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Monthly Archives: May 2016

Controversial Louisiana Law Makes Targeting Police a Hate Crime

A new law in Louisiana makes it a hate crime to target law enforcement and emergency personnel. The bill making these professions a protected class -- dubbed Blue Lives Matter -- was reportedly proposed in response to the Black Lives Matter movement criticizing police brutality in the black community. It is the first of its kind in the country. Hate crime legislation makes punishments more severe when crimes target a protected class, such as age, race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, or disability. Critics say that adding law enforcement to this list of protected classes dilutes the value of this type of legislation by basing it on a mutable or changing characteristic, such as a profession, rather than an unchangeable one like race or national origin. Protecting Blue Lives According to NPR, crime statistics show an overall decline in officer killings. Still, the Louisiana law making police, firefighters, emergency medical crews, and other first responders a protected class reportedly passed easily. Anyone convicted of intentionally targeting someone in this protected class will be punished more severely than previously based on the now-protected status. "Coming from a family of law enforcement officers," Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said in a statement. announcing the signing of the bill into law, "I have great respect for the work that they do and the risks they take to ensure our safety." State Police Superintendent Colonel Mike Edmonson expressed his support of the law, too, pointing out the heroism of law enforcement and first responders who run toward trouble when others are running away. Edmonds said, "For those individuals who choose to target our heroes, the message formalized in this legislative act should be clear and the consequences severe. On behalf of first responders throughout Louisiana, we thank the legislature and the governor for helping to make this law a reality." Diluting Hate Crime Legislation? Critics say, however, that this legislation dilutes hate crime laws by enlarging the protected class to include people who are not targeted for what they are but for what they do for a living. The Anti-Defamation League, for example, opposed the legislation and explained the basis for its opposition to what it called the "Blue Lives Matter" bill before it was signed into law. In a statement issued earlier this month, it wrote, "The ADL strongly believes that the list of personal characteristics included in hate crimes laws should remain limited to immutable characteristics, those qualities that can or should not be changed. Working in a profession is not a personal characteristic, and it is not immutable ...This bill confuses the purpose of the Hate Crimes Act and weakens its impact by adding more categories of people, who are better protected under other laws." There is something to that argument. After all, people can choose to be blue. But there is little choice about being foreign or black or having a handicap or any of the more traditional protected classes. Accused? If you are accused of a crime of any kind, talk to a lawyer. Get help with your defense. Many criminal defense attorneys consult for free or a minimal fee and will be happy to discuss your case. Related Resources: Find Criminal Defense Lawyers Near You (FindLaw's Lawyer Directory) Understanding Criminal Law -- How to Read a Statute (FindLaw's Learn About the Law) Are Judges Becoming More Critical of Excessive Force? (FindLaw Blotter) Top Legal Questions on Hate Crimes (FindLaw Blotter)
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Can I Hire a Family Member to Be My Lawyer?

If you have a legal issue, it's only natural to ask the lawyer in the family some questions. Whether you want to hire family as counsel is another matter, however, and one to consider carefully. There are advantages to knowing your lawyer well and to having counsel that really cares about you. But family relationships can be complicated, and mixing it up is not always wise, even if it is allowed. So let's take a look at why you might not want to hire your cousin Vinny to be your counsel, although technically there is no prohibition. Too Much Information? When you talk to a lawyer about a matter, counsel will often have questions that touch on a personal or private aspect of your life. Whether you're planning your estate or defending against a criminal accusation, legal issues can be extremely personal. Do you want Vinny to know everything, considering that you'll also be eating Thanksgiving dinner with him next year? You need to be forthcoming with your lawyer. For some people and for some matters it is easier to share private details with a stranger in a professional context than with a cousin you used to have slumber parties with. For other people, a close cousin is the perfect representative. What is best for you will depend on your case, your relationship, and your other options. Maybe Vinny knows somebody he can recommend to represent you. Having a lawyer in the family is a great starting point for an inquiry but your cousin's office should not necessarily be the last stop. Also, because attorneys are licensed by state bar associations, you can always inquire with local authorities and find out more about your prospective lawyer. Money Matters Other awkward matters arise when it comes to representation, like legal fees. Depending how established your cousin Vinny's legal practice is, you may or may not be able to afford his fees. Maybe Vinny offers you a deal or graciously says he will handle the matter and not to worry about the money. Sounds nice, but you should still find out Vinny's usual price for representation in this type of matter. You do not want your lawyer to feel taken advantage of because resentment doesn't lead to great representation and it is hard not to resent someone who wants work for nothing. Lawyers do all kinds of things for clients -- from making phone calls to writing letters to going to court to filling out forms and much more. All of it is informed by their study of the law. Years of training and practice go into becoming a lawyer. Keep that in mind when you take up Vinny's time with your personal legal matters. Consult With Counsel If you're in need of legal representation and have no family lawyer or prefer to avoid involving that person in your matters, do not worry. There are many able attorneys and many of them consult for free or a minimal fee. Meet some people, tell your story, and find the lawyer who is right for you. Related Resources: Find a Lawyer Near You (FindLaw's Lawyer Directory) Top Ten Reasons to Hire a Lawyer (FindLaw's Learn About the Law) Interviewing a Lawyer (FindLaw's Learn About the Law) Where to Find a Lawyer (FindLaw's Learn About the Law)
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States Sue Johnson & Johnson for Pelvic Mesh Dangers

Health care giant Johnson and Johnson was sued this week by the attorneys general of California and Washington for misrepresenting the risks of vaginal mesh implants, causing severe complications for thousands of women. The company responded by calling the lawsuits unjustified. But the devices were recently reclassified as high-risk by the Food and Drug Administration and there are already product liability lawsuits against the company for injury from them. Let’s consider the claims. Why This Device? Pelvic organ prolapse describes a condition of shifting organs on the pelvic floor. It can happen to women after childbirth, a hysterectomy or menopause, and the vaginal mesh devices are used to treat the condition. The mesh is also used to treat stress urinary incontinence (SUI) as described ably by an appellate court in a product liability case last year: SUI is the involuntary loss of urine when the bladder is put under stress such as from sneezing, coughing, laughing, or exercising. Using a … curved needle, a surgeon pulls the [mesh] tape through incisions in the anterior wall of a woman’s vagina … form[ing] a hammock underneath the urethra to help prevent the leakage of urine. After reports of thousands of injuries from this insertion, however, the FDA now considers these devices dangerous and is scrutinizing them more closely. Meanwhile, the states are closing in on Johnson and Johnson. The Lawsuits California and Washington sued on behalf of thousands of women who they say were injured by the Johnson and Johnson devices, seeking penalties and an end to advertising of the vaginal mesh. The states were part of a national investigation, led by the California attorney general. According to the lawsuit filed in California, Johnson and Johnson and its Ethicon unit falsely marketed the devices as a safe and superior alternative to non-mesh treatments for pelvic floor disorders, despite knowing that they could cause pain, bleeding, loss of sexual function and other side effects. “Johnson & Johnson put millions of women at risk of severe health problems by failing to provide critical information to doctors and patients about its surgical mesh products,” California Attorney General Kamala Harris said in a statement. Injured? If you have been injured by a vaginal mesh, or due to any other defective product, talk to a lawyer. Many attorneys consult for free or a minimal fee and will be happy to hear your story. Related Resources: Injured by a pelvic mesh or defective device? Get your claim reviewed for free. (Consumer Injury) What Is Product Liability? (FindLaw’s Learn About the Law) Legal Basis for Liability in Product Cases (FindLaw’s Learn About the Law) Product Liability Law FAQ (FindLaw’s Learn About the Law)
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Top 5 Travel Injury Legal Issues

It’s almost summertime, so time to hit the road, see the sights, and travel the high seas. But with travels come trouble sometimes, accidents and injuries, which could be costly. Here is some advice for travelers, whatever your mode of transport, be it trains, planes, automobiles, boats, or a combo. Find out how to handle travel accident recovery. Travel Accident Recovery 1. Injured on an Airplane: How Can You Recover? You probably don’t realize just how treacherous being on a plane is, and that is apart from the hazard of hurtling through the skies. Injuries on airplanes can happen due to fallen luggage from overhead compartments, turbulence, airline employee error and more. Airlines owe passengers a high duty of care and passengers do recover when they are proven negligent. 2. Injured in a Bus Crash: How Much Is My Case Worth? It is never a good idea to guess at what a case is worth without knowing all the details, and even then it’s probably best not to assume. But bus crash injuries can be severe and you can certainly sue if you are hurt while traveling on this type of common carrier. 3. Can I Sue for a Railroad Crossing Accident? If you’re on a train that crashes or are injured in some way while traveling Orient Express style, you can certainly sue to recover for your expenses and pain and suffering. As for drivers injured in a railroad crossing accident, that too is an unfortunately common occurrence and a basis for recovery. 4. Cruise Ship Injury: Can I Sue? Traveling on a cruise ship combines the fun of staying at a hotel with the thrill of being on the high seas and a dash of the old-fashioned. But cruise ships are also a prime place to get injured — not only are there activities of all kinds but there’s the risk of accidents in restaurants, on decks, and with the movement of the ship itself. If your vacation ends in a sea of sorrows due to the negligence of the cruise ship company, you can sue. 5. Road Trip Safety Tips: How to Not Get Injured The most American vacation of them all is the road trip, a journey great artists have paid tribute to in books, film, music, and more. But before you hit the road, know the score on staying safe. Traveling in a car for long hours can be dangerous. Talk to a Lawyer If you are injured during your travels or at any other time and you believe it is due to the negligence of another, speak to a lawyer. Tell your story. Many attorneys consult for free or a minimal fee and will be happy to assess your case. Related Resources: Have an injury claim? Get your claim reviewed for free. (Consumer Injury) Cruise Ship Sickness: Can Passengers Sue? (FindLaw’s Injured) Cruise Ship Injuries: What Are Your Rights? (FindLaw’s Injured) Top Ten Road Trip Legal Tips (FindLaw’s Law and Daily Life)
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Prior Bad Acts: Who Can Testify in Bill Cosby’s Criminal Trial?

Bill Cosby is the elder statesman of American comedy whose life has turned into a bad drama, now including a criminal case. Next month, Cosby will return to criminal court in Pennsylvania for pretrial proceedings on three charges of felony indecent assault of Barbara Constand and faces ten years in prison if convicted. Despite the dozens of accusations of abuse that have surfaced from women all over the country, this is Cosby's first criminal prosecution. The case was filed just two days before the 12-year statute of limitations on such claims in Pennsylvania expired, according to USA Today. It raises many interesting legal questions, all complex. Today, let's consider prior bad acts and whether Cosby's other accusers can testify against him. Prior Bad Acts Generally speaking, a crime cannot be proven based on a defendant's behavior in other situations. While a criminal record informs sentencing, each crime must be proven based on the facts of the case at hand and not based on evidence of similar acts in the past . But for every rule in the law, there are important exceptions because a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. That is to say, sometimes it makes sense to consider external evidence if it is highly relevant to the matter at hand. In a case like this one, where there are about 50 women saying that Cosby drugged and touched them without their consent, the prosecution will no doubt argue that it's relevant. Prosecutors will seek to admit evidence from other women whose stories are consistent with Constand's. To the extent that there are questions about the alleged victim's credibility because she waited a year to report the crime and thus there is no physical evidence, a slew of witnesses telling the same story would certainly support her claim that Cosby drugged and touched her against her will. Admitting the Evidence Admitting evidence of prior bad acts is not a given, however. The defense will no doubt fight it, relying on precedent to show that the stories would not be considered consistent evidence. The burden of proof on prosecutors is high -- they must show the evidence is more relevant than prejudicial. Dennis McAndrews, a former prosecutor, who teaches criminal law at Villanova University explained to reporters, according to USA Today: "It's very challenging because courts are reluctant. They hold the prosecution to a tight burden to establish that (the testimony) is highly relevant, that the facts of other cases are close to the case (on trial), and that the probative value significantly outweighs the prejudicial effect." In light of this, it is not yet clear that the judge will allow the testimony of other women to prove Bill Cosby assaulted Barbara Constand, But it's certain the Cosby's defense lawyers will challenge admission of that evidence at every turn. If he is convicted, admission of prior bad acts will be a major issue in the inevitable appeal. Accused? If you have been accused of a crime, don't delay. Meet with a criminal defense attorney today. Many lawyers consult for free or a minimal fee and will be happy to discuss your case. Related Resources: Find Criminal Defense Lawyers Near You (FindLaw's Lawyer Directory) Cosby Counterclaims Against 7 Accusers (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice) Cosby Complains in Court: Insurers Threaten Defamation Claim (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice) Model Drops Playboy Assault Case Against Cosby (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice) Janice Dickinson Sues Bill Cosby for Defamation (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)
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IVC Blood Filter Plaintiffs Multiply: Should You Sue Too?

If you suffer from blood clotting complications, you have likely heard of IVC filters, formally known as inferior vena cava filters. These relatively commonly implanted medical devices have stirred up much controversy, and a bunch of lawsuits, and critics of the filters are increasingly asking if they are effective at all. So if you have an IVC filter, should you panic? No. But you should familiarize yourself with the dangers and if you’ve been injured due to a filter then you should consider a lawsuit. You will not be at all alone — according to the Lawyers and Settlements blog, there already nearly 1,000 such cases already. Why IVC Filters? Filters are implanted in the inferior vena cava of patients who can’t tolerate anti-coagulants or other medications designed to thin blood and prevent clots. The inferior vena cava is a large vein that carries deoxygenated blood to the heart from the lower body. IVC filters are described by the Food and Drug Administration as “cage-like devices” that are placed in the vein and designed to trap blood clot fragments. Unfortunately, the filters have a history of breaking and migrating inside patients, which causes serious injuries and even death. IVC filters have additionally been known to tilt or get stuck, to splinter, and to cause damage by perforating organs or tissues, and more. Studies also suggest that these filters can increase the risk of blood clots, rather than the intended effect of anti-coagulation. The Feds Recommend The FDA has issued guidance to physicians who have patients with retrievable IVC filters, advising them to remove filters as soon as possible. Some filters are designed to be temporary and some are meant to be left in permanently. Now, the FDA is saying that retrievable, temporary filters should be removed promptly, writing: The FDA encourages all physicians involved in the treatment and follow-up of patients receiving IVC filters to consider the risks and benefits of filter removal for each patient. A patient should be referred for IVC filter removal when the risk/benefit profile favors removal and the procedure is feasible given the patient’s health status. Suing for IVC Filter Injury Plaintiffs who have sued for IVC filter injuries complain that they were not warned of the risks associated with implantation of these devices. Hundreds of plaintiffs have reportedly filed suit since March alone, swelling the number of cases on the two major consolidated matters to nearly a thousand. To determine if you should sue too, speak to a lawyer. Talk to a Lawyer If you have been injured due to an IVC blood filter or by some other medical device, do not delay. Consult with a lawyer today. Many attorneys consult for free or a minimal fee and will be happy to discuss your claim. Related Resources: Hurt due to an IVC filter or other medical device? Get your claim reviewed for free. (Consumer Injury) IVC Blood Clot Filter Problems and FAQs (FindLaw’s Injured) How Dangerous Are Blood Clot Filters? (FindLaw’s Injured) How Long Can a Blood Clot Filter Be Left In? (FindLaw’s Injured)
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Suing Over Flawed Metal Hips Used in Replacements

After a trial in Texas this year, Johnson and Johnson was ordered to pay $502 million to five plaintiffs injured by the company’s flawed artificial hips. The hips, sold under the name Pinnacle, leached metals into patients’ bodies and failed prematurely, forcing the plaintiffs to undergo additional surgeries and endure more pain. A federal jury was definitely feeling the plaintiffs’ pain, considering that it awarded them $360 million in punitive damages based on Johnson and Johnson hiding flaws in the product and marketing the hips aggressively anyway. Let’s look at the claims, as reported by Bloomberg News, and what this means to you. Second Try This was not the first case complaining of Johnson and Johnson’s metal hip product — there are about 8,000 such cases filed reportedly, now consolidated in Texas federal court for pretrial procedures. But this was the first to succeed, as Johnson and Johnson won a prior trial by arguing that a surgeon had failed to properly place the hip in the patient’s body. In the more recent matter, all five patients had to have their Pinnacle replacement hips replaced surgically after they broke down prematurely due to the materials used and design flaws. The plaintiffs were awarded $142 million in compensable damages, apart from the $360 million in punitive damages, making for a total award of $502 million. But immediately after the jury decided to punish Johnson and Johnson, company attorney John Beisner told Bloomberg News that the company will appeal. He expects the damages award to be reduced substantially. “The grounds for appeal are strong and the punitive damages will be reduced to around $10 million subject to the Texas statutory cap,” he said. What This Means There are thousands of outstanding cases filed against Johnson and Johnson over the Pinnacle metal hip. Interestingly, the company stopped manufacturing the product in 2013 after US Food and Drug Administration regulations were tightened. It’s also notable that Johnson and Johnson already entered into a $2.5 billion settlement in 2010 over claims surrounding another of its artificial hips. Although it is unfortunate that people have suffered due to the company’s flawed devices, Johnson and Johnson’s track record with replacement hips and the outcome of the recent trial indicate that if you have been injured due to a flawed replacement hip, your chances of recovery are very good. Of course, no one can say much about a case in the abstract, so you will have to speak to a lawyer about the specifics. An attorney can assess your claim and advise you on next steps. Talk to a Lawyer If you’ve been injured due to a faulty hip replacement, or for any other reason, talk to a lawyer. Many attorneys consult for free or a minimal fee and will be happy to discuss your case. Related Resources: Injured by a metal hip replacement? Get your claim reviewed free. (Consumer Injury) Metal Hip Replacement Lawsuit (FindLaw’s Learn About the Law) DePuy Hip Implants (FindLaw’s Learn About the Law) DePuy Hip Replacements: FDA Takes Closer Look (FindLaw’s Injured)
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Top 5 Child Abuse and Reporting Questions

Child abuse can manifest in physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological cruelty, or a combination of these. States define abuse in statutes, and there may be some variation in the wording of the law from place to place, but all states prohibit cruelty to kids. Children are especially vulnerable to abuse and less able than adults to articulate complaints, which means that adults in certain professions have an obligation to look out for and report suspected mistreatment. But we should all be aware of child abuse and do what we can to stop it. Let's consider the top five child abuse and reporting questions. 1. Mandatory Reporting Laws: Report Child Abuse ImmediatelyNo one wants to be a busybody but you can't just let child abuse go unreported. In some states and some professions it is more than a moral imperative -- it's a legal one. Depending on your state laws and your particular profession, you may be required to report any suspected abuse and subject to punishment for failure to do so. 2. Legal Responsibility of Teachers to Report Abuse States all have different statutes that define abuse and outline who is under obligation to report it. Teachers very often fall into the mandatory reporting category because they have extensive daily contact with kids. In addition to the state statute that dictates who must report abuse, the time frame for reporting, and who to tell, individual school districts may also have obligatory internal reporting procedures. 3. What Should You Do If You Suspect Child Abuse Abuse can be difficult to spot but not always. If you have encounters with a child who is continually injured or marked, that may be the result of a rough and tumble approach to play or it may be a sign that someone in the child's life is being physically abusive. When you have real reason to suspect abuse, call the authorities. Many states do have toll-free hotlines that take these kinds of calls and you will not be liable if, happily, it turns out you were wrong about the abuse. 4. What to Do If You Suspect Your Ex of Child Abuse Accusing someone of child abuse is a big deal. But if you are a divorced parent and think you see signs of abuse when your child comes home from visits with their other parent, you must protect your family's most vulnerable members. Don't be rash in your accusations but do not let abuse go unremarked upon just because it's a difficult topic. 5. Emotional Abuse Laws: When to Seek Legal HelpJust because an abuser doesn't leave bruising on a kid's skin does not mean that there is no serious harm resulting from their emotional cruelty. When an adult manipulates a child through intimidation or otherwise terrorizes the kid, that can qualify as a crime. Talk to a Lawyer If you're concerned about your obligation to report suspected child abuse or have any other legal concerns, talk to a lawyer. Many attorneys consult for free or a minimal fee and will be happy to talk to you. Related Resources: Find a Lawyer Near You (FindLaw's Lawyer Directory) Child Abuse Overview (FindLaw's Learn About the Law) Child Abuse Laws State-by-State (FindLaw's Learn About the Law) Child Abuse Cases (FindLaw's Learn About the Law)
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How Do You Prove Soft Tissue Injury?

This is another in our series on car accident claims. So many of us experience an accident, but do we really know what do to, how to get help, or what our rights are? This series can help. Soft tissue injuries are like feelings — they’re real and they hurt but they can be invisible and not everyone believes in them. For these reasons, proving this kind of injury can be difficult, or more difficult than a more obvious type of harm, like a broken leg. Still, people do recover legal remedies for soft tissue injuries every day, so it is not at all impossible to get compensation for your damages after an accident. Let’s look at proving negligence in the context of this type of claim. Soft Tissue Injury Soft tissue injury refers to damage to soft areas of the body, like ligaments, muscles, and tendons. A hard tissue injury, by contrast, refers to a broken bone or damage to a hard area of the body. While a soft tissue injury can seem less traumatic on the surface — who wouldn’t prefer a strain to a break? — this kind of harm can last a long time and cause discomfort and make everyday duties difficult. Sprains, strains, and contusions in soft tissue do not always manifest immediately after an accident but the pain can last for years, which is why people seek to recover damages for their invisible injuries. Proving Negligence In brief, negligence is proven by showing that a person who owed you a duty of care fell below the standard required and breached that duty. If this breach is the cause of your injury and you suffer compensable damages, then you can recover for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. But how do you prove you are truly sore if your injury is invisible? You will need to show medical records, evidence of having sought treatment and received a diagnosis. You can also support the claim with testimony, or affidavits. You may ask people who know you to speak about your limited mobility since the accident. You may also seek expert testimony to support your claim and explain to jurors the significance of your injury. A medical expert may testify about soft tissue injuries at trial, so that the jury better understands the harm in the way the medical community does. Although proving soft tissue injury may be more difficult than proving a broken leg, these types of claims are very common after car accidents. The force a vehicle exerts during a crash can cause a lot of damage to the human body, some of which may not register immediately. Whiplash The most common soft tissue injury is whiplash, officially known as cervical strain or sprain, or hyper-extension injury. As the official names indicate, whiplash happens when the body is strained or overextended in some way, causing damage. Whiplash is interesting because it illustrates the mysterious nature of soft tissue injury, and how dangerous this damage can be. Sometimes whiplash isn’t felt immediately after the accident but over time can manifest in stiffness, neck pain, back problems, and most alarmingly, cognitive issues. Injured? If you have been in a car accident and experienced an injury of any kind, speak to a lawyer. Many personal injury attorneys consult for free or a minimal fee and will be happy to assess your case. Related Resources: Injured in a car accident? Get your claim reviewed by an attorney for free. (Consumer Injury) Types of Brain Injury (FindLaw’s Learn About the Law) Can I Get Compensation for Whiplash? (FindLaw’s Injured) Types of Car Accident Injuries (FindLaw’s Learn About the Law)
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Top 5 Reckless Driving Issues

The dangers of driving are many and you must pay close attention when you're on the road. Not only do you risk serious injury or even death when you're distracted, but there is also the possibility of being stopped by the cops and being charged with a traffic infraction or crime. Aggressive driving and road rage are not crimes in and of themselves. But they do lead to reckless driving, which is an offense. Let's look at the top issues surrounding reckless driving. 1. How Road Rage and Reckless Driving Are Related The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration considers aggressive driving a serious danger. Aggressive driving occurs, according to the NHTSA, when "an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property." Aggressive driving and road rage lead to reckless driving, which leads to accidents and criminal cases. 2. Is Road Rage a Crime? In some states there are added penalties for crimes that arise from road rage. According to the NHTSA two-thirds of all accidents are caused by road rage, which leads to recklessness. So keep your eyes open, signal lane changes, and breathe deep when you feel angry, t could save you time, money, and your life. 3. Distracted Driving: Would You Pass a Textalyzer? Law enforcement officers are concerned about the prevalence of phone use on the road and though there is not yet a way to examine the role of phones in accidents, there may soon be. The textalyzer will allow police to analyze the phone activity of drivers before a crash =, and New York is the first state considering adopting the technology. 4. Can My Car Turn Me In for a Hit and Run? New cars are great for their innovations but would you feel the same way if one of those developments allowed your car to call the cops on you? Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime and, depending on your car's Emergency Assist functions, your car could call the police even if you don't think you need it. 5. Texting and Driving: 5 Potential Consequences You don't want to miss a text as plans can change at any minute. But you also don't want to drive and text or you could end up in an accident or facing a reckless driving charge. In California, fees and fines stemming from a first texting and driving ticket can reach $300. Talk to a Lawyer: If you are charged with a driving offense or a crime, speak to a lawyer today. Many criminal defense atorneys consult for free or a minimal fee and will be happy to assess your case. Related Resources: Find Criminal Defense Lawyers Near You (FindLaw's Lawyer Directory) Reckless Driving (FindLaw's Learn About the Law) Distracted Driving and Texting While Driving (FindLaw's Learn About the Law) State Traffic Laws Directory (FindLaw's Learn About the Law)
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