Know the Forum Selection Clause in Cruise Ship Ticket Contracts

For almost two decades now, the cruising industry has continued to be a very lucrative business as the number of passengers only increases every year, already having at least 11 million passengers in the United States alone. Two major reasons that would explain the continuous growth in the cruising business are the exotic and beautiful cruise destinations and the major improvements on cruise ships, improvement that turn these into mini cities that ensure not only perfect fun but total comfort too.

Many of today’s cruise ships provide great fun and enjoyment, so that just being on one is already an experience to cherish. To make time at sea perfectly great, many cruise ships feature on board a duty free shop, bars, pubs and nightclubs, buffet restaurants, an aqua health spa fitness center, hair and beauty salon, indoor and/or outdoor swimming pool with water slides, cinemas, casino, gym, basketball courts, pool tables, ping pong tables, and other sports facilities, a library, a mini golf course, wall climbing and zip line facilities, and so forth. There is no doubt about the fun and adventure that a cruise holiday can deliver, provided that no tragedy occurs which can turn a jaunty experience into a nightmarish one.

Though cruise ship tragedies rarely occur, the effects can be devastating if one ever happens. While the usually identified causes of sea accidents are hurricanes, sea storms, rogue waves, collision with another sea vessel, running aground, striking an iceberg, attack by sea pirates, virus outbreak and fire, the most common injurious accident is slip and fall.

Slip and fall accidents can occur on the ship, on piers while a ship is docked, or during excursions on land, particularly while passengers transfer to the tender boat which will transport them to land. A tender boat is a ships’ boat service – it definitely provides lots of benefits but, sadly, causes a number of injuries to passengers too. Due to its small size (it can usually accommodate about 100 to 150 passengers plus about three crew members) a tender boat can easily be swayed by waves, making boarding or getting off it quite dangerous. In some instances, passengers have slipped, sustaining a leg or back injury, or falling off into the sea. In another situation, a tender boat was reported as having sped off from the dock, with its rope still tied to the cleat, causing its bitt (a post on a boat where cables or ropes are tied) to break loose, propel through the air, hit and cause serious injury to a passenger.

A slip and fall that can also cause mild to serious back injuries. In the event of an accident, however, filing a civil lawsuit for the compensation that a victim is legally allowed to receive is not simple. This is because besides the statute of limitation, or the duration of time within which a lawsuit will need to be filed, there is also the concern of jurisdiction, which means where a lawsuit may be filed.

Cruise ships indicate in their ticket contract the forum selection clause, which identifies the only place where a lawsuit may be filed; many cruise liners name the US District Court (in the Southern District of Florida) for this concern. If the accident occurred on land, during a shore excursion, however, then the details leading to the filing of a lawsuit can change altogether. Thus, due to the complexity and unique conditions of the maritime law, being represented by a cruise ship slip and fall injury attorney Louis A. Vucci, PA may be an absolute necessity, especially if the injured victim is not a resident of the state where the lawsuit has to be filed.

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How to Receive Compensation After an Accident in the Workplace

Accidents can happen at any time or place. Because there’s no reliable way to account for and anticipate when these incidents can occur, it’s always smart to take extra care when taking part in particularly risky activities. For some people, these risky tasks are part of their jobs. Individuals working in jobs in the construction and manufacturing industries are among the most vulnerable to accidents in their daily routines.

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration names the following as just some of the most common accidents that happen in the U.S. Among the most common workplace accidents include incidents where workers slip or fall due to slippery or hazardous surfaces and become exposed to toxic substances. Other common causes of workplace injuries include repetitive motions and constantly lifting or carrying heavy objects.

While not all workplace accidents lead to serious illness or injury, most of these accidents do end up having a profound effect on an employee’s ability to perform their jobs. Serious medical conditions such as amputations and spinal cord injuries will clearly affect a person’s ability to perform the type of work they had done before their accident, leaving them without a proper source of income. Similarly, while not as alarming, minor injuries such as carpal tunnel also requires workers to take significant time off from work in order to properly recover. In both cases, these workers should be properly compensated by their employers through workers’ compensation benefits.

Regardless of the specific details, workers that have been injured on the job are entitled to receive compensation payments that would help cover expenses they’ve incurred for treatment and recover. Individuals currently in this situation can consult with a lawyer to help expedite to claims process. Residents of North Carolina may contact a Raleigh workers’ compensation attorney for more information.

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Available Damages In A Defective Product Claim

When a product is sold in the market, it is assumed that it is safe for use by consumers. Manufacturers have the responsibility to ensure that their products are tested thoroughly before being sold. If found unsafe, they also have a duty to inform the public about such defects and then pull out the product in the market.
Unfortunately, this has not been the case most of the times. Even if their product is defective, manufacturers still continue to sell their products without any warning to consumers. According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, defective products can result to serious injuries. The good news is that it is possible to recover damages from the manufacturer for any injury they caused. Let us breakdown the available damages you can get from a product liability case:

Compensatory Damages

Compensatory or actual damages are designed to compensate the plaintiff for their injuries. The sum of money helps the injured individual return to the condition they were in prior to the injury. Although it is unlikely for the plaintiff to return to their previous condition, the sum of money they will receive is considered as the “equivalent” to the value of the injury.

Compensatory damages shoulders economic and non-economic losses. The former refers to money or property that the plaintiff lost or missed out as a result of their injury. This includes medical expenses, cost of disability, or loss of wages or profits. Non-economic losses, on the other hand, refer to aspects of injury that are difficult to quantify, such as pain and suffering and loss of consortium.

Collateral Sources

In most states, there are laws that awards damages through deduction from money received by the injured person from health insurance and medical insurance providers. Some states also provide benefits such as income disability, Social Security, and worker’s compensation.

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How Some Drivers End-up Uninsured

With the exception of New Hampshire, all states in the US require drivers to carry proof of financial responsibility which is actually a proof of their capability to compensate an individual who they may injure or whose property they may damage in an accident wherein they are at fault. This financial responsibility may be shown by carrying auto liability insurance, by paying an uninsured motorists vehicle fee to their state’s to the Department of Motor Vehicles (as in the case of the state of Virginia if drivers wish to register their vehicle as uninsured), by depositing securities or money with the state treasurer (which is allowed in the state of New Hampshire), or by any other means allowed by the state. Financial responsibility, which is basically liability coverage, is designed to pay for another driver’s or person’s (the victim in the accident) bodily injury (BI), property damage (PD), and other costs or losses resulting from the injury.

The type of auto liability insurance that drivers need to carry varies among states; there are states which require the full tort insurance coverage and there are those that require the no-fault insurance coverage, which is also called Personal Injury Protection (PIP). The former, which is mandated in tort states, allows accident victims to bring legal charges against the at-fault driver to seek compensation that will cover cost of medical treatment, loss of income, damage to property, and pain and suffering. This compensation will be paid to the victim by the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. In no-fault states, however, it is the respective insurance providers of the drivers involved in the accident which will pay them the compensatory damages, regardless of whose fault the accident is. Besides eliminating the need for the victim to file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver, this system will also prove beneficial to the accident victim if the at-fault driver were either uninsured or underinsured, if the car used by the at-fault driver were stolen, or if the accident were a case of hit-and-run. No-fault insurance or PIP usually covers injuries suffered by the driver and his or her passenger/s, lost wages, medical and hospital expenses, and household-related services while the victim is recovering.

Besides mandating the carrying of auto liability insurance, some states also require drivers to have either the Uninsured Motorist Coverage, which is designed to pay for damages and losses caused by an uninsured motorist, or the Uninsured Motorist Coverage, which is supposed to supplement any insufficiency in the amount of compensation to be paid by the at-fault driver’s insurance provider.

Proof of insurance coverage is necessary whenever drivers renew their car registration or their driver’s license. What many drivers do is purchase a policy and then cancel it as soon as they have their car registered, thus ending up uninsured. The most common reason given by drivers as to why they would rather risk violating the law than maintain their insurance policy, which is actually financially wiser, is the high cost of premiums which, by the way, becomes more expensive if they have less driving experience or if they have past traffic violation records. According to Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.®, there is a way for drivers to get the best insurance deal without hurting their budget: by asking quotes from independent car insurance companies for coverage that is according to their needs, situation and budget. This means, regardless of a person’s driving history, driving experience, or the model of car he or she drives, there is an insurance deal that he or she will be able to afford.

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How Dangerous Are Blood Clots?

It has been said that the body shies away from destruction. Everyone has that basic instinct of fight or flight and it comes from deep within. More than instinctual, the human body was born to fight to live. So when something as internal as blood clots happen, surely there are ways for the body to combat that as well?

Firstly, one must understand blood clots. This happens when the blood flow in a vein, for whatever reason, becomes stagnant and the blood congeals and clots within the vein, thereby stopping the flow. This could be due to a blockage (have you ever wrapped a rubber band around your finger only for the tip to go blue so quickly?) or simple lack of stimulation. The deep vein in the leg, for example, must be moved sporadically over a period of time in order for the blood to continue its circulation. If kept stationary for too long, the blood will cease to flow and this can cause a clot in the deep vein, thereby resulting into Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).

DVT is often warned in long haul flights – otherwise known as flights that typically last for more than four hours – and passengers are advised to move around every so often in order to avoid this from happening. DVT can cause a series of medical maladies, including potentially fatal pulmonary embolisms – where clots travel to the lungs and stop the circulation of blood along that organ, thereby damaging it.

Smaller veins can usually repair themselves with no problem – such is the case with the temporary cut off of blood at the fingertips – and while there are known recoveries from DVT, sometimes it may be too late and the affected limb may need to be amputated in order to preserve the rest of the body.

This is only one example of how blood clots can be dangerous for the body as, according to the website of the lawyers with Habush, Habush, and Rottier S.C., sometimes even preventative measures such as Bard G2 IVC Filters (surgically implanted devices meant to capture clots by the inferior vena cava) may cause more harm than good, according to reports and complaints of affected previous patients.

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Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and Student Loans

Sometimes student loans can be a necessary evil. Problems arise when your starting income is not enough for you to be able to make your payments. According to the website of Ryen J. Reuhle, Attorney at Law, LLC, filing for chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you to manage and pay back your student loans by creating an affordable payment plan.

Unfortunately student loans are difficult to discharge by filing for bankruptcy so it is unlikely that your debt will be forgiven with chapter 13. What this does for you instead is give you control and a means to manage your debt while paying it back. The very first thing that happens when you file is automatic stay. This means that nearly every creditor, including student loan lenders, are ordered to stop their collection processes and quit harassing you. The next step is the payment plan.

Your repayment plan is customized based on your income. Your expenses for housing, transportation, food, and other miscellaneous expenses are subtracted from your income to give your disposable income. So, if you make $3,000 a month and all of your expenses cost $2,500, then you have a disposable income of $500. With chapter 13 bankruptcy, your monthly payments are essentially your disposable income, so in this example you would pay around $500. This amount is distributed to all of the collectors for your debt, whether it is student loans, credit cards, or medical bills. The saving grace is that you will only be paying how much you can afford.

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can last up to five years. Your loans may not be paid off completely by the end of your payment plan, but hopefully by then you will be in a better position to afford regular loan payments. Bankruptcy can be scary and confusing, but if done properly can give you control over your debts and peace of mind from collectors.

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Hostile Work Environments

Hostile work environments can be detrimental to one’s self-esteem and lead to the employee suffering mentally or physically and being forced to resign from their position. Situations of a hostile work environment arise when the supervisor, manager, or other employer does not act in the prevention of the hostility. According to The Melton Law Firm website, there are specific areas in which hostile work environments can be categorized.

Age: Older employees often suffer from hostility based on their age. In these situations the victim must be over the age of forty, the harassment they are experiencing must be based on their age, and the employer must have not prevented the harassment in any way.

Gender: Unfortunately gender discrimination is still common in the workplace. A hostile work environment based on gender differences must include derogatory remarks or gestures made over time and/or persistent preference by the employer for one gender in regards to job advancement.

Race: Slurs, jokes, comments, and any other offensive conduct based on race can contribute to a hostile work environment. Unfortunately, employers occasionally participate in these types of offenses.

National Origin: National Origin offenses can be similar to racial offenses. Offenses can include, but are not limited to, offensive references, denial of advancement based on origin, and termination based on origin.

Disability: The victim in this type of hostility must be protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act, have documented disabilities, and must be considered as disabled by their employer. Hostility can be wide and varied but can include offensive gestures, jokes, and references.

Unfortunately if these types of situations persist, an employee may feel the need to resign from their position. If this happens they may be able to seek compensation that covers loss in income either in the past or for the future, the costs associated with their suffering, as well as the legal costs.

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Possible Children’s Car Seat Defects

Car seats are meant to keep your children safe in the event of an accident while in the car. However, according to the website of LaMarca Law Group, P.C., defects, malfunctions, and poor designs are often the cause of injury to children in the event of a crash.

Poor design can lead to injury or even death of the young passenger. Children must always be seated in a straight, upright position to be safe. If a car seat allows the child to recline in any sort, then it should not be used. The seats also must be made of durable, shock resistant plastic. If it breaks with regular use and is undetected or breaks in the event of a crash then it will be unable to properly restrain the child and prevent harm. Poor deign often leads to misuse as well. There can be many straps and buckles that need to go in specific locations, but if they are not labeled well then it can be difficult to use the seat properly.

There are common weak points with the most frequently used designs as well. A three-point harness provides little support in the pelvic area, which can lead to ejection. A t-shield style buckle isn’t much better. Neck forces can be up to forty times higher in these restraints, and the large, rigid buckle can come up and hit the child in the throat, causing injury. Even the placement of the central clip can be critical. If it is placed too low or high, the child can be ejected even if the harness is used properly.

Injury or death of a child due to a defect in a child’s car seat is not only emotionally taxing and physically taxing but financially as well. The website of Detroit personal injury lawyers at Ravid & Associates, P.C. states that if death or injury to a child occurs due to a defect in their car seat, then the manufacturers are responsible. Consult with an attorney or lawyer in your area that specializes in auto accidents and defects to learn more about your legal options.

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5 Ways to get Kids to Brush

From the very moment those little pearly whites push through your baby’s gums they need dutiful care and maintenance to ensure they stick around for a long time. The website of Leander family dentist recommends establishing dental care as early as possible to prevent problems in the future. Daily brushing is key, but kids don’t always want to take the time and often don’t see the point in brushing. Here are five easy tricks to help get your kiddo brushing daily.

Start early. Establishing a routine early on is insanely important. They’re not going to like it at first-it is boring and there’s no point in their minds. But if they have been brushing their teeth every morning and night for as long as they remember, then to their little mind there just isn’t another way. If it has always been happening then it will keep happening.

Monkey see monkey do. Let them see you brushing your teeth and (hopefully) enjoying it. Kids mimic their parents all the time. If they know you have fun brushing your teeth then they will want to have fun too.

Give them the power. Let them pick their own tooth brush and tooth paste (the children’s kind, of course). They don’t have a lot of power and control in their lives, so when you let them make their own decisions they feel better for it. Around age two, you can even let them start brushing more independently. They will be more likely to want to do it if it is on their own terms.

Make it a game. Kids love to play, and they love a good contest. Try playing music for two minutes and see if they can brush properly until the music stops. You could make it a contest by seeing who can make the most bubbles-this makes it fun but the bubbles also let you know they are brushing well.

Give them a reason. ‘But why?’ is often the first thing kids always want to know, so make sure they know why they should brush their teeth. Let them know how serious it is that the evil plaque bugs are drilling down in their teeth and want to ruin their pretty smile. Of course, the only way to kill the nasty bugs is with your Brush Master (toothbrush) and trusty Bug Destroyer (tooth paste).

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Factors that Determine Sole or Joint Child Custody

Divorce is a complicated and stressful process for all involved, but none more so than the children. They struggle with the knowledge that their parents will no longer be together, and face the drastic change of having to live with only one. According to the website of Arenson Law Group, PC there are many things that are considered when determining the custody of children in divorce cases and it is important to know about all of the factors that go into the decision.

Joint custody is when both parents share equal or near equal parts in the lives of the children. This arrangement is becoming increasingly common but requires immense cooperation between the parents to maintain. When joint custody is awarded, one parent receives ‘physical’ custody of the child or children. This means that this parent will be with whom the children live and will be their primary provider. ‘Legal’ custody is shared between the parents, which means that they both have say in the happenings and decisions in the lives of the children.

Which parent receives physical custody is determined by a judge who must take into consideration many factors including but not limited to: the mental/physical health of the parents, the continuation of a stable home environment, school and community changes, and the wishes of the children if they are old enough. The primary caretaker of the children, or the one who most often was cared for the children daily, does have some priority but is not always awarded physical custody.

Sole custody is when one parent has complete custody of the children while the other has no rights to visitation or any say in the decisions made in regards to the children. The website of the Law Office of Andrew A. Bestafka, Esq. states that this is only awarded when one of the parents is deemed unfit. An unfit parent is one who has a history of drug or alcohol dependency, has been charged with child abuse or neglect, or has a new partner who is deemed unfit.

Custody battles can quickly get confusing and cause conflicts between the parents. The children’s futures are at stake, especially if neither parent is fit to care for them.

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