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Once a Thief, Always a Thief

So, I’ve been accused of stealing my own things. That’s my current predicament. Now, I know, anyone who’s followed me or knows me in real life knows I’ve had my real troubles in the past. I have actually stolen other people’s things. That’s a fact, as I’ve recorded many times before, that I’m not proud of.

But I turned my life around years ago. I’ve tried to be a positive presence online, showing how a person can grow and change, but I’m now having my doubts, both about myself and about the system.

What happened can be laid out pretty easily. A supposed friend of a friend, whom I was friendly with (is that clear? let’s just call him an acquaintance) stayed the night at my place last week. He’s been to prison, like me, and I make a point of not judging people on the surface for doing things like that. He seemed nice enough, and so I let him crash for a night.

Well, that turned out to be a mistake. I woke up, had breakfast with him, had a chummy conversation, showed him out and went about my day. It was only that evening that I noticed my PS4 was missing.

I keep it in a drawer, so it wasn’t obvious at first. I immediately called my friend, got his friend’s number, and called him. The guy denied the whole thing. He said he’d never do it, he was reformed like me, yadda yadda. He acted offended that I of all people would accuse him. He suggested someone else had stolen it. He even threw his own friend under the bus.

I tried to stay calm, I said I wasn’t going to call the cops or anything, just return the PS4. Nothing doing. He hung up after giving some lame excuse and said he’d call back later.

He never did.

Now, I knew where he lived, this guy. He had told me about it because the whole reason he needed a place to crash was the building was shut down over some pest infestation.

I know at this point I should have involved the cops or tried to press my friend to do more, or just let it go. Instead, I broke into his place, and I took my PS4 back.

Well, now I’m getting calls from this guy, who says he’s going to call the cops and get me arrested for stealing my own property back. I may need to contact a theft and burglary attorney and see where I stand with the law. It’s a whole mess.

Worse than the mess, though, are the implications of what happened. Did I never actually change? Does no one? Is the system so screwed up that I can’t help but be drawn to the wrong side?

It’s all so awful and confusing. And for the first time in a long time, I feel like I don’t have any answers.

New Grants for Dental Research Awarded to New York University

New research studies are the catalyst for innovation and new technologies. Without the ability to conduct unprohibited research, universities wouldn’t be the powerhouses they are today. In this past month of September, two research teams were awarded millions to engage in research that will hopefully change the future of dentistry. Looking into the effectiveness of cavity prevention and new techniques for teeth restoration these researchers hope to improve the materials dentists use and make sure the techniques we use today are as effective as they can be.

Dr. Yu Zhang, an associate biomaterials professor from the NYU School of Dentistry, will lead two projects into developing better materials for restorative dentistry surgeries. With a grant of 3.7 million dollars from the National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research, Dr. Zhang hopes to change the way we think about teeth. He and his team are looking focusing on a type of ceramic called zirconia that will be as strong or stronger than enamel while maintaining the translucent natural color. The tricky part in this type of research comes in balancing the two vital parts of teeth restoration: you want something as strong as teeth, and you want it to look like teeth. They are hoping that this type of material can last longer than current dental implants. The second study is also from the NYU School of Dentistry and is being led by Dr. Richard Niederman and Dr. Ryan Ruff. The two have been awarded a 13.3 million dollar grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. They are leading a study into the effectiveness of two techniques in cavity prevention on opposite ends of the complexity spectrum. The simpler treatment includes a topical mix of silver and fluoride sealing a cavity. The second, more complex, treatment is a mixture of traditional sealants and fluoride. This study will select 60 low-income elementary schools in the Bronx and randomly give the students in need there one of the two treatments to test their effectiveness.

While these two studies will take up to five years to yield results, it’s important to realize that dentistry now is more than effective. The point of research is to make things that already work marginally better until something completely new can be found. For example, dentists like those at Dr. Bram’s Dental Expressions use a method known as white filling to restore teeth rather than the traditional metal to cut down on toxicity levels that have been associated with the metal fillings. Thinking about the future is always an exciting concept, seeing what’s on the horizon helps us appreciate how far we have come and what we have now.

Like many fields, dentistry is still growing. The American Dental Association call the mouth the window into the health of the body. Keeping one’s teeth healthy pays off more than just the cosmetic look and feel. They are vital to our health, and as our diet changes so should the way we care for them.

Denied Long-Term Disability

Disability insurance can be essential to protect individuals and their families if they are facing a serious illness or injury, and they are unable to work. The unexpected loss of an income can threaten any sense of financial stability that an individual has created. They may no longer be able to afford their house payments, car payments, or even everyday bills and expenses. This can be a devastating loss, but long-term disability insurance aims to help lessen this burden by providing a supplemental income. Unfortunately, receiving these necessary disability benefits is a difficult and frustrating process, and many people, who have valid disability claims, are still denied. Often this is due to mistakes in their paperwork, a lack of proof of insurance, or technicalities in the process. However, some individuals are denied because the greed of insurance companies, who know they will save money if they deny claims. This illegal practice is a serious problem across the country that has recently been brought to light. The Northern California Record wrote about one such case that occurred in Los Angeles, California.

Central California resident, Jessica Huerta has decided to pursue a lawsuit against Prudential Insurance, after they wrongfully denied her long-term disability claim. Huerta suffers from scleroderma and a degenerative joint disease that causes debilitating pain. She is incapable of working due to this plain and other complications from these diseases. In 2015, Huerta applied for disability benefits, under her long-term disability policy with Prudential Insurance; however, her claim was quickly denied. According to Huerta’s long-term disability insurance plan, her disabilities should have been covered by the insurance provider, and Huerta could not understand why she would be denied. Her frustration and confusion led Huerta to seek legal advice, and after speaking with a lawyer, she decided to move forward with a lawsuit against the company. Her suit alleges that the company is in breach of contract and violation of the Employment Retirement Income Security Act.

Although Huerta filed her claim for long-term disability insurance in 2015, she is still struggling to receive the benefits she needs over two years later. During this time it is hard to say how she has been providing for herself and receiving the medical care that she needs. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon problem and many other people with disabilities across the country face similar situations. Insurance providers prey on these individuals, who are seeking their help, in order to make more money for themselves. We must find a way to prevent companies from continuing to use these underhanded and despicable tactics.

Fortunately, individuals can take steps to protect themselves during the filing process, to ensure that they are treated fairly and their case is handled with care. Long-term disability lawyers, such as Fields Law Firm, are prepared to help their clients throughout the filing process, and they can help ensure that these individuals receive the benefits they need. These lawyers have an in depth understanding of disability law and can help write an application that provides all essential information and is free of mistakes.

Alcohol Impairment, the Reason behind One-third of All Fatal Road Crashes

Alcohol Impairment, the Reason behind One-third of All Fatal Road Crashes

Records from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that in 2012, more than 29 million people admitted that, at various times, they drove t5hier car while impaired by alcohol. In 2013, an estimated 1.2 million drivers were arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI), a serious traffic offense.

According to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA), about five million motor vehicle accidents occur every year. More than two million of these accidents result to injuries, while more than 30,000 are fatal.

The CDC also states that 31% (almost one-third) of all fatal motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. involve an alcohol-impaired driver. To some drivers, alcohol-impairment occurs after consuming two regular bottles of beer, which will result to a 0.02% blood alcohol concentration or (BAC) level. Possible effects of a 0.02% BAC can include decline in visual functions and in ability to perform two tasks simultaneously. The BAC limit for car driver is 0.08%. Studies show that, at this level, a driver’s muscle coordination becomes poor; his/her judgment, self-control, reasoning, and memory become impaired; and it becomes harder for him/her to detect danger.

Time and again, it has been proven that alcohol weakens an individual’s motor skills and mental capacity, rendering him/her less able to control his or her vehicle. This lesser ability means higher risk of accident which may injure or kill someone else – the basic reason why drunk driving is considered a major traffic offense.

Impairment due to alcohol affects not only car drivers, but truck drivers too. With the huge size of a truck, however, just imagine what sort of damage and injury it can cause if it were driven by an alcohol-impaired driver.

Due to the size of an 18-wheeler or a big rig, the BAC limit for truck drivers has been set at 0.04%. Despite this lower BAC level, however, and the punishments that will be imputed on violators, use of alcohol and drugs by truck drivers, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), is the second major reason behind truck accidents. No driver of smaller vehicle would probably consider that the driver sitting behind a truck’s wheel is alcohol-impaired. Yet, data show that, prior to accidents, many drivers were, indeed, intoxicated and impaired due to alcohol.

The 0.04% BAC limit, however, is not the only thing that big-rig drivers should worry about. Truck drivers who are found to have a 0.02% BAC can also be suspended from driving for about 24 hours, while those who will register a 0.08%, even when off-duty, may still be charged with a DUI.

According to the Houston car accident attorneys of Williams Kherkher law firm, the severity of the injuries sustained by victims in drunk-driving accidents usually leave them with costly medical bills and other expenses, and long-term disability that necessitate changes in their personal and family lives. Besides these, severe injuries also render victims incapable of reporting for work, resulting to lost wages which, in turn, can result to financial difficulties.

Worse, however, according to the Clawson & Staubes, LLC: Injury Group, is the effect of trucking accidents, which often result in severe injury or death as a result of the speeds and weights of the vehicles involved. Such injuries can result in significant medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, and uncertainty as to how to proceed. To reduce this risk as much as possible, state and federal laws exist to help regulate the way trucking companies and their drivers operate in and out of the state.

Victims of car accidents, whether the other vehicle involved is another car or a truck, should not hesitate consulting with a car accident or personal injury lawyer, who will be able to help them understand their legal rights and may be able to provide them the strong legal representation they need in a claims lawsuit. Victims should know that they not only have the right to pursue legal action, but to seek compensation from the at-fault driver or from the company that he/she works for (if the other vehicle is used for business purposes).

Know Which Debts a Court may Free You from if You File Bankruptcy

Those with huge debts and are unable to pay will probably go through a nerve-racking experience due to the constant hounding of creditors or debt-collectors, who will not cease their harassing tactics until debtors finally pay what they owe.

Loss of job, an unexpected health problem that requires costly medical treatment, reduced income, divorce, and/or a natural calamity are some of the reasons why people sudden lose the ability to pay creditors their mortgage, car loan, credit card debt, utility bills and other debts. Well, the more payments missed, of course, only results to the amount of the debt increasing until it reaches a sum that is already impossible (for the debtor) to settle.

Will a debtor still be able to save himself/herself from his/her seemingly impossible-to-pay or overwhelming debts? A “No” will definitely be devastating; fortunately,the answer is “Yes,” and the means is a legal one even – Bankruptcy.

In 2010, there were about 1.53 million Americans who filed bankruptcy in various U.S. federal bankruptcy courts. Bankruptcy is a legal procedure wherein a person (or a business firm) declares inability to make further payments in settlement of his or her debts. It is allowed by the law to give people (and firms) a fresh start in their financial lives.

In every financial situation is a bankruptcy chapter that would serve as an appropriate solution. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or liquidation bankruptcy, for instance, is one that requires a debtor to surrender to a court-appointed trustee his/her “non-exempt” assets and properties for liquidation. One task of the trustee is to sell these properties in order to raise the amount needed to pay off a borrower’s creditors. Payment will only be on debts that are non- dischargeable (debts that a debtor will still need to pay), which include, but are not limited to:

  • Unlisted debts and creditors;
  • Most student loans, unless paying these would cause “undue hardship” to the borrower and/or his/her dependents;
  • Federal, state, and local taxes which are no more than three years old from the time these first became due;
  • Court fees;
  • Government-imposed penalties, fines, and restitution;
  • Child support and alimony or spousal support; and,
  • Debts resulting from wrongful death or personal injury damages if these are consequences of DUI.

According to Raleigh bankruptcy lawyers of the Bradford Law Offices, PLLC, dischargeable debts are debts a person is no longer responsible for paying after filing for bankruptcy. These include personal loans, credit card loans, medical bills, past utility bills, debts related to your business, payments on motor vehicles, house payments etc.; the court where bankruptcy is filed can free a debtor from these debts.

For “non-exempt,” some of the assets and properties that the law has identified under this classification include:

  • Motor vehicles, jewelry and tools used by the debtor in his or her trade or profession – but only up to a certain value;
  • Reasonably necessary household furnishings and goods, and clothing;
  • Household appliances;
  • Pensions, unemployment compensation, social security benefits and a certain percentage of the borrower’s still unpaid but earned wages; and,
  • Compensation for personal injury.

Injuries Resulting From Speeding

Utilizing extreme speeds can be an especially unsafe behavior that is driving, but sadly, it is a behavior that numerous people demonstrate on the daily basis. Submitted speed limitations are supposed to be described as a guide to drivers, indicating the utmost pace of which a driver may properly perform his / her car, and any rates over this published restriction have the potential to result in a severe collision and substantial physical injuries. Motorists who speed risk not only themselves, but every other driver, cyclists, or pedestrian who is also on the road or nearby. It may trigger intensive real and economic problems for any individual who is involved with a speeding incident although speeding may not appear to be a serious offense.

There are numerous conditions by which racing can be particularly harmful if not fatal though speeding is risky regardless. These situations usually require high traffic locations or lots of people, and they also may have restricted presence or road conditions that are dangerous. Regardless of factors if an irresponsible driver decides to neglect causes the damage of someone else and posted speed limitations encompassing an accident, they must be held accountable. According to the website of Madison personal injury lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, while patients of a speeding incident are sometimes laden with large financial prices, they are able to often sue a dangerous driver for fiscal settlement, allowing themselves to be financially supported by them throughout their moment of cure and recovery.

Circumstances that are specific

In nearly every driving situation, applying extreme rates is risky, but often these scenarios can be a lot dangerous when the odds of an accident boost. Some unique instances where racing might not be a lot more safe than usual include:

  • Around sharp turns
  • In the areas of traffic congestion or parking lots
  • On narrow, little, and winding streets
  • At different or night moments of reduced awareness

In these cases, an accident is very likely to occur and the odds of considerable damage is considerably increased.

The Dangerous Effects of Xarelto

Back in 2011, the Food and Drug Administration approved a new kind of anticoagulant or blood-thinning drug specifically meant for those that have gone through knee or hip replacement surgery. As these two procedures increase a patient’s risk of thrombosis or abnormal blood clotting, the new anticoagulant drug mitigates this danger through blocking the production of proteins responsible for the formation of clots that are meant to stop bleeding. Xarelto is meant to prevent the formation of abnormal blood clots that can cause strokes, pulmonary embolisms, and other life-threatening conditions.

Through the years, doctors have begun to prescribe the drug to address similar blood clotting issues caused by other medical concerns such as acute coronary syndrome and other cardiovascular problems. Xarelto has quickly become one of the most effective ways to prevent abnormal blood clotting and reduce the occurrence of complications caused by such an incident. By slowing down the production of certain proteins and enzymes, the drug keeps patient safe from experiencing anymore blood clotting complications that might otherwise be typical due to their current health issues.

While Xarelto has proven to be a helpful solution for some patients, it’s important to note that the drug is not without some side effects. In most cases, these side effects are of little cause for concern. Side effects such as frequent nosebleeds and heavier menstrual periods for women are obviously outweighed by the benefits brought about by the medication.

However, recent developments have shown that Xarelto can also have dangerous effects that might complicate a patient’s already fragile condition. As noted on the website of attorneys from the Williams Kherkher Law Firm, a noted number of patients have pursued cases due to the dangerous effects caused by Xarelto. In particular, these patients were found to suffer adverse side effects such as gastrointestinal bleeding and brain hemorrhaging. In some cases, Xarelto was also found to increase the risk of epidural hematomas and strokes.

Natural Blood Thinners

Blood thinners, or anticoagulants, are a medical tool used to prevent blood clots from causing strokes and heart attacks. The blood thinners work by inhibiting blood platelets from clotting. While blood thinners are commonly prescribed, there are natural substances that are known to lower blood pressure and work to the same effect as anticoagulants.

Natural food blood thinners fall into four main categories: vitamin E, salicylates, natural antibiotics, and omega-3 fatty acids. Foods high in vitamin E help to promote healthy bodily responses. Spinach, kale, almonds, wheat, and vegetable oils are all high in vitamin E and work to thin the blood and encourage healthy blood flow.

Salicylates block vitamin K, a natural coagulant, and increase metabolism. This group of foods is often known as “warming spices” as they commonly raise the body temperature after consumed. This category includes cayenne pepper, curry, oranges, honey, and wine. Aspirin is the bestselling salicylate and used regularly by patients suffering from high blood pressure.

Many foods are natural antibiotics, helping to build immunity and boost health. Some of the most well-known of these include onions, garlic and olive oil. These foods not only help to treat other illnesses, but are linked to thinning blood after regular consumption.

Asian cuisine is known for the high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids it has. In moderation, these fatty acids can carry health benefits that lower cholesterol levels and decrease the likelihood of blood clots. Fish, canola oil, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds are all rich in omega-3s. Other natural ways of promoting a healthy cardiovascular system include drinking plenty of water, moderate amounts of alcohol, a consistent exercise routine and sunshine.

While there are several natural ways of avoiding the dangers of blood clots, many individuals still choose to take prescription medication. Xarelto is one such drug that is now found to cause serious bleeding incidents in its patients. While the benefits of a blood thinner may often outweigh the risks, defective medications like Xarelto pose a threat to the public in the frequency and severity of potential side effects.

If you or a loved one was prescribed Xarelto and experienced a bleeding incident, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering. Contact a lawyer in your state to discuss your legal options.