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Imagine having a permanent case of rhinitis, i.e., a runny nose, for two years. Tired of life tethered to a tissue box, you go to the doctor, who tells you that it's allergies.

But your sniffles continue unabated and don't respond to any allergy treatment protocols. Eventually, the severity of your symptoms cause you to seek another medical opinion. But the physician's assistant assigned to you has a hunch that something more might be at play with your condition than just a runny nose from allergies. You learn that you have been constantly leaking cerebrospinal fluid from a hole in your skull after you got into a car accident.

That's the situation one woman in another state faced recently. Fortunately her misdiagnosis didn't lead to death and surgeons were able to repair the hole with tissues from the woman's own abdomen and nose.

Her problems began when she suffered head and facial injuries after being rear-ended in a car accident. Shortly thereafter, she developed headaches and a constantly running nose. Doctors estimate that she lost as much as a half-liter of fluid daily from her nose.

For two years, none of the doctors from which she sought treatment tied together the two events — car accident and runny nose. The physician's assistant at Nebraska Medicine who linked the the accident with her condition told a media outlet that it was important for patients to be persistent in cases where diagnoses remain elusive.

She stated, "Find a doctor that you can have a good relationship with, and never be afraid to get a second opinion. We won't be offended."

Were you misdiagnosed by a doctor? You may be able to pursue a claim for compensation.

Source: TIME, "A Nebraska Woman Thought She Had a Runny Nose. It Was Actually Fluid Leaking From Her Brain," Jamie Ducharme, May 09, 2018

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With all of the information out there about the dangers of distracted driving, it seems that the problem would be diminishing. Yet research disturbingly reveals that just the opposite is true.

According to Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT), data collected from over 65 million trips during the past half-year indicated that drivers nationwide were distracted on more than 36 percent of their trips. This is a 5 percent uptick from the previous year.

The company has a smartphone app to collect driver data and offer insights for ways drivers can be safer behind the wheel. The app measures:

  • Speeding
  • Cellphone usage while driving
  • Braking hard
  • Rough acceleration
  • Cornering

Below are some of the conclusions from the data analyses.

Beware the evening commute

This is the time when most distracted driving occurs, as 38 percent of the distracted-driving behaviors took place from 4 to 6 p.m.

Lower speeds not necessarily safer

Maybe drivers pay more attention when they've got a heavy foot on the gas. Most distractions happen at low speeds (30 to 40 mph).

Back roads distract us

More drivers get distracted on secondary roads (57 percent) than those driving on major highways (43 percent).

It's a problem everywhere

An average of 36 percent of nationwide trips involved distracted driving.

While none of this is encouraging, it's important to understand that these are behaviors that can be changed. Yes, bad habits are hard to break, but safety is paramount.

Were you injured in an auto accident with a distracted driver? Remember that you have rights in the situation. You may be able to pursue financial remuneration for your injuries and damages.

Source: BodyShop Business, "Telematics Data Shows Distracted Driving Occurring More Frequently," accessed May 04, 2018

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When you are an aggrieved party in a type of legal dispute, your first step to resolution should not always be a lawsuit. You can save yourself a great deal of money and time by addressing the matter in a demand letter.

Many individuals prefer to have their attorneys write demand letters on their behalf. However, there is nothing to preclude you from writing your own.

What should a demand letter include?

As demand letters are sent out at the initial phases of a dispute or in the aftermath of an adverse event, e.g., a car accident, your demand letter should spell out the circumstances from which the claim arose, detail the expenses incurred or involved and request a specific sum as the resolution.

The demand letter informs the opposing party that unless they comply with what you are seeking, i.e., your "demand," they will face legal actions that most will want to avoid.

In the case of an automobile accident where you were injured due to an at-fault driver's actions or negligence, you should avoid use of any incendiary language that could potentially escalate the conflict and lead you away from the path toward resolution.

The letter should be businesslike, as succinct as possible and convey all of the necessary information. Keep in mind that if the dispute is unresolved by this attempt, a copy of your letter will be included in any ensuing litigation. All demand letters should be written with the foreknowledge that one day they may be reviewed by a judge.

If you are uncomfortable with writing the letter yourself, it's still far cheaper to retain a Louisville legal professional to draft one for you than to retain an attorney to file a lawsuit.

Source: FindLaw, "How to Demand Payment in a Letter," accessed April 27, 2018

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The evidence is clear: Wearing a seatbelt is one of the most important things you can do to stay safe while riding in an automobile. In fact, thousands of people die every year because they weren't wearing a safety belt and even more people avoid death because they were wearing one.

Here is some important information you should know if you need more convincing about the safety of seatbelts:

63,000 live saved in a 4-year period

Statistics from car accidents that happened from 2010 to 2014 show that seatbelts saved 63,000 people's lives during this time. The problem with not wearing a seatbelt relates to the way passengers and drivers become projectiles in a collision. The gravitational forces are just too much for an unbuckled passenger. G-forces can cause people to be thrown against the inside of a car, or ejected out of the car.

Rear-seated passengers are more likely to skip wearing a seatbelt, but this would be a mistake. According to reports, passengers wearing seatbelts in the backs of cars are 44 percent more likely to survive an auto collision. Meanwhile, passengers in the backs of SUVs and vans are 73 percent more likely to survive if they use seatbelts.

Seatbelts offer protection in rollover crashes

In a rollover collision, the ejection of drivers and passengers is common because of the forces created as the car turns and flips. However, when someone dons a seatbelt, he or she will have a 45 percent higher chance of survival. If the rollover accident involves a pickup truck, the survival rate increases up to 60 percent.

An easy decision to make

Because of the way it can help one survive a collision, the decision to wear safety belts should be an easy one to make. Nevertheless, Kentucky drivers and passengers frequently forego seatbelt use. Either for style and comfort reasons, or just because they're lazy, Kentuckians who don't use their seatbelts are taking a serious risk with their lives.

Regardless of whether you were wearing a seatbelt, if you or a loved one were seriously hurt in a car accident, study up on Kentucky personal injury law to determine what your legal rights and options are.

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As the courts frown on litigants who file lawsuits frivolously, it's important to carefully weigh the decision to litigate a personal injury matter. It's important that you have all of your legal ducks in line before filing a petition for damages.

A vital component of a viable personal injury lawsuit is the presence of damages from the accident. For instance, if you get hit from behind but you suffer no adverse effects and have no damage done to your vehicle, you have no grounds to file a lawsuit to recover compensation.

For a personal injury attorney to take on your case, it has to potentially be winnable. You could suffer from serious damages in a hit-and-run accident, for instance, but if the perpetrator cannot be identified and served with your complaint, recovery may not be possible. You might, however, be able to seek compensation from your own auto insurance company, provided that you have that type of coverage.

Finally, there is also the issue of being able to collect from a lawsuit. Without uninsured motorist coverage through your own auto insurance policy, even if you are able to identify the at-fault motorist who struck and injured you, if he or she is without resources, pursuing a lawsuit could be an exercise in futility. Indigent defendants are not likely to be able to pay, even if you obtain a judgment against them.

That's why it is always prudent to seek professional legal guidance whenever there is any question of liability after an auto accident occurs. After your case is thoroughly reviewed, you will have a better idea of how you can proceed in order to pursue financial compensation for your losses.

Source: FindLaw, "Filing a Lawsuit: Should you Sue?," accessed April 20, 2018

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Imagine being really sick with Parkinson's disease and suffering from psychosis and hallucinations that haunt your every waking moment. The torment patients suffer leaves them and their concerned family members so desperate for relief that they are willing to try so-called "breakthrough therap[ies]" that are being fast-walked through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pharmaceutical review process.

But this relief may wind up killing them or their loved ones. Such is the case with one medication, Nuplazid, which was manufactured by Acadia Pharmaceuticals out of San Diego.

Safety corners cut?

In order to get Nuplazid into the hands of desperate Parkinson's patients, its FDA review was expedited. This was based on "substantial improvement" in patients suffering from serious or life-threatening diseases. The FDA advisory committee determined that the medication's potential benefits outweighed the risk.

The doctor in charge of the medical review urged caution, warning that serious outcomes could result. This included a doubled risk of death, and he was unconvinced that the six-week trial involving roughly 200 Parkinson's patients was sufficient.

Thus, Nuplazid was released nearly two years ago in June 2016.

Adverse events

Shortly thereafter, the family members and medical professionals began reporting "adverse events" with possible links to Nuplazid. They included:

  • Falls
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Life-threatening incidents
  • Deaths

Perhaps most frustrating was that there were over 1,000 reports of continued hallucinations while patients took the drug.

Just nine months later, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) had reported linked 244 deaths reported to the FDA to use of the medication.

The number of deaths have since climbed to 700. In 500 of those deaths, Nuplazid was the sole medicine listed as "suspect." In interviews with CNN, industry insiders shared worries that Nuplazid was approved too fast, with scant scientific evidence of its efficacy or safety.

Have you suffered a worsened medical condition or an adverse event because of a medication that you were prescribed? There may be legal avenues to explore for seeking compensation.

Source: CNN, "FDA worried drug was risky; now reports of deaths spark concern," Blake Ellis and Melanie Hicken, April 09, 2018

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Expectant parents delight in decorating their babies' rooms with brightly-colored motifs and murals designed to stimulate their infants' burgeoning senses.

But are parents paying as much attention to safety concerns as they are to aesthetics? Some signs suggest they aren't, and neither are the manufacturers of some furniture items.

Tipping dressers major safety concern

Consumer Reports released results from a recent study indicating that injuries to babies and children from furniture that tips over onto them are still increasing.

Data from 2016 shows that 2,800 children here in America suffered injuries caused by furniture that tipped over on them, which is a 33 percent increase from the prior year. Researchers hypothesize that this might stem from manufacturers' failure to design and build furniture with safety in mind.

The furniture item that's most likely to cause injuries or deaths to youngsters 5 and under is a dresser. For one, they're typically sequestered in bedrooms, the room in the home where kids are most frequently alone.

Kids are left alone at naptime, but all parents know that children who are supposed to be sleeping not always are. But if they are scaling the open drawers of their dressers like mountain goats, it's less likely that an adult will see them in time to avert a tragic accident. The problem is compounded when heavy objects like TVs are placed on top of kids' dressers.

Consumer Reports' chief scientific officer stated that "[o]ver 80 percent of all the furniture tip-over injuries and deaths are [to] children under the age of 6. They are the most vulnerable people."

Given that, the fact that there are only voluntary safety standards for dresser manufacturers seems quite shortsighted. Retail outlets also aren't mandated to label these potentially lethal furniture items as such to their customers.

Under the current industry standards, dressers should remain upright when 50 pounds of weight is put on open drawers. But if that weight limit were increased by another 10 pounds, it would include the average weight of kids 5 and under in the United States.

Parents can reduce the risk of dressers tipping over onto their children by anchoring them securely to the walls and not placing TVs and other heavy items on top of them.

If your child was harmed by a falling dresser, you may need to file a claim for damages to recover any financial or other losses.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Tipping furniture injures more kids than ever, Consumer Reports says," April 06, 2018

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Riding a motorcycle is second nature to some people. For others, they need a refresher each spring season before heading out on a ride for the first time after a long winter. It doesn't matter how experienced you are, you should always make yourself visible when riding your motorcycle. Being visible to every motorist is important. It can save your life and prevent a nasty accident.

Always wear bright clothing when riding your motorcycle, even during the daylight hours. Having on bright clothing, including a neon vest, will help you get noticed by motorists around you.

Make sure all of the lights on your motorcycle work prior to each ride you take. Don't use them just at night either. It's safer to ride your motorcycle with the lights on even during the daytime. Having your lights activated could save your life.

Ride in a manner where you are not hidden from the view of other motorists. For example, never ride in the blind spots of other vehicles, even if just for a brief moment. This will only put those drivers at a disadvantage when trying to see you on the road.

Put your bike in a position where it can be seen, even when stopped at a traffic light. You want vehicles approaching the intersection from all directions to be able to see you so that they know if you are stopped, waiting to turn or waiting for the light to change colors.

There are plenty of ways to make yourself visible when riding your motorcycle in Louisville, Kentucky. All of these methods should be put to good use so you never find yourself the victim of a motorcycle accident.

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This month, just outside of Lexington, two Norfolk Southern Railroad freight trains smashed into one another and derailed. The accident occurred at approximately 11:15 p.m. on March 19 in Georgetown. The collision injured four people, and the subsequent fire caused police to order nearby residents to evacuate their homes.

A lieutenant with the Lexington Fire Department said that the evacuations were done "out of an abundance of caution."

After the initial impact, the locomotives and an additional 13 cars derailed. A fire broke out, which spurred the authorities to evacuate those living near the derailment. It was first thought that spillage from the wreck could contain hazardous chemicals but a later report revealed that it was diesel fuel and vegetable oil.

The Scott County Schools superintendent was asked by police to open local schools to house the evacuees until they were able to return home.

Personnel with the R.J. Corman Railroad Company and Norfolk Southern Railroad worked through the following day to clear the site of debris from the derailment.

Investigators continue the process of determining the cause of the derailment.

When trains derail in a community, the residents are at risk as well as those riding aboard the train. While there was no hazardous substance leaked in this most recent train mishap, the risk of exposure to toxins is real.

If you or your children suffer adverse effects after a train derailment in your area, you can pursue a claim for civil damages. Should the insurance carrier deny or low-ball your claim, you may need to file a lawsuit to seek the compensation you need and deserve.

Source: The Washington Post, "The Latest: Norfolk Southern clearing derailed freight cars," Associated Press, March 19, 2018

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When working within high-risk occupations like construction sites or coal mines, getting injured at work can be a common occurrence. Unfortunately, these workplace injuries can cause many problems for workers, including needing to pay medical bills for treatment and losing wages while recovering.

The good news is that, in the state of Kentucky, there are protections in place that help injured workers financially and protect them from being fired while they are recovering from work-related injuries.

Work-related neck injuries in Kentucky

Injuries to the neck can occur in almost any industry and can be both minor or major. Minor examples of a neck injury include a sprain of a neck muscle while sitting at a badly- fitted desk. A serious neck injury can be caused by things such as heavy lifting, repetitive strains or falling objects. When neck injures only affect the soft tissue, just the muscles will be affected. However, neck injuries that affect the nerves of workers' spinal cords can have disabling consequences.

Workers' compensation in Kentucky

If you have suffered a neck injury at work in Kentucky, you may very well be eligible for wage compensation and reimbursement for medical costs. The workers' compensation insurance coverage in the state of Kentucky is very broad.

However, Kentucky workers' compensation is limited in the sense that it can only be claimed for injuries that directly resulted from a work incident. Therefore, secondary injuries that took place after a work incident or accident will often be unlikely to be covered.

How to file for workers' compensation

If you need to file a workers' compensation claim in Kentucky, you should file a notice with your employer as soon as possible, but you generally have up to two years to file a claim.

As an injured worker in Kentucky, it is important to take properly action in order to claim the workers' compensation benefits to which you may be entitled. 

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