Tobacco Industry May Feel Pressed to Join E-Cigarette Flavor Race

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On the front of its Business Day section, the New York Times reports that flavors such as “Twista Lime, Kauai Kolada, Caribbean Chill, Mintrigue,” banned in 2009 in cigarettes, “look like plain vanilla compared with the flavor buffet now on offer – legally – by the fast-growing electronic cigarette industry.” The Times says the news Tuesday that Reynolds American will buy Lorillard if US regulators approve, “highlighted how important e-cigarettes have become to the declining tobacco industry.” Those companies “may feel pressure to expand into the explosion of competition for the consumer palate,” which has “more than 7,000 flavors…available” with “nearly 250 more…introduced every month.”

        Forty million Americans still smoke. The Wall Street Journal reports that the US has fewer smokers than ever before. But, even though the rate of smoking is now less than 20 percent, some 40 million people still smoke in this country. The article goes on to explore current trends in the tobacco industry, such as concentrated growth in the menthol and e-cigarette sectors and the targeting of marketing campaigns toward the LGBT community.

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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What to Do If You Are Injured by a Drunk Driver

What to Do If You Are Injured by a Drunk Driver

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Car accidents can be scary and disorienting, especially if you sustain an injury. Unfortunately, drunk driving accidents are all too common. Drunk driving-related accidents make up one third of all car accidents in the United States each year.

If you are injured by a drunk driver, here are some simple guidelines to get you through the aftermath.

Make the Needed Calls

First and foremost, it’s vital to contact emergency services. Not only do injured drivers and passengers need to receive medical care, but the accident must be reported.

Then report the accident to your insurance company. Regardless of who is legally at fault, you will need to stay in close contact with your insurance provider to stay on top of medical costs and automotive repairs.

Consider calling a personal injury attorney, such as Donnell, Iain T., a Newmarket lawyer, to discuss your legal options. If you decide to pursue a personal injury claim, it is in your best interest to hire a lawyer early in the process. Your attorney will be able to help you deal with insurance claims, paperwork, and settlement negotiations.

If you cannot make calls due to your injuries, have a passenger or bystander call 911 and you make the other calls when you have recovered enough.

Record the Events

Unless fault is clear, you will have to present evidence to help the court determine the legal consequences of the accident and resulting injuries.

If you have a pen and paper handy, record the experience. Include the following:

  • the details of your injuries
  • the sequence of events
  • any conversations you had with the other driver or bystanders on the scene
  • any financial losses
  • the damage to your vehicle
  • any injuries sustained by your passengers

You should also take pictures of your injuries and the damage. Try to get pictures from as many angles as possible. These pictures may be used to determine the financial value of the emotional and physical damages you and your vehicle sustained.

If you are unable to record the incident and damages yourself, ask a passenger or bystander to do so. Make your written record as soon as possible after the accident.

Protect Yourself

Protecting yourself from further injury and future liability should be your first priority. For this reason, it’s vital that you:

  • Refrain from Apologizing: Even if you feel bad about the incident or were at fault, saying things like “I wasn’t paying attention,” “I didn’t see you,” or “I’m sorry—I don’t know what happened” may be seen as admission of guilt. An admission of guilt may reduce or eliminate your chances of being awarded damages in a settlement case.
  • Don’t Try to Deal with the Other Party’s Insurance Directly: If the other party’s insurance contacts you, direct them to your attorney or insurance provider. Any conversation you have with them will be recorded and any information you give them may be used to deny you damages.
  • Calculate Your Damages: You can get a preliminary estimate of damages using an online damage calculator, but you should also get an official estimate from your insurance provider.
  • Consult with an Attorney about Settlement Offers: The first settlement offer you receive will likely be the lowest possible damage award. Before you accept a settlement, consult with legal counsel about your options.
  • Get the Contact Information of all Bystanders: When you’re on the accident scene, get the contact information of any witnesses who will be able to tell the authorities what happened.

Not all accidents can be prevented, but by staying calm and following the suggestions above you can ensure that all injuries and damages are taken care of properly.

About the author: A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica Oaks loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.

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Unexpected Ways an Injury Lawsuit Can Affect Your Life

Unexpected Ways an Injury Lawsuit Can Affect Your Life

When people think about filing a lawsuit, they are usually focused on the financial compensation they could potentially receive, and the emotional or social justice they hope to obtain. However it’s important to look at all aspects of a personal injury lawsuit before filing one, so you know what to expect.

1. You May be Investigated

Depending on the nature of your personal injury lawsuit, you and your family could be subject to investigation and even surveillance.

Let’s say you are walking through a market. You don’t notice the floor is wet, and you slip and break your leg. You hire a slip and fall lawyer in Vancouver, which is where the accident took place, from a firm such as Kenneth Cristall Law Corporation. The injury has made it difficult for you to walk around, which is keeping you from work. Part of your lawsuit against the store includes suing for loss of income from the injury.

One day you are at home and you need to get the mail. Unfortunately someone from the defense team sees you walking outside of your house and takes a picture. That picture shows up in court as proof that your injury isn’t hurting your mobility.

According to Injury Lawyers in Wisconsin, insurance companies are within their rights to engage in limited surveillance. Any time you are in a public setting, someone could be taking photographs or videos. Be prepared for the defense team to dig up anything from your past that could affect the case as well.

2. Personal Injury Cases Cost Money

The desired outcome of your personal injury case is that you receive enough money to cover your medical costs and emotional damages, either through a settlement or through a court decision. Whether you receive the money or not, here are a list of fees associated with a personal injury lawsuit:

  • Expert Witness Fees: paying experts such as engineers or doctors to testify about products or injuries.
  • Administrative Fees: paying a court reporter to take depositions, compile reports, send documents, and make copies.
  • Court Filing Fees: paying the services involved in the court processes.
  • Miscellaneous Fees: paying out-of-pocket costs such as travel costs for witnesses and lawyers.

According to All Law, an inexpensive trial in a metropolitan area like New York runs at about $15,000. However, every case is different and requires different resources; it’s not unheard of for a personal injury lawsuit to cost $100,000 or more.

You Might Not Win

Having a good case is not the same thing as winning. You have to address the fact that you might lose. Some lawyers won’t bill you for their work on your case if you don’t win, but that will depend on the agreement with your lawyer. During the initial consultation ask what will happen if you lose.

If the case is considered “frivolous” (without merit and used to harass the defendant), or if there is a contract involved, you may also be responsible for paying the lawyer fees for the defendant. You wouldn’t be pursuing the case if you didn’t think there was a good chance of a favorable outcome, but you should consider the financial implications of a loss.

3. Personal Injury Cases Take Time

Obviously you will be dedicating time to the personal injury lawsuit, but do you know just how much time it will take? Here is the timeline of a personal injury case, according to NOLO:

  • Filing the Lawsuit. Filing the lawsuit sets everything into motion. Every state has different policies and procedures, but cases usually take one to two years to get to trial after the initial filing.
  • Discovery. This part of the process is when both sides spend time investigating, gathering information, and building their cases. It can last anywhere from six months to one year, depending on how complex the personal injury case is.
  • Mediation and Negotiation. The next step is usually negotiating a settlement offer. If you sue large companies, they typically prefer to reach a settlement instead of suffering the costs (and negative publicity) of a court case.
  • The Trial. If you don’t take a settlement, and mediation doesn’t work out, the case goes to trial. Trials can take anywhere from a day to several months. Also, trial dates are not set in stone—they are often changed to accommodate the judge’s schedule.

A personal injury case can be a huge time commitment; the longer a lawsuit takes, the more expensive it will be. Make sure you know exactly what you are getting into before you file.

Deciding to sue someone is no small decision. When you talk to a lawyer to see if you have a case, also ask him or her how long it will take, how much it will cost, and how it will affect you and your family. Know what you are getting yourself into before you move forward so there will be no surprises along the way.

This article was written by Kandace Heller, a freelance writer from Orlando, Florida.

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Group Claims Disabled People Are Denied Voting Rights

The AP reports from Los Angeles that advocates for the disabled “say thousands of people with autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy and other intellectual or developmental disabilities have been systematically denied that basic right in the nation’s largest county.” A Voting Rights Act complaint submitted on Thursday to the Justice Department in Los Angeles “goes to a politically delicate subject that states have grappled with over the years: Where is the line to disqualify someone from the voting booth because of a cognitive or developmental impairment?” The complaint by the Disability and Abuse Project “argues that intellectual and developmental disabilities, including conditions such as Down syndrome, are not automatic barriers to participating in elections,” and “seeks a sweeping review of voting eligibility in Los Angeles County in such cases, arguing that thousands of people with those disabilities have lost the right to vote during the last decade.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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How Advances In Neuroscience Will Impact The Legal System

How Advances In Neuroscience Will Impact The Legal System

Despite massive advances in technology and the medical field over the past few centuries, the human brain has still remained a relatively unexplored frontier. While scientists have worked hard to learn more about the basic functioning of the human neurological system (and the brain in particular), there still remains much that is completely unknown, much that is left only to speculation and further scientific exploration at the moment.

At the same time, however, the rate at which doctors are making discoveries within the neuroscience field is also faster than ever before. This means that even though there is still much that remains unknown about the brain at the moment, there is also a good chance that many of these mysteries will become solved within the next few decades. The implications of new neuroscience knowledge will definitely expand far past the medical world alone. Namely, the legal implications of new advances in neuroscience could very likely influence both courtroom proceedings and new safety laws alike.

Legal Diagnosis: Neurological problems, whether they cause mental or physical disabilities, are often the basis for determining everything from qualification for disability benefits to drug treatments. However, because of our ever-progressing understanding of these neurological issues, current laws do not necessarily correspond fully to the latest scientific understanding of these conditions. While it may take a while for legal guidelines to match up with clinical diagnosis, it is likely that in the future these two will be fully aligned.

Courtroom Proceedings: Pleading “insanity” in criminal cases has become more common in the past several decades, but the public opinion regarding the legitimacy of all of these cases is fairly variable, largely because of the somewhat ambiguous clinical guidelines that often seem to determine the verdicts. Further neuroscience research can not only make legal guidelines and clinical diagnosis more uniform for practical employment purposes but also can make courtroom proceedings involving mental illnesses more universally regulated.

Safety Regulations: Particularly in regard to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), the legal world is far behind the advancements of neuroscience. Specifically speaking, the cases of NFL players’ recent lawsuits over forced play despite suffering numerous concussions has led to new rules within the organization. These cases have also led to the search for a treatment for repeated TBIs, with the possibility of clinical trials someday being carried out on actual former NFL players themselves.

Imaging Evidence: In line with the aforementioned points, advancements in imaging devices (particularly fMRIs) can make a world of difference in the legal field as well. Functional MRIs are becoming more commonplace in legal cases, and the availability of these MRIs through organizations like Mindset Consulting Group’s mobile fMRI Center means that neuroscience expert witnesses providing courtroom evidence will probably become the standard in the future.

In conclusion, while the rate of advancements in neuroscience will probably remain ahead of those within the legal system for at least the next several decades, ideally these two areas will fully align someday in the future. Scientific exploration of the workings of the human mind has been a continually progressing field, and hopefully the legal system will work to be continually progress in the area as well.

This article was written by Kandace Heller, a freelance writer from Orlando, Florida.

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Safety Features That Should Be In Every Seniors Home

Safety Features That Should Be In Every Seniors Home-1

Did you know that two million seniors are treated for injuries sustained in falls in their homes every year? As you age, it is only natural to be vulnerable to serious injuries after a fall because you have less density in your bones. This is why it is imperative that homes where seniors reside should be inspected on a regular basis to identify potential hazards. While inspections can help you remove hazards that can lead to injuries, family members also need to focus on adding safety features in the home that can prevent potential disasters. Here are just four safety features all seniors need in their homes:

Shower and Bathtub Safety Features

Every time that you get in and out of the bathtub you are at-risk of experiencing a slip and fall accident. To help prevent a fall, seniors should have grab bars installed on their walls by the bathtub and non-skid mats in the standing area of the tub. For seniors with mobility issues, having a specialty sit-in tub is ideal to make transferring in and out of the bathtub easier.

Install a Personal Alarm System

Seniors have become the targets for burglars and intruders. If you want to protect yourself or your loved one, you should consider having an advanced home automation alarm system installed. This system may include security cameras that can be accessed remotely by loved ones to ensure that anyone with mobility issues is safe in their home. The system also sounds when someone attempts to intrude in the home, which can act as a deterrent.

Walker and Wheelchair Accessibility Features

Narrow doorways and staircases can create problems for seniors who are dependent on their walkers or wheelchairs. Unfortunately, according to Cantini Law Group Accident and Disability Lawyers, an experienced personal injury law firm in Halifax, being dependent on mobility devices will not make you automatically eligible for Long Term Disability benefits. Because of this, you may need to modify your home on your own so that you can get around your home without taking on the expense of hiring a caretaker. Widening your doorways and investing in a stair lift can make it possible to survive on your limited income before you begin receiving Social Security or disability benefits.

An Elderly Medical Alert System

You can never predict when someone will fall in their home. Unfortunately, it is much more difficult for seniors to get up after a fall. A medical alert system is a smart item to have when seniors are living alone. This device is worn on the wrist or attached to a walker or wheelchair so that it is always available. As soon as the button is pressed, help will be on the way.

Inspecting a home and modifying it can help you feel at ease when someone you love is living at home alone. Make sure that you assess every room in the home, and eliminate the hazards while you add new safety features.

This article is from Savannah Coulsen, a freelance writer. She lives in Long Beach. Savannah loves to read and write and she hopes to write a novel someday. Savannah also loves learning and is a self-proclaimed health guru.

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Federal Law Over Compounding Pharmacies Draws Criticism

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The New Hampshire Union Leader reported a new Federal law related to “drug compounding creates the same sort of regulatory ‘loophole’ that led to a deadly meningitis outbreak in 2012,” citing the New Hampshire Board of Pharmacy. Bob Stout, vice president of the board, pointed out that the Drug Quality and Security Act of 2013 helped create a “‘hybrid’ between traditional compounders and manufacturers.” He said the law sows confusion because it is unclear who will regulate those hybrids. The paper noted that while compounding pharmacies are under the state boards of pharmacies, pharmaceutical firms are under FDA oversight. “Meanwhile, FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg last year called for federal legislation giving the agency oversight of facilities that compound sterile drug products, including ‘clear authority’ to proactively inspect such pharmacies and examine their records,” the paper noted.

        Bill seeking curbs on compounding pharmacies passed in Massachusetts. Reuters reports that Massachusetts lawmakers have approved a legislation that imposes curbs on compounding pharmacies. The move comes in the wake of involvement of a state-based firm, the New England Compounding Center, in the outbreak of fungal meningitis that killed 64 people across the country.

        Pharmacy benefit manager scales back coverage of compounding medicines. The AP reported that Express Scripts, the country’s largest pharmacy benefit manager, “is dramatically” cutting payments for compounded medications, “saying most of the custom-mixed medicines are ineffective or overpriced.” The firm, “which manages prescriptions for 90 million Americans,” is making plans to end “coverage for 1,000 drug ingredients commonly found in compounded medications.” The AP noted that the move has drawn the ire of compounding pharmacists, “who argue that such cuts deprive patients of crucial medications that are not available as manufactured drugs.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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Four Smart Money Moves If You Marry After Age 50

ID-10027645 It seems more and more older couples are getting married, usually for at least the second time. Marriage at an older age can be quite a bit more complex than at a young age. There should be considerations for children from previous marriages, and consideration for the financial circumstances of the bride and groom.

A recent article in the AARP magazine gave some excellent tips about the financial considerations. If you are in this situation I recommend you read the entire article. Here are the introduction and the topic headings:

Coming together at 50-plus is different from getting married in your 20s, particularly when it comes to money. “You’ve had a lifetime of solidifying your money beliefs” and behaviors, says Janet Stanzak, president of theFinancial Planning Association. These are some ways to smooth the transition if you’re tying the knot this summer.

Talk about prior obligations

Don’t forget your adult children

Dot the i’s and cross the t’s

Decide how much to combine

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Johnson & Johnson Agrees to Settlement Over Alleged Deception in Hip Implant Marketing

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Bloomberg News reports that Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay Oregon $4 million to “resolve deceptive marketing claims over recalled metal-on-metal hip implants,” thereby marking the company’s “first accord with any governmental unit involving the devices.” The company has recalled 93,000 ASR hip implants worldwide, citing a 12% failure rate in five years. Bloomberg News further reports that the U.S. Justice Department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts “are probing whether the company made false claims or false statements about the devices to federal health care programs.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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Happy Labor Day!

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Happy Labor Day!

As you enjoy this holiday, please remember the sacrifices made by labor unions over the years to benefit American workers.

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