Could Google Glass Ruin Your Chances In Court?

I’ve written numerous times about the dangers of social media use and how it can negatively impact court cases.  Yet, this might be a small issue as compared to the role Google Glass is set to play.

The Fight Against Google Glass. Google Glass is a device created that is meant to look like a stylish pair of spectacles, while supplying many of the same advantages currently offered by smartphones.  There are obvious advantages to carrying such impressive technology on one’s head.  It will certainly make hands-free talking and texting easier than ever before, for instance.  Despite these benefits, millions are protesting the release to the major markets for fear of what it will do to the American way of life.  Many fear it will be an intense breach of privacy and will completely alter how people operate during their day-to-day life.  Furthermore, there are those who fear it will lead to an entirely new range of sexual offenses, intellectual property theft, and a host of other similarly dangerous scenarios.

Social Media Taken too Far? In a personal sense, Google Glass will make it easier for all of us to be social.  The ability to take video, capture photos, and upload it all seamlessly, while walking or driving down the road will certainly make this world even smaller.  car-accident-331408-mHowever, it may also prove a dangerous ability when it comes to negligence in a Tampa auto accident.  Personal injury attorneys are already pulling photos and comments from social media to showcase the state of defendants at the time of an accident or to demonstrate that the injuries have not held plaintiffs back from normal activities.  Imagine what information could be retrieved from Google Glass recordings.  This could completely alter the way that court cases arrive at a conclusion, as evidence will be so readily available.

Video, Audio, Imagery. You don’t have to be wearing the Google Glasses for them to impact your case.  The opposing individual, or even a witness to the events, could have captured everything while donning the eyewear.  Images, video, and audio captured immediately prior to, during, or even after the accident could easily play a big part in the jury’s verdict.

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Google Glass: What Is It and Can It Help Your Court Case?

calendar-series-2-544230-mIn a recent article by Business Insider, a personal injury law firm was mentioned due to their efforts to involve Google Glass in courtroom proceedings. Located in Phoenix, the firm has agreed to lend the expensive frames to a few clients in an effort to showcase how powerful the technology could become in the industry.  Additionally, there is some talk about using Google Glass on mock jurors, in order to demonstrate to new attorneys what a member of the jury sees during the trial.

Google hosted a one-day sale last week, selling the highly controversial hi-tech glasses for $1,500 plus tax.  As one might suspect, the available products were quickly purchased.  It is no secret that Americans love new technology.  Yet, it does make one wonder how these advancements could change the United States Court System.

Why All the Hype? If you haven’t heard about Google Glass yet, then you are likely avoiding all internet news sources, as well as the majority of the social media networks.  This technology has been receiving a great deal of hype, partially negative, because it offers many of the conveniences that currently come in handheld form and places them directly on one’s face.  Google Glasses are sleek, stylish, and relatively discreet.  They allow a person to track daily activities, take photos, record video or audio, search the internet on any topic, and even post to social media.  This is only a small selection of the advantages that come with ownership.

Why Personal Injury Attorneys? Imagine how beneficial it would be to have a recording of a Tampa auto accident when facing a court case, or even a bunch of still photographs taken just after impact.  Google Glasses could make that easier than ever before.  Of course, the personal injury law firm mentioned in the article above were also considering the benefits of having glasses well after an accident has occurred.  They believe that, using Google Glass, they can get a clear picture of how the injuries have impacted the daily lives of those affected by the accident.

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Dog Inbreeding: Is It a Cause of Dog Attacks?

puppy-1435341-mIn a recent report, a pitbull breeder was questioned on the match that led to an offspring named Nico.  Nico is a 130-pound dog and was involved in a vicious attack that led to the death of a four-year-old girl last month.

The breeder of Niko was questioned when it was learned that several others who received offspring from the stud (Kimbo) reported instability in their dogs.  Another man reported that Kimbo has attacked him, breaking his arm in the process and that he had warned the breeder to stop using the dog as a stud or someone was likely to get hurt.  That was two years prior to Niko’s birth. Altogether, Kimbo has studded more than two hundred puppies, yet there is some evidence that this stud is an example of inbreeding gone wrong.  According to pedigree registration, Kimbo was born of siblings and there was evidence of inbreeding for generations prior.

The Dangers of Inbreeding. An inbred animal is one that is born to a related pairing.  That is to say that siblings or parent and offspring are mated.  While there are some benefits of occasional inbreeding, such as encouraging certain likeable traits, the mating of related animals can ultimately lead to serious physical defects and genetic illnesses among the offspring.  In addition to physical defects and susceptibility to illnesses, inbred dogs are more likely to have personality disorders, including amplified aggression.

Is Your Dog Inbred? There are several traits evident in puppy litters that can point to inbreeding.  These include physical defects such as missing tails, over- or under-bites, cleft palates, or uneven eye shape and size.  Decreased birth weights are also frequently reported in inbred litters. Unfortunately, the impact of inbreeding that can lead to the need for a personal injury attorney isn’t always evident until the dog attack has occurred.  Aggression and many of the more serious impacts will often go unnoticed until the dog reaches adulthood.


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5 Reasons Your Cooling System Might Fail

automotive-air-conditioning-1382378-mAh!  The warm weather has finally arrived throughout the United States and with it comes plans for a fun-filled summer.  Unfortunately, all too often unexpected car repairs or Tampa auto accidents can ruin those plans.  One of the more common car failures involves the cooling system.  This is the essential component of any vehicle that maintains normal operating temperatures and keeps the engine safe from overheating.  When the cooling system fails, the heat gauge on the dash will quickly hit its limits and the car can begin to misbehave or even start smoking.  It is essential to stop driving an overheating vehicle to prevent lasting damage to the working components within.

There are several reasons that the cooling system can fail, including:

Low Coolant Levels. If your system is leaking or there has been excessive evaporation, the coolant levels can dip down to dangerously low levels, which can lead to overheating on your road trip.  This is exactly why you should regularly check fluid levels in your car.

Fan Failure. In addition to the coolant, this system depends on fans blowing air when the car isn’t travelling fast enough to create proper air flow through the radiator.  When the fan fails to come on, temperatures can climb quickly.

Thermostat Closed Tight. A thermostat is used to gauge the temperature and, when that measure has reached a certain level, to open for the release of coolant.  If it fails to open, coolant won’t be flowing and overheating is likely.

Bad Belts. Like so many components of a vehicle, in many cars the cooling system fan depends on a belt.  If the belt is damaged or worn out, then the fan won’t turn and the engine temperature will reach dangerous levels.

Flush-Ready Fluid. The coolant in your vehicle should be flushed and replaced annually because it can begin to gum up and cause trouble in the radiator as you tack on the miles.  By 50,000 miles, it can wreak havoc on the cooling system.

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Bus Safety: Teaching Kids to Save Their Own Lives

emergency-exit-835400-mThe recent news story breaking out of California is leaving millions heartbroken as they learn of the car accident that killed seven students and three adults.  When a big rig FedEx truck crossed the median, it ran head-on into a bus carrying high school seniors.  The collision was so intense that it led to explosions and a sea of flames.  Fortunately, many students were able to get out of the bus by jumping out the windows.

It is horrible to think of the consequences of this accident, but it is also important to remember that it could take place anywhere.  What would your child do if he or she was involved in a Tampa auto accident or bus accident and you weren’t there to help?

Bus safety is often an emphasized topic at the beginning of the school year, but it can take a back seat to other, seemingly more important matters as the year wears on.  Though this incident was almost certainly unpreventable, it should serve as a reminder that lives are precious and fragile.  Knowing where to locate emergency exits, how to operate them, and how to react should unexpected circumstances arise is just the type of information students should be provided on each and every trip. Though many schools throughout the country are required to run bus drills a certain number of times each year, it is important to realize that kids change after-school patterns frequently.  It is possible that, at the time of a crash, the driver will be contending with at least one child that has not been through those drills.

More than 30 people were rushed to hospitals after the bus and truck accident, some were in flames as they leapt through windows and sought help.  As mentioned above, ten did not survive.  This is just the type of story that makes you want to rush home and hug your own children tight.  Let it also serve as inspiration to remind your children regularly how to react in a bus or car emergency.

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Preparing Your Car For Summer: The Emergency Kit

first-aid-kit-545391-mMany people think that winter is the time for stocking the car in case of an accident, but the summer can be just as detrimental to those involved in an auto emergency.  As you prepare your vehicle for the warmest months of the year, be sure that you have safety in mind.  That means keeping an emergency kit on hand.

First Aid Kit. Don’t confuse a first aid kit for an emergency kit.  This is only a piece of the puzzle, but it is an important one.  A proper First Aid kit should contain Band-Aids, adhesive tape, non-stick gauze, aspirin, antiseptic ointments, small scissors, and instant ice packs.  It is also wise to consider the possible emergency needs of your family members.  For instance, EpiPens, inhalers, and other such life-saving medications may be necessary as well.  However, be sure to check manufacturers’ guidelines for safe storage temperatures as it can get very warm inside cars during the summer months.

Warning Triangles and Flares. Most experts agree that you should have at least four warning devices in your vehicle in case of an emergency.  These can be set up at several yard intervals in both directions to warn oncoming traffic.  If you do not provide this notice and a collision results, you could be held accountable by a personal injury attorney in court.

Tire Gauge, Sealant, Spare Tire, and Jack. Tire trouble can make it very difficult to get from one place to another.  Be sure that you carry a gauge to check tire pressure if you start to notice performance problems and sealant that will allow you to temporarily patch tire defects.  When you can’t patch it, a spare will be needed to get you back on the road and to a safe place.

Jumper Cables and Tow Cables. If your battery fails, you aren’t going to make it very far.  However, jumper cables can help you get the car started and to a safe place until you can get the battery checked properly.  Similarly, tow cables can help you get out of a minor predicament without needing a professional tow truck.

Rain Gear, Gloves, Rags, and a Blanket. Be sure that you can cover up, should you face an overnight emergency or one that takes place during inclement weather.  It is also wise to have gloves and rags in case you have to clean up a mess, work on the car, or tackle some other emergency scenario.

Food and Drink. If you are forced to wait for help for an extended period of time or you are forced to entertain young children while the car problem is addressed, you will want food and drinks on hand.  Bottles of water, granola bars, and other non-perishable items are a wise addition to your emergency kit.

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Preparing Your Car For Summer: The Battery

starting-the-car-1194812-mThe summer season brings with it the desire to get out and about, to explore the world around us.  In order to accomplish this goal, you will need a reliable vehicle to transport you.  This means that you should take this opportunity to inspect several car components to be sure that they are in good working order.  Among those is the battery.  Of all the parts of your vehicle, the battery is among the most likely to fail.  The average car battery will last as few as two or three years, with some lasting up to ten years.  In order to be sure that yours doesn’t fail at the most inopportune time, take the time now to give it a closer look.

Get Rid of the Dirt and Grime.  Batteries that are covered in gunk and corrosion are much more likely to fail when you most need them.  Clean this away with an old toothbrush and a mixture of baking soda and water.  It is always a good idea to avoid touching the corrosive deposits to bare skin, so wear gloves and eye protection when working on your vehicle.

Check the Water Levels.  Water is an important part of the inner workings of a car battery.  When water evaporates due to overcharging or when there is a leak, it can cause the battery to fail.  Fortunately, most batteries have removable caps that make it easy to check if these fluid levels are waning.  If water levels in the battery have dipped below the top of the plates within, it may be necessary to add distilled water to bring it back to the desired level.  If you are uncomfortable checking the levels on your own, or cannot find caps on your battery, consider setting up a regular maintenance appointment with a mechanic.

Facts About Your Battery.  Hot weather is the most trying time for your car battery.  The average battery lasts three to four years, but more batteries die in the summer than during any other season.  Regularly using the accessory mode in your car can reduce the life of your battery.  If a new battery fails, causing injury or harm, you can speak to a personal injury attorney about your rights.

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Preparing Your Car For Summer: Brakes

brake-rotor-80847-mIt will soon be the season of “cruising the strip,” family road trips, and driving with the top down, which means that this is the season of prepping the car.  Pre-season summer car maintenance can lead to a much more enjoyable and safer summer season with fewer chances for a Tampa auto accident.  So schedule a trip to the local auto shop, if need be, but, at the very least, take a close look at the brakes you depend upon so much.

Today, the majority of cars on the road are equipped with disc brakes.  This system relies on a hydraulic system creating pressure that allows the brake to be compressed when the driver pushes down on the pedal.  In addition to a fully functioning hydraulic system, these brakes rely on calipers, rotors, and pads.  The rotors are the “discs” of the disc brake system.  They allow the wheel to spin freely until the brake pedal is depressed, which causes calipers (clamps) to close down on the rotor, thereby stopping the movement of the wheel.  In order for enough friction to be created, the caliper must be loaded with a brake pad.

Look. There are three things that you should be doing to ensure that your braking system is operating efficiently.  The first is to look at them periodically.  Fortunately, through many tire spokes it is possible to catch a glimpse of the brake pads.  If these are less than one-quarter inch in thickness, then they cannot perform their task as well as they should and that means that it takes you longer to stop the car.  If you cannot see the pads through the spokes, consider removing the tire.  This will also allow you to inspect the rotors, which should be smooth and clean of any groves or pitting.  If you don’t feel comfortable performing this inspection, consult an experienced mechanic. 

Listen. Most modern braking systems are equipped with a sensor that will let out a loud squeal when the brakes are not working properly.  Additionally, grinding sounds can indicate that the pads are worn so badly that metal is touching metal when you compress the brakes. Continuing to use brakes in that condition can lead to rotor damage or a serious accident.  If you are involved in a collision because you have not properly maintained your car, you could find yourself facing a personal injury attorney in court.

Feel. Finally, feel for indications that your brakes are not working properly.  You will likely notice some vibration when attempting to stop the car.  It is also possible that bad brakes would cause your car to pull to one side or the other.  This suggests that a caliper is getting stopped in the engaged position.  Whereas, a soft pedal – one that sinks nearly all the way to the floor before slowing the vehicle – suggests that there is a leak in the hydraulic system.

If you are noticing brake wear and tear, get it fixed.  After all, brakes can save your life!

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Preparing Your Car For Summer: Tires

tires-1372268-mIn an ongoing series of posts about the essential steps to preparing your car for summer driving, we now come to tires.  Though there is a lot of talk (especially in the north) about the importance of tire care in the coldest months of the year, the rubber is just as important come summertime.

Time to Make the Switch to Summer Tires

Chances are good, as a resident of Tampa, Florida, that you don’t worry about winter tires.  However, if you spend part of your year in another climate, or you have recently relocated, then you might need to make the switch to summer tires now.

Have Your Tires Rotated

If you haven’t had rotated your tires recently, then now is the time.  This is not so much a “summertime issue” as it is a matter of regular maintenance.  In order to preserve the life of the tires that you invested in, it is wise to rotate them.  Why?  Well, front tires take the brunt of the punishment when driving.  They are used for the execution of turns, parallel parking, and many cars on the road are front-wheel drive, meaning that the front wheel pull the vehicle.  Changing the back tires to the front, and vice versa, will keep the set in better shape for a longer period of time.

Check Tire Pressures

This isn’t something that should be done at the start of summer and then ignored throughout the rest of the year.  Tire pressure plays a big part in the performance of your vehicle and low pressure can drastically increase the odds of a tire blowout and Tampa auto accident.  So, while the tires are still cold – before you have driven very far – check the pressure and ensure that it falls within the manufacturer’s recommended range.

Examine Tires For Tread Life

Finally, pull out a penny.  That’s right!  It’s time to check your tire tread and Former President Lincoln is going to help you do it.  Stick the coin between the tread with Lincoln’s head facing downward.  If any part of Lincoln’s head is covered by the rubber of the tread, then the tires are good to go.  If not, it’s time to start researching the best new shoes for your vehicle.  Additionally, look for uneven wear (areas where the tread is worn more noticeably).  An alignment might be needed if there is uneven tread wear.  This will help keep your tires road-worthy.

NOTE: Don’t forget to check your spare tire, as well.  In case of emergency, you want to be able to rely on it.  It is also wise to take your jack out once or twice per year to ensure it operates efficiently.

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Preparing Your Car For Summer: A/C

hotcold-dial-1207958-mIn the most recent blog post, I wrote about the importance of getting your cooling system inspected before summer arrives.  Now that you have your car cooled down properly, it’s time to worry about your own traveling temperature.  Though it was once considered a major luxury, most cars today are equipped with air conditioning. Now is a good time to ensure that yours is working correctly, before the temperatures reach uncomfortable levels.

Keeping Yourself Cool

Inspecting the air conditioning unit in your car does require some basic knowledge.  However, if you have this general understanding, then you should inspect the drive belt, which keeps the compressor running.  If the belt is damaged or torn, it should be replaced.  Also, take a look at the fan blades to ensure that they are free of debris.

That being said, it is important to note that most people are not equipped to properly inspect or repair their vehicle air conditioning.  For that reason, it is wise to consult a mechanic or car care expert.

Especially if your air conditioner is not functioning properly, it is wise to consult a mechanic.  There are many reasons that A/C might fail.  However, before you call, take a closer look at the problem, so you can give an educated assessment of what happens when the A/C is turned on.

Is Air Blowing When A/C Is On?

If air is not blowing when the air conditioning and fans are turned on, then there is a definite problem.  The issue is likely with the A/C blower fan, which will likely have to be replaced or repaired before the system can operate properly.

Air Is Blowing, But It’s Not Cold

In order for air conditioning systems to work correctly, they must be loaded with a gas known as Freon. Compressed Freon is pushed through the system under pressure; as the gas expands and contracts, cooling occurs.  When a Freon leak occurs, the system is compromised and must be “recharged” to renew the levels of the gas.  At the same time, the repair shop can fix the leak that led to the problem.  Low Freon is generally to blame for air that isn’t cold.

Does The A/C Function Better When Traveling At Faster Speeds?

If you notice that your air conditioner is working, but not working as well as it once did, or works only when the car is in motion, call the mechanic.  Once again, it is likely Freon levels to blame.  At highway speeds, there is more air crossing over the system and the Freon is pumped faster and harder through the system.  An air conditioning system that is low on Freon can still feel cool at these high speeds because of the increased air flow through the engine block and over the condenser.

Though a bad A/C system isn’t likely to result in a Tampa auto accident, there is good reason to get it fixed before summer moves in.  Uncomfortable temperatures make driving a chore and driving with the windows down can be distracting and impede one’s ability to hear potential signs of trouble.  As well, if you are comfortable while driving, there’s less chance you will become an irritable driver.

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