Posts by Leajean

Important Facts About Flammable Clothing Accidents

Just this month, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued several recalls for clothing with flammability standards issues. A lot of these March 2015 recalls involve clothing intended for children. The latest, dated March 12, is for youth loungewear pants by M&M’s world Store. As noted by the Burn Survivor Resource Center, more than 4,300 cases of serious burn injuries associated with clothing have been reported in the U.S. every year during the last decade or so. Unfortunately, majority of these cases involved children aged 5-14 years.

Depending on materials used by manufacturers, certain clothes can pose a serious risk for burn injuries. Accidents can easily happen at home, especially when there are curious children involved. This is why government regulations impose certain flammability standards. The Federal Flammable Fabrics Act, for example, imposes policies that help regulate the use of flammable fabrics in clothing and household textiles. The Children’s Sleepwear Standard Act, on the other hand, aims to make sure that children’s clothes meant for nighttime should be fire-resistant and have extinguishing properties.

While helpful and integral to consumer safety, these regulations can only do so much. Sometimes, things can still slip through the cracks. What if a product is recalled only after an accident has already happened? As consumers, we can’t rest too easy. We still need to be vigilant about the products we buy for ourselves and our children. Even more, we need to make sure our homes are free of risks that can make clothing fire accidents possible.

Most flammable clothing accidents are caused by common ignition sources found around the home. Thankfully, practicing good safety measures can prevent these accidents from happening. Objects such as matches, lighters, candles, and flammable liquids such as paint or cleaning materials should always be safely kept from the reach of children. Clothing fires can also start from neglecting to turn off space heaters or extinguish fireplaces, especially at night. It’s important to check your environment for any fire hazards before heading to bed.

Burn injuries can lead to long-lasting effects such as severe physical pain, mobility issues, and scarring. They can also cause emotional and psychological trauma, especially when the victims are young children. Because of these devastating outcomes, we should all do our part in making sure our homes are safe from flammable clothing accidents.

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Marijuana is “high” on the List of Texas

Mary jane, pot, weed, joint, sticky icky, hash, reefer, wacky tabacky, grass, cannabis…these are just some of the names that refer to marijuana. It is a plant derivative that when smoked or otherwise ingested acts as a psychoactive drug that has a number of effects such as inducing a sense of euphoria or stimulating the appetite. In some states, it is legal to have and use marijuana if it is medically prescribed, and there is a general tolerance for its private use. Unless, of course, you are in Texas.

Texas has been named as one of the worst five states to be charged with possession of marijuana in the US. Every year it tops the list of states with the most arrests and criminal prosecutions for possession of marijuana. In one year alone, more than 77,000 people were arrested for it and even first-time offenders spent 180 days in prison and paid a fine of $2,000 when convicted. As pointed out in an article on the website of Ian Inglis, marijuana possession is no laughing matter in Texas.

Law enforcement in Texas have adopted a virulent attitude towards marijuana users, and make arrests for trivial amounts even with the law that gives police the option to issue a summons instead. This could be a reflection on the state’s lawmakers, who are reluctant to reduce current penalties for recreational use of the drug as proposed under House Bill 458 introduced in 2011 ($500 fine and a Class C misdemeanor for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana) and categorically rejected.

There is no denying that illegal drugs are the bane of any society, but it should perhaps be put in perspective. The potential danger posed by a small amount of marijuana for recreational use perhaps does not justify the punishment the possessor faces when convicted, but until the law is changed, it would be wise to avoid it altogether while in Texas.

If you are charged with marijuana possession in Texas, make sure that you cover your bases. Consult with a reputable criminal defense lawyer in the area and avoid the penalties that come with a conviction.

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Maintaining Respect and Friendship between Parting Couples through Mediated Divorce

The process of divorce is always a demoralizing and emotional experience, especially for one who does not want to end the marriage. Besides the costly court fees, divorce cases also usually last a long time, affecting not only the divorcing couple’s daily personal activities, but their time at work too.

Besides the divorce case itself, there are other issues that the couple will need to settle which, if they cannot agree on amicably, will have to be decided by the court instead. These divorce-related issues may include child custody and support, visitation rights (of the non-custodial parent) alimony or spousal support and division of property, assets and debts.

Since the laws that cover divorce and all other issues related to it are complex, requiring the assistance of a good family lawyer becomes necessary; and couples need to know that the more knowledgeable and experienced their legal counsel is, the better their rights and interests would be fought for – but all these also require additional costs.

Aside from court settlement there is another way through which a divorce may be settled – one that is guaranteed to spare the couple from lengthy courtroom time and costly fees – Mediation.

Mediated divorce is a private process and does not require the presence of a lawyer (though any of the partners may be assisted by one if he/she wishes). Through the help of a mediator, who is chosen by the couple and who makes suggestions regarding what may be the best options (to settle divorce and all other issues) based on the couple’s circumstances, the couple makes the decisions on how everything will be settled.

There are other benefits that make the mediation process more advantageous than court procedures, some of these include:

  • Confidentiality: while the couple have a free hand in making decisions that will work best for both of them, their personal lives and interest are also kept from becoming public news and gossip. In the mediation process, whatever transpires is kept between the couple (and their lawyers, if they each have one) and their mediator.
  • Cost: a court settlement can take weeks, months or even a year to finish, while a mediation process may take only hours or days, saving the couple from incurring off time from work and costly court fees.
  • Compliance: since the issues were decided by the couple, making sure that each party abides by the decision is more ensured.

The mediation process is gaining greater popularity in settling divorce and other related issues as it also makes the process less stressful for the divorcing parties. The process also builds an air of respect and friendship that may determine the couple’s attitude towards each other, even long after the divorce has been settled.

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Capital Drivers Crash Twice as Much as Anyone Else

A recent report from the Allstate America’s Best Drivers pinpoints Washington, D.C. as a city where drivers crashed nearly three times as frequently as the national average in 2013. If you are a driver in the nation’s capital, you are likely to be involved in a vehicular crash every 4.8 years. New York drivers, including cab drivers, are involved in car accidents every 7.3. years, while Houston and Chicago average 8 years. Other danger zones include the cities of San Francisco, Newark, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Miami.

In contrast, drivers in Colorado clock in at 13.9 years, earning the encomium as the safest state to drive in nationwide. Other safe places to be for motorists include Sioux Falls in South Dakota, Madison in Wisconsin, Boise in Idaho, Tucson in Arizona, and Brownsville in Texas, plus 15 other cities, most of which have less than 500,000 inhabitants.

The report concludes that driving in the big city is inherently more dangerous than in small towns. This is understandable as there is less traffic and emergencies, fewer public transportation and large vehicles, and infrequent crosswalks which constitute the cause of most car accidents. Another factor may be the faster pace of life in the big city, where everyone is rushing about and doing several things at the same time, leading to speeding and distracted driving.

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Understanding Long-term Disability Repayment

It can happen that the Social Security Administration (SSA) will overpay a beneficiary, and may ask for long-term disability repayment. According to the website of the Hankey Law Office, P.C., a law firm in Indianapolis, Indiana is one of the states with the lowest approval rates compared to the national average. The most common reasons for an overpayment are:

  • Failure to inform the SSA of changes in your financial situation
  • Marriage
  • Improvements in physical disability
  • Return to work or increase in income
  • Errors made by SSA in computation or double payment of benefits

In Indiana, the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits of a claimant are based on the determination of the state’s Disability Determination Service Bureau, but they can make mistakes in approval as well as denial. When the SSA eventually learns of the overpayment, they will send a letter to explain why an overpayment was made and request a long-term disability repayment. Even when the overpayment is not your fault, you are still obliged to pay it back unless you can get a partial or full waiver. The letter should also specify your options for payment and the right to appeal both the overpayment and long-term disability and request a waiver if:

  • It will represent a hardship for you to repay the amount overpaid
  • You do not believe it was an overpayment

However, it is important to communicate your concerns with the SSA as soon as possible. Ignoring the letter may result in wage garnishment or asset seizure to cover the amount owed. The SSA will always work with a beneficiary to make long-term disability repayment as painless as possible, but still it may be a stressful and difficult process.

If you are disputing the overpayment claim, or requesting a waiver, you may have to go through a complex process that is not always easy for a layman to make sense of. It would be best to consult with a long-term disability lawyer in Indiana to assist in your case.

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