Preventing Identity Theft through the Red Flags Rule

Mar 28

Every year about 9 million Americans end up as victims of identity thieves, who deplete their accounts and damage their credit, while leaving them with huge debts from purchases of things they have never even seen. Scam artists have been a threat to many businesses and individuals for so long, and since the dawn of the Internet plus the immense business and personal information contained in it, the con crime has just gotten faster and much easier to accomplish.

According to the website of Peter J. Berman, Ltd., identity theft refers to the wrongful acquisition and use of another person’s personal data, usually for economic gain. It remains a serious concern for corporations and consumers alike. About $50 billion in losses from more than 10 million individual adults are recorded every year; almost the same cost is spent by business firms in the US just to prevent identity thieves from hacking their files and data banks.

The fight against identity theft, especially by companies handling information about personal and business accounts (thieves’ most common targets), requires a serious program that will enable these same companies (and others of their like) to detect and prevent this crime. To help companies in this endeavor, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), through the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), has required business firms to conduct an Identity Theft Prevention Course, which will simultaneously train employees managing consumer information in red flag rules.

The Red Flags Rule refers to warning signs that will help businesses identify, prevent and lessen the damages caused by identity theft. It is part of the Identity Theft Prevention program (required by the FTC), which is a written set of guidelines that creditors and financial institutions with covered accounts should implement. By covered accounts, what is referred to is a consumer account that involves or permits payments or transactions, such as savings account, checking account, automobile loan, mortgage loan and credit card account. Through the red flags rule, it is hoped and expected that companies will be able to see through patterns and tactics that identity thieves employ in the performance of their crime.

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The Strictness of the Law against DUI

Mar 17

Drunk-driving is strictly prohibited in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia due to the risk (and severity) of accident it almost always leads to. And the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for drivers aged 21 and above is 0.08%. Thus, anyone caught with a 0.08% or above BAC level will be charged with DUI/DWI, a serious crime to which have been assigned heavy fines, imprisonment and suspension or revocation of license; other states even require community service and compulsory attendance in a DUI School (an alcohol and drug education class).

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drunk-driving is still the most common crime committed in the US, besides being one of the major causes of injury resulting from accidents. And with people aged between 16 and 24 being the ones most involved in accidents, the Zero Tolerance Laws (which prohibits minors or anyone under the age of 21, from drinking and driving) has been enforced in all 50 states. Minors who violate this ordinance can lose their driving privileges and suffer other punishments imposed by the state where they were caught.

The strictness in the implementation of the anti-drunk driving law, however, is viewed by many as a means of limiting an individual’s freedom. With majority of drunk-driving arrests being made during weekends and holidays, it may only show that most of those who may have been caught were individuals who just wanted to celebrate or spend a relaxing, social time with friends or colleagues.

Though DUI violators have totally no intention of hurting or troubling anyone, but just getting home as safely as possible. The website of  Matthew Marin, a Rhode Island DUI defense attorney, says that if caught, the charges can be serious, regardless of a driver’s intentions. Many states have really tough DUI laws which offer no tolerance to violators, despite their excuse of innocence from intentionally harming anyone on the road. And the tougher DUI laws are, the need for a tougher DUI defense attorney becomes more necessary.

Not all lawyers have the same level of intelligence, experience, and determination, though, making the best stand out from the rest. Making sure that a really capable lawyer is in charge of a defense’s side will make a lot of difference in the outcome of a trial.

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Speeding: Just How Much Risk are Drivers Willing to Take?

Mar 13

Many different factors have been identified as causes of injury to many innocent individuals. One of these is motor vehicle accident, such as a car crash. Cars have become the most common (as well as most convenient) form of transportation among Americans, thus, the continuous and rapid increase in their production and importation. But as the number of cars on road continue to multiply, so too do the yearly number of car accidents.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has named drunk-driving, speeding and reckless driving to be the three most dangerous acts on the road. Drivers, who are guilty of any of these three dangerous road behaviors, put in danger not only the lives of other motorists and pedestrians, but their own lives as well.

Once in a while it is necessary that drivers ask themselves if driving above the maximum speed limit, for instance, to quickly get where they want to be is really worth it even if such would put their lives, as well as other people’s lives, at risk. Or if beating red lights, ignoring stop and slowdown signs and making an improper overtake, to be able to get to work ahead of many others or just for the fun of getting ahead of another motorist, is better than inviting the possibility of getting a ticket or getting involved in a car crash.

In accidents involving cars, all car drivers, especially speedsters, should know that the probability and the severity of injuries are greatly increased with vehicle speed. Thus, because of speed, many accidents result to broken bones or an injury to the brain or spinal cord; enough to lead to the temporary or permanent disability of the victim.

The website of Chicago-based Disparti Law Group says that those who are injured in accidents can suffer from severe trauma, which requires medical attention and days of rest from work. Financially, it means costly medical bills and loss of sizeable amounts of income. Due to this, victims of accidents are given the legal right to receive compensation from those at fault for their injury.

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Medical Malpractice – Improper Treatment Resulting to Cerebral Palsy

Mar 11

Care for the life of a child, while still in the womb of the mother, is the major responsibility of an Obstetrician (also known as an OB/Gyn), whose specialized training includes management of pregnancy, labor, and birth. Upon birth, however, care for the newly born baby becomes the responsibility of another type of a medical doctor, a Pediatrician, who specializes in the management of the behavioral, physical, and mental health of children.

For the unborn, time inside the mother’s womb can be critical. Prescribing just any kind of medicine to a pregnant woman or a woman who may be expecting can result to adverse effects that may harm not just the mother, but the baby too. Likewise, over-eating, smoking, drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs – any of these can have an unfavorable effect on the unborn which can result to a lifelong suffering after birth. All these can only be due to improper treatment, a doctor negligently failing to provide proper or reasonable level of care.

The time of delivery is very critical too, as negligence and carelessness can lead to damaging mistakes, like wrong dose of anesthesia, which can cause serious birth injury, such as cerebral palsy (CP). Babies affected by cerebral palsy in the US number to thousands every year. This illness is characterized by impairment in muscle coordination or loss of motor function due either to an abnormality in a baby’s brain development or brain injury. A child with cerebral palsy will have difficulty talking, walking, eating, playing or doing things a normal child can do.

It was only during the 80s when scientists were able to correct the misconception that CP was caused by asphyxia, a condition wherein the baby’s brain is deprived of oxygen during labor or birth. This was after scientists discovered that damage to the brain of a baby typically occurred between the first and the second trimesters of pregnancy (that is, between the first six months of the gestation period). Damage to the brain during this period is usually caused by: an abnormality in the development of the brain of the unborn child; Intracranial hemorrhage or bleeding inside the brain, due to stroke; or, Periventricular Leukomalacia (PVL), a severe damage to the brain cells due to lack of oxygen, which may be caused by (in reference to the mother) premature birth, very low blood pressure, use of illegal drugs or infection.

Quite obviously, some pregnant women either do not have the willingness, or the proper knowledge on how, to care for themselves and their baby. But this can be easily corrected by doctors through correct information and proper treatment, that is, if they genuinely care for the safety of both mother and child. According to the website of Patino & Associates P.L.L.C., in McAllen, Texas, any harm the mother or her child are subjected to due to a doctor’s acts of negligence can have legal implications which doctors will need to face and answer to.

By identifying negligent medical professionals, courts could be able to act and decide fast for the victims’ benefit, especially with concern to compensation for damages they and their families are, and will be, subjected to.

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Driver Error – One of the Major Causes of Car Accidents

Mar 08

The consequences of car accidents vary, from a simple damage to a fender to total car wreck, which can very well injure the driver severely or leave him/her dead. A car accident, however, can be prevented, if a driver would only choose to remain consciously focused on the road and strictly observe traffic safety rules.

Studies conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that so many drivers become more reckless than careful the moment they sit behind the wheel. So that, in the event of car defect, recklessness compounds the situation and the risk of an accident.

Driver error, more than mechanical malfunction, bad weather and poor road condition, remain to be one of the top causes of motor vehicle accidents in the US, though. And while some errors, like failure to observe and follow traffic signs and signals can easily result to legal liability, there are those that can be held as criminal offenses, such as DUI/DWI or the intent of causing others harm.

Other errors drivers are guilty of (which have been identified by the NHTSA) include: speeding; driving too slowly; following too closely or tailgating; making dangerous maneuvers, like dangerous turns or unsafe passing; failure to yield;  failure to fix broken car parts; failure to use signal lights or headlights; right-of-way violations; beating the red light; improper overtaking, and so forth.

In its website, the Oklahoma City-based Abel Law Firm refers to studies which report that 81% of the total car accidents in the US annually are due to driver negligence. Car accident victims should know that, under the law, they are given the right to file claims for damages against the liable party for all the financial burdens their injury will entail, such as costly medical treatment and lost wages due to missed days at work.

A claims lawsuit can be a very difficult and lengthy process, however, so having a highly qualified personal injury lawyer would be more of a necessity than not. Besides being able to help victims understand more their right, a good lawyer can also effectively represent them in court to help them earn the compensation that they legally deserve.

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