Common Causes and Effects of Spinal Cord Injuries

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are approximately 200,000 individuals suffering from spinal cord injuries (SCI) in the U.S. and, every year, another 12,000 are added to their number. A spinal injury is caused by a severe trauma to the spinal cord or spinal/vertebral column. This usually results from motor vehicle accidents, acts of violence, fall accidents, or sport-related injuries. Majority of those who sustain injury to the spinal cord are males aged between 16 and 30 years old.

The spinal cord is packed with nerves that innervate our entire body. It forms the Central Nervous System with the brain and serves as the main pathway where information or electrical signals are transmitted from the brain to the different parts of the body. Surrounding the delicate nerve tissues of our spinal cord is the Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF), cushioning and protecting it from damage inside the vertebral column.

Nerves in the spinal cord’s upper section control the movement of our arms and our breathing; the nerves in the mid and lower sections of our back allow us to have control on our trunk and legs, sexual function, and bowel and bladder movements. Thus, any damage or harm to the spinal cord (even to the spinal or vertebral column) can cause failure in the transmission of signals from the brain to the parts of the body below the injured area. This can result to paralysis or loss of function on affected parts.

A spinal injury can be due either to a traumatic or a non-traumatic experience. A traumatic spinal cord injury is caused by a sudden blow that can dislocate, fracture or crush an area of the vertebral column; it can result from a car crash, or a knife or a gunshot wound that can pierce and cut the nerves in the spinal cord. A non-traumatic spinal cord injury, on the other hand, is usually the result of an illness, like cancer, arthritis, infection, inflammation or disc collapse of the spine.

Besides lowering blood pressure and reducing control of body temperature, an injury to the spine also causes chronic pains and the inability to effectively regulate blood pressure. Other effects of an injury, as well as their severity, depend on the region actually affected. Loss of movement and feeling in all limbs (arms and legs) implies quadriplegic or tetraplegic injuries. These injuries can also affect the chest muscles which, in turn, can affect our breathing. A paraplegic injury, on the other hand, means loss of movement and sensation in the body’s lower half (including the legs).

The law firm Crowe & Mulvey, LLP says that Patients dealing with paralysis or constant pain will almost always face a great deal of anger and frustration, emotions that can be compounded in situations where the negligence of another caused the injury. While financial compensation is a far cry from a total recovery, an adequate settlement can provide victims with the means to manage the major medical and rehabilitative costs that arise in the wake of a spinal cord injury.

 

 

Pros and Cons of Workers’ Compensation

If you have been injured or have developed an illness while under employment, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. It is a type of insurance that will cover your treatment costs, offset the lost wages because you are missing time at work, and other possible financial damages associated with the injury or illness.

According to the website of Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC, filing for workers’ compensation can be a very complex and time consuming process. But when you think about it, everything is worth it because of the advantages of workers’ compensation.

Pros

One of the main advantages of getting settlement is the fact that you are going to receive money. This money can be given in a lump sum or you can receive monthly or even weekly payments. You can immediately have the money to cover your medical bills and get by while you are physically limited.

It also gives you a sense of safety and security, knowing that you will not have financial problems, or at least the financial problems will not be as heavy. This can help in your recovery process, especially if you feel pressured of getting back to work as soon as possible.

Having workers’ compensation also improves your relationship with your employer, and there will be no bad feelings about each other once the worst things happen.

Cons

But workers’ compensation is not always advantageous. If you receive compensation, you need to waive your right to sue your employer. This can be problematic, especially if the injury or illness has been sustained because of employer negligence.

The advantage of getting money can also be a disadvantage in a way. Money that you did not work hard for is very easy to spend, and you might use it on things that are not related to your injury or illness. It is even worse if you get a lump sum instead, as it is harder to budget and you will have the tendency to put the money somewhere, like in the stock market.

The key to maximize workers’ compensation is the proper use of the settlement. Not doing so may put you on a deep financial burden that can affect not just your life, but also the life of your family.

Driving Errors You Probably Do

Some traffic accidents are caused by drivers who are intentionally reckless and negligent, like those who are driving under the influence, speeding, and other careless behavior. But there are also instances where drivers are not intentionally being careless, like how they can be distracted or do unsafe driving practices. Whether intentional or not, being careless can be a major cause of traffic accidents.

According to the website of Panama City car accident attorneys, traffic accidents that have resulted from the carelessness of a party may be subject to an auto accident lawsuit, which is the last thing you want to worry about after medical and property damage costs.

Below are common driving errors you probably do. By knowing these errors, you are one step away from traffic accidents.

Not using mirrors properly
Rear view mirrors and side mirrors are there for a reason. They are not design flaws. They are there to help you see what is behind you and beside you, helping you prevent unexpected collisions from blind spots and the like. If mirrors are not adjusted properly, you will have limited knowledge of the positioning of the other vehicles and objects around you, and that is the very recipe you need for a disaster.

Poor signalling
If mirrors are there to know the current position of the others around you, signals are there to get an idea of their future position. Using signals is very important, particularly in changing lanes and turning into a cross street. If the others around you are aware of your intentions, they can react properly and avoid potential accidents such as traffic collisions caused by sudden lane changing and turning.

Riding the brakes
Putting your foot on the brake pedal even though you have no intention of stopping is a bad driving position, and it has become a bad habit of some drivers. It not only wears your brake system faster, it also confuses those around you, as your rear brake lights are on and they are not entirely sure if there is really a legitimate reason to slow down or stop. Proper foot position is a fundamental aspect of driving, and there is good reason for it.

The best way to avoid traffic accidents is be diligent yourself, and make sure that you are following the proper driving techniques and road safety procedures. They are not there to complicate things. They are there to help you have the safest journey possible.

Hyland’s Teething Tablet Overdose or Belladonna Toxicity, The Cause of Adverse Effects and Deaths in Many Children

Hyland’s Baby Teething tablets provides temporary relief to symptoms, such as simple restlessness and wakeful irritability caused by cutting teeth; it also helps reduce redness and teething discomfort. Hyland’s has always claimed that its products are safe and that these effectively and safely alleviate children’s teething aches and pains.

These claims are re-emphasized by Hyland’s as a response to the warning released by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in September 2016 and due to reports of adverse events and deaths that are said may have been caused by its homeopathic products.

The adverse effects and deaths, if these can be linked to the teething tablets, can most likely be caused by Belladonna, a poisonous plant, which is an active ingredient of Hyland’s products. This Belladonna plant, also known as deadly nightshade or devil’s cherry, possesses medicinal properties that can block functions of the body’s nervous system, making it an useful ingredient in various sedative medications. If not used according to doctor’s instructions, however, it can result to poisoning, the symptoms of which include, seizures, vomiting, excessive sleepiness, difficulty breathing, skin flushing, constipation, difficulty urinating, muscle weakness, lethargy, confusion and blurred vision.

While Hyland’s says that its products contain a small amount of belladonna, the FDA claims that its laboratory analysis shows that Hyland’s tablets contain inconsistent amounts of belladonna. Due to the dangers this may cause, the FDA has warned consumers of the possible dangers Hyland’s teething tablets may pose to children and recommended that consumers stop using these product and dispose whatever may still be in their possession.

Due to Hyland’s Teething tablet overdose or Belladonna toxicity, lawyers are evaluating the possibility of filing a homeopathic teething tablet lawsuit against Standard Homeopathic Company, which owns Hyland’s Inc., in behalf of all the children who have been severely harmed. It will be in the best interest of parents, whose children have shown the symptoms of Belladonna poisoning, to get in touch with a lawyer immediately.

What Damages Can Be Claimed From A Burn Injury Lawsuit?

Burn injuries can have life-changing consequences on its victims. Aside from the emotional trauma, there is also the possibility of being homeless plus the embarrassment that the burns will bring to the victim. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 3,400 burn injury deaths occur each year. In 2010, fire-related deaths happen every 169 minutes while fire injuries occur every half an hour.

According to the website of Mazin & Associates Law Firm, burn injuries are associated with prolonged medical care that can drain your finances. If the burn injuries you incurred are due to the negligence of another person, you have the right to recover damages by filing a lawsuit. Of course, there are various factors that can affect the amount of damages that you will receive. The good news is that burn injuries tend to have higher settlement costs due to the pain as well as permanent scarring.

How and Where The Injury Happened?

The manner and location of the injury will play a role in the amount of damages that you can possibly receive. The injury could have happened in the workplace, arson, defective products, or intentional burning– all of these will factor in the determination of damage.

Availability of Punitive Damages

If the burn injury was intentionally caused or due to negligence, the court may award punitive damages to the plaintiff. Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant for their actions. So if the injury was intentionally caused, the defendant is likely to pay punitive damages as well. However, in the case of gross negligence, this is much harder to predict.

Pain and Suffering

Burn injuries are extremely painful and may cause permanent and severe disfigurement to the victim. The defendant will not only have to pay for the physical pain but also for the emotional suffering. If the face of the plaintiff is badly burned, the damage is likely much higher.

Seriousness of underride collision accidents

Individuals are at risk of suffering serious or even fatal injuries when their vehicle is stuck beneath a commercial truck after a collision. The website of lawyers Ausband & Dumont considers insufficient underride protection a truck defect, so individuals may be able to file a claim to secure the finances they need for recovery when they got involve in underride accidents.

Trailers and semitrailer trucks are required by the federal government to have standardized underride guards on both sides and at the rear portion to prevent compact vehicles from going underneath trailers of trucks during collisions. Individuals instantly die or are left with incapacitating injuries when their vehicles either struck the tractor trailer’s rear or sides. This happens because the roof of compact vehicles is crushed, directly hitting occupants in underride collisions even at slow speeds. Such accident is also fatal when the small vehicle is crashed from behind by another vehicle. Oftentimes, underride collisions happens in intersections and when road visibility is poor. When semi-trailer drivers make a turn or cross in an intersection during night time or minutes before the sun goes down, compact vehicles going towards the semi may not immediately notice the side of its trailer that is blocking the road. The situation can be worst if the trailer’s side lights and reflective devices are improperly maintained or are not effective enough in making the trailer highly visible. Heavy trailer trucks, even large enough to be seen, also still need effective lighting system to make it conspicuous at all times. Small vehicle drivers are also at risk of rear underride collisions when truck drivers recklessly make a sudden stop.

An article published in NCBI revealed that side underride guards likely lessen the severity of injuries in underride collisions given that such guards are strategically placed in trucks and are durable enough.

Gas vs. Diesel: Which Is Better?

Car owners, especially the new ones, are almost always in the dilemma of choosing between gas and diesel cars. We only want our engine to be no less than a champion of efficiency without significantly impacting the nature. But to choose which one’s better, we have to understand well how diesel and gas engines work.

How gas engine works

Gas engines are usually made of a series of pistons each housed inside a combustion chamber, where the gasoline-air mixture enters. As the mixture enters the chamber, it will be compressed by the piston, usually up to a ratio of 12:1. The compressed air will then be ignited, usually by a spark plug, which will result in combustion. The force created by the combustion gases would push the piston down, which will push the crankshaft and the whole vehicle into motion.

How diesel engine works

Diesel engines work pretty much the same as gas engines, but with one major difference: they do not need spark plugs. In a diesel engine, only air enters the combustion chamber. Because of this, the piston is able to compress the air so high (up to a ratio of 25:1) that the pressure is hot enough to combust when injected with diesel fuel. Because of higher compression, many car owners are choosing diesel engines because of efficiency and more power, not to mention that diesel fuel is way cheaper than gasoline.

Diesel engine’s drawbacks

Diesel engines have a grimy reputation of ruining Mother Earth when it comes to emissions. Because no ignition is needed during diesel engine combustion, chances are there will be much more unburned fuel released by a diesel engine as compared to a gasoline engine.

Are newer diesel cars the answer to this dilemma?

There are some newer diesel engine cars that boast both diesel power and eco-friendliness. However, this is not always true. According to the website of The Driscoll Firm, the Environmental Protection Agency discovered that some Volkswagen diesel cars are equipped with a “defeat device” that could reduce the amount of pollutants emitted during an emissions test in order to fake emissions test results.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injury is not the most common kind of injury yet it is one of the most severe. These injuries occur when an outside force severely injures the brain. In order to be specifically categorized as a traumatic brain injury and not simply a head injury, the injury must directly affect the brain, not just other structures of the head such as the skull.

Traumatic brain injuries are a significant cause of death and can result from a number of circumstances. According to the website of Louisville personal injury attorneys The Sampson Law Firm, some of the most common types of traumatic brain injuries include: “concussions, brain damage, memory loss, seizures, contusions, and hematomas.” Traumatic brain injuries are life threatening medical conditions and should be examined by a professional as soon as possible.

Common symptoms of traumatic brain injuries can vary greatly depending on the severity of the injury. Mild symptoms of less severe traumatic brain injuries can include temporary loss of consciousness, ringing in the ears, blurry vision and lethargy. Symptoms of a moderate or severe traumatic brain injury can include a prolonged headache that will not go away, jumbled speech, difficulty waking, vomiting, pupil dilation and numbness in the limbs. Any of these symptoms could be a sign of a traumatic brain injury and should be taken seriously and treated immediately.

Effects of a traumatic brain injury can be permanent and life altering. Unfortunately, in many cases, a traumatic brain injury was preventable and occurred due to the carelessness of another. Should you or someone you know be the victim of a preventable accident resulting in a traumatic brain injury, you may be entitled to certain damages which can aid in the medical expenses associated with traumatic brain injuries.

Morcellator Dangers

Before the 1990s, treatment for hysterectomy involved an open surgery, which required an abdominal incision about 5 – 7 inches long. This large wound took time to heal besides causing ongoing pain; it also restricted certain activities, especially lifting heavy objects, to keep the stitched up wound from bursting open and cause more complicated and serious problems.

The introduction of power morcellators during the 1990s gave doctors a much better alternative in treating hysterectomy, which is the second most common surgery performed on women (the first is caesarean section). Hysterectomy, the surgical procedure that removes the uterus, is often required to treat various conditions suffered by women, such as ovarian cancer, pelvic cancer or cancer of the uterus, uterine fibroids or myomas, pelvic inflammatory disease, chronic pelvic pain, uncontrollable vaginal bleeding, growth of uterine fibroids or benign tumors in the uterus, uterine prolapse (a condition wherein the womb or the uterus drops halfway from the cervix to the vagina or birth canal), adenomyosis and endometriosis.

The use of a power morcellator enabled doctors to perform laparoscopic surgery (such as hysterectomy and myomectomy), a minimally invasive surgical procedure that required four very tiny incisions, about 0.5-1cm short, which serve as passage ways for different medical devices that will enable the doctor to see into and reach the organs that need to be treated. One of these devices is the power morcellator, which is designed to cut (morcellate) oversized tissues into tiny pieces for easy and fast removal through one of the tiny incisions.

Besides the tiny incisions, other advantages of using a power morcellator included much lesser pain and bleeding, reduced chances of infection, and fast healing period. These advantages, though, were clouded by reports that linked the device to the spread of cancerous tissues inside the body.

Studies showed that cancerous tissues, called uterine sarcomas, which are almost undetectable, could also be present in women with uterine fibroids. As the fibroids are morcellated during a myomectomy surgery, so too are the uterine sarcomas.

Due to the risk of the spreading of these cancerous tissues, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a safety alert on April 17, 2014, to discourage doctors from the continued use of a power morcellator in laparoscopic surgery. Ethicon, the power morcellator manufacturing unit of Johnson & Johnson, was the first to respond to this FDA communication by suspending its global and national promotion, sales and distribution of its highly-engineered power morcellators, the Gynecare X-Tract Tissue Morcellator, the Morcellex Sigma Tissue Morcellator System, and the Gynecare Morcellex Tissue Morcellator.

About two dozen laparoscopic power morcellation devices have already been approved by the FDA since the 1990s and sadly, despite the FDA’s communication, some doctors still continue to use the device. While a number of lawsuits have already been filed by a number of women already diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma, the most common type of cancer in women who have gone through morcellation treatment, the website of the morcellator lawsuit attorneys at Williams Kherkher says that there are many who may still not be aware of the possible effects of power morcellators or who may not know what legal steps to pursue to attain justice if ever they are victims of the cancerous effects of the device. Contacting a morcellator lawsuit attorney immediately, to help them in finding out their medical condition and for guidance on the best legal option to take, is, right now, the wisest thing to do.

Long Term Disability Benefits

Any illness or injury that leads to long term disability will always have a major effect on the financial lives of individuals and struggling families. This is why it is very important that a person will continue to receive, at least, some financial earnings despite his/her incapability to report to work.

This financial earning can be provided by a long term disability (LTD) insurance policy, usually a part of the comprehensive employee benefits package provided by an employer to protect an employee from losing the wages that he/she would normally earn if it were not for an injury, illness or accident that would render him/her disabled for a long period.

The financial benefits provided by the long term disability insurance starts after the short term disability insurance benefits have ended, usually between three to six months of inability to report to work. The LTD insurance pays the employee a percentage of his/her salary, typically about 50% – 70%. Often, this percentage is not enough to meet the disabled employee’s needs, though, as it is still subjected to taxes. Thus, for additional income, some still purchase a supplemental long term disability insurance, which is usually non-taxable.

Long term disability policies are generally designed to last up to 10 years or until the employee turns 65. Often, however, despite the obvious disability and timely payment of premiums, many LTD insurance firms make it difficult for claimants to enjoy the financial benefits specified in the policy. The website of the Hankey Law Office P.C. says that the practice of many insurance companies in reluctantly paying out benefits to disabled clients, doing all things possible to avoid cutting necessary checks through denial of claims, delay in assessment of applications or payment of claims, or payment of benefits lower than what is stipulated in the policy.

Group health insurance packages are overseen by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The authority that ERISA grants insurance providers in deciding which claims get approved or rejected is probably one reason for the so many rejections and delays these firms have and are guilty of.

In the event of a rejected claim, filing an internal appeal based on the rules specified in the claimant’s policy is advisable before filing any lawsuit in a federal court. It is also highly important that the claimant submits all necessary forms and documents, especially medical evidences, as a federal court judge would only usually consider evidences that were presented during the internal appeal. Likewise important is legal assistance provided only by a highly-qualified long term disability lawyer.