Ongoing Litigation Raises Questions About Safety of Talcum Powder

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The New York Times reports ongoing litigation against makers of talcum powder have renewed interest in the ongoing debate about whether or not talcum powder causes cancer. The article details the conflicting research and opinions on the matter of whether using talcum powder can increase a woman’s risk of developing ovarian or cervical cancer. The article notes that the Cancer Prevention Coalition petitioned the FDA in 1994 and 2008 to add warning labels to talcum powder advising women that the product could increase their risk of developing cancer.

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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FDA Approved Several High-Risk Women’s Health Devices Without Sufficient Evidence

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Fierce Medical Devices reports that several “high-risk women’s health devices were approved without proper data,” according to a study published in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Researchers “looked at 18 high-risk devices approved by the FDA from 2000 to 2015, including those for menstrual flow reduction, contraception and fetal monitoring” and found four of which were approved “even though they did not show efficacy in clinical trials.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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National Safety Council Survey: Physicians Routinely Prescribe Dangerous Dosages of Pain Killers

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HealthDay reported that, according to a National Safety Council survey, “when American doctors give their patients narcotic painkillers, 99 percent of them hand out prescriptions that exceed the federally recommended three-day dosage limit.” HealthDay added, “And some doctors exceeded that limit by a lot: Nearly one-quarter gave out month-long dosages, despite the fact that research has shown that a month’s use of prescription narcotic painkillers can cause brain changes.” The survey also found that “just one-third” of physicians “ask about a family history of addiction,” and “only 5 percent offer direct help to patients when signs of abuse are uncovered.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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FDA Delays Generic Drug Labeling Rule for Third Time

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The New York Time reports the Food and Drug Administration will “put off until 2017 a decision about whether to require generic drug makers to take more responsibility for warning patients about the risks of their products.” The Times states that while consumer groups were “dismayed” by the FDA’s decision, the generics industry has said requiring such labeling “would create confusion because drugs that were equivalent could carry different warning labels.” As an alternative, the industry has proposed a cooperative effort between generic drug makers and brand-name companies “that would make the F.D.A. the final arbiter of label changes.”

STAT reports that the FDA “is delaying the debut of a controversial rule for updating generic drug labeling” for the third time since it was proposed in 2013. The rule “would allow generic drug makers to independently update safety warnings, something that only brand-name drug makers can currently do before receiving FDA permission.” The rule is now expected to take effect in April of 2017.

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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How Bankruptcy Can Change Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

How Bankruptcy can Change your Personal Injury Lawsuit

Bankruptcy becomes an inevitable resolution for many who have been injured in a personal injury accident. If you are worried how your injury claim will affect your chapter 7 or 13 case, you have every right to be concerned. You will be happy to know that these types of cases are exempt from your court filings. The key is to disclose the pending lawsuit. If you do not make the claim known, you can lose your right to compensation. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to preserve your pending lawsuit in bankruptcy court.

Being Honest on Your Schedules

When filing your schedules for bankruptcy court, any pending personal injury claims are counted as assets, or personal property. Full disclosure of these items is required. If you fail to disclose an injury you had before you filed, it can disqualify you for the compensation that you may be entitled to. In some cases, the failure to disclose is unintentional. However, that may not be enough to save your claim. The funds can be awarded and used to pay your creditors. There could also be criminal liability for not disclosing an asset on your schedules.

Not Disclosing Can Be a Criminal Offense

There are many cases where a claim would have been exempt if it has been listed on the schedules. Some try to protect their claim and avoid disclosing it. This often causes you to lose out when your personal injury claim is settled. The court takes a hard-nosed approach when it comes to undisclosed assets. In other cases, some believe that they are not required to disclose the injury or claim, as long as they wait to file the suit after the bankruptcy case is closed. However, the debtor must let the trustee know about any such claims even after the bankruptcy case is closed.

Exempting a Personal Injury Claim

The trustees regularly check court records to see if any personal injury cases have been filed. They can seize any personal injury awards several years after a bankruptcy case has been closed. Lawyers, like Attorney Walter F. Benenati, know how you can use personal exemptions to protect your award. In fact, you can be compensated from a personal injury award and not have to pay debtors with it. If you have a spouse in your filing, you can potentially keep more money. It is not worth the legal aggravation and the potential of losing the money to try to withhold information from the courts.

You need a legal representative to help you with your bankruptcy claim. Even if you have a pending personal injury claim, you want to make sure you cover all bases with the courts. The worst case scenario would be to fight for years to get compensation for an accident, and lose it due to a paperwork error. This is a delicate matter and you should not attempt this on your own. You need legal help.

This article is from Lizzie Weakley, a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. She enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her four-year-old husky Snowball.

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5 Myths About Breathalyzer Tests

5 Myths about Breathalyzer Tests

Have you ever heard those stories on how to beat a breathalyzer? They are usually told as someone who has had a drink or two and is preparing to drive home. Suggestions from different types of gum to basic sobering-up techniques are usually offered, but how many of them actually work? Besides having great theories to discuss, these suggestions are usually myths that are not going to help you pass any tests, especially if you are drunk enough. The following are five common myths that will definitely not help you pass a breathalyzer test:

Mouthwash

Drinking mouthwash will help hide the smell of alcohol, but it is not going to actually reduce your blood alcohol level. Many mouthwashes actually have alcohol as part of their ingredients, so instead of helping you beat the breathalyzer, mouthwash might actually increase your risk of failing the test.

Drinking Coffee

One of the tried and true ways to sober up is to drink coffee. Though this might help you focus a little better, your blood alcohol level itself will remain unchanged.

Penny Sucking

This is one of the more popular breathalyzer myths. A lot of people believe that if you suck on a penny, you can disrupt the test from the residual copper in your mouth. This does not actually throw off the results of the test because the breath that goes into the breathalyzer comes from your lungs without being affected much by your mouth, and modern pennies actually have very little copper in them anyway.

Hold Your Breath

Altering the patterns of breathing can have an impact on the breathalyzer’s results, but the wrong way to do is to hold your breath. Holding your breath only stores up more alcohol molecules and gives you a higher reading.

Food

We all know we need to eat before or after we drink to help absorb the alcohol, but it doesn’t help reduce the amount of alcohol molecules in your breath. The breathalyzer can still measure the molecules that you breathe out of your lungs, so the food in your stomach isn’t going to impact that a lot.

It’s obviously best not to drink before driving no matter what, but if you think you were driving legally and the breathalyzer was wrong, get help with your breath test defense in Atlanta. If you understand the science of the breathalyzer test, you will understand why none of these methods will actually work. One type of test, the Intoxilyzer, passes an infrared light through a chamber in the device that has captured your breath when you blew into it. If you have alcohol molecules in your breath, they will disrupt the light that is passing through the device. So the less light that passes through the device, the more alcohol molecules you have in your breath.

This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write for business, finance, and family issues. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters. You can find Dixie on Facebook.

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Social Security — Planning Now Cuts Back on Future Uncertainty

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From the Social Security Administration blog:

An old saying tells us that death and taxes are the only guarantees in life. While we know it’s inevitable, death is not something we like to think about. The loss of a loved one is overwhelming. It can leave you devastated, uncertain of what steps to take.

This is especially true when you lose a spouse. The death of a spouse is devastating emotionally, physically, and financially.

Social Security survivors benefits protect your surviving spouse if you die. Your widow or widower can receive reduced benefits as early as age 60 or full benefits at full retirement age or older. If your surviving spouse is disabled, benefits can begin as early as age 50 as long as the disability started before or within seven years of your death.

As the widow of a deceased worker, your surviving spouse can get benefits at any age if she or he takes care of your child who’s receiving Social Security.

We also make a one-time payment of $255 when you die if you’ve worked long enough. We can only pay this benefit to your spouse or child, if they meet certain requirements. Survivors must apply for this payment within two years of the date of death.

Survivors benefits are an earned benefit, but you may wonder how much your surviving spouse can receive. The amount of benefits your surviving spouse will get from Social Security depends on your average lifetime earnings. The more you earned, the more their benefits will be. You can learn more about this earned benefit by visiting our Survivors Planner: Survivors Benefits For Your Widow Or Widower.

You can also check your Social Security Statement to see an estimate of your retirement and disability benefits and the survivors benefits we could pay along with other important information.

Death is unavoidable, but planning ensures some protection for your surviving spouse. For more information, please read Survivors Benefits.

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Car Accidents: Your First Steps as a Victim

Car Accidents Your First Steps as a Victim

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than six million auto accidents were reported in 2014. The number of crashes is a 6.6 percent increase compared to the previous year. As gas prices have continued to drop, more and more drivers are getting back on the road, which is leading to more accidents.

Many of the holiday weekends in the past year have led to record travel numbers. With the increasing number of car crashes, many people will experience their first car accident. For others, a crash may just be one of many. No matter if it is the first or fifth, it is important for accident victims to recognize what to do after a collision.

The steps you take after an accident can help in obtaining compensation for any property damage, medical expenses or lost wages you and/or your passengers suffered.

What to Do After an Accident

Knowing what to do after an accident can help your physical well-being, but also help to protect your legal rights.

  • If you are able to move, get out of your vehicle and out of harm’s way if the vehicle is still in traffic. If the vehicle cannot be moved or you are also unable to move, remain in the car with the seatbelt on and hazard lights on.
  • Call 911 immediately and request an ambulance for those who are injured.
  • Once the police arrive, only provide the facts over what happened and do not blame anyone for the collision.
  • Take notes of how and where the collision occurred. Was the weather bad? Were the traffic lights working? What direction were you headed in? The more information, the better.
  • Take photos of the accident scene including the intersection, damage to both vehicles, and any injuries.
  • If there are witnesses, collect their information as well.
  • After receiving medical attention, be sure to keep all the paperwork and any receipts for your treatment.

If an accident is minor, you may wish to simply exchange information with the other driver. However, Zaner Harden Law suggests that you always report an accident to the authorities. The record of the crash can help you with an insurance claim and any legal action you may wish to pursue.

Contacting the Insurance Companies

The first instinct a driver has after an accident is to contact their insurer. In some cases, an adjuster may even show up to the scene or try to contact you immediately to settle the claim. However, you should consider speaking with an attorney first. Unfortunately, an insurer may diminish the value of your claim, which means you will not get the compensation you deserve. After an accident, be sure to call a lawyer to establish your legal options.

This article is from Lizzie Weakley, a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. She enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her four-year-old husky Snowball.

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Educated Counsel – 3 Ways to Protect Your Rights as a Citizen

Educated Counsel

America is a great country that offers its citizens rights that should not be violated. The problem is some of these rights can be violated, especially if the citizen is unaware of his or her rights. You do not want to be in the position of having your rights violated without being able to fight back. The following are three ways that you can protect your rights as an American citizen in different situations.

Know Your Most Basic Rights

One of the most important things to understand is your most basic rights. This includes your right to life, liberty, ownership of property, and the pursuit of happiness. Of course, there are some intricacies within some of these basic rights. For example, you cannot pursue happiness if it involves breaking the law or hurting others.

Understand Your Rights as a Victim

You may not want to think about the possibility of being a victim of a crime, but crime does happen, and it can happen to you. You can be a victim of a sexual assault or robbery. Professionals, like those at McLaughlin & Lauricella, P.C., know that understanding your rights as a victim will help you during such a situation to ensure that they are not violated. For one, a victim generally has the right to be treated fairly, courteously, and with care by all those in law enforcement. Most victims have the right to expose victim impact statements during a trial. These statements offer the court and jury a look at how the crime has affected the victim’s life in different ways. This could include loss of wages, psychological trauma, or emotional harm just to name a few possibilities.

The victim also has the right to be informed of several procedures during the trial. This includes any appeals, bail proceedings, arraignment of offender, and other trial matters. Some of these rights do vary from case to case as well as the state where the crime took place. It is important to talk to a professional lawyer to ensure that you understand the specific rights that you hold in your particular situation.

Rights Against Lawyer Misconduct

It is important that you know a few things that a lawyer cannot do during a trial, which can be used against you. Most of the time, if you have a well-versed lawyer, he or she will catch these issues before they affect your case. These issues could include failure to disclose material that shows the defendant is not guilty. It is also wrong for a lawyer to misstate the law in any way or to criticize a defendant for exercising their right to not testify.

As you can see, knowledge is what ensures that your rights are protected at all times. Well, that, and making sure you have a well-versed and educated lawyer on your side.

Author information:Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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Personal Injury Claims: 5 Mistakes You Want to Avoid

Personal Injury Claims 5 Mistakes you want to Avoid

Though an accident is beyond your control and unpredictable, you have the ability to control the things that happen after that. One of the things that you will have to deal with is personal injury claims. To file a good claim, it is vital that you avoid common mistakes people make. Here are five common mistakes to avoid when filing a personal injury claim.

Ignoring the police report

A police report is very important when filing a claim. It acts as an official document with records of all the details related to the incident and the contact information of everyone involved. The police report is also a major source of evidence in case there is a lawsuit, or where the other party involved denies liability.

Giving inaccurate information about the injury

Misrepresenting your injuries is a huge mistake that can cost you when filing a personal injury. Common sources of inaccurate information include the hospitals, witnesses or yourself. For example, some doctors in the hospitals may not be willing to give all the information about your treatment, especially when the injury is due to their surgical mistakes. You may also exaggerate the information to get a higher compensation. When giving information about the injury, be as accurate as possible to prevent any discrepancies that might occur.

Ignoring legal advice

Legal advice is important if you want to protect your interests and maximize your chances of getting a higher compensation. Assuming you can handle the claim on your own can damage the case. More so, engaging your insurance company without legal aid is almost impossible since it’s likely they won’t take you seriously, and your claim can be denied or settled for a small amount.

Poor documentation

Due to rising emotions after an injury, it is likely you will forget a lot of things, especially details about the incident that led to injuries. Hence, you need to record every single detail before you forget them. If possible, record every conversation with other victims or witnesses. Have a record of all the medications, lost wages and contact information of everyone involved. Also, have records of any conversation you had with the lawyer or insurance company agents.

Hiring an attorney with no specialization in personal injury law

A lawyer who specializes in personal injury has an upper hand when it comes to building credibility with the judges and the insurance representatives. They can also easily access expert witnesses who can make your case stronger.

When you get injuries in an accident, especially due to someone’s negligence, the last thing you can do is to make the common mistakes stated above. Take time and think before you make any move.

This article is from Lizzie Weakley, a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. She enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her four-year-old husky Snowball.

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