I’m Curious About Bankruptcy

Posted by on Sep 14, 2017

When is it right to declare bankruptcy? That’s the question on my mind these days. I’ve found myself more underwater than I expected after my year exploring new careers. I should have just stuck with my old job—I was working as a bar manager and making pretty decent money—but I’d convinced myself I was capable of doing more with my life.

It turns out, I was, but not for nearly as much money. I’ve picked up some work as a photographer—the dream job—but with so little experience, I mostly work for free. It feels great to get the photos posted and seen online and around Waco, but it’s cost me quite a bit. I’ve taken on a mountain of credit card debt, which just sits atop my mountain of college loan debt, which is nestled next to my mortgage for the house I foolishly bought two careers ago (when I was an office manager).

Now, I just don’t know. The debt is crushing. I want to keep going with the career, but I can’t so long as I owe so much of my measly income. Should I just go ahead and declare bankruptcy? What kind do I even declare?

I know there are those out there who assure me that bankruptcy isn’t that painful. I’ve seen a Central Texas bankruptcy lawyer’s websites that say all the right things: that it’ll help turn my life around, that it’ll be a relief, that I’ll walk away from some debt and reorganize some debt and I’ll be able to breathe again. That’s what I want to hear, but I’m afraid I’m just canceling out all the noise that suggests I’m in for far more financial hurt than I’m prepared for.

I mean, I don’t even know if I’ll lose my house. Or my car. Or my camera? What exactly am I entitled to holding on to?

Again, the lawyer pages all say I can keep those things, but can I trust them? Maybe I should have chosen this career change to be in law. At least I’d have an idea what I’m up against by now.

Maybe I’m not even afraid of losing everything. Maybe, honestly, I’m afraid of looking like a loser. That’s the word I associate with bankruptcy. Loser. I know, I’m aware at least, that very successful people declare bankruptcy sometimes. The president’s done it more than once they say. So it can’t be that bad. Can it? There are so many “chapter” types. Maybe some of those are for rich guys who aren’t losers and the other chapters are for photography fans who happen to also be losers.

Maybe I should just hang on for a while longer and wait to see if that great big photography contract comes in. Or maybe I should go back to the bar.

I have no idea at this point. All I know is I need to make a choice one way or the other.

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Treatments available for individuals infected by rabies

Posted by on Jun 2, 2016

People in the U.S. who have been bitten by animals like dogs, on rare occasions, may be infected by the rabies virus. Dog bite victims should immediately seek medical attention mostly if they are not sure if the dog that bit them had its vaccines.

Rabies, unfortunately, is fatal, and people who have been infected by the virus are often required to undergo series of vaccine shots to suppress viral infection in their body. An individual who has been bitten by a dog may be given “rabies immune globulin” or the fast-acting vaccine that prevents the virus from spreading. Rabies shots are often considered when the victim fail to determine if the dog has a virus. A person who had been injured by an infected dog may experience symptoms like nausea, fever, hydrophobia, confusion, insomnia, lower leg paralysis, depression, and agitation. The virus from the dog’s saliva that had been transmitted through biting will affect the victim’s central nervous system and until it reaches the brain. A person may later die from rabies if his or her brain and spinal cord become swollen. Persons who have been confirmed to have been infected by rabies are given rabies vaccine shots for not less than 14 days.

Unlike rabies immune globulin that is usually injected near the bite area, rabies vaccines are injected in the arm for the body to detect infected areas. Families whose loved ones have been bitten by someone else’ dog should immediately report the incident to local authorities including animal control. According to the website of the Abel Law Firm, individuals whose injuries were caused by negligent pet owners may be able to pursue a claim to cover medical expenses, pain, and suffering. People should note that pet owners can be held responsible for the behavior of their pet.

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Self-esteem and Depression

Posted by on Jan 22, 2016

Self-esteem is characterized by the feelings you have about yourself or how much confidence you have. While it is normal to lack confidence or self-esteem from time-to-time, many people can experience negative feelings about themselves frequently and focus on them often. When this is the case, it can result in chronic depression and anxiety disorders.

While low self-esteem is not an officially recognized mental health problem, many scientists and psychologists believe that negative thoughts of oneself can be a large contributing factor to developing depression. Those with depleted self-esteem may believe that they cannot be promoted at work, leading to a dead-end job, or that they are unworthy of love causing them to stay in unhealthy relationships. When a lack of confidence puts an individual in these situations, it can be easy to develop depression on top of negative self-esteem. A person with low self-esteem may exhibit signs such as fear of social situations, drinking excessively, lack of self-care, and trying to be a perfectionist—all of which can directly correlate with depression.

Depression is far more common than most individuals think, with 7%, or 15.7 million, of all adults suffering from the mental disorder, according to the website of The Solace Center. Those who have depression will often have low self-esteem that may have caused the disorder or exacerbated their symptoms. Fortunately, a number of treatment options are available, including medication, therapy, or a combination of both. While low self-esteem and depression can have a major impact on an individual’s life, with proper care, it does not have to control you.

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Keeping your Hearing Safe while Shooting

Posted by on Sep 29, 2015

While guns are usually associated with violence, injury, sometimes even death, it is very surprising that target shooting and hunting are among the sports with lowest occurrences of injury in the country. These sports are far safer than other more common sports, such as basketball and running. However, no sports activity is totally risk-free. In fact, one of the dangers shooters are exposed to is impaired hearing.

The sound of gunfire can be way beyond our ears’ threshold of pain, which means a short exposure to it may cause ear damage that could be irreversible. However, this doesn’t mean that you can never enjoy these sports. Here are some simple steps in protecting your ears while on a shooting range:

Use ear protection

Ear protections range from simple ear plugs to sophisticated electronic ear muffs. These are effective in significantly reducing the noise level down to what your ears can handle safely. Ear muffs could be your best option when in an indoor shooting range, although you would prefer wearing ear plugs when hunting outdoors.

Learn about suppressors

Suppressors, sometimes called silencers, are gun equipment mounted onto the barrel to reduce gunfire sound. Although suppressors are commonly sold as a separate piece, Suppressed Weapon Systems found a way to integrate suppressors to barrels so that they will be one piece. Suppressors are great in reducing the risk of hearing damage, and are a perfect hunting partner, too.

If you are currently into the sports of target shooting or hunting and have been experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it is wise to consult with a healthcare professional right away for prompt diagnosis and treatment:

  • Ringing in the ear
  • Ear pain
  • Ear irritation
  • Pus coming out from the ear
  • Muffled hearing
  • Trouble hearing what other people say
  • Listening to radio/TV louder than usual
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Famous People Born in Space City

Posted by on May 11, 2015

Houston is a relatively young city. It was founded in 1836 on 6,642 acres of land. Today, Houston is the biggest city in Texas (where everything is big) and the fourth biggest in the US. With a population of about 2.2 million people from almost any culture and ethnicity you can think of, it would be strange if no one famous ever came out of it. Here are three of some of the well-known people to come out of the Space City.

Kenny Rogers

Singer, songwriter, Grammy award winner, and namesake and franchise owner of the fast food chain with the best corn muffins, Kenny Rogers was born in Houston in 1938. He is best know for his country music, and scored one of his biggest hits when he recorded the duet “Islands in the Stream” with Dolly Parton in 1983. Rogers also tried his hand at acting in the 1980s series The Gambler among other, and he was pretty good for a true blue country singer. He now also has a record label, Dreamcatcher Entertainment.

Howard Hughes

The eccentric central figure played by Leonardo di Caprio in the movie The Aviator was born in Houston on Christmas Eve in 1905. Howard Hughes was heir to his family’s oil tool millions, and he invested it on films and his passion for flying. He was an excellent pilot and a shrewd producer. However, his main claim to fame was his bizarre behavior after a flying accident. He became a recluse and obsessive-compulsive. There were many rumors about what he did behind closed doors. He died in 1976, and this aroused public interest because of the fake wills that started surfacing.

Marlen Esparza

The daughter of Mexican immigrants, Marlen Esparza was born in Houston in 1989. She grew up among people that were passionate about boxing. By the time she was 16, she managed to snag the National Championship, the youngest ever. She earned a place on the Olympic boxing team as a flyweight in 2012 and won a bronze medal.

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Letting Love Back Into Law: The Tale of John Eddie Williams, Jr.

Posted by on Feb 13, 2015

From the very beginning, John Eddie Williams was always meant to be a lawyer.

His mother was endlessly fascinated with legal procedures and the law in general, and ended up pointing him into the direction of this practice. Perhaps he was always destined for this route. Williams goes on record to say that ever since he was younger, his mother used to tell people: “Johnny is going to be a lawyer!”

His beginnings were inspired by passion and curiosity because of that – and because he grew up with a father and a grandfather who were union longshoremen, he has always had an affinity and deep set compassion for the rights of individual workers. When he had first begun practicing law, he worked for an impressive firm that mostly had big name brand corporations as clients. This inspired him to start his own firm with the dedication to represent the proverbial “little guy” from “the bad guys.”

Some of his cases have included asbestos-related injury lawsuits, major plant explosions, and catastrophic injuries. Perhaps one of his most notable cases is that he represented the entire state of Texas against the tobacco industry, which resulted into the largest settlement in the history of the United States. He brings forth this same passion, integrity, and perseverance which has led him to have been once the president of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association as well as the Houston Trial Lawyers Association.

Having had graduated as cum laude from Baylor University in 1976 and graduating as first from Baylor University School of Law in 1978, he was the recipient of the Baylor Lawyer of the Year award in 2002 and was awarded Baylor Alumnus of the Year 2012-13. John Eddie Williams, Jr. has certainly done his mother, his family, his school, and his people proud, staying strong and firm in his beliefs, showing that there is still love in law.

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Justice After an Airplane Accident

Posted by on Jan 13, 2015

It has been said that the world was never the same again after that one dreadful day in 2001 – and it was no accident. Fear of flying has only increased due to reports such as these and, as of more recent times, there have been more incidents that make people justifiably anxious with airborne travel. That is why, with the continuous advancement of technology, people work tirelessly in order to improve the system, never wanting for such incidents to occur again.

Though not as common as accidents that occur on land or sea, according to the website of the Sampson Law Firm, the aftermath of an airplane accident is so much more devastating. Sometimes, there is truly nothing that could have been done as perhaps the accident was born out of unforeseeable and uncontrollable circumstances. However, after all the devastation that airplane accidents have caused, it is the responsibility of all the crew and the manufacturers of these aircrafts to ensure passengers of only the safest form of transport that is possible. If an accident is caused due to negligence, you are warranted to take legal action in order to receive justice and due financial compensation.

There is no lack of warning or horrid stories from the past about the aftermaths of airplane accidents. It makes it that much more painful to have an accident that should have been preventable but wasn’t. If this is the case and you are looking for some closure and recompense for your loss, it is advisable for you to seek legal aid immediately.

The only thing that you need to be concentrating on is trying to get your life back together, or as normal as it can be again, after such a traumatic experience. However, seeking legal action will allow for those responsible for such a horrible situation to be accountable for their mistake or negligence and give the bereaved some semblance of peace that can only be achieved by a closed case.

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In Need Of A Lawyer? Take These Tips To Heart

Posted by on Aug 26, 2014

A long-standing joke about lawyers is that they are actually “liars” who will take any money from you that they can. Don’t become a statistic and fuel this joke – select a lawyer that will really work for you! Read this article for tips on selecting someone that really knows their stuff.

Ask for a free consultation. Many lawyers will offer a free consultation, so you can have your questions answered. During the consultation, you can also see if you are comfortable with that lawyer. Always go to more than one free consultation so you have a good mix of lawyers to choose from.

A good tip to remember when looking to hire a lawyer is to make sure you find a lawyer that has the necessary experience that you’re looking for. If you’re going to court soon for a criminal case, it wouldn’t make sense to bring on a divorce lawyer, you’ll need a criminal lawyer.

Make sure that you have a decent interaction with any attorney before you invest any money. You may have to spend a good amount of time with your lawyer, so it is important that you choose one that you don’t have any issues working with. Take the time to sit down with any potential attorneys and see if you get a good feel for them.

Use Google to your advantage when it comes to hiring a lawyer. Look for reviews about any attorney you are considering. Some lawyers like the Abel Law Firm have reviews right there on their website. If the general consensus is that the attorney you are interested in is lazy and incompetent, you should do your best to look for another attorney to handle your case.

Instead of becoming a victim who must pay high bills for little quality service, do your homework and find a reliable lawyer. You can easily find someone that will help you in the courtroom. Remember these tips next time you find yourself in a sticky situation, so you can come out on top!

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The da Vinci Surgical System – The Means to A Perfectly Accurate and Infection-free Surgical Procedure?

Posted by on Nov 9, 2013

In the year 2000 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of the da Vinci Surgical System, a multi-armed robotic surgical equipment designed to help surgeons perform surgeries with the greatest ease and accuracy. Though only controlled by a trained surgeon using a console, the capability of the da Vinci in carrying out surgical procedures through minimally invasive approaches has been lauded by a number of surgeons due to the surgical system’s precision, consistency and efficiency in highly delicate procedures in hard-to-reach body parts.

As of this year (2013) more than 2,000 da Vinci Surgical Systems have already been sold worldwide, including in Europe and Japan and the number of surgeries performed (involving prostatectomies, hysterectomies and urologic/ gynecologic) using the unit has already exceeded a million (400,000 in the US). The only drawback other hospitals have from having their own unit is the unit’s high cost, which is more than $1 million; there is a need for, at least, another hundred thousand dollars annually for maintenance.

The da Vinci Surgical System was manufactured by the American company Intuitive Surgical Inc., which has ties with S&P 500 and NASDAQ-100. Though surgeries where the unit is used take about an hour longer, cost of hospital stay is reduced since incisions made by da Vinci are smaller (and, therefore, less painful), requires only some stitches and heals quickly, allowing patients fast recovery.

Despite the training and utmost care during procedures, surgeons who have used the da Vinci Surgical System needed about half a dozen surgeries before getting really comfortable with it. This is because of the need to finally get used to losing that tangible feel of tissues and organs. This multi-armed robotic device has four major components which allow surgeons to effectively perform minimally invasive surgeries where 1cm incisions are precisely made and probability of infection is eliminated. These components include:

  • The Surgeon console, which provides a magnified 3-D image of the surgical area. The surgeon, who is seated a number of feet away from the operating table, operates the instruments in real-time through the console.
  • The Patient-side cart includes the robotic arms which come in direct contact with the patient. In 2003 Intuitive Surgical Inc. added another arm to the device which reduced the need for an operating room nurse by one. Besides the endoscope arm, the device’s other arms handle surgical instruments.
  • The Endowrist instruments, which can be detached to allow switching from one robotic arm to another, using quick-release knobs, include functions like clamping, suturing and tissue manipulation. Attached to the robot’s perfectly steady hands (though replicating the every movement of the surgeon’s wrist, the robotic device is able to totally filter out hand tremors), these instruments allow surgeons to make key-hole or tiny surgical incisions which means minimal loss of blood and almost non-existent scars.
  • The 3-D Vision System allows the surgeon to see everything 10-15 times larger. Images are displayed brightly, clearly and in real time. With fogging and distortions of images eliminated, incisions are made in perfect precision and accuracy.

Cases of deaths (5 were reported last year) and injuries due to surgical robot malfunction have surfaced, it is true. Though, compared to open or traditional surgery, the numbers are very minimal. Many surgeons still maintain that the da Vinci Surgical System, the only robotic system which the FDA has approved for soft-tissue surgery, is the safest and most accurate way of performing minimally invasive surgeries.

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Delays on BP Oil Spill Claims Processing

Posted by on Aug 5, 2013

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, also known as the BP oil spill and the largest environmental disaster to occur in the petroleum industry to date, affected thousands of individuals and businesses. The 4.9 billion barrels of oil that spilled into the Gulf of Mexico resulted in the loss of livelihood for those living along the coasts of Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi, Texas and Alabama as well as various long-term adverse health and environmental effects.

These thousands of affected individuals have a right to economic damage compensation for this accident which has since been found to be due to the negligence of BP, Halliburton Energy Services, TransOcean Inc., and Cameron International Corporation. As part of its agreement with the federal government, BP had established a $20 billion settlement fund which is to be used to expedite the BP oil spill claims processing of those affected.

Recently, however, there has been a hold put on the 600 claims being handled by New Orleans law firm Andry Lerner LLC by US District Judge Carl Barbier because of allegations of conflict of interest on the part of claims facility senior lawyers Lionel Sutton III and his wife Christine Reitano. Both have since resigned following the start of investigations into the alleged improper processing of claims favoring those been handled by the Andry Lerner firm in exchange for referral fees. BP oil spill claims processing is undertaken by most law firms on a contingent fee basis. This means that claimants will have to wait longer to get the compensation they deserve in order to pick up the threads of their lives.

This is tough news to hear for those still struggling to recover, especially since there has so far been no evidence to suggest that these allegations have any foundation in fact. This further attempt by BP to delay paying compensation to those they affected is an illustration of how big business will find ways and means to avoid their civil liabilities. Victims of negligence will not win if they do not have aggressive representation. If your livelihood has been affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster, have your BP oil spill claims processing done by a law firm with a good track record in handling oil spill economic damage claims.

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