Visiting the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum

Preserving the environment and its ecological systems is an important priority. This mission is at the center of the Arboretum—an area that spans over 1,200 acres built and tended to as the world’s primary site for the study of ecological restoration.

Back in the 1930s, the Arboretum was an abandoned area of huge fields and pastures. Scientists and researchers at the University of Wisconsin in Madison made the decision to restore the area back to its original state and return the plants and animals that once made the sprawling lands their habitat. According to their website, the main idea behind the Arboretum is to re-establish the “original Wisconsin.” From then on, the university was able to recreate several ecological communities and allow the area to thrive. Today, there are several forest types, wetlands, savannas, and tallgrass prairies in the Arboretum.

Visitors to the Arboretum can also find several gardens that houses unique horticultural collections. In particular, the sprawling area has three different gardens open for tours during the spring, summer, and fall—Longenecker Horticultural Gardens, Viburnum Garden, and Wisconsin Native Plant Garden. In these gardens, one can find an abundant number of shrubs, flowering trees, and other types of flora unique to Wisconsin.

Since the area is primarily a research facility meant to help scientists understand ecological restoration, anyone visiting the Arboretum is urged to keep its plants and wildlife protected. For one, it’s important to remember that plants and any other natural materials in the area should not be collected and kept. It’s also important that visitors keep to the Arboretum’s assigned trails. Going off the designated walkways can risk damage to the plants and wildlife that make the place a unique and memorable destination.

Most Common Types of Personal Injury

Personal Injury as a lawsuit is, in actuality, encompasses a rather large area. There are many kinds of lawsuits that fall under this category, thereby making this one of the most complicated cases that any legal team can deal with. According to the website of Crowe & Mulvey, the claims that are with this kind of case often include a certain expertise with medical jargon as well as the specifics of the law, depending on which state the accident or negligent act results in. Many states differ in certain aspects of the law, though they retain the basics of it, the little discrepancies are often the ones to watch out for, in the case of possible loopholes.

One of the most common types of personal injury cases are those stemming from automobile accidents. From the statistics offered by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), every person will go through at least once in their lifetime. Sometimes, the accident can be so devastating that it results into either temporary or permanent disability, sometimes as morbid as wrongful death.

Another kind of personal injury case is one that is due to medical malpractice. This is also an umbrella term that can mean a lot of different procedures that can be cause for this type of lawsuit to be claimed, thereby demanding a lawyer that truly specializes in this kind of case in order to be granted the best possible deal as compensation for this kind of traumatic experience. Medical malpractice injuries can often result into spinal cord injuries, permanent brain damage, birth defects, et cetera – all of which then causing the victim to suddenly have financial and medical burdens due to the neglect of someone else.

In essence, that is what personal injury cases are at heart. They are accidents that cause injury when the accident itself could have been prevented if it were not for the negligence of a guilty party. If you or someone you know has been injured due to this kind of situation, immediate legal action is advised.

The Basics of Dealing with Nursing Home Abuse

In this day and age, it often more advisable to care for the elderly by allowing them to settle in nursing homes where their individual needs can be taken care of my professionals. It is a complicated, difficult choice for most families but it is usually done with good intent and in good faith. It is a betrayal of that trust when a nursing home is unable to provide proper services towards their awards – it is especially traitorous to intentionally withhold due care to these elderly citizens who are now at an age where they are usually incapable of standing up for themselves. And that betrayal of trust is actually an illegal crime that you can press charges for.

Any nursing home abuse lawyer will tell you that nursing homes are mandated by law to provide a specific standard of care. The needs of every citizen under their care must be specific, as is suited to the given individual – such as with the medicine prescribed and daily schedules. Nursing homes are also expected to have enough staff on board, in direct correlation with how many they care for within house.

Abuse is also often a more psychological pain that inflicted unto a person, enhanced by some physical conditioning – such as some cases have been known for abusers to withhold necessary medicine or food from the abused, to condition them into cooperating. According to the website of Crowe Mulvey, some other common forms of abuse that happen in nursing homes are financial exploitation, sexual harassment, intimidation, et cetera. This is especially painful for the family of these elderly folk to know this is a possibility for it was them who had put them in that given nursing home in the first place. The compensation for being treated as such is incalculable.

If you or your loved one has experienced abusive behavior or criminally negligent service from a nursing home, it is advisable for you to seek legal assistance immediately.

Essentials of the Jones Act

The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (Jones Act) is a special federal law designed to protect the rights of seamen who get injured while on the job, among other things. A seaman as qualified under the Jones Act can file a suit against an employer to recover damages incurred from injuries caused by negligence. As in any tort or personal injury case, the plaintiff has to prove that there was negligence on the part of the employer and that this negligence is the reason the seaman was injured. However, there are significant differences between a regular personal injury case and a Jones Act case.

Under the Jones Act, the employer is required to take steps appropriate to the circumstances that will ensure that workers are operating under reasonably safe working conditions. An employer may be considered negligent for any number of reasons, including the usual greasy floors and lack of safety gear as well as for hiring or retaining someone who is violent. For example, if a worker is injured because he or she was assaulted by a co-worker that investigation later reveals has a history of violence, the employer can be held civilly liable for exposing workers to that person.

According to maritime lawyers on the Ritter & Associates website, an employer may also be held liable for damages if the injured worker proves that any action or inaction of the employer contributed a part no matter how small in causing the injury under the Jones Act. Under regular tort law, the defendant can only be held liable of the negligence was the proximate (or main) cause of the injury.

The damages that may be awarded under the Jones Act are similar to those in a regular personal injury lawsuit. Being a federal law, Jones Act cases may be filed in either federal or state court, depending on the judgment of the maritime lawyer engaged in the case. However, a lawsuit must be filed within three years after the injury was incurred.

Personal Injury, Helmets, and the Law

Helmets can make or break a personal injury case. It all depends on what the law says about liability, and how a judge and jury will react.

Helmets are not mandatory in all states. Iowa, for example, no longer has a helmet law. It had one in 1968 when the state legislature was forced to enact one when the federal government made it a condition to getting funds released. When this pressure was lifted in 1986, Iowa repealed the law, so motorcycle riders have no legal motivation to wear one when on the road.

Studies consistently show that helmets reduce the severity of head injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents, and this can be used by a defendant in a personal injury suit to shift at least part of the blame to the plaintiff. Proving that a third party was negligent is by default an uphill battle when the plaintiff was on a motorcycle because there is a tendency for people to believe that motorcycle riders frequently engage in a risky behavior. In Iowa, having a helmet at the time of the incident can help dispel this impression under the guidance of a skilled and shrewd motorcycle accident lawyer.

Another law that has significance in personal injury claims is found in Iowa Code Chapter 688 which deals with tort liability. Iowa follows the comparative negligence doctrine, wherein a plaintiff who is partially at-fault for an accident can still recover partial damages, but only if the percentage of fault assigned is less than that of the defendant/s.  Not wearing a helmet can contribute significantly to the assigning of fault.

So what it all boils down to is that it makes overall sense to just wear the darn things, even if it gives you helmet hair. If you are involved in an accident in Iowa and get seriously injured, at least your lawyer can point out that even though you didn’t have to, you still wore a helmet. This goes a long way to convincing a jury at least that you are probably not in the habit of taking risks, and rule your way more favorably.

The Angst Genre

A BBC article published on the 100th anniversary of the Albert Camus’s birth argues that a genre of literature centering around angst and isolation from society appeals to teens exploring their own identities.

BBC reporter Tom Hayden credits the birth of this “genre” to Camus’s The Stranger, a story about a murderer who fails to grieve his own execution.

The article lists other influential classics that fit the criteria for this genre—The Catcher in the Rye, 1984, Catch 22, The Bell Jar, and Brave New World.

The novels all have one common theme: exclusion.

Although we can concur that most teens can’t literally relate to feeling numb about their upcoming execution, reading about characters who are working through feelings of isolation and indifference may be attractive to high school students.

High school, after all, has many facets of exclusion. It can be a wonderful time—but it invariably comes with isolation for even the most popular cheerleader or baseball star. It’s a stuck-in-the-middle age. You’re old enough to worry about adult responsibilities like a career, but not really old enough to do anything about it.

Couple this with the raging hormones and narcissism that’s characteristic of 17-year-olds, and you get one huge identity crisis that is characterized by the notion of feeling completely unique from the rest of society.

Teens who read about characters dealing with complete isolation are probably looking to validate their feelings or make a statement, not necessarily to learn. However, some knowledge will probably seep through by reading the classics, regardless of the reader’s motives.

Angst on, class of 2014.

Legal Counsel: A Valuable Resource to Internet Criminals

Internet Crimes

The innovation of the internet ushered in an era of fluid commerce and communication. The commercial and social benefits of the internet are countless. Online organization allows companies to practice simplified forms of recordkeeping in addition to being paperless, and thus, more environmentally conscious. However, despite the notable advantages it provides, the internet has also enabled a landscape of cybercrime to thrive. Internet crime takes many forms including, embezzlement, identity theft, child pornography, crimes against children, and hacking crimes.

Professional crimes like embezzlement are the most commonly committed internet crimes. Credit card fraud and identity theft use the internet as the primary tool to transfer funding. People will often try to obscure their crime by changing or disposing of online documents that are easily overlooked. A person charged with embezzlement may face serious penalties. This type of charge could effect a person’s life if it becomes public on an individual’s criminal record.

Internet crime is intuitive and easily covered up, which is why legal accountability is so harsh against people who commit these crimes.  Internet crimes against children are among the most serious offenses classified as internet crime. People who have any part in creating, producing, or distributing, graphic depictions of children usually face the most jail time without flexible options for probation. Likewise, people who attempt to access and hack into government databases often face serious legal consequences under felony accusations of treason and tampering with government records.

As the internet expands and changes, the law must match its fast-paced evolution. People accused of internet crimes should hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer to best represent them amidst confusing and constantly-shifting legal technicalities. Their work requires them to keep up with developments in the field of criminal laws. Whether the client is guilty or innocent, defensive legal representation can help clients achieve a better legal outcome. In many cases, legal representation can at least provide accused parties with more options than they thought were previously available to them.

Medical Malpractice Involves More than Physicians

Medical malpractice is defined as an act or failure to act of a health care provider to provide due care to a patient. It is considered negligence because it contravenes the tenets of the accepted standard of practice. People usually equate this with physicians or surgeons, but in fact many medical mistakes are attributable to nurses, medical technicians, laboratory personnel, hospitals, paramedics, therapists, dentists, and other non-physicians.

One of the most common medical mistakes committed by a non-physician is development of pressure sores or ulcers, otherwise known as bed sores, because of the failure of the nurse or orderly to regularly change the position of a non-ambulatory patient. Bed sores are extremely painful and, if left unattended, can expose subcutaneous tissue and even bone. It can also trigger complications such as sepsis, osteomyelitis, gangrene, autonomic dysreflexia, amyloidosis, anemia, bladder distension, and even malignant tumors.
Another type of medical malpractice that occurs more frequently than is reported is retained surgical instrument. Sponges are the most commonly retained item, although forceps, retractors, clamps and needles have also shown up in a postoperative patient. In such cases, nurses have come into share of the blame for failing to keep accurate count of the instruments such as sponges, which is part of their responsibilities.

Medical malpractice may be claimed by a patient when the health care provider through some commission or omission suffers injury, physical or otherwise. In one case, a patient who was conscious and able to feel the pain of his surgical procedure because of an error in the administration of the general anesthetic committed suicide because of psychological damage from the experience.

If you or someone in your family has suffered harm from medical mistakes, you may have a basis for a medical malpractice suit. This can become necessary if death has occurred, or the consequences of the negligent act resulted in significant financial losses.  Consult with a medical malpractice lawyer to find out what your legal options are.

The Full Cost of Medical Bills

They say that getting seriously ill is like being robbed; you end up with nothing. The same applies when medical mistakes lead to extended hospital stays, repeated surgeries, long-term medical treatment, or special medical needs. A recent study published in the Journal of Patient Safety states that as many as 210,000 people may die of preventable medical errors a year. For those who suffer from serious complications instead the costs can be high. Unless there are ample financial resources available, it can mean extreme hardship, even bankruptcy for the victim and the family to cope with medical bills.

Most people place their trust in health care professionals, and believe that they know best how to provide the care and treatment needed. The fact is, health care professionals are people who are capable of making mistakes, or who may not be as qualified as they should be.  Medical mistakes can be pressure sores, wrong site surgery, botched surgeries, anesthetic errors, instrument left behind, wrong diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, failure to diagnose, or medication errors.

The full costs of medical negligence is not merely confined with hospital and other medical bills, although those could be quite prohibitive if the consequences of the medical error renders the patient requiring more surgery or confined to intensive care. Other economic damages include the loss of future income as well as lifetime care expenses for the permanently disabled, or otherwise requiring constant medical attention, such as a comatose patient. Even with public healthcare insurance, some of these economic losses can pile up and have a huge impact on a family’s finances.

If you or a family member has been a victim of some type of medical error with serious health and financial consequences, you may have no choice but to seek compensation from the healthcare facility and/or professional involved. Otherwise, you may be left holding the bag and having to declare bankruptcy through no fault of your own.

The Causes of Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse is not always an active or malicious intent of the nursing home staff to do injury to the people entrusted into their care. Sometimes it can be due to an oversight or unintentional neglect. However, it is no excuse as it can still result in grievous harm to patients who are mostly unable to help themselves.

Nursing home abuse may take the form of inadequate nutrition, sporadic assistance in getting up or laying down, inattention to signs of distress or need for medical attention, poor patient hygiene, or poor social interaction. It is possible that some members of the nursing home staff are properly trained but do not have the patience or interest to provide the care these patients need. In most cases however, it all comes down to how many and how much.

“How many” refers to the number of qualified staff members who are hired to provide round-the-clock professional care to nursing home residents. “How much” refers to what the nursing home management can afford to set aside for the salaries of direct care and support staff, which will determine the ratio of qualified care givers to residents. In the US, many nursing homes rely on Medicare, Medicaid and insurers to pay for the keep of the majority of their residents.

These institutions, however, dictate how much nursing homes will get per resident; all but a few establishments can increase their rates to meet the rising costs associated with running a nursing home, which in large part includes the salary of nurses. As a result, many nursing homes are either understaffed or have under-qualified staff, or a combination of both. This can lead to neglect of the residents. Even if the neglect is understandable, it is still inexcusable. A nursing home abuse attorney would be sure to prove negligence on the part of the administrator, most especially if the cost-cutting is not one of necessity but of greed.

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