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Asbestos Exposure while Serving in the Navy

Military forces have a lot more to deal with than just fighting and winning the war; they are also at risk of developing severe diseases and health complications. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, those who work in the shipyards, and most especially those in the US Navy, have the highest rates of developing mesothelioma and other asbestos-related complications. Asbestos has been used in many parts of a ship because of its fire and corrosion-proof qualities, making it an optimal choice for naval vessels. However, the closed-quarters and poorly-ventilated, and other contained settings has caused serious asbestos exposure to the US Navy, and Navy veterans and workers in the shipyard have been known to exhibit higher developments of asbestos-related diseases and complications than any other war veterans.

Mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases or complications can take time to develop, usually 30 to 40 years after exposure. Because of this, veterans have just recently shown signs and symptoms of mesothelioma and other diseases. Navy veterans who used to worked below decks of naval warships and submarines have the highest risk of suffering from malignant mesothelioma, and because asbestos fibers can easily attach themselves to clothes, their loved ones at home may also have been exposed. Asbestos have been used in just about every part of naval warships. Even when there was already information regarding the risks of using asbestos, during the time it was not widely well known. Despite the government’s effort to set safety standards for those who are working with asbestos, these safety rules were not enforced until the 1970s.

Veterans who have developed malignant mesothelioma can seek compensation for the damages they (and even their families) suffered from long-term asbestos exposure. Any type of mesothelioma has very low rate of survival. Although veterans affected by asbestos exposure during their service cannot acquire compensation through lawsuits against the government, the Department of Veteran Affairs does acknowledge the connection of mesothelioma and military service. They will be the ones who will review and determine how much compensation each case will receive; it is the veteran’s task to prove that the mesothelioma or any asbestos-related disease or complication is developed during their service in the military. This can be complicated, as various things can come into play. It would be more advisable to have a legal professional guide and represent your case to ensure that compensation is aptly given.

Oil Spill Compensation for Non-Profit Organizations

The BP oil spill that happened in 2011 in the Gulf of Mexico has not only affected the environment and surrounding communities; they have significantly affected the businesses and livelihood of the people living in the affected areas. Hailed as one of the worst man-made disasters in history, the BP oil spill has caused serious damages that, until today, are still bouncing back from the catastrophe.

Among those affected by the BP oil spill are non-profit organizations around the gulf area. Although they are considered non-profit, they have also suffered significant loss due to the accident. Although it is impossible to put an exact dollar amount to the spill’s economic impact, the BP corporation has given its word that it will provide compensation for the non-profit organizations affected by the disaster.

Filing a claim with the BP Claims Facility would be the first step in towards possibly receiving compensation, although in return or having a certain amount of compensation this would also mean that your non-profit business would give up its right to file a lawsuit against the BP and other people related to the oil spill accident. According to BP, claims that are over the amount of $5,000 are considered “large losses” and could take longer to process, therefore if your non-profit business loss is more than that, it would help to find a lawyer who know how to represent and fight your right in court.

As for a non-profit filing a claim for compensation from BP, the requirements for compensation would be pretty much the same as for other businesses. Documenting and showing evidence of loss and effects on your non-profit business or organization is the key in getting compensation, and acquiring it as soon as possible. Make sure to provide a “before and after” economic effect of the oil spill – wages, income, property damage, and others – to ensure that the BP Claims adjuster can calculate the total loss and possible compensation to be given. Make sure that these documents (and other supporting documents that they may ask) are readily available to avoid any inconveniences and hold-ups in the process. It may seem like an easy thing to do, but with the number of compensation claimants BP is facing now, it may be good have legal guidance and representation to avoid being denied of compensation.

The Importance of Protecting Your Intellectual Property

In the business community, it has become a very important to have proper protection against patent infringement, copyright piracy, and trademark counterfeiting, not only for small to medium businesses but also for big corporations. Each product or service used every day results from a long process of ideas, designs, and improvements in order to make a product or service to function the way the makers want it to function.  Having intellectual property for these services and products is important because it promotes innovation and variation, otherwise the business or individuals will not fully reap the benefits of these inventions. This could lead to lack of interest in research and development.

For businesses, protecting your intellectual property is important because it not only sets you apart from your business rivals, it constitutes to the essential part of your business’ branding and marketing. It presents a new and different concept to your customers. The most important thing about the need for protecting your intellectual property is that it can be used as a form of loan security, and in times, it can even be used or sold that can add as a vital steady stream of revenue.

Because of the importance of intellectual property and the need to protect it, there has been many times where company employees have been terminated because of issues around intellectual property. Intellectual property in a business is classified information; leaking such important information can be grounds for termination. Businesses that lack the expertise, knowledge, and resources fundamental to avoid theft of products and ideas are susceptible to such issues that could put companies in risks of lawsuits because of wrongful termination due to intellectual property.

Company employees that believe they have been fired due to wrongful termination have the right to file for a lawsuit and ask for compensation for the damages that the action has done to them. When the wrongful termination is due to theft or misuse of the business’ intellectual property, the process can be complicated and would require the help of an employment lawyer. All types of businesses are at risk of intellectual property theft, therefore it is highly advisable for business owners to protect themselves from such incidences.

Disability Benefits and Vets

There are a number of disability benefits that can be given by the Social Security Administration. Disability benefits are the biggest Federal program, providing financial assistance to those who have disabilities. Those who meet the necessary medical requirements can receive disability benefits, either in the form of Social Security disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income.

It is important to note that Social Security Administration has a different definition of what constitutes a “disability”. Car accidents are notoriously known to cause serious injuries that can often lead to disabilities. Victims of car accidents, or any other accident or circumstance that caused significant disability, can check with the SSA if their disability qualifies them for SSD benefits: generally, the SSA determines disability according to the ability (or inability) to work. According to SSA, disability should be significant enough to prevent you from going back to your previous job, the disability is deemed a hindrance to adjusting to another type of job, and that the disability has lasted or is believed to affect you for at least a year (or even cause death).

Disability benefits are something every veteran should take advantage of, especially if their disability occurred during their term of service. Disability benefits for veterans are available through the Department of Veterans Affairs, although the process and criteria are different compared to SSDI. Qualifying for a Veterans Disability benefit does not immediately qualify you for SSD benefits; however, receiving VA benefits will not affect your application for SSD benefits. Veterans can receive these bonus benefits because they sacrificed themselves for the good of the country. They were put in harm’s way and were irreparably hurt.

According to the website of the Hankey Law Office, PC, just as with SSD benefits, there are several types of disability benefits that a veteran can apply for. Those who hope to avail of these benefits, along with SSD benefits, it would be best to seek professional help from lawyers who specialize in these types of laws. Additionally, you can go online to look for information that is relevant to your needs. Because the process for disability benefits can soften be complicated and long, being denied is a big probability. Having a disability lawyer could help prevent these issues from coming up.

Classifying Criminal Offenses

The United States of America has three classifications when it comes to criminal offenses – felonies, infractions, and misdemeanors. The differences among the three depend on the severity and weight of the offence done and the amount of punishment that the convicted will receive. It is important for a charged person to know the difference among the three in order to have the right defense and protect themselves when they are charged.

Infractions are considered the lightest of criminal offenses, and this type does not require any imprisonment or incarceration. Infractions are also called petty crimes, those who are charged with infractions are generally fined, which are payable without necessarily appearing in court. Majority of the infractions are from local ordinances and laws aimed to discourage dangerous or annoying behaviors, although there are situations where infractions can become a serious crime.

On the other hand, misdemeanors are a type of criminal offense that is generally punishable by a short jail time and/or a monetary fine. Often, the time of imprisonment does not exceed one year, to be served in county jail, with a maximum fine of $1,000.00. Because misdemeanors can be serious charges, defendants have certain guaranteed rights (such as an attorney for legal representation), with trials lasting several months to even years.

The most serious category of crimes is a felony, where the person charged have the possibility of being in prison for more than a year, for life or even get executed. Property and person crimes are punishable felonies. A Columbia criminal defense lawyer can tell you that different states have their own classifications regarding felonies, each with increasing penalties for the seriousness of the crime and its minimum and maximum sentences. There are chances also, as some states practice, where convicted felons lose their civil rights.

In states that follow the death penalties, all crimes that can be punished through death are considered felonies. It all depends on the state that the crime was committed. Aside from longer punishments, convicted felons are also required to disclose their status when they are applying for a job, and can have limited traveling opportunities, among other things.

Will Self-Driving Cars Reduce Car Accidents?

When car accidents happen, usually we look into the possibility of the drivers who would be the cause of the collision.  When two drivers are involved in a car crash, often the blame is to the one who acted negligently, and sometimes even both drivers can be held accountable for the injuries and damages caused by the accident. This is often an easy case when it comes to car accidents and determining negligence and compensation, but according to the website of the Goings Law Firm, LLC from Columbia, SC, this is not always the case. Sometimes, there are cases where defective products and manufacturers errors are the cause of the accident, and this can be one of the most difficult things to fight when going to court.

Technological advances have helped make robotic cars a possibility. Although it may generally be a great advancement for humankind, self-driving cars can lead to confusion when determining who is at-fault for an accident. Robot-controlled vehicles will be making the shift from driver liability to the manufacturers’ liability, because the manufacturer will effectively be the one controlling the vehicle. Fortunately, it has been a widely understood and accepted shift of responsibility, with legal professionals arguing that without any driver, driver’s negligence can’t be used as an argument.

The shift of liability for car accidents has made manufacturers hesitant in adopting the technology. During the 1970’s, manufacturers reluctantly accepted the implementation of airbags in automobiles in fear of facing lawsuits should the airbags fail and cause injury. The responsibility of overseeing the safety on every aspect of the vehicle is too complicated and can become too much of a liability for manufacturers.

Although the possibility of driving robot-controlled vehicles is predicted by scientists to be years away, this is only reserved to autonomous driving – there are vehicles that are self driving, using lane control and self-stopping mechanisms. What manufacturers and scientist are working on, together with the help of the government, is ensuring that these cars will be safe.