Driver Fatigue a Likely Cause of Truck Accidents

If you have ever been behind the wheel of a car you have been driving for several hours, you may have experienced the sense of lethargy that steals over you without you realizing it until you jerk awake, hopefully not in the hospital. There have been stories of drivers who work the night shift that find themselves in bed when their last conscious action was turning on the ignition to drive home from work.

These are examples of microsleep episodes, short “naps” that the brain takes when an individual has not had enough sleep or is extremely tired. Microsleep typically last for a few seconds but it is possible to experience several episodes in a short period and the person is not even aware that such naps had occurred. The driver’s eyes are open but nobody’s home.

It is a condition that is likely to occur with long-haul truck drivers who are on the road for hours at a stretch and for days on end. While driver fatigue is to be expected because of the type of driving these truckers have to do, it can be significantly aggravated when truckers ignore the federally mandated hours-of-service (HOS) which are implemented precisely to prevent such occurrences. Even the most seasoned truck driver may find how fatally easy it is to fall asleep at the wheel of an 80,000-pound rapidly moving piece of steel and cause horrendous mayhem on life and property.

Truck drivers owe a duty of care to other drivers above and beyond that of a regular driver because of the size and weight of the vehicles they operate. As pointed out in an article on the website of the Sampson Law Firm, the potential for danger with an 18-wheeler is why the government has put regulations in place that are designed to neutralize some of that danger, including HOS. When truck drivers or companies choose to violate these safety regulations, they are guilty of negligence.

If you have been seriously injured from a negligent truck accident, you may have a valid claim against the truck driver and/or company for compensation. Ask a personal injury lawyer in your area for more information.

The Risks in Using Power Morcellators

On April 30, 2014, Ethicon,the unit of Johnson & Johnson responsible in the manufacture, sales and promotion of the pharmaceutical giant’s power morcellators, ceased distribution and sales, and ordered the withdrawal of the said devices from the market.

Ethicon’s move came barely three weeks after the US Food and Drug Administration issued a safety alert (on April 17, 2014) that discouraged doctors and hospitals from the continued use of power morcellators in laparoscopic surgical procedures, specifically in the removal of uterine fibroids or myomas through myomectomy and in the removal of the womb or uterus through hysterectomy.

FDA’s decision is based on medical reports regarding the possible spread of unsuspected cancer tissues, called uterine sarcomas, during morcellation treatment of women with uterine fibroids. Due to the lack of a device that can accurately detect the presence of uterine sarcomas, risk of spreading it beyond the uterus can happen as uterine fibroids are divided (or morcellated) into pieces.

Power morcellators are medical devices designed to cut an overgrown uterus or fibroids into pieces tiny enough to allow them to be extracted through 0.5-1cm incisions. These devices have been approved by the FDA to be used in laparoscopic (minimally invasive) surgeries. Since the early 1990s, many doctors began preferring power morcellator-aided laparoscopic surgeries over open surgeries (such as abdominal hysterectomy, which required incisions between five to seven inches long) due to the former’s many advantages, including tiny incisions that healed faster, shorter hospital stay, lesser blood loss, reduced pain and minimal chances of infection or complications.

Johnson & Johnson introduced three of the best engineered power morcellators in the market in 1998 which, many believe, actually set the standard on the way the device should be designed. These are Gynecare Morcellex, the Morcellex Sigma and the Gynecare X-Tract. Despite the accuracy and efficiency of J&J’s power morcellators, in particular, and the overall benefits provided by all power morcellators, in general, the FDA still find the risk of cancer not worth continuing the use of the devices.

Up to 50,000 morcellation treatments are performed in the US every year, with most of these for the purpose of removing uterine fibroids. Women who have been harmed by a morcellation treatment have to option to file a morcellator lawsuit to seek compensation for the injuries they’ve sustained. Though FDA’s safety alert does not totally stop doctors from using power morcellators, the FDA reminds them of their major duty in informing patients of the risks associated with the procedure.

Pursuing Social Security Disability Benefits

Not everyone are comfortable with applying for a Social Security Disability benefit, even when they are qualified or are in dire need of financial support. A certain number of reasons can come up that would require a person to apply for a Social Security Disability Insurance, among them is a truck accident. Truck accidents typically cause serious injuries and property damage, all accumulating to be a big financial burden to the victim. Applying for a SSDI benefit would help ease the financial situation of the victim while recuperating.

Many people find it difficult to file for SSDI benefits, or they might think it a hassle or a complicated process for them to do. There are a lot of things that people often misunderstand about SSDI, which is why the number of applicants for the benefits is low. This is despite the fact that many insurance companies force their clients to file for SSDI benefits after they are involved in a serious truck accident. Because not everyone is qualified for an SSDI benefit, it would be better to consult a lawyer who knows how SSDI and truck accident claims work, such as those from the Chris Mayo Law Firm in San Antonio. Many truck accident victims find it harassing for their insurance company or adjuster that are forcing them to apply for SSDI, regardless of whether it is applicable or not.

For those who are worried about whether their injuries qualify them for SSDI benefits or not, know that many SSDI laws take into consideration the daily activities, type of work, age, and education. These factors play a role in determining whether the injury and its effects will last a lifetime. Those who have been denied should know that they have the option to appeal their application (a better choice than to re-apply). Victims can also go back to work while receiving SSDI benefits, provided they contact their ensure their eligibility for the benefits and their smooth transition back to the workplace.

After surviving a serious truck accident, it may be possible to file an injury lawsuit as well. A lawyer would also prove instrumental in a person’s success, should this be the course of action they decide is best. He or she would be able to use those long years of training to determine what kinds of compensation you may be eligible for and from whom. In many cases, settlements are reached out of the courtroom, saving everyone involved valuable time and money.

Multiple-vehicle Motorcycle Accident: Right to Compensation and Social Security Disability Benefits

An increase in the number of fatalities from 2011, at 4, 612 to 5,027 in 2012, due to motorcycle accidents, is enough to worry authorities from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Considering the total number of reported motorcycle accidents per year, which go over a hundred thousand, it may even be considered a relief that the 2012 statistics is quite small.

Some motorcycle accident reports show riders crashing into fixed objects, such as a lamp post or a tree; a usual incidence among drunk or speeding riders. The more dangerous collisions, however, involve multiple vehicle accidents, that is, between a motorcycle and another motor vehicle, such as a car, a van or, worse, a commercial motor vehicle (a bus or a truck).

In the event of multiple vehicle accidents, it is always the motorcycle rider who suffers the greatest damage to vehicle and the worst injuries due to the little body protection they have, which is actually limited to the helmet. And oftentimes, despite the helmet, the force of the collision is strong enough to cause severe harm, like head and/or spinal injury and broken bones, besides the trauma that may last a lifetime.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) motorcycle accidents are mostly caused by other driver’s failure to recognize riders’ right of way. Many drivers, without first checking for possible approaching motorcycle riders, make sudden turns (usually at intersections) or abrupt lane changes.

Injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents are often severe, subjecting the victim to additional financial worries brought about by costly medical treatment and loss of income due to failure to report for work. Accidents due to the negligence or carelessness of other motorists, which cause injury to a motorcyclist, make these liable individuals legally responsible in compensating the victim based on whatever present and future damages (the victim) may be subjected to.

In the event of permanent disability to the victim, the liable party’s responsibility in compensating the victim, as well as the amount of compensation, is increased. It is necessary that the victim is represented by a highly-qualified and determined lawyer who will help fight for the victim’s rights, even if the liable party offers an out-of-court settlement.

If the victim’s injury is expected to last for, at least, a year, will render him/her incapable to continue to perform the work he/she did before the disability, and if he/she is employed (or was recently employed) and has earned the required number of credits in Social Security, then he/she may also apply for the Social Security Disability Insurance to avail of the agency’s disability benefits. The Social Security credits can be earned through payment of Social Security taxes – an amount automatically deducted from employees’ pay checks.

The Importance of Reliable Insurance

Insurance works as a cost-sharing means made to limit the financial risks from anything unexpected that could result to a significant loss.  Disasters, accidents, and other issues can happen to anyone at any time, therefore having prepared for it (at least financially) can ease you and your family’s mind and make you more ready to start over again. Insurance covers a number of things, from health, to auto insurance, business insurance, and residential properties insurance. It helps to know which type of insurance coverage you need and what will work for you.

For homeowners, having residential property insurance is more than security; it is the greatest investment that they could get. It covers for any renovation that the house needs to have, provided it is within the scope of the policy coverage you have agreed on. It also protects you or anyone in an event of an accident that occurred within your property, such as a slip and fall accidents or animal attacks. Any injury that happened within your premises can be covered by residential property insurance. Belongings and high-end items are also covered by homeowners insurance, but it would be a better option to have property insurance with liability insurance. This ensures that any risks will be covered by the insurance. When disaster does strike, it is important to file for a homeowner or residential property claim in order to acquire financial help from your insurance company. Getting the help of a lawyer for consultation or representation would make the claim faster to process.

Insurance can be used for a home that was damaged due to a fire or natural calamity, an auto accident due to another driver’s recklessness, or an injury that resulted in death. As long as you have signed up and paid for an insurance coverage, you and your family will be protected from losses that could happen.

Understanding Chemical Burns

Most people brush off minor burn injuries, thinking they are inconsequential wounds that will heal with time. Although there are injuries that don’t need hospitalization or follow-up, there are burns injuries that could be potentially dangerous to health and could lead to severe pain and suffering. Among the many types of burn injuries, chemical burns may be among the most dangerous ones.

Chemical burns are usually the result of close contact or long exposure to acids and alkali, whether they are from household items or industrial products that can be in gas, liquid, or solid forms.  There are natural foods can also be a cause of skin irritation which can cause a burning sensation, although not as serious as chemical burns. Aside from the skin, chemical burns can also affect other parts of the body, namely blood vessels, muscles, lungs, nerves and eyes. The severity of the injury could depend in on how many layers of skin and tissues affected by the burn, but many chemical burns often show signs of injuries many hours after the exposure.

Chemical burns are often a common occupational hazard. Often, workers who are in the chemical fabrication, mining, construction, and medicine are exposed to harsh chemicals that could result to chemical burns. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) already has certain rules and safety regulations for workers who are exposed to chemicals to secure their wellbeing, although accidents do occur. When they do, workers who are hurt can avail of worker’s compensation, or they can file for personal injury claims. Lawyers such as those from the Sampson Law Firm help to represent workers who have suffered from serious chemical burns while on the job, and the injuries required long-term rehabilitation and health complications.

Workers’ compensation or personal injury claims are aimed to compensate for the expenses lost on treatment, rehabilitation, lost wages and pain and suffering. If another person is the cause of the chemical burn injury, then that person can be held liable for their actions through a personal injury claim. Proper safety measures, cautionary warnings on toxic products, as well as protective clothing can aid in lowering the risks of accidents involving chemical burns.

Dangers of Acetominophen

Tylenol is an over-the-counter medication easily available to the public used generally for reducing pain and fever, as well as alleviating the symptoms of flu, cough, colds, and allergies. Its active ingredient is acetaminophen, known worldwide as paracetamol, which is an antipyretic and analgesic. It was first marketed for children but was then widely used as a pain-killer, dominating the American pain-reliever market.

The easy accessibility of Tylenol on the market has given way to a number of patients suffering from overdoes with others even resulting to serious health complications and deaths. Tylenol is said to be responsible to as many as 78,000 emergency room visits, with 26,000 people being hospitalized and 450 deaths due to overdosing and health complications. One of the most common and alarming complications from overdosing from Tylenol is liver disease or liver damage.

Due to the increasing number of lawsuits being filed, the manufacturers of Tylenol (McNeil consumer Healthcare, under Johnson & Johnson) says that there will soon be a red warning alert on the bottles of Tylenol to inform the patients regarding the dangers of overdosing on the active ingredient acetaminophen. Overdosing on acetaminophen is the leading factor for liver failure.

According to the National Injury Law Center, even taking the right dosage can still put a patient in danger of the side effects of acetaminophen, especially if they are mixing it with other medications that also contain acetaminophen. Known as “double dipping”, these are often the cause for many accidental overdosing. Taking Tylenol as recommended is deemed as safe (with minimal side effects), but it can damage the liver if it is taken on higher dosages.

The problem that FDA and regulators face and are tackling is that people are not generally aware of the dangers of acetaminophen: aside from Tylenol, there are other medications that contain acetaminophen (there are more than 600 out in the market, including Vicodin and Percocet). Presently, FDA has required over-the-counter medicines that contain acetaminophen as an active ingredient to have a warning regarding serious liver damage.

Causes of Car Accidents

Among the many causes of car accidents, alcohol may be the most prominent one. Drunk driving is credited as one of the leading causes of road accidents and is said to be responsible for 50 percent of all road fatalities. This may be one of the most misleading information regarding drunk driving and alcohol-related accidents.

In truth, rather than 50 percent, drunk driving is responsible for 10 percent of the alcohol-related accidents. This may still be a significant amount, but far from what people believe it to be. What really happens is that any accidents that occur that are alcohol-related, regardless of whether the one who caused the accident or the victim is the one who was drunk, is considered drunk driving accidents. Only a handful of these accidents are actually caused by drunk driving, where the driver behind the wheel has an above the required BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) level of 0.08. Some statistics does hold true, though: that those who have a higher BAC level tend to have a bigger chance of getting into a fatal accident when they choose to get behind the wheel.

For people who have fallen victim to drunk drivers, any injuries and damages that they lost can be compensated when they file for a personal injury claim. According to the Law Offices of Vic Feazell, PC, who have ample experience in representing such clients, financial compensation from the personal injury claim can help in settling medical bills, lost wages, property damages, pain and suffering, and other damages that occurred during and after the car accident.

Personal injury claims regarding a car accident may be justifiable if the cause of the accident is drunk driving. However, it may be unfair to have such excessive fines and penalties to those who have not caused any property or physical harm, and the alcohol present does not have any effect or cause negative situations. Even with the strong advocacy against drinking and driving, what can help in preventing future car accidents due to drunk driving would be to abstain from taking alcohol.