. This is because such cases are not glaringly a breach of the “good faith” covenant or of the contract, and in most cases they can get away with it. One way that insurance companies get around the bad faith charge is through coverage disputes, where obfuscations in the contract may provide some leeway in the interpretation.
Most people may be persuaded to believe that what they understood their policy to cover is in fact not what the policy states. People tend to believe the “expert,” not realizing that at every opportunity the insurer will interpret the policy in a way that is advantageous to the company. However, it is entirely possible that the insurer is deliberately misleading the policy holder, and only an equally knowledgeable person such an insurance lawyer would know how to correctly interpret the terms of a policy.
If it can be proven that the insurance company is making or has made unreasonable coverage disputes over a claim, it may be construed as an act of bad faith, and may serve as the basis for a civil tort. It is understood that the insurance company would know precisely what the coverage should be, and giving less than that to a policy holder or denying the claim would be a willful breach of the good faith covenant as well as contract law.
A policyholder who has been shortchanged through coverage disputes or other tactics has under Wyoming’s Code of Civil Procedure (WY Stat § 1-3-105) up to 10 years to bring civil action the insurance company upon filing of the claim. This is the statute of limitations for an action for breach of contract. Under Wyoming law, it is also possible to file a separate and concurrent lawsuit for insurance bad faith. Consult an insurance lawyer if you suspect that you were unreasonable denied or you received less than what you believe you should have gotten from a claim.Read More
Truck accidents happen all the time, and when it involves a passenger car as the other player in the drama, the consequences can be devastating to the passenger car driver and other parties in the vehicle. In many cases, vehicular accidents occur because of some type of negligence. If the truck driver caused the accident, it may be possible to make a claim against the truck driver as well as the trucking company if there are violations of safety regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) involved or if the driver was otherwise negligent. An article on the website of Hull & Zimmerman, P.C. describes pressures of the workload that may contribute to a driver’s reckless behavior, such as speeding or tailgating.
However, it is not always a case of just one vehicle being the cause of the accident. For example, if two truck drivers were racing each other on the road and an accident causing serious injury to a third party resulted from excessive speeding, both drivers and their carriers are potential defendants in a personal injury case.
One of the first things that needs to be done in a personal injury case is to notify the person or persons responsible of the time and place of the incident, that injury resulted and that a claim is to be filed. No other information should be given to the responsible party or parties regarding the accident or extent and nature of the injury. In the case presented above, all the defendants may be given notice regardless of who was actually at fault. At this point, that is not important, as long as there is a possibility that they could be at fault. The process of proving fault will take place during discovery and the trial, if there is no settlement made beforehand.
However, these preliminaries can and should be handled by a qualified personal injury attorney experienced in handling truck accident cases. The laws pertaining to trucking accidents can be complex and difficult to understand for the layperson, and could lead to a failed case if not handled properly.Read More