Pennsylvania Trails

A Brand New Financial Start through Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Law

Posted by on Feb 6, 2014 in Bankruptcy Laws | 0 comments

Searching for legal means to pay overwhelming debts may be a hopeless endeavor for those who are not totally aware of the existence of the bankruptcy law – the law that allows legal declaration of inability to further pay individual or business debts that have risen to an unmanageable amount. Bankruptcy is one of the best and legal solutions individuals and businesses have as the law will not only help them gain control over their finances again, it will also immediately stop any form of harassment employed by creditors or law firms (such as e-mails, phone calls, letters, text messages and lawsuits) to force debtors to pay.

Many individuals who find themselves in crushing debts make the wise decision of seeking legal counsel (business firms usually have their own lawyers to guide them through this concern). Your lawyer will first asses your financial situation and then will go on to explain to you the legal options you have to enable you to have a brand new financial start. But make sure you choose a really good bankruptcy lawyer as not all lawyers have equal expertise and exposure to bankruptcy laws and proceedings.

If you own a business, your lawyer may advise you to file for business bankruptcy that is either supported by Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy law. Chapter 7 bankruptcy, in particular, is a liquidation bankruptcy process. This is applicable to those who own properties, but whose income or salary falls with the chapter’s stipulated limit. This type of bankruptcy will require the liquidation of some of your properties, thus its definition. Your properties will be sold by a trustee, who is appointed by the court, and the amount earned will be distributed by this same trustee to your creditors in payment of your debts (debtor have the option to choose which among his/her properties would be exempt from being liquidated).

Debts are classified as either dischargeable or non-dischargeable. Dischargeable debts, which include personal or business loans, medical bills and debts resulting from credit card use, are those that the court may release you from (you need not pay); non-dischargeable debts are usually related to governmental bodies, like alimony, court fines and student loans (home mortgages may sometimes be included).

To be able to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, applicants will have to go through a means test. This test will determine, through your income, if you can seek protection from your debts using this bankruptcy law. Business firms, on the other hand, that choose to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy will be required to stop business operations, unless allowed by the appointed trustee to continue. This is because the company’s assets will need to be sold to pay (in this particular hierarchy) investors, unsecured creditors and secured creditors (a system of hierarchical payment called “absolute priority”).

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Arguments Concerning the DePuy ASR Hip System

Posted by on Oct 11, 2013 in Personal Injury, Product Liability | 0 comments

In 2010, DePuy Orthopaedics, a holding company of Johnson & Johnson, recalled the widely used DePuy ASR hip implant. The recall was issued after numerous reports and lawsuits were filed against Johnson & Johnson for defective product design. Many of the recipients of a DePuy ASR hip were badly injured by the implant.

According to the website of the National Injury Law Center, the DePuy ASR ball-and-socket technology was made of cobalt and chromium alloy. The acetabulum shell (socket) and femoral head (ball) were separated by a flimsy polyethylene liner. In many cases, this liner wore down causing the cobalt and chromium to grind against one another. Not only did the grinding pain mimic the arthritic pre-operation condition, but it also put patients at risk for blood toxicity and damaged tissue.

Lawyers representing the victims of a defective DePuy ASR Hip System have mentioned that the scraping action of the metal-on-metal implant can cause damage to the tissue surrounding the joint. This damage can become so extensive that it eventually causes the surrounding tissue to die. Additionally, the scraping of the metal can raise the amount of metal ions in the bloodstream. This alteration to blood levels can affect a patient’s ability to fight infection as well as increase the risk for blood clotting complications.

In addition to physical complications to patients, many lawyers have argued that Johnson & Johnson was aware of the defective qualities of the DePuy hip implant before releasing it for market use. Johnson & Johnson has been accused of inadequate testing, the hiding of failure complaints, and the discarding of redesign efforts. The first federal trial over the DePuy Hip System began in September of 2013. Johnson & Johnson stands to lose around $3 billion dollars if they are held liable for the full extent of the damages.

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Finding a Personal Injury Lawyer

Posted by on May 28, 2013 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

Finding the right personal injury lawyer to represent you in court may be the key in getting the proper compensation in a very fast manner possible. There are a lot of lawyers out there who says they can help you, but not all of them are familiar with the ins and outs of personal injury law. This is why it is vital to find the right one, especially if you have been severely injured due to an accident or reckless behavior of another person or party.

If you have just recently encountered a serious injury due to another person’s fault, then you might get compensation by filing a personal injury claim. With so many lawyers out there, it might seem daunting to find the right one, so here are some tips on where and how you can find the best personal injury lawyer for your specific injury case:

  1. Bar associations – generally all lawyers become members of these organizations, and as such, they can provide you with lawyer’s credentials and curriculum vitae. These organizations can provide you with lawyers who specialize in personal injury law.
  2. Yellow pages – even with the fast access of the internet, yellow pages can still provide you with attorneys who specialize in personal injury laws.
  3. Inquire about them to your lawyer – whether you asked their help for writing a will or for real estate transactions, asking your lawyer on their recommendations can guarantee you have enough options for a personal injury lawyer. Ask your lawyer for at least 3 persons whom he trusts can help you with your dilemma.
  4. Internet – just about every bit of information can be found in the internet. Searching for lawyers in your area do not only give you their names, you can also find their backgrounds, other cases and even inquire them about your case.
  5. Ask around – it does not hurt to ask other people about different lawyers. Word of mouth is still a strong advertising medium for many legal firms, and asking about them can inform you about their services and how they handle their clients.

Looking for the right lawyer doesn’t need to be all that hard and confusing. Just knowing where to look for them is the first step in fighting for your right for fair compensation after an unjust accident.

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Intoxicated Driving: The Differences Between Marijuana and Alcohol

Posted by on May 23, 2013 in Driving Facts | 0 comments

Almost any intoxicant can negatively impact an individual’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. For this reason, most states have designed laws to discourage the use of intoxicants by motorists. But enforcing these laws can be more difficult for some intoxicants than others.

Drunk driving, which has been recognized as a serious public safety issue for several decades now, has been subject to increasingly strict laws and regulations prohibiting impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel. All states institute a limit of .08% blood alcohol content, and there are a wide range of different technologies that can be used to effectively determine whether a driver suspected of driving under the influence is over this limit, including breathalyzers and blood and urine tests.

Marijuana, on the other hand, is much more difficult to effectively detect in drivers. For one, marijuana, unlike alcohol, stays in the bloodstream for much longer than alcohol, sometimes for weeks after an individual has used it. Another issue is that there aren’t currently widely-accepted legal limits to effectively determine how much marijuana can be in an individual’s system before they are unsafe to drive. Finally, testing technology is not nearly as advanced as it is for alcohol.

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Helping Teenagers Cope with a Divorce

Posted by on May 23, 2013 in Family Topics | 0 comments

Divorce is not always an easy process, and it can be made even more difficult when divorcing spouses have teenagers.  Teenagers are already facing difficult life changes, as this is a critical transition period for them, but a divorce – especially one that is sudden or unexpected – can make the teen years even more difficult to face.  Many teens feel that they are misunderstood or that their parents do not talk to them about their decisions, making a divorce even harder to for many teens to accept. As such, it is important that parents make an effort to talk to their teens about getting a divorce and to not avoid having honest and serious discussions with their children, even when it involves difficult or uncomfortable topics.

However, many parents struggle with finding out how to help their teenagers through a divorce.  Unfortunately, it’s not a foolproof science, as every teen’s reaction will be different.  However, there are some good strategies that parents might consider when working through a divorce with their teenagers.

Strategies for Helping Your Teen with a Divorce

Every young person will react to their parents’ divorce differently, but divorce can be especially hard on teenagers who are old enough to fully understand the implications of a divorce and the effects it can have on their life.  It might be hard for a teenager to imagine life without both parents together, and he or she might act out against the divorce in different ways.  To help your teenager cope with a divorce, whether it is amicable or contentious, there are some strategies that you can implement, including:

  1. Explaining the divorce as a team, with you and your spouse talking to your child together
  2. Avoid blaming your spouse or using negative language about him or her
  3. Always make your teen understand that he or she is allowed to ask questions
  4. Make it clear that both parents love the child, and the divorce is not about him or her
  5. Seek counseling, if you think that it is necessary to help your teen express his or her feelings

While not every one of these strategies may help your individual teen, each of them has been utilized by divorcing parents across the country, and has seen success in certain families.  Because every divorce is different, you will have to test some different strategies and find out which works best for your family.  If you have questions, as many parents do, it might also benefit you to discuss them with a divorce lawyer in The Woodlands who has likely seen cases similar to yours in his or her years of experience helping families with teens go through the divorce process.

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Choosing an Attorney

Posted by on May 20, 2013 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

Every case is different, so you should not expect that every lawyer can represent you in court regarding your personal injury claims. As these lawsuits are a special area of the law, finding the right personal injury lawyer can pave the way to fair financial settlement.

In choosing a lawyer to stand in for you in front of a judge or jury, certain things should be considered before hiring them. First, avoid getting lawyers who are more interested in money than representing you in court. See if they ask about their payment first, before even asking you about any information about your case. Check if they are willing to take your case through a contingency fee or not.

Another thing to think about is whether that personal injury lawyer has, for the most part, represented insurance companies rather than the victims or the injured claimants. As not all personal injury attorneys and cases are the same, you might end up with the wrong lawyer who is more experience defending the other party in court.

Ask your lawyer about their thoughts on you accepting a lower settlement or even not accepting a fair settlement and pushing for a trial. It is important to know if they are willing to honor your wishes, whatever that may be, and will accept them without any question.

Searching for the right personal injury lawyer can seem intimidating at first, but you will get used to it. Do not be afraid to ask questions, since these are vital in helping you determine if who you are getting is the right person to fight for your right in court. Look for a personal injury lawyer who has extensive experience in the field of personal injury law in your state. Find someone who is happy and very much willing to represent you in court, and most especially you are agreeable with in order to build trust.

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Bicycle Accidents

Posted by on May 7, 2013 in Bicycle Injuries | 0 comments

Bicycle Accidents

When accidents involving an automobile and bicycle happen, it is usually the bicycle rider who sustains the heaviest injuries. This is mainly because of the minimal protection enjoyed by the cyclist. Bicycle accidents annually account for tens of thousands of injuries and hundreds of fatalities. Because most automobile drivers give little to no attention to bicycles, bicycles accidents are typically the fault of the driver. When such accidents happen and injuries are incurred, contacting personal injury attorneys can help you in determining the extent of the injury and how much compensation you may be entitled to receive.

Injuries from an accident involving a bicycle and car can be severe. Cars have solid framing, seat belts, and other safety measures that can prevent the driver and other passengers from suffering serious injuries, whereas bicycle drivers only have, at best, helmets, knee pads, and elbow pads for protection against any impact from other vehicles. Injuries from a bicycle accident can include:

  1. Broken bones
  2. Crushed teeth
  3. Cuts, scars, abrasions
  4. Brain and closed head injuries
  5. Back and spinal cord injuries
  6. Coma

Despite the growing awareness of the importance of sharing the road with cyclists, accidents still occur, and they often lead to serious injuries. Minor injuries can be handled easily, and can heal relatively quickly. However, serious injuries may require further treatment, and quite often these treatments can be time-intensive and expensive. This can make an already damaging accident particularly hard on a cyclist.

When the cause of the accident and the subsequent injuries are due to the negligence or careless driving of another person, then you are entitled to pursue compensation for your injuries. To understand more about your rights under the law in this difficult situation, you should consider speaking with a qualified legal professional about your case.

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Tips for Staying Safe on Your Motorcycle

Posted by on May 7, 2013 in Motorcycle Safety | 0 comments

Learning how to ride the motorcycle responsibly is one of the most important rules when it comes to preventing a motorcycle accident. It helps to know how to drive safely; you don’t want to end up being in the newspapers as another victim and be an addition to a statistics. There are many ways you can do to help avoid an injury from a motorcycle  accident, here are just a few of them:

  1. Always think the other motorists can’t see you. Most accidents happen because other drivers can’t see the motorcycle, so it always helps to have a way out whenever you’ll be put in a dangerous situation.
  2. Keep a safe distance from other vehicles and avoid traffic as much as possible. Having enough space can make you more visible to other drivers, and can give you more time to react.
  3. Learn to recognize trouble on the road; check how the other drivers are doing and anticipate the possible outcome. Make sure you know how to handle these situations when you come across them.
  4. Be aware of oncoming turners, as this is one of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents. Be careful and stay focused when approaching an intersection. Be sure that you are visible to the driver who will turn left (or right).
  5. Know your personal limits. You don’t have you keep up with other people, especially if they are already experienced in driving. Go on your own pace.
  6. Slow down when you are approaching a blind curve, you’ll never know what may be there once you’ve made your turn.
  7. Avoid road rage, as much s possible. Don’t give in to other motorists who have struck a nerve just to get even. Slow down and take a deep breath, otherwise you’ll just end up overspeeding and put yourself in a dangerous situation.
  8. Do not tailgate. If there is a motorist who is tailgating you, either slow down to let them pass or speed up and create distance between you. Because motorcycles stop much quicker than a car, you might get rear-ended if you stop. Also, avoid tailgating other vehicles, oncoming drivers might not see you because you are in their blind spot.
  9. Sun glare can blind you, so beware of driving your motorcycle into sun glare. Use helmets that cancel out sun glare, or options like face shields. If you find yourself being blinded by sun glare, slow down or pull over, shield your eyes and find a way to change direction.
  10. Don’t ride at night, especially of Saturdays and Sunday mornings as much as possible. Motorcycles can be hard to see during the night, and you may also run the risk of driving next to drunken people on weekends. Don’t take your bike when you are going to a party.

Motorcyclists that have been harmed or injured due to an accident caused by someone else should consider pursuing legal action. Lawyers may be able to help victims fight for the rights they deserve in these type of situations.

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Benefits of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Posted by on Apr 13, 2013 in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy | 0 comments

After taking time to consider your financial situation, you might come to the conclusion that filing for bankruptcy may be the only option to save you from the financial burdens you are currently suffering. While Chapter 7 bankruptcy is an extremely common form of bankruptcy, many people do not qualify to file for this particular type of bankruptcy. As such, they have to seek alternative options, such as Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which has many advantages.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy offers many benefits to those who choose to file for it. In order to determine if it is the best option for you, consider the following:

  • Do you want to hold on to your nonexempt properties? – Nonexempt properties are those that can be sold by the court and may be used to pay debts during the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process. Typically, however, they will not be sold during Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
  • Do you have some debts that are not dischargeable through Chapter 7? – Filing for Chapter 13 can help you pay for certain tax obligations or students loans that are otherwise non-dischargeable by other types of bankruptcy.
  • Are you in danger of foreclosure or repossession? – Through Chapter 13, you can catch up with your payments to prevent this from happening.
  • Does your personal loan have a co-debtor? – Chapter 13 protects the co-debtor and will not let the creditors go after them. Just make sure you pay the creditors regularly as according to your payment plan.
  • Are you unable to pay for other higher mortgages? – If you are only able to pay for your first mortgages, Chapter 13 may offer you lien stripping. This can enable you to only pay for the first mortgages, removing other mortgages.

Depending on your situation, the benefits that Chapter 13 bankruptcy offers may or may not be right for you. However, for many, this is a very advantageous bankruptcy option, allowing debtors to pay off large amounts of debt over a longer period of time.

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A GranuFlo Lawsuit: Compensation for Injury Victims

Posted by on Mar 28, 2013 in GranuFlo, Product Liability | 0 comments

Legal professionals who are versed in the area of medical malpractice know how hard it can be for patients who suffer from the severe complications caused by the drugs doctors prescribe to them. Aside from the physical pain and suffering they may have to endure, patients who suffer injury or illness because of harmful medications may have to cope with costly medical bills and significant psychological and emotional trauma.

One prescription pharmaceutical that has been found to have significant side effects for patients is GranuFlo, manufactured by Fresenius Medical Care. GranuFlo is a dry acid product that is used during dialysis to remove harmful substances from the bloodstream. For a variety of reasons, it was, until recently, one of the most popular products in its category for dialysis patients.

In spite of its relative popularity with physicians and medical facilities, GranuFlo has been linked to a number of serious side effects. Some of these, which have affected thousands of patients across the US, are low blood pressure, cardiac arrest, metabolic alkalosis, heart arrhythmias, stroke, and heart attack; in extreme cases, some patients have even suffered sudden death. In 2010, as many as 941 patients suffered from cardiac arrest due to GranuFlo, prompting the US Food and Drug Administration to issue a Class 1 recall on it, the highest level in the FDA’s recall system.

GranuFlo, a dialysate, is used to cleanse a patient’s blood from the dangerous substances creatinine and urea. This cleansing is done during kidney dialysis, a process performed on patients whose kidneys are no longer capable of removing extra fluid and wastes from their bodies. These extra fluids and wastes are usually removed from the body after the kidneys have converted them to urine.

If you or anyone in your family or circle of friends is suffering from the complications caused by GranuFlo, a Granuflo lawsuit may be the best option for pursuing the financial compensation necessary to deal with the consequences this medical product may have caused.

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