If you have been involved in an accident while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you may have to overcome physical injuries and financial costs like medical bills. According to the website of West Palm Beach car accident lawyers of Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller and Overbeck, P.A., such an accident may also be subject to a personal injury case, so you have personal injury lawsuits and attorney fees to worry about on top of everything.
But it doesn’t end there.
Being suspected of DUI can affect your life deeper than you think. It can affect your psychological state, family relationship, friendship, and other personal aspects of your life that you didn’t know would even be affected.
Current and future employment
Many employers have zero tolerance for applicants and employees who have convictions under their belts, particularly those that are drug-related. This is especially true if the job involves driving. If you are already employed as a delivery truck driver or any kind of professional driver, you may also be subject to dismissal.
Emotional and psychological effects
Being involved in an accident, particularly in one that involves recklessness and negligence like DUI, can be particularly taxing emotionally and psychologically. You can experience post traumatic stress disorder, and other changes in behavior, eating habits, sleeping patterns, and mood.
Family and friends issues
It is not just about you. The emotional and psychological effects you show can also have a toll to your family. Your tendency to withdraw yourself from others or burst in anger and irritability can make them suffer.
You may also notice that some of your friends are avoiding you, because they may think you are a bad influence. They just don’t want to get involved with your problems anymore and eradicate the possibility of future problems that may result from your recklessness and negligence.
Loss of license
If you have been convicted of driving under the influence, you may be required to surrender your license. This has a bigger effect in your life than you think. It means that you cannot drive back and forth to work or school, go to the grocery for a quick errand, or even take your kids or siblings to school.
The issue is about convenience, and it takes a lot of your freedom of mobility. It is also about responsibility, because not being able to drive can affect your duties to your family, friends, and yourself.
Remember that driving under the influence affects not just you, but also the others around you, may they be present in the accident scene or not. So before risking in the reckless and negligent behavior of DUI, you should consider how it can affect your life in the long run. Maybe the realizations will end up convincing you not to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.Read More
Truck accidents are not mainly due to driver error or company negligence but also due to mechanical failure. One of the major causes of truck accidents is defective tire. A study conducted by the Department of Transportation revealed that 29.4% of all truck accidents are due to brake failure, maladjusted brakes, and other brake-related issues. When a tire lows out, it could cause the driver to lose control of their vehicle.
A Tennessee trucking accident attorney will tell you that a truck accident caused by a tire problem can have devastating effects resulting to injuries. Tire failure may be attributed to the following reasons:
Defective Tires. This may be due to the tire manufacturer selling a defective tire. The usual thing to do is for the manufacturer to recall the tires. You can check the status of the tire with the website of the Department of Transportation.
Improper Maintenance. Another reason for tire blowout is failure to maintain by the trucking company. Air brakes which are commonly used for large trucks can only take so much heat. The limit for safe operation is 60 mph which can raise the temperature of the drum to 600 degrees. When the tire is not set at this limit, it is likely to malfunction
Drivers should make sure that the tires they are using are inspected prior to a trip. Improper tire pressure can cause deterioration and eventually tire failure. So make sure to check if the tires are in good condition before heading off to your destination to prevent any accidents. Check for any tread wear, tread and sidewall damage, and air leakage.
Trucking companies are legally responsible for the proper maintenance of the tires on their trucks. Failure by the company to do so puts the truck at a higher risk of traveling on defective tires. When the tire fails, this could result to crash on the part of the truck.Read More
Everyone will agree that amusement and theme parks are great destinations, especially for those seeking for fun and thrilling adventure, as well for those looking for a great way to bond with their family and friends. Parks offer great attractions and never ending surprises, giving all visitors an experience always worth reminiscing.
Amusement and theme parks, however, have been causes not only of fun and excitement; these have also been places where accidents have happened, injuries have been sustained, and where a few deaths have occurred. Every year, of the more than 300 million guests who visit theme and amusement parks, about 7,000 get injured and require medical treatment for the injuries they have sustained; deaths, on the other hand, number to 4 or 5, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
The leading causes of injuries and deaths in amusement and theme parks are trip-and-fall accidents, slip-and-fall, poorly designed rides, ride malfunction or mechanical failure, operator negligence, improper behavior by park guests, and failure of guest to observe safety instructions.
It appears that as technology progress, many amusement and theme park rides become more dangerous, increasing possibilities of injury and death. Because of the much higher risks, amusement park owners are also charged with greater responsibility of making sure that all park visitors are safe, that the park itself presents no danger to anyone, and that all the rides adhere to legally approved design and subjected to regular inspection.
Over the years, many premises liability lawsuits have been filed by those who got injured in parks; the same lawsuit has also been filed by families of victims who have died. Named defendants in lawsuits include the park’s employees, the park owner, or the manufacturer or designer of the specific ride that got involved in the accident. Though the results of the accidents are permanent, pursuing a legal action against the liable party may enable the victim to claim compensation, bring the liable party to justice, as well as help make sure that the same accident will never happen again. Amusement park accident lawyers from the Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC, law firm advises people who have been injured in an amusement park accident to find out and know about their legal rights and options to help with their case.Read More
According to the legal team at Pohl & Berk, LLP, a car accident is one of the leading causes of injuries and deaths in the country. The Association for Safe International Road Travel, at least 37,000 people are killed in motor vehicle accidents every year, and over 2.35 million people sustain injuries or become disabled. Given this information, it is highly likely that a car accident is also one of the most common reasons for filing personal injury lawsuits. The personal injury lawyers at Pohl & Berk, LLP also said that the victims of these car accidents suffer from physical and psychological consequences, which are surely traumatic, but getting monetary compensation and justice for the crash may somehow alleviate the repercussions of the crash.
So, if you want to help in substantiating your personal injury claim, what should you do after being involved in a car accident? First off, follow the common procedures like turning your car’s hazard light for safety, calling the authorities even when the accident is minor, and notifying your insurer.
Some important tips, as provided by State Farm, include not signing any document, unless it is for the safekeeping of the police or the insurance company. It will also be helpful, if you are able, to take notes on your own regarding all the information from the accident. This way, you will be able to present your case clearly. Another key to strengthening your case is to never admit that you are at fault, even when you think you are, so that it will not be held against you in court. You may also talk to all those involved, but be polite in doing so. Lastly, disclose only the facts, and nothing else, to the authorities, and never leave the scene until the others have.Read More
The spinal cord is a tube-like structure that extends from the brain stem to the bottom of the spine (spinal column). It is a very delicate and sensitive bundle of nerve tissues. It support cells and forms the central nervous system with the brain. With regard to function, the spinal cord serves as the pathway where messages from the brain (which acts as the body’s control or command center) get transmitted to the different parts of the body and back.
As fragile as it is, the spinal cord is surrounded by layers of protective coverings which are supposed to cushion it from the impact of a forceful blow. These layers of protection include bones, muscles, ligaments and discs. There are instances, however, when the impact to the spinal cord is just too strong or when a foreign object is able to penetrate though the protective coverings, damaging it in the process.
As stated in MedlinePlus, a website owned and operated by the US National Institutes of Health, the more detailed ways through which the spinal cord may be injured, include: weakening of the spine due to rheumatoid arthritis or osteoporosis; bruising of the spinal cord after the disks or bones have been weakened by fragments of metal or fragments of bones; the back, neck or head being twisted abnormally, resulting to the spinal cord getting compressed, pulled or pressed sideways; and, swelling, fluid buildup, or bleeding, either inside or outside the spinal cord, which can press or damage it. These causes of injuries, in turn, can be due assault, gunshot wound, industrial accident, motor vehicle accident, sports injury or falls (from 2000 – 2013, the identified major cause of spinal cord injuries was vehicular accidents; it was replaced by falls in 2014 (this is based on a study conducted by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s Center for Surgical Trials and Outcomes Research).
Injuries to the spinal cord usually lead to partial or total paralysis; the actual result depending on the area injured and how severe the injury is. Partial paralysis, also known as paraplegia, is impairment in motor or sensory functions of lower extremities (legs and trunk). The degree of paralysis varies; it may be impairment in leg movement or complete paralysis of the legs and abdomen. Paraplegia affects T1 – S5 levels of the spinal cord; the segments that may be affected are the thoracic, lumbar and sacral cord.
Quadriplegia or tetraplegia, which means paralysis of four limbs, results from a serious injury to the cervical (neck) spinal nerves, damaging particularly C1-C8 segments. If the injury occurs high enough in the area of the neck, then control of breathing may also be lost, necessitating the use of a ventilator for the rest of the patient’s life. Individuals suffering from quadriplegia usually need full-time care.
The website of law firm Cazayoux & Ewing acknowledges the fact that a spinal cord injury has a more comprehensive impact (than many other types of injuries) in the lives of those affected; the firm also believes that, due to the cost of long-term (or life-long, in some cases) medical treatment, the patient’s family may soon be caught in a financial burden that will prove too much for (his/her family) to bear.Read More
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is typically prominent when it comes to dangerous drugs, medical devices, and consumer products. It is, after all, the regulatory body that approves the introduction of these products to the general public. This includes medical devices such as power morcellators, that it cleared for medical use for the first time in 1991. In that particular instance, events unfolded that prompted the FDA to stand and take notice.
More than two decades after giving it the go-ahead, the FDA has issued a succession of safety communications to the public regarding the dangers of laparoscopic power morcellators for hysterectomies and myomectomies. By this time, the instrument had become commonly used, and thousands of women exposed.
The first warning came in April 2014, which discouraged doctors from recommending morcellation for these routine procedures, and manufacturers from marketing it. The data they analyzed indicated that one out of 350 women on which the morcellators are used develop uterine sarcoma. It is speculated that it resulted from cutting up unsuspected sarcomatous (cancerous) uterine fibroids. Immediately following this warning, Johnson & Johnson stopped sales of its laparoscopic power morcellators.
In July 2014, the FDA consulted with the Obstetrics and Gynecology Devices Panel to determine the at-risk populations with the use of morcellators. The discussion also revolved around how to mitigate these risks.
An Immediate in Effect second warning was released on November 24, 2014, and this time included recommended labeling guidelines for boxed warnings and safety statements on contraindications. The boxed warning specifically stated that unsuspected cancer cells may be lurking in uterine tissue, and that open morcellation can speed up its spread. Specifically, it should not be used for the removal of uterine fibroids in post- or peri-menopausal patients, or any gynecological procedure where cancer is suspected.
According to a website about morcellator lawsuits, however, the manufacturers should have known about these dangers much earlier in the day. The FDA warnings came out much too late for thousands of women that have succumbed or currently suffering the consequences of this oversight. If they had known the risks they were taking, they would probably have elected for a different way of getting the surgery done.
If you acquired uterine sarcoma or other complication linked to power morcellators, you may be a candidate for a dangerous product lawsuit. Consult with a morcellator lawyer in your area and find out more.Read More
In 1979, the United States federal government issued a ban for the use and manufacture of a group of chemical substances called polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs. This was due to reports indicating that PCBs have been polluting ecological life in areas within and around manufacturing and dumping sites. Among the areas severely affected by PCB pollution is Anniston, Alabama—a small, rural city where the main PCBs producer Monsanto had set up a manufacturing plant.
While Mosanto had stopped production of PCBs two years before the government-imposed ban, documents and reports that surfaced in the following years showed that the company had been well aware of the devastating environmental effects caused by their product. Internal memos pointed to independent studies that showed toxic Monsanto PCBs causing severe pollution in Anniston lakes and creeks. One study, conducted by scientists from Mississipi State University in 1966, noted how the marine life in Snow Creek has been devastated by PCB pollution: “All 25 fish lost equilibrium and turned on their sides in 10 seconds and all were dead in 3 1/2 minutes.”
These results—along with results from other scientific studies conducted in the years following the ban on PCBs—show just how dangerous the toxic chemical substances are to the environment. The danger of PCBs lie in the fact that these chemicals do not easily break down and can remain in the environment for extremely long periods of time. After contaminating air, water, and soil, PCB contamination can spread by affecting wildlife and moving up through the natural food chain. In particular, PCBs can be taken up by small fishes living in the water then spread to larger animals who consume these smaller organisms as food. When this happens, the level of PCB tends to accumulate and become higher and higher through the food chain. As such, predators can be exposed to PCB levels that are thousands of times higher than what’s present in the water.Read More
One common basis of many legal battles in federal courts is with regard to employment concern, particularly concerning ERISA, which stands for Employee Retirement Income Security Act. ERISA was passed into law by the 93rd United States Congress on September 2, 1974, for the purpose of making sure that the millions of Americans, upon their retirement, will be able to enjoy the deposited assets or funds in their retirement plan during the years when they were employed. This Act, however, is to benefit only those employees in companies where their employer has sponsored, on their behalf, a health insurance coverage or any other benefits, such as a pension plan.
The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), a branch of the US Department of Labor which has been charged with the administration of ERISA, does not require employers to sponsor plans for their employees. Its main task is to makes sure that the interests of ERISA-covered employees, along with their beneficiaries, are protected by the Act and informed, through the same, about all the vital information, relating to the plans sponsored on their behalf.
ERISA also sets the minimum standards on how employees would qualify for the availment of the benefits offered by the plans. These standards include: specification of the length of employment required for an employee to qualify as a participant in the plan; the number of years required before an employee can rightfully enjoy non-forfeitable interests in their pension plan; the length of time an employee is allowed to be away from his/her job without his/her benefits being affected; and the right of the employee’s spouse to the pension in the event of his/her death.
Often, however, despite an employee’s qualification into the program and eligibility in already claiming the benefits stipulated in the plan, his/her application ends up getting denied. According to the website of Cary Kane LLP, pension plan providers are afforded 90 days (by the law) for the processing of applications, though, they can request for an additional 90 days if more time is needed.
Denial of claim or getting approved for a benefit that is less than the amount stipulated in the plan policy entitles the employee to file a written appeal with the plan provider, usually within 60 days after the application has been denied.
An employee has the right to file a lawsuit against the pension provider in the event of a denied claim. But it is important that the employee is represented by a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer who will make sure that all pertinent documents are prepared and filed on time.Read More
One of the most basic things the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) makes sure before granting applicants a driver’s license is that they have learned and developed proper road behavior. Being a responsible driver never implies displaying superiority on the road, but treating all other motorists and pedestrians with respect. This respectful behavior entails a lot of things, including proper observance of traffic rules, not driving beyond the speed limit, never driving if intoxicated or under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, having undivided attention on the road, not using a cell phone while driving, avoiding any form of distraction while behind the wheel and never driving recklessly.
While drivers openly express that they never would want to be on the road at the same time with a careless and reckless motorist, so many, especially young and new drivers, fall prone to committing what they say they do not approve. This explains why as many as 2,650 teen drivers, aged between 16 and 19, die every year in car crashes and about 290,000 are treated in emergency departments due to injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk of figuring in a fatal car crash is three times higher in 16 to 19-year old drivers than those aged 20 and older.
Millions of Americans take to the road every day, as cars have now become the most basic means of transportation in the nation. The continuous increase in the number of cars on roads and highways, however, has not made roads safer for whether in cities, where traffic is always busy, or in urban areas, where traffic is almost always very light, accidents continue to happen – despite the proper road behavior that the DMV believes motorists have imbibed. According to the website of the Massachusetts personal injury lawyers at Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, one of the major reasons for these accidents is reckless driving.
The definition of reckless driving usually specified under state laws is that it is a willful and wanton disregard for the safety of persons and properties. Being convicted of reckless driving can result to: a misdemeanor crime; a substantial fine and imprisonment; automatic suspension or revocation of driver’s license; deportation; and, cancellation of parole.
Despite being a willful and wanton act, the website of Crowe Mulvey explains that innocent victims who are injured or killed by a reckless driver have the legal right to file a lawsuit against the irresponsible driver. It is important, though, that a victim is represented by a highly-qualified personal injury lawyer, who can strongly defend and uphold the victim’s rights and interests.Read More
Before a drug gets approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for distribution, its manufacturer will first need to prove through tests that it is safe and effective and state the risks associated with its abuse or wrong use.
One particular drug that was approved by the FDA is Zofran, with generic name Ondansetron, for the prevention and treatment of nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. Manufactured by London-based GlaxoSmithKline, this effective antiemetic agent belongs to a group of medicinal pills known as 5-HT3 receptor antagonists, which block serotonin, the body’s natural substance which can cause vomiting.
Zofran is included in the list of medicines that are necessary in the basic health system; this list was prepared by the World Health Organization. In 2006 it also became the 20th highest-selling drug in the United States.
Due to Zofran’s efficacy in treating the condition it was approved for, its manufacturer became confident enough to recommend the drug even for non-label use. Even doctors followed suit, prescribing the drug to pregnant women, especially those who are on their first trimester of pregnancy, to relieve them of the discomfort caused by severe morning sickness.
Besides not being meant to treat the vomiting experienced by pregnant women, a very natural occurrence during the first three months of pregnancy, Zofran has never been tested on pregnant women, thus, the absence of notes that would show whether the drug is safe or can cause risks to the mother and her unborn child.
The adverse effects of Zofran soon became evident, though, as different types of birth defects all began to be linked to the drug. According to the website of the Zofran lawsuit attorneys at Williams Kherkher, these include heart ailment, cleft lip, cleft palate, mouth deformities, musculoskeletal anomalies, and others.
Birth defects are not the only complaints about Zofran, however, for other patients also complain of irregular heartbeat, dizziness, swallowing difficulties, body swelling, shortness of breath, rashes, and so forth.
Prescribing Zofran for off-label use, despite the absence of proof regarding its total safety, can be seen as an example of medical malpractice, which claims about 225,000 lives in the US annually. According to the website of law firm Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, medical malpractice victims have a right to pursue justice and file a case against the liable doctor.Read More