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Understanding the Hague Convention

Many couples, whether out of inability to have children of their own or a desire to help children looking for a home, opt to adopt a child instead of conceiving one, Many of these couples have to make a decision on whether to choose to adopt a child from their country of origin or venture outside their country to add a new bundle of joy to their family.

Something interesting in the world of international adoption is the Hague Convention, an international agreement between the United States and several other countries that regulates the inter-country adoption process to ensure that it always keeps the child in mind.

I don’t know about you, but the Hague Convention was never covered in any of my history classes. After initially learning about it, I decided to research more about the Hague Convention for myself. You can check out what I found below.

What is the Hague Convention?

The full name of the Hague Convention is the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. The Convention met in The Hague in the Netherlands, concluding on May 29th, 1993.

The Convention stipulated certain rules and regulations to be applied between adoptions between Convention countries. It applies to all United States citizens attempting to adopt from another member country. For example, if a United States citizen was attempting to adopt a child from Chile, the rules would apply because Chile is another country who agreed to the rules at the Convention.

What Rules Were Created?

As stated above, the Convention outlined various rules to be followed during adoption between Hague and non-Hague countries. Such rules include the creation of a Central Authority to maintain the safety of the adoption process and the requirement of accreditation for adoption service providers to work on Hague adoption cases.

Of course, it is not required for a United States couple to adopt from a Hague country. Many couples adopt successfully from non-Hague countries, but those who adopt from Hague countries may be eligible for certain legal protections. If you are considering adopting a child and have questions about the process and the Hague Convention, you should for sure reach out to an attorney well versed in the adoption process.

What an Attorney Can Help You With

You may be asking yourself what exactly an attorney could help you with if you choose to adopt abroad. As previously mentioned, an attorney like those at BB Law Group, PLLC can help you understand the rules relating to the Hague Convention and how they may potentially impact your adoption case.

Additionally, an attorney can help you with filling our important paperwork related to your adoption. Adoption, like many other legal processes, requires a ton of paperwork that must be filled out properly in order for your application to go through. Sometimes it can be a very bureaucratic process, and speaking with an attorney can help you make sure that all forms are filled out so that you do not have to deal with any delays or hiccups.

How to Not Be Bitten by a Dog

Dogs are man’s best friend for a reason: the bond between the two species is unlike any other bond. Cats are definitely cute, but they lack the athleticism and spunk that most dog breeds bring to the table in an owner-pet relationship.

However, not every encounter with a dog ends with cuddles or kindness. In fact, millions of people every year are bitten by dogs. Sometimes the bites of these furry companions are dangerous, if not fatal.

The responsibility of pet owners is clear: do everything in your power to prevent your four-legged best friend from clamping down on a loved one or stranger. But it is not always possible for an owner to prevent a dog bite. Dogs are often rowdy animals and in public spaces like dog parks, it may be impossible to match the pace of a canine running loose.

You, on the other hand, can take steps to prevent a dog from biting you. Here is the key information to keep in mind:

Keep Your Hands to Yourself

The loose curls of a poodle on a walk may be tempting, but the best way to prevent yourself from being bitten is to keep your appendages to yourself in the presence of dogs. There is no such thing as a permanently friendly animal: there are only animals acting friendly for the time being.

Because any dog could lash out at any time, it is best to not put your hands closer to a canine. The dog can still jump up or reach you to bite some part of your body, but by exposing your hands and arms so near its mouth, it is almost as if you are asking to be bitten.

Be Friendly, Not Fierce

Dogs are animals seeking to protect themselves over any other responsibility. As a result, it is in your best interest to not be aggressive or threatening to the animal. Otherwise, instincts can kick in and even a sweet-hearted pup could feel its pull to survival kick in — and respond by biting down on your arm or leg.

Another reason to respond toward a dog with happiness, and not fear, relates to the bond between a dog and its owner. Dogs are overwhelmingly empathetic creatures. If their owner is worried about the way you are reacting toward their dog, the dog may pick up on its owner’s anxiety or nervousness. What happens next is expected: a dog will bite a stranger to protect an owner the dog cares passionately about.

All of these tips are not to cast blame or put the responsibility of dog bites onto the victim of a bite. After all, the only actors in a situation that can control a dog bite are our four-legged friends. However, common sense tips can act as a proactive solution to the epidemic of dog bites in America.

If you’ve been injured by a dog bite in public or private, you can contact a law firm like ChasenBoscolo with your claim, to receive compensation and coverage for your medical bills.

Want to Know If Your Lawyer Is Good? Check These Two Things First!...

Every lawyer is going to tell you they are the best. They may even believe it. Every lawyer’s site is designed to make them look like the best lawyer who has ever practiced law in your area. And that’s only if they’re being humble. A personal injury lawyer can only successfully practice law if they are able to attract clients, so it makes sense that they really sell themselves. While this is understandable, it can make it hard for you to see through the marketing to find a lawyer who can really help you.

There are obvious ways to choose a lawyer. Start by picking a lawyer that actually has experience with your kind of case. However, unless your case is particularly unusual or you live in a particularly rural area, that won’t do much to diminish your options. Having a lot of options is usually great in life, but when you’re in pain and dealing with medical bills, you don’t want to spend months figuring out who has the best legal services on offer in your area. So, just ask yourself these two questions about all your potential lawyers, and you’ll be able to trim your list down far more.

Does your lawyer show client reviews?

This is perhaps the best way to judge a lawyer before you even meet them. If a lawyer has been successful, they won’t hide what their former clients had to say about them. Instead, they’ll flaunt it. Look at Glover Law Firm. Right up front, on the front page, you see a list of client reviews. That tells you more than anything. And the opposite is also true. If there are no client reviews on the site, you don’t have to avoid the law firm, but if they are reticent to provide many reviews when you call and ask, you know they don’t have a lot of good reviews to give.

Does your lawyer charge fees upfront?

The standard way for a personal injury lawyer to earn their living is by taking a percentage of the settlement after they win, and charging nothing until then. The system is designed that way so that people who have been injured but who lack a lot of funds can still pursue a case and get compensation for their injuries. Just because this is the standard, though, doesn’t mean everyone follows it. So, make sure your future lawyer isn’t going to charge you to sit down with them or to act as your lawyer in your case. If they are upfront about this, just like their client reviews, you know they are more likely to treat you fairly and with respect. You can be more confident as well that they are making your case a priority, since they need to win your case to get paid.

If you get answers to these two questions, you’ll be able to cut down the number of names on your list. Once you have it to a reasonable number, you can make some calls and sit down with a few lawyers and find the one that really suits your needs.

Why construction is so dangerous

North Carolina had 48 fatalities at work last year, and 33 percent of those workers were construction workers. Those numbers match up with national numbers as well. Construction work is dangerous work.

But why is it so dangerous?

The truth is, every part of a construction worker’s job has some hazard. While many jobs may have parts which can be dangerous (delivery drivers can be held up late at night at the wrong house, for instance), almost everything at a construction site can cause harm.

The numbers involving construction deaths nationally prove this. The largest percentage of accidents involved falls. While it might be hoped that construction workers would have safety equipment in place to avoid deaths from something as simple as falls, this does not appear to be the case. After falls, transportation is the most likely way a construction worker could be injured. This makes quite a bit of sense considering the heavy duty machines required in the field. If you have ever driven passed construction workers building a road, you have seen any number of massive machines, from cranes to steamrollers to bulldozers. Should anyone on a site on a particular day not be particularly careful, it is easy to imagine what might happen.

After falls and machines, it is contacted with objects that pose the greatest risk. Though this sort of thing is often lampooned in movies, a construction worker running into a beam or having a brick fall on his or her head could, in fact, be deadly. With so many heavy objects about on a construction site, it’s again easy to imagine how one of them could fall from a height and injure someone. Just think of all the bricks, stones, steel, and wood needed to build a house. When much of that material has to be hoisted twenty or thirty feet in the air, any minor slip could be deadly.

Following that, there’s exposure to harmful substances. Again, put yourself on a construction site and look around. There would be all sorts of chemicals required for different parts of the job. Overexposure to these chemicals through a lack of caution could obviously lead to some horrible consequences.

Finally, the last major category is fighting at work. While this could happen anywhere, it seems there is something about the construction industry that makes this more likely than in more workplaces.

Looking at this list, it’s clear that there are very few parts of a construction worker’s job that don’t pose a great risk. For a job that involves being up high, using heavy machinery, installing heavy materials, and using hazardous chemicals, it’s easy to see why it is the deadliest profession in America.

For that reason, we ought to be grateful to those who build our houses and our roads. Their job is a dangerous one, but a necessary one.

Does Self-Regulation Work in Construction?

The New York metropolitan region, which includes Long Island and New Jersey, is a bustling area with lots of business going on. It is no wonder that the construction industry has a lot to keep them busy; there are construction sites everywhere all year long. This is the good news for construction workers because it means they are always in demand. The bad news is they have no assurance that they will be safe on the job.

While the number of fatalities in New York decreased slightly from 40 in 2011 to 38 in 2012, the number of injuries has increased as more worksite accidents occurred. The most common construction accident was fall from height and struck- by incidents. The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health stated in its report that among the accidents that occurred in 2013, more than 65% of the construction sites involved had at least one citation for serious safety violations, indicating that a majority of these accidents were preventable.

Despite these pressing needs, the number of worksite inspectors in New York City itself was reduced, significantly cutting down on the number of worksite inspections that was done in 2012 (141,000) compared to 2009 (244,000). The city government admits that they are relying on licensed contractors to self-regulate and to report worksite problems voluntarily. It doesn’t seem to working out so well.

The Department of Building’s spokesperson states that the regulations overseeing the construction industry in the city is some of the toughest in the world, but enforcement is another issue altogether. When contractors are expected to self-regulate, it is inevitable that a lot will fall through the cracks. Safety regulations cost money, and most contractors have their eye on the bottom line and will cut corners where they can.

The impetus to keep the work going overrides safety concerns until disaster strikes. By then it is too late to save the victims from harm; the best that can be done is to seek compensation for those who survive.

If you have been seriously injured in a construction accident in New York, you may find that the law will finally start to work for you. Consult with a good New York construction accident lawyer to get the attention and compensation you deserve.

Weighing the Odds with Pradaxa

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., taking the lives of about 140,000 people annually. Of those who survive, a stroke often has a significant impact on the quality of life of these people. It is no wonder that there should be great interest in finding effective medication to prevent strokes.

Warfarin was approved for use in the U.S. in 1954 as an oral coagulant, and continues to be widely used despite the concomitant health risks. These include intracranial bleeding and extracranial hemorrhaging. Warfarin also requires frequent doctor visits to monitor blood warfarin levels and a restricted diet. Until quite recently, warfarin led the race for the number of adverse event reports (AERs)and deaths caused by a drug in the Food and Drug Administration at 1,106 events which includes 72 fatalities in 2011.

That’s nothing compared to the newer and “safer” anticoagulant drug Pradaxa (dabigatran) from Boehringer Ingelheim. Introduced into the market in 2010, it didn’t take long for the stroke prevention medication to get a sizable share of it. However, Pradaxa racked up 3,781 AERs, which included 542 fatalities in 2011. In that year, there were more than 30 million users of warfarin in the U.S., and about 2.2 million users of Pradaxa. Comparatively speaking, Pradaxa is way out there when it comes to AERs.

Exactly how much safer Pradaxa is compared to the decades-old warfarin has become a source of speculation for many health experts. It is undeniable that Pradaxa is much easier to take than warfarin because there are fewer restrictions. But barely 3 years in the market and Pradaxa is already the star of multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the Southern District of Illinois.

Block Box Warning on Avandia since May 2007

In 1999, a new drug that was meant to benefit type 2 diabetes patients was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for prescription and use – Avandia, also known under the name Rosiglitazone. Avandia was manufactured by SmithKlineBeecham Corporation (the company is now called GlaxoSmithKline after it merged with Glaxo Wellcome). This oral drug, which decreases the level of blood sugar (glucose), is recommended for type 2 diabetics who, for medical reasons, cannot take Actos or Pioglitazone, or whose bodily system would not respond to other diabetes drugs. It is usually combined with exercise and proper diet or with other anti-diabetic medication, like sulfonylureas or metformin, though it may be taken alone. Type I diabetics should not take Avendia due to the very low, or absence of, insulin in their system.

Avandia became GlaxoSmithKline’s second most used product, being prescribed to more than six million people since its release on May 25, 1999. Multiple studies, however, were made on Avandia due to claims that it increases risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular heart ailments; there were claims that it has even caused the death of some patients. Thus, in August 2007, following a recommendation arrived at during a joint gathering of FDA’s advisory committees made up of the agency’s Drug Safety and Risk Management and the Endocrine and Metabolic Drugs, FDA added the “possibility of increased risk of heart attack” info on the drug’s black box warning label which was first requested by FDA in May 2007 (this first request only stated greater risk of congestive heart failure).

A black box warning (also called boxed warning or black label warning) is the sternest warning that the FDA can issue on a drug which is reported to cause severe and life-threatening side effects. Besides Avandia’s physician labeling and patient Medication Guide, this warning also appears in all forms of literature and advertisements (like in magazines) about the drug.

Due to further studies being made on Avandia, the FDA decided not to pull the drug out of the market yet. Continuous study and increase in reported Avandia side-effects prompted the FDA to notify the public anew (specifically, on February 3, 2011), this time, of the drug’s possible cardiovascular (and heart attack) risks. Though physicians are allowed to continue prescribing Avandia and other Avandia-containing medicines (but only to those who have been using the drug already), patients should be informed of the warnings already issued by the FDA on the drug.

Child Custody

Child custody, which is intended to ensure that the best interests of the child are prioritized even after divorce, is a critical divorce-related issue. Its mandate is that the child’s future should never be compromised. Thus, whoever the court assigns as the custodial parent becomes responsible with regard to the child’s education, medical care, and other developmental needs.

There are four main types of child custody. Sometimes the court assigns both parents as custodians to ensure their continuous participation in their child’s life. Child custody can be:

  • Legal custody – this type of custody grants custodial parents the right to decide about what’s good for their children: where the child should study and what church he or she should go to are some of the issues legal custody is meant to address. Some courts award legal custody to both parents. In the case of joint legal custody, both parents are guaranteed a say in these important issues.
  • Sole custody – if one parent is deemed unfit by the judge to continue caring for his or her child, usually due to drug dependency, alcoholism, mental incapacity, child abuse, or an unsuitable new partner, then sole custody may be the court’s choice.
  • Physical custody – this type of custody allows the custodial parent to be in the same house with his or her children. If the parents happen to live near one another, then joint physical custody may be chosen by the court instead. This is also based on the condition that both parents, despite the divorce, still continue to spend almost equal time with the child.
  • Joint custody – this type of custody entails joint legal and physical custody for both parents.

Child custody can be a contentious issue with profound effects for the lives of both the children and their parents.

Boon or Bane? Injuries on the Eagle Ford Shale

There are speculations that there have been more people injured on the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas than has been officially reported. Currently, the fatalities reported for that particular beacon of fossil fuel and mineral deposits has risen to 13, but that is the unofficial count. Of the workers employed in the more than 4,000 drilling permits applied for in 2012, the number of the injured on the Eagle Ford Shale could easily be grim.

Oil and gas extraction is an inherently dangerous undertaking; injuries are bound to happen. The recent flurry of oil leases and drilling activities has increased the chances of serious injury to workers exponentially. Most recently in Eagle Ford Shale, a worker was killed when he was hit on the head by a falling pipe. It doesn’t take much to turn a good day into bad.

The Lowdown on Eagle Ford Shale

The Eagle Ford Shale is one of two areas with the richest oil deposits in the US, calculated to have about 10 billion gallons waiting to be tapped. The other one is in the Permian Basin, also in Texas, which in turn is may very well contain 17% of the total oil reserves in the country.  The Eagle Ford Shale was first tapped in October 2008 by Petrohawk, providing a lot of people in the area with good paying jobs and fueling a boost the economy. In general, safety procedures are observed, but not always.

Safety issues at Eagle Ford Shale

It is undeniable that the nature of the work is generally risky, but unsafe working conditions make it much easier for workers to get injured on the Eagle Ford Shale. For each of the 13 fatalities in the Eagle Ford Shale group, inadequate safety gear and/or working conditions were pinpointed as the culprit. Workers did not get enough training in safety procedures, and in some cases the safety equipment was lacking. As in the case of the most recent fatality, falling objects can be deadly, but even non-fatal injuries due to falling objects, faulty equipment, or misuse of heavy machinery can have devastating effects. And yet they are believed to be under-reported. It is likely that out of every 100 workers in the industry, four suffer non-fatal injuries that are not always officially recorded.

If you or someone you know got injured on the Eagle Ford Shale due to carelessness or negligence in the workplace, don’t feel pressured to keep silent. Consult with a personal injury lawyer and get compensation for the costs associated with the injury.

For more Eagle Ford news, please visit this site to keep yourself updated:

Questions to Ask A Personal Injury Lawyer

Choosing the right personal injury lawyer can be a bit daunting. Personal injury is a special area of the law, which would mean that in order for you to get the best of any settlement claims you have been asking you must find the right lawyer with enough experience and knowledge of this field.

Schedule meetings with different firms in order for you to find the one whom you are most comfortable working with, as trust is an important factor in any relationship. Upon meeting, present to them your case and other supporting documents that you think would be beneficial in your personal injury claim. Also, don’t be shy about asking them questions, as their answers would help you determine if they are the right people to work with or not.

  1. Ask them outright if they are willing to work on a contingency basis. This means they get paid after the settlement has been done, and they will receive not more than one-third of the amount given.
  2. Ask them how many personal injury cases they have won in court. A good lawyer would be well-versed about personal injury law to win many of his or her cases, and it shows their experience in the court.
  3. Determine if they will accept any of your decision, whether they are OK with you accepting a lower settlement pay or you refuse to accept a seemingly fair amount of compensation.
  4. Inquire them about other fees, such as retainer fees and other additional fees and possible payments that are excluded in the final salary.
  5. See if they are enthusiastic about representing you in court.
  6. Check their education background, and if they have taken any additional studies to further their practice.
  7. Determine if he or she will be working alone on your case, or there will be other lawyers to help with the proceedings.

Personal injury claims can be long and complicated, so you must find someone you trust and get along with very well. Because many factors can affect the case along the way, you might go for a settlement, and when you do be sure to ask your South Carolina Personal Injury Attorney for advice whether to take it or not. A lawyer will be able to help you through this difficult time while you heal physically and emotionally.