Detroit’s unsafe streets (to drive)

No one has ever gone on record calling Detroit a safe city, but it now has the prestige of being the most dangerous city in the country to drive in. According to nerdwallet, Detroit matches up quite poorly compared to other major cities in the US.

To start with, it has the highest probability of a car being stolen and the highest probability of a car being broken into. Such stats would be bad enough, but the city also has the second highest rate of fatal car crashes per 100,000 residents at 16.2 (only Baton Rouge scored worse in this category with a 16.6). Detroit’s insurance rates are also astronomical, a major sign of danger because insurance companies charge more for more risk (since it’s more likely they will have to pay out). The average insurance rate in Detroit is over $5,000, compared to Baton Rouge (which, remember actually had a worse accident-related death score), which charges on average about $2,600 (the difference being because of the theft and break in rates were much lower in Baton Rouge).

Finally, driving in Detroit means a driver has a 16.6 percent higher chance of getting into an accident than in the average American city. For a truly stunning comparison, there is a more than 30 percent differential between Detroit and the safest city nerdwallet studied. That means that a driver in Cary, North Carolina has a 30 percent better shot of avoiding an accident than if that same driver were driving in Detroit. The difference in insurance rates between the two cities was $4,680.

All of this means, if you live in Detroit, you are likely to be in an accident once in about every eight and a half years. And, since the rate of fatal crashes is so high, the probability of a truly dangerous crash the next time around is extremely worrisome.

While these facts may mean excellent business for Detroit-based car accident attorneys, they are bad news for everyone else. With all of Detroit’s problems, the city hardly needs the reputation of also being unsafe even to drive through.

In all likelihood, the best way to remove Detroit from this list is also the best way to fix the city as a whole, which is hardly the easiest task, as most would admit.

If Detroit’s overall poverty could be successfully addressed, that would mean fewer instances of car theft and break-ins. That alone would lower Detroit’s insurance costs, and its score would certainly go down.

However, the overall problem of such a high rate of accidents, and fatal accidents at that would require further study to search for the proper solutions. It may be, for instance, that the rate is higher in Detroit because of the wintry weather, however many other northern cities do not seem to suffer from the same trouble.

All of this, unfortunately, is all speculation. For now, Detroit’s troubles look to remain with the city, at least in the near term, which means its new reputation for an unsafe driving city is likely to stick around too.

While You have the Right to Refuse a Breathalyzer, doing so can Result in the Suspension of Your Driver’s License

Driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated or driving while impaired (DWI) are serious traffic crimes that refer to driving while impaired by the effects of either alcohol or drugs (illegal, prescription or over-the-counter drugs). Some states use DWI and DUI interchangeably to refer to the same crime, others, on the other hand, differentiate between the two, using DUI to signify lesser intoxication.

In all U.S. states the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level limit is 0.08% (this is usually reached after consuming about four regular bottles of beer within an hour). A driver who registers a 0.08% BAC level will be considered alcohol-impaired and charged with DUI or, in some states, DWI if his/her BAC level is higher than 0.08%.

A traffic enforcer or any police officer has the authority to stop a driver suspected of drunk driving; he also has the authority to require a driver to undergo sobriety tests, like standing on one leg and walking in a straight line he/she can also require a driver to submit to a breathalyzer test. In the website of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) Traffic Safety Facts, it is said that as part of the evidence-gathering process for an impaired driving investigation, a law enforcement officer typically requests a breath sample from the driver. All States have some form of an implied consent  law, which provides that as part of accepting the agreement for receiving a license, a driver agrees to provide a breath, blood, or urine sample when properly requested.

As explained by the law firm Truslow & Truslow, drivers do have the legal right to refuse a breathalyzer test. However, refusal of the test does come with some costly consequences. Drivers who refuse the test will have their license immediately reprimanded and suspended for at least six months. This suspension period is based on your past driving record and whether you have previously refused a breathalyzer test. Refusing the test may not always be a wise decision, and it is best to consult with your attorney before any action after an arrest.

One important thing everyone needs to know about professional-grade breathalyzer devices, however, is that though this is believed to be highly accurate and sensitive, there are important factors that need to be consider when using these on suspected drunk drivers:

  1. These breathalyzers require periodic calibration in order to maintain accurate readings; failure to calibrate these on regular basis can affect BAC analysis.
  1. Breathalyzers can definitely measure alcohol which is present in alcoholic drinks; however, it will also give measurable BAC readings if one consumes food cooked in alcohol, or uses substances that contain (even small amounts of) alcohol, like toothache medicines and mouthwash.
  1. Acetone, which is detectable in the breath of those on high protein diets and diabetics, and other compounds that have a molecular structure similar to alcohol, may result to BAC readings. Besides these, adhesives, plastics, varnish, paint fumes, and cleaning chemicals with rubbing alcohol, can also produce false BAC results.

No matter the offense, criminal charges at any level should be taken seriously. This is because a person, who has been charged with, or is under investigation for, a crime can suffer serious prejudices in life even after he/she has already served his/her sentence. Thus, whether a case would be heard in a Municipal, Magistrate, State, or Federal court, having a dedicated and qualified criminal defense attorney to defend your case may save you from getting convicted and your future, from getting ruined.

 

Coverage of Workers’ Compensation

You can get injured in the workplace because of a variety of reasons. Maybe you work in a construction site and you have fallen into an unattended hole. Maybe you work in an office and you have slipped because of leaks in the air conditioner. Wherever you work, you are not safe from the dangers of workplace accidents and injuries.

It is a good thing that there is workers’ compensation, where companies give monetary compensation to make up for the damages the person has sustained while under employment. This is also a good way for employers to protect themselves, because employees typically cannot sue them if they are under workers’ compensation insurance.
But what exactly does this insurance cover? It can cover a variety of things, such as treatment costs of the injury that the employee has sustained, but the things it covers may vary depending on the jurisdiction and its laws.

Aside from the medical costs, workers’ compensation can cover salary replacements, but the coverage is typically not a hundred percent, but a significant percentage of the employee’s salary. According to the website of Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC, disability claims can either be temporary or permanent. These classifications refer to the type of injury and how this injury can affect the victim’s working capacity. The severity of the disability claims is a major factor in the salary replacement computation.

This insurance can also cover retraining costs. The employee may be out of work long enough to warrant retraining, or he or she may have missed or lost job-related knowledge and skills because of the injury or illness that has been sustained.

Workers’ compensation is a good way to ensure that the employees are not going to take a significant financial hit if they are hurt. This is particularly helpful for those who work on hazardous environments, such as construction sites and factories. The small downside is that these employees may not be able to sue their employers for their negligence. However, these employees can waive their workers’ compensation insurance if they really want to take their employers to court.

Divorce Mediation, Making Divorce an Easier, Faster, Cheaper and Less Painful Process

Misunderstandings, lack of communication, and not having enough time for one another can make a marital relationship turn sour, frustrating, painful and stressful. Some couples are able to find solutions to marital problems that slowly cause them to drift apart; other couples, however, end up hopeless and consider ending their marriage as the only means to having a peaceful life again.

Ending a marital union through divorce is not a painless process. So many marriage counselors and legal professionals say that the divorce process is a very sensitive and emotional procedure, especially with regard to issues such as child custody, child support, visitation rights, spousal support or alimony and division of properties, assets and debts. Besides being complicated, many spouses also find it very difficult to arrive at an agreeable settlement (regarding these issues) because they refuse to agree to the demands of each other.

Failure to reach an agreement, however, can only result to the divorce process landing on a family court judge’s desk and, once these issues become a judge’s concern, all decisions will be made by him/her, whether these decisions are acceptable to both spouses. These decisions, or course, are legal; thus, these require the spouses’ strict compliance or they shall find themselves in contempt of court.

Though some couples continue to choose to settle divorce in court, many others now seek a procedure that is faster, cheaper and is not argument-filled; one that promotes respect and allows the spouses, rather than a judge, to decide on all matters. This divorce process is called divorce mediation.

Divorce mediation has become a more preferable way of settling divorce due to the many benefits it provides. It is done through the help of a neutral third-party mediator, who is usually chosen by the spouses themselves. Though the mediator can share his/her opinion to give light to issues that need to be settled, he/she can never decide or impose anything on the couple.

This process of mediation offers the following benefits:

  • Allows spouses to arrive at the most agreeable and workable solutions to all issues;
  • Gives spouses total control of the proceeding and its outcome;
  • Promotes openness between the spouses;
  • Much cheaper compared to a court hearing and requires lesser time; and,
  • Ensures privacy as the procedure involves only the spouses (with their respective lawyers, if they have one).

Mediated divorce also helps preserve spouses’ respect for one another. This an important element in any divorce procedure as this will affect children’s ways of relating to both of them after their divorce. Thus, rather than a painful court experience, which anyone can witness, a peaceful and friendly settlement will definitely be more preferable.

The law firm Kirker Davis, LLP, explains that it is recommended for married couples, who are seeking a divorce, to consider alternative dispute resolutions before entering their case into the already overcrowded court system. In fact, some courts even require that a couple first goes through mediation in an attempt to solve their divorce quicker and with less complexity. Mediation is an often overlooked option that divorcing couples should consider before pursuing litigation as an option.

All You Need To Know About Whiplash

Whiplash refers to the forward and backward movement of the neck causing strain in the area. According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, whiplash happens as a result of a sudden stop or from a collision between two objects. While it is usually associated with car accidents, any impact or blow that cause your head to jerk forward or backward can cause neck strain. It could cause the stretching of your muscles and tendons in the neck.

The symptoms of whiplash usually happen within 24 hours after the incident. They may last a few days up to several weeks. Some of the common symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Constant weariness

Less common symptoms may include the following:

  • Problems with concentration and memory
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Inability to sleep well
  • Irritability
  • Chronic pain in the neck, shoulders, or head

The good news is that whiplash can be easily treated. Doctors will usually prescribe over-the-counter drugs, ice, and other remedies. To ensure your quick recovery, you can do the following:

  • Apply ice on your neck to reduce pain and swelling immediately after the injury. Do it for 20 – 30 minutes every 3-4 hours for a span of 2-3 days. Make sure to wrap the ice in a thin towel or cloth to keep the skin from getting injured.
  • Taking pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen can help ease the pain or swelling. Consult your doctor before taking any other medicines or if you are suffering from any medical conditions.
  • Support your neck with a brace or collar. However, they are not recommended for long term use because they can weaken your neck muscles.
  • Apply moist heat to your neck but only after 2-3 days of initially applying ice on it
  • Considering other treatment methods such as ultrasound and massage can also help.

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