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Motorcycle Accidents

From January to September 2013 motorcyclist fatalities numbered to 3,638, a little less than the 2012 4,046 count during the same months. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) says, however, that the decline is neither due to riders’ improved riding skills nor motorists’ better observance of road safety rules, but rather because of bad weather conditions, specifically the long and cold winter.

The total number of motorcyclist fatalities for the year 2012 was actually 4,957, while for serious injuries, 93,000. According to the GHSA the factors that contributed to the accidents included: intoxication (with a blood alcohol concentration level of more than the 0.08% limit); speeding; and, not wearing of helmet. Two other GHSA data said that half of the total number of accidents was single motorcycle accidents, which means that no other vehicle was involved, while close to one fourth concerned riders who did not possess a valid motorcycle license.

Both the GHSA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) emphasize the importance of wearing a helmet when riding as this is remains to be the best way to prevent serious injuries and death. In fact, NHTSA records reveal that the number of motorcyclist fatalities in states with no helmet law was 10 times greater than in states that had a helmet law. Currently, only 19 states have a helmet law, which requires both riders and passengers to wear one each. Other states either only require the wearing of a helmet by children or make no requirements at all.

Expert riders from various accredited motorcycle associations in the US encourage all other riders, especially those who are just learning, to take a basic rider course from professional schools where they will be taught correct riding skills and tips to avoid accidents. For more than just learning how to ride a motorbike well, a rider will also need to learn how to be keenly observant of every road situation and any possible risks of accident which can be due to road defects and hazards, or the failure or refusal of other motorists to recognize motorcyclists’ right of way.

In cases of accidents wherein another person (can be another negligent driver or a person who fails to perform his/her job of making sure that roads are cleared of debris or defect) is liable, it will be wise for motorcyclists to contact a personal injury lawyer, who will help them assess their case and advise them on the best legal option that may be worth pursuing for the compensation that they may be entitled to receive.

The site of the Law Offices of Crowe & Mulvey, LLC , has information on the many issues that motorcycle accident victims could be interested to know.

Drawbacks and Benefits of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Sometimes you just want to throw up your hands and give up when the going gets really tough, and there are instances when that is precisely what you need to do. There are times when it is just better to cut your losses and start fresh. That is the main purpose of Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Law designed to help and protect debtors who are in dire financial distress. As bankruptcy lawyer Erin B. Shank, P.C. points out on her website, coping with overwhelming debt can be physically, emotionally and mentally exhausting.

However, deciding to file for bankruptcy is a big step and should be undertaken with full knowledge of what you are getting into. Here are two of the major drawbacks and benefits you can expect when filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Credit Score

Declaring any kind of bankruptcy is sure to affect your credit, and a Chapter 7 filing will usually remain on your record for 10 years. However, if you don’t file for bankruptcy and fail to meet your financial obligations, it will hurt your credit anyway, and bankruptcy is something that is easier to explain than multiple hits on your score. You can slowly rebuild your credit if you don’t fall into the same traps as before, such as huge credit card debts or a ruinous mortgage.

Property

Under Chapter 7, you agree to liquidate all your non-exempt assets in order to pay what you can to your creditor, so you may lose some of your prized possessions. On the other hand, state exemptions will let you keep at least the basics such as your primary residence, a vehicle, clothes, furniture, and even jewelry up to a certain value. While you may lose your stamp collection, you will discharge most of your debts. You can always accumulate property again once you get clear of Chapter 7 which creditors cannot touch.

Each bankruptcy case is different, and each state has its own set of bankruptcy rules. You should consult with a bankruptcy lawyer in your state for a more comprehensive assessment of your case.

Following in the Footsteps: The Saga of the Xarelto Lawsuit

It should not come as a surprise that the first Xarelto lawsuit has been filed barely three years after the anticoagulant drug was approved in July 2011 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initially as prophylactic treatment for patients that had recently undergone hip or knee replacement surgery and later for atrial fibrillation, pulmonary embolism, and deep vein thrombosis. After all, its predecessor though not class-mate Pradaxa (dabigatran) from Boehringer Ingelheim got FDA approval in 2010 is already knee-deep in lawsuits for bleeding side effects. Why should manufacturer Bayer Corp. and US distributor Janssen Ortho LLC (a division of Johnson & Johnson) expect anything different?

Both Xarelto and Pradaxa are alternatives to the standard anticoagulant medication warfarin, which proved its efficacy in reducing the incidence of blood clots as far back as 1950. The problem with warfarin was that it was difficult to administer; it required regular monitoring and frequent dosage adjustments to account for interactions with certain foods. Xarelto and Pradaxa, on the other hand, were taken once a day and did not require regular monitoring for safe use. On the downside, both Xarelto and Pradaxa have no known reversal agent unlike warfarin which could be effectively and immediately counteracted with a dose of Vitamin K, so when a patient starts bleeding in reaction to a dose of either Xarelto or Pradaxa, they’ll continue bleeding until the drug flushes out of the system. Not good.

Xarelto is a direct factor Xa (10-a) inhibitor, also known as a xaban, a class of anticoagulants that acts directly on factor Xa of the coagulation cascade. Pradaxa, on the other hand, is a direct thrombin inhibitor. This difference makes no difference, so to speak; both classes of anticoagulants share the same problem of uncontrollable bleeding with no way of reversing it. Warfarin also had this issue, but it could be reversed.

If you have suffered serious injuries from using Xarelto which was supposed to be safer than warfarin then you may have a personal injury case against Janssen and Bayer. Contact a dangerous drugs lawyer in your area to find out if you qualify for and how to file a Xarelto lawsuit.

Laser Hair Removal

Considering only those performed by board-certified otolaryngologists, dermatologists and plastic surgeons, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery was able to record 901,571 hair removal procedures in 2013 in the US (part of the more than 11 million cosmetic surgical and non-surgical treatments in the same year, which is 12 percent increase from 2012).

Beauty and good looks make one much more confident; but with the perfectly smooth skin and stunning beauty that laser hair removal can provide, a person’s level of confidence is sure to soar.

Laser hair removal, which was introduced during the latter part of the 1990s and approved by the US Food and Drug Administration subsequently, is a minimally-invasive cosmetic procedure for the permanent reduction of hair. Compared to other hair removal procedures, such as tweezing, shaving, waxing and electrolysis, laser hair removal is faster, much more effective in permanently reducing the hairs of the body, and painless.

The website of Bergman Folkers Plastic Surgery talks about the use of the CynoSure Elite, the latest in laser hair removal technology which has consistently displayed unmatched efficiency in removing unwanted hair, as well as client comfort. Working on the Cynosure’s Elite Aesthetic Workstation, board-certified surgeons are also enabled to perform the hair removal procedure on anyone, regardless of his/her type of skin.

Laser hair removal can be performed on parts of the body (including the face, arms, legs, underarm and bikini line) where unwanted hair has grown; it involves the use of a laser that is designed to radiate intense light on the skin. This light is supposedly absorbed by the hair follicles’ pigments, destroying hair in the process. Since hair grows in cycles, however, only active follicles would be affected by the light. Due to this, as well as to individual differences in the density of hair, the number of procedures, to achieve desired results, will definitely vary among clients. While some clients will require only about four procedures, other may need as many as six. Each procedure, though, will have to be done 4 to 8 weeks apart from each other.

Experts in cosmetic procedures, as well as the website of Bergman Folkers Plastic Surgery, gives only one strong advice to clients – that whatever type of procedure is to be performed (but more so if it is a surgical procedure), make sure that the person who will conduct it is board-certified in plastic and reconstructive surgery, for optimum safety and the best results.

Drunk Driving and Trucking Accidents

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) is a serious crime anywhere in the U.S., but it has even graver consequences when the driver happens to be a truck or other professional types of driver. A single DUI conviction can lead to the suspension or revocation of a commercial driver’s license (CDL) without which a professional driver cannot make a living.

A number of trucking accidents have been caused by drunk driving, either the truck driver or the other guy. When an accident occurs and impaired driving is suspected, the first thing that the authorities are going to do is to measure the blood alcohol content (BAC) of all parties involved, not just the drivers. This is standard procedure for CDL holders involved in an accident based on federal regulations. This is an important piece of evidence which can be used to prove innocence one way or the other.

In the event that the BAC results are not in favor of a driver, it is important not to panic but to engage the services of an experienced DUI lawyer in the area at once. The driver charged with a DUI or DWI should not say or admit anything, but to leave it to the lawyer to get the facts, decide on the best possible defense and to advise accordingly. In any state, but especially in Texas, the attitude towards drunk driving is one of intolerance, so it is important that an aggressive defense is mounted to overcome the natural bias of the legal system against drunk drivers.

CDL holders particularly should have no hesitation about engaging a tough lawyer experienced in handling DUI cases. Aside from the criminal consequences, it would mean hardship for the CDL holder and dependents if the charge is turned into a conviction as it would mean no income. There are also civil liabilities to consider once fault is established (via a conviction) if injury and/or death resulted from the accident.

While the injury case may be very difficult for a driver to dispute, it is possible to successfully fight the criminal DWI charges such an accident may result in. There are numerous aspects of a DWI conviction that can be disputed in court. This includes the methods used to determine whether or not a person was drunk at the time of the accident as well as the condition of the tools officers use for that task. With the help of a competent attorney, a person responsible for an accident may be able to contend that he or she was not drunk at the time.

The Tragedy of Preventable Car Accidents

Statistics show that of the 211 children aged 14 years and younger who died in drunk driving car accidents in 2010, more than half were in the vehicle with the drunk driver. The sudden death of a child is tragic in itself, but when it results from the irresponsibility of a friend or family member, it is doubly so. Incidents caused by negligence can be life-altering, affecting everyone involved, but especially for victims and their families.

It is a fact that more than 300,000 vehicular accidents occur every year in the U.S., and not all of them are due to negligence. But the majority of these accidents are due to driver error, so whenever one takes a vehicle on the road, the driver has a duty of care to those with whom he or she shares the road, including other vehicles and pedestrians. It is easy to forget how horrendous the consequences of a few seconds of inattention or failing to follow rules of the road can be until it actually happens, and by then it is too late.

Car and truck accidents that result in injury or death often involve long-term physical pain, extensive and costly medical care, financial hardship, and emotional distress. Even when intoxication is not a factor, driving practices such as texting while driving, distracted driving, speeding, and driving while fatigued are all examples of negligence that need to be forcefully addressed. These are incredibly irresponsible driving behaviors that all too often cause serious accidents. There have been too many innocent lives cut short as a result of poor driving habits that are essentially a function of human impatience.

If you or a close family member has been injured or died because the driver was careless, intoxicated, or otherwise negligent, it is your responsibility to put a stop to such behavior. Consult a personal injury attorney in your area to explore your legal options and enforce your civil rights in this matter to impose sanctions on the responsible party and get at least financially compensated for the damage that has been done.

The Pros and Cons of Taking Risperdal

The benefits manifested by the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal during the years immediately following its release plus the claim that is causes lesser side effects compared to other drugs intended to treat brain-related illnesses, enabled it to gain immediate popularity in the medical field. This acceptance led to the issuance of more than 10 million prescriptions by the end of October 2011.

The use of Risperdal was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1994; it is prescribed to patients to treat mixed or manic episodes of bipolar disorder, long-term treatment of bipolar disorder, irritability due to autistic disorder and schizophrenia.

By altering the effects of chemicals (called neurotransmitters) in the brain, Risperdal is able to affect abnormal brain communication, which is the cause of psychotic illness, and improve the condition of the patient. Besides the FDA-approved use of Risperdal, doctors also prescribe the drug for off-label use, such as in treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorders, Tourette syndrome and stuttering.

The year 2003 was marked with reports of severe side-effects and fatalities that, allegedly, were caused by Risperdal. Incidences of strokes, deaths and the development of Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome or NMS (a deadly condition caused by the rigidity of the muscles and irregularities in blood pressure) and Tardive Dyskinesia (uncontrolled twitching of the face and/or tongue and uncontrolled movement of the limbs caused by a disorder in the central nervous system).

A 2010 study on Risperdal, however, found that the drug makes no improvement on the social skills and conversational ability of children with autism and that the obsessive behavior of many autistics has not been reduced. The study also showed that, though, Risperdal may have provided some benefits to people suffering from dementia, the incidences of stroke and death were still higher.

Some of the other reported side effects and complications from Risperdal include heart failure, diabetes, bone loss, pancreatitis, cellulitis, pneumonia, neutropenia and fast/irregular heartbeat. Risperdal is a prescription drug supposed to be taken orally. It was developed by Janssen-Cilag, one of Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiaries, in 1992, especially, for individuals suffering from schizophrenia.

Vampire Facelift, Anyone?

The most alluring idea about the vampire myth is that they are supposed to be forever young and beautiful. Even though beauty is culturally- and historically – bound and that what may be beautiful now may not be beautiful 100 years from now, youth will always signify supple and smooth skin. So to keep one’s face looking young and smooth, should one simply go to the local vampire haunt and invite a toothsome party-goer to a bite? Not exactly.

A vampire facelift is a bit of a misnomer because it involves neither a vampire nor a facelift, although it does involve blood. A vampire facelift is a non-surgical procedure in which fine lines and wrinkles are eliminated with the use of a patient’s own blood plasma. It is nearer to the procedure used for Botox and fillers, which are injected in strategic areas to “plump” out the creases brought on by habit and age. A facelift (rhytidectomy), in contrast, is the surgical removal of loose skin so that the remaining skin can be stretched smoothly.
It is important to note that it is the plasma and not whole blood that is injected into the skin. More accurately, the colorless platelets in the blood are separated from the red blood cells, and the platelets-rich plasma (PRP) is then activated by a substance containing fibrin which will then turn the plasma into a thin gel-like compound capable of forming a supporting matrix once it is injected into the desired area. This compound serves as the filler, but since it is derived from the patient’s own body, there is no danger of an allergic reaction.

A vampire facelift is recommended for the elimination of fine lines in spot areas, or to add volume to others. It is not usually recommended for the full face as it would require quite a lot of product. The process can also be used for areas other than the face. The effects can last for as long as 15 months.

Because it is so popular, many establishments, including Aesthetica MedSpa, offer vampire facelifts, but care must be taken when choosing where to get it done. For the most effective and safest vampire facelift, and indeed for any cosmetic procedure, it is best to consult with a qualified dermatologist.

The Legal Battle over the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Claims Continues

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the terms of the Economic and Property Damage Class Action Settlement Agreement in a 2-1 ruling, dashing the hopes of BP Plc of stopping what the lawyers have termed as “fictitious” and “absurd” claims. The oil giant contends that the settlement was for individuals and businesses that had been adversely affected financially by the Macondo oil spill. However, the terms of the settlement made no provisos requiring claimants to show proof that the oil spill caused business or individual losses.

BP Plc is the operator of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig located in the Macondo prospect in the Gulf of Mexico. More than three years ago on April 20, 2010, the oil rig exploded, spewing millions of barrels of oil into the water over 5 months before the leak could be plugged. It is considered the most massive environmental disaster in the history of the petroleum industry. BP and its partners have been found civilly liable for the economic, environmental, and physical damage caused by the oil spill.

Despite their defeat at the appellate court, however, BP still has the power to contest each and every claim over $25,000 made against the settlement. Moreover, a second panel on the 5th Circuit has been convened to consider whether causality should be considered a given in the terms of the settlement as contended by BP, to prevent benefiting claimants who seek only to take advantage of the opportunity even if they have not suffered any injury as a result of the oil spill.

This latest development in the legal tussle for control over the $9.2 billion settlement fund has halted the sigh of relief of legitimate claimants over the decision of the first panel not to stop the processing of claims. If the second panel decides to grant BP’s motion to realign the terms of the settlement, it would mean even more delays and denials of legitimate Gulf of Mexico oil spill claims.
Those with who have yet to make a claim or have received only part of a claim award may be eligible to make one outside the settlement fund. Consult with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney with a good track record pursuing BP oil spill claims to get advice on other avenues for getting compensation.

Construction Accidents and Traumatic Brain Injuries

There is no question that construction workers are among the most likely to sustain work-related injuries simply because the nature of the work is inherently dangerous. Construction workers often operate electric-powered heavy tools that are difficult to control, operate heavy machinery or work right alongside them, and work from heights, often in conditions of high winds and intense temperatures. It takes a hardy individual to work in construction even under the best of conditions, and accidents still happen even when all the possible safety precautions are taken.

The most common type of injury for construction workers is traumatic brain injury, otherwise known as TBI, which is why hard hats are the number one safety gear required for all that are within the worksite, even non-workers. Tools, planks, steel bars, and debris that fall from a sufficient height could result in serious injury to anyone unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. A construction worker could sustain a brain injury by falling or having something fall on his or her head, and depending on the height of the fall, can spend a few hours to a few years recovering from damage to the brain.

Any type of brain injury is no joke; a closed brain injury where the damage is internal may look fine, but the trauma could have considerable and permanent effects on the functionality of the worker. It is the worst kind of TBI because it is harder to detect and treat. But any kind of TBI is potentially dangerous because the brain is easily damaged, and does not take a lot to render the individual totally and permanently disabled.

When construction accidents happen because of dangerous work conditions or employer negligence, the victim may be eligible for a personal injury claim. Consult with a qualified and experienced personal injury lawyer to assess the case and determine if this legal recourse is possible based on the circumstances. Because it is often difficult to prove negligence, it is important to get advice from a lawyer who has a thorough knowledge of personal injury law as it pertains to the construction industry and have a good track record of success in pursuing claims for TBI and other injuries.

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