Recent Entries

Denied Long-Term Disability

Disability insurance can be essential to protect individuals and their families if they are facing a serious illness or injury, and they are unable to work. The unexpected loss of an income can threaten any sense of financial stability that an individual has created. They may no longer be able to afford their house payments, car payments, or even everyday bills and expenses. This can be a devastating loss, but long-term disability insurance aims to help lessen this burden by providing a supplemental income. Unfortunately, receiving these necessary disability benefits is a difficult and frustrating process, and many people, who have valid disability claims, are still denied. Often this is due to mistakes in their paperwork, a lack of proof of insurance, or technicalities in the process. However, some individuals are denied because the greed of insurance companies, who know they will save money if they deny claims. This illegal practice is a serious problem across the country that has recently been brought to light. The Northern California Record wrote about one such case that occurred in Los Angeles, California.

Central California resident, Jessica Huerta has decided to pursue a lawsuit against Prudential Insurance, after they wrongfully denied her long-term disability claim. Huerta suffers from scleroderma and a degenerative joint disease that causes debilitating pain. She is incapable of working due to this plain and other complications from these diseases. In 2015, Huerta applied for disability benefits, under her long-term disability policy with Prudential Insurance; however, her claim was quickly denied. According to Huerta’s long-term disability insurance plan, her disabilities should have been covered by the insurance provider, and Huerta could not understand why she would be denied. Her frustration and confusion led Huerta to seek legal advice, and after speaking with a lawyer, she decided to move forward with a lawsuit against the company. Her suit alleges that the company is in breach of contract and violation of the Employment Retirement Income Security Act.

Although Huerta filed her claim for long-term disability insurance in 2015, she is still struggling to receive the benefits she needs over two years later. During this time it is hard to say how she has been providing for herself and receiving the medical care that she needs. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon problem and many other people with disabilities across the country face similar situations. Insurance providers prey on these individuals, who are seeking their help, in order to make more money for themselves. We must find a way to prevent companies from continuing to use these underhanded and despicable tactics.

Fortunately, individuals can take steps to protect themselves during the filing process, to ensure that they are treated fairly and their case is handled with care. Long-term disability lawyers, such as Fields Law Firm, are prepared to help their clients throughout the filing process, and they can help ensure that these individuals receive the benefits they need. These lawyers have an in depth understanding of disability law and can help write an application that provides all essential information and is free of mistakes.

Alcohol Impairment, the Reason behind One-third of All Fatal Road Crashes

Alcohol Impairment, the Reason behind One-third of All Fatal Road Crashes

Records from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that in 2012, more than 29 million people admitted that, at various times, they drove t5hier car while impaired by alcohol. In 2013, an estimated 1.2 million drivers were arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI), a serious traffic offense.

According to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA), about five million motor vehicle accidents occur every year. More than two million of these accidents result to injuries, while more than 30,000 are fatal.

The CDC also states that 31% (almost one-third) of all fatal motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. involve an alcohol-impaired driver. To some drivers, alcohol-impairment occurs after consuming two regular bottles of beer, which will result to a 0.02% blood alcohol concentration or (BAC) level. Possible effects of a 0.02% BAC can include decline in visual functions and in ability to perform two tasks simultaneously. The BAC limit for car driver is 0.08%. Studies show that, at this level, a driver’s muscle coordination becomes poor; his/her judgment, self-control, reasoning, and memory become impaired; and it becomes harder for him/her to detect danger.

Time and again, it has been proven that alcohol weakens an individual’s motor skills and mental capacity, rendering him/her less able to control his or her vehicle. This lesser ability means higher risk of accident which may injure or kill someone else – the basic reason why drunk driving is considered a major traffic offense.

Impairment due to alcohol affects not only car drivers, but truck drivers too. With the huge size of a truck, however, just imagine what sort of damage and injury it can cause if it were driven by an alcohol-impaired driver.

Due to the size of an 18-wheeler or a big rig, the BAC limit for truck drivers has been set at 0.04%. Despite this lower BAC level, however, and the punishments that will be imputed on violators, use of alcohol and drugs by truck drivers, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), is the second major reason behind truck accidents. No driver of smaller vehicle would probably consider that the driver sitting behind a truck’s wheel is alcohol-impaired. Yet, data show that, prior to accidents, many drivers were, indeed, intoxicated and impaired due to alcohol.

The 0.04% BAC limit, however, is not the only thing that big-rig drivers should worry about. Truck drivers who are found to have a 0.02% BAC can also be suspended from driving for about 24 hours, while those who will register a 0.08%, even when off-duty, may still be charged with a DUI.

According to the Houston car accident attorneys of Williams Kherkher law firm, the severity of the injuries sustained by victims in drunk-driving accidents usually leave them with costly medical bills and other expenses, and long-term disability that necessitate changes in their personal and family lives. Besides these, severe injuries also render victims incapable of reporting for work, resulting to lost wages which, in turn, can result to financial difficulties.

Worse, however, according to the Clawson & Staubes, LLC: Injury Group, is the effect of trucking accidents, which often result in severe injury or death as a result of the speeds and weights of the vehicles involved. Such injuries can result in significant medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, and uncertainty as to how to proceed. To reduce this risk as much as possible, state and federal laws exist to help regulate the way trucking companies and their drivers operate in and out of the state.

Victims of car accidents, whether the other vehicle involved is another car or a truck, should not hesitate consulting with a car accident or personal injury lawyer, who will be able to help them understand their legal rights and may be able to provide them the strong legal representation they need in a claims lawsuit. Victims should know that they not only have the right to pursue legal action, but to seek compensation from the at-fault driver or from the company that he/she works for (if the other vehicle is used for business purposes).

Know Which Debts a Court may Free You from if You File Bankruptcy

Those with huge debts and are unable to pay will probably go through a nerve-racking experience due to the constant hounding of creditors or debt-collectors, who will not cease their harassing tactics until debtors finally pay what they owe.

Loss of job, an unexpected health problem that requires costly medical treatment, reduced income, divorce, and/or a natural calamity are some of the reasons why people sudden lose the ability to pay creditors their mortgage, car loan, credit card debt, utility bills and other debts. Well, the more payments missed, of course, only results to the amount of the debt increasing until it reaches a sum that is already impossible (for the debtor) to settle.

Will a debtor still be able to save himself/herself from his/her seemingly impossible-to-pay or overwhelming debts? A “No” will definitely be devastating; fortunately,the answer is “Yes,” and the means is a legal one even – Bankruptcy.

In 2010, there were about 1.53 million Americans who filed bankruptcy in various U.S. federal bankruptcy courts. Bankruptcy is a legal procedure wherein a person (or a business firm) declares inability to make further payments in settlement of his or her debts. It is allowed by the law to give people (and firms) a fresh start in their financial lives.

In every financial situation is a bankruptcy chapter that would serve as an appropriate solution. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or liquidation bankruptcy, for instance, is one that requires a debtor to surrender to a court-appointed trustee his/her “non-exempt” assets and properties for liquidation. One task of the trustee is to sell these properties in order to raise the amount needed to pay off a borrower’s creditors. Payment will only be on debts that are non- dischargeable (debts that a debtor will still need to pay), which include, but are not limited to:

  • Unlisted debts and creditors;
  • Most student loans, unless paying these would cause “undue hardship” to the borrower and/or his/her dependents;
  • Federal, state, and local taxes which are no more than three years old from the time these first became due;
  • Court fees;
  • Government-imposed penalties, fines, and restitution;
  • Child support and alimony or spousal support; and,
  • Debts resulting from wrongful death or personal injury damages if these are consequences of DUI.

According to Raleigh bankruptcy lawyers of the Bradford Law Offices, PLLC, dischargeable debts are debts a person is no longer responsible for paying after filing for bankruptcy. These include personal loans, credit card loans, medical bills, past utility bills, debts related to your business, payments on motor vehicles, house payments etc.; the court where bankruptcy is filed can free a debtor from these debts.

For “non-exempt,” some of the assets and properties that the law has identified under this classification include:

  • Motor vehicles, jewelry and tools used by the debtor in his or her trade or profession – but only up to a certain value;
  • Reasonably necessary household furnishings and goods, and clothing;
  • Household appliances;
  • Pensions, unemployment compensation, social security benefits and a certain percentage of the borrower’s still unpaid but earned wages; and,
  • Compensation for personal injury.

Injuries Resulting From Speeding

Utilizing extreme speeds can be an especially unsafe behavior that is driving, but sadly, it is a behavior that numerous people demonstrate on the daily basis. Submitted speed limitations are supposed to be described as a guide to drivers, indicating the utmost pace of which a driver may properly perform his / her car, and any rates over this published restriction have the potential to result in a severe collision and substantial physical injuries. Motorists who speed risk not only themselves, but every other driver, cyclists, or pedestrian who is also on the road or nearby. It may trigger intensive real and economic problems for any individual who is involved with a speeding incident although speeding may not appear to be a serious offense.

There are numerous conditions by which racing can be particularly harmful if not fatal though speeding is risky regardless. These situations usually require high traffic locations or lots of people, and they also may have restricted presence or road conditions that are dangerous. Regardless of factors if an irresponsible driver decides to neglect causes the damage of someone else and posted speed limitations encompassing an accident, they must be held accountable. According to the website of Madison personal injury lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, while patients of a speeding incident are sometimes laden with large financial prices, they are able to often sue a dangerous driver for fiscal settlement, allowing themselves to be financially supported by them throughout their moment of cure and recovery.

Circumstances that are specific

In nearly every driving situation, applying extreme rates is risky, but often these scenarios can be a lot dangerous when the odds of an accident boost. Some unique instances where racing might not be a lot more safe than usual include:

  • Around sharp turns
  • In the areas of traffic congestion or parking lots
  • On narrow, little, and winding streets
  • At different or night moments of reduced awareness

In these cases, an accident is very likely to occur and the odds of considerable damage is considerably increased.

The Dangerous Effects of Xarelto

Back in 2011, the Food and Drug Administration approved a new kind of anticoagulant or blood-thinning drug specifically meant for those that have gone through knee or hip replacement surgery. As these two procedures increase a patient’s risk of thrombosis or abnormal blood clotting, the new anticoagulant drug mitigates this danger through blocking the production of proteins responsible for the formation of clots that are meant to stop bleeding. Xarelto is meant to prevent the formation of abnormal blood clots that can cause strokes, pulmonary embolisms, and other life-threatening conditions.

Through the years, doctors have begun to prescribe the drug to address similar blood clotting issues caused by other medical concerns such as acute coronary syndrome and other cardiovascular problems. Xarelto has quickly become one of the most effective ways to prevent abnormal blood clotting and reduce the occurrence of complications caused by such an incident. By slowing down the production of certain proteins and enzymes, the drug keeps patient safe from experiencing anymore blood clotting complications that might otherwise be typical due to their current health issues.

While Xarelto has proven to be a helpful solution for some patients, it’s important to note that the drug is not without some side effects. In most cases, these side effects are of little cause for concern. Side effects such as frequent nosebleeds and heavier menstrual periods for women are obviously outweighed by the benefits brought about by the medication.

However, recent developments have shown that Xarelto can also have dangerous effects that might complicate a patient’s already fragile condition. As noted on the website of attorneys from the Williams Kherkher Law Firm, a noted number of patients have pursued cases due to the dangerous effects caused by Xarelto. In particular, these patients were found to suffer adverse side effects such as gastrointestinal bleeding and brain hemorrhaging. In some cases, Xarelto was also found to increase the risk of epidural hematomas and strokes.

Natural Blood Thinners

Blood thinners, or anticoagulants, are a medical tool used to prevent blood clots from causing strokes and heart attacks. The blood thinners work by inhibiting blood platelets from clotting. While blood thinners are commonly prescribed, there are natural substances that are known to lower blood pressure and work to the same effect as anticoagulants.

Natural food blood thinners fall into four main categories: vitamin E, salicylates, natural antibiotics, and omega-3 fatty acids. Foods high in vitamin E help to promote healthy bodily responses. Spinach, kale, almonds, wheat, and vegetable oils are all high in vitamin E and work to thin the blood and encourage healthy blood flow.

Salicylates block vitamin K, a natural coagulant, and increase metabolism. This group of foods is often known as “warming spices” as they commonly raise the body temperature after consumed. This category includes cayenne pepper, curry, oranges, honey, and wine. Aspirin is the bestselling salicylate and used regularly by patients suffering from high blood pressure.

Many foods are natural antibiotics, helping to build immunity and boost health. Some of the most well-known of these include onions, garlic and olive oil. These foods not only help to treat other illnesses, but are linked to thinning blood after regular consumption.

Asian cuisine is known for the high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids it has. In moderation, these fatty acids can carry health benefits that lower cholesterol levels and decrease the likelihood of blood clots. Fish, canola oil, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds are all rich in omega-3s. Other natural ways of promoting a healthy cardiovascular system include drinking plenty of water, moderate amounts of alcohol, a consistent exercise routine and sunshine.

While there are several natural ways of avoiding the dangers of blood clots, many individuals still choose to take prescription medication. Xarelto is one such drug that is now found to cause serious bleeding incidents in its patients. While the benefits of a blood thinner may often outweigh the risks, defective medications like Xarelto pose a threat to the public in the frequency and severity of potential side effects.

If you or a loved one was prescribed Xarelto and experienced a bleeding incident, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering. Contact a lawyer in your state to discuss your legal options.

Can Abuse Exist in Nursing Homes?

Abuse can be difficult to spot, especially if you are not quite aware of the signs. All the more, it can be difficult to know what to do about it, if you are not aware of the rights you have against it. Sometimes, victims of abuse are not aware that there is proper legal action that can be taken and is well within their rights, in order to take them out of that abusive situation. More often than not, these cases are not filed due to the fact that the abused feel themselves helpless or afraid from their abusers.

Some of the most appalling cases of abuse happen in nursing homes, due to the fact that the victims are elderly people who are no longer able to care for themselves and only await to live the rest of their remaining lives in peace. Upon admission to a home, these elderly folk will have demonstrated difficulty with living by themselves, ergo require the aid of caretakers and such. Nursing homes are then required to uphold themselves in a certain standard of care, including enough well-trained staff on board at all times as well as a functioning facility with all the necessary medical equipment and medication. If this standard is not met or worse, violated, this can be grounds for Nursing Home Abuse.

According to the website of the attorneys of Abel Law, there are a few signs that should enable you to automatically see a few red flags with a particular nursing home that might suggest evidence of abusive care. Some of these signs include intentionally duplicitous staff or parts of the home that are closed off for reasons that are undisclosed; sometimes, the signs are more obvious – such as that of physical evidence upon the person such as cuts, lacerations, bruises, and the like.

You do not have to stand for this are there is legal action that can be done in order to seek justice against such an appalling act. If you or someone you know is currently in a similar, unfortunate situation, it is recommended for you to seek out expert professional help as soon as possible.

Paxil Withdrawal

One of the biggest controversies associated with Paxil (paroxetine) is the effects of its discontinuation. Paxil is a brand-name for one of the newer antidepressants that included the likes of Celexa (citalopram), Lexapro (escitalopram), Prozac (fluoxetine), and Zoloft (sertraline). These are of the class of psychoactive drugs and antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and they act directly on the brain to bring about neurotransmitter (in that case, serotonin) balance. This is believed to help in stabilizing moods and increasing happiness.

The different types of SSRI have varying degrees of effectiveness as well as kind and severity of adverse side effects. SSRIs are recommended for short-term use only because they are considered habit-forming drugs with serious discontinuation symptoms. It was so common that term was actually coined for it: SSRI discontinuation syndrome.

As much as sexual dysfunction and nausea, developing withdrawal syndrome from the use of an SSRI is a risk patients are willing to take when balanced against the benefits of using the drug. The big problem with Paxil is that manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) aggressively marketed as a non-addictive drug, even taking out television ads that assured physicians and people suffering from major depression that at last there was an effective antidepressant medication that was not habit-forming. That would have been wonderful; unfortunately, it was not true.

Paroxetine is as habit-forming as any of the compounds in its class, and GSK knew it. A government probe into Paxil turned up evidence that GSK systematically downplayed or outright concealed the results of studies that indicated the severity of adverse side effects of Paxil.

As a result of this cover up, lawsuits have been filed against GSK by patients who believed the drug makers claim and suffered severe withdrawal syndrome symptoms as a result. Despite a preponderance of evidence presented to them, GSK continues to deny causation for any of the side effects claimed by patients in lawsuits even as it shells out billions to pay criminal fines, civil penalties and claim settlements.