VA Plans to Count the Home Value Toward Net Worth

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Recently the Veterans Administration issued proposed changes in the Federal Register that would:

  • Impose a 3 year look back for transfers of assets, including gifts to persons, trusts or purchases of annuities,
  • Deny claims for up to 10 years due to transfers,
  • And exempt only the home and two acres from net worth. If a claimant’s property exceeds two acres, it will count toward the net worth figure for eligibility.

Counting excess acreage attached to the home place is going to seriously hurt our rural clients and farmers – the original backbone of America.

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CDC: Half of US Prescriptions for Antibiotics Unnecessary

The Washington Post “Wonkblog” reports that according to the CDC, 80% of American are issued prescription antibiotics every year, and “up to half of the estimated 258 million prescriptions are unnecessary.” Jesse Goodman, director of Georgetown University’s Center on Medical Product Access, Safety and Stewardship and a former FDA chief scientist, says this is a “culture” problem and advises that “patient and doctor must understand these drugs are precious resources. The more we use them, and the more unwisely, the more resistance” will be built up against them. President Obama announced a plan this week “to nearly double the amount of federal funding dedicated to fighting antibiotic-resistant bacteria,” which the CDC says is responsible for an estimated two million illnesses and 23,000 deaths each year.

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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Pfizer Agrees to $400 Million Settlement in Off-Labeling Marketing Lawsuit

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The Wall Street Journal “Pharmalot” blog reports that Pfizer has agreed to a $400 million settlement in a class-action securities suit in which investors alleged the drug maker marketed several treatments on an off-label basis, including painkiller Bextra (valdecoxib), epilepsy treatment Lyrica (pregabalin), and antibiotic Zyvox (linezolid). The off-label marketing practices contributed to what the investors said were false and misleading statements about Pfizer’s financial performance, causing the company’s stock to trade at artificially inflated prices. In response to this case and others like it, the FDA has been developing guidelines about how drug makers should respond when physicians request information about using drugs for unapproved uses.

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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How to Get Fully Compensated After Being in an Accident

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Once a person has been hurt in an accident, it can be hard to tell where to turn. In many cases, they may find that they are having a tough time dealing with the insurance companies. During this time, those who have been hurt will be unable to work, and will have to sit back and watch as medical bills pile up. Trying to figure out what to do to get these expenses covered can be a nightmare.

Get Proof at the Scene

The next thing to do is to make sure that you have all of the evidence needed. This includes going back and getting all of the police reports from the accident. Also, if there were any pictures taken at the time these can be valuable as well. It will help to prove to a court after the fact what really happened. Other things to look for are other people who may have witnessed the accident, as they can come to court later on and corroborate what really happened. In many cases, a good lawyer will know exactly where to go to get this evidence.

Seek Legal Help

The best thing to do is to find a good lawyer, like those from Ladah Law Firm, PLLC. These professionals are people with the information and experience needed to get the parties liable to pay out. Also, they can help to pressure an insurance company to pay what is needed and fair. These professionals are used to getting cases where a person needs help. They may even know ways to get other things reimbursed, like rides back and forth to the doctor. Having one of these professionals is essential to learning how to get fully compensated after being in an accident.

Document Expenses

Also, it is important to fully document all of the expenses that have come directly from the accident. Don’t lose any of the hospital bills, and show exactly how much income is being lost after being unable to work. This makes it easier to show a court exactly how much money has been lost. Also, make sure that there are pictures of any injuries, to make it clear exactly what kind of damage was inflicted during the accident. The more concrete evidence there is of what happened, and the monetary pain it caused, the easier it will be to get fully compensated after being in an accident. Contact a lawyer and find out what the next steps to take are, and take control after being in an accident.

These are all the best ways to ensure that anybody who has been hurt is able to get fully compensated after being in an accident. Don’t leave anything to chance, take the time to make sure that all of these aspects have been seen to and handled.

This article is from Meghan Belnap, blogger, researcher, and freelance writer.

Photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net

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The Dos and Don’ts When You Are Under Investigation for a DUI Related Accident

The Dos and Donts When You are Under Investigation for a DUI Related Accident

The chances of being involved in an accident increase when a person chooses to drink. When a person makes the choice to drink and drive and that choice results in an accident, the police will investigate it as a DUI related accident. It is important to understand the consequences associated with this type of accident. Even though the driver is not initially arrested and charged, there will be an on-going investigation by law enforcement officials. There are certain things that a driver under investigation should and should not do to protect him from prosecution.

What Not to Do After the Accident

The best thing to say is to say nothing at all to anyone. This includes friends, police and family members. The least said about the incident, the better. Invoking the Fifth Amendment to remain silent is the best course of action when speaking with authorities following the accident. Do not talk to victims or witnesses while the investigation is ongoing. Keep all emotions under control during interactions with authorities. Do not express sadness, anger or even the slightest amount of confusion. Do not say or do anything rude or become belligerent. Do not admit guilt. Never ask someone to lie about the circumstances surrounding the accident.

What to Do After the Accident

Even before being charged, it is wise to consult with a criminal defense lawyer as early as possible. According to Druyon Law, you need to be truthful about the incident and disclose all information to the attorney early on so that your lawyer can help you in the best way possible. Honesty ensures a better outcome in the event the case goes to trial. Continue to work and interact with peers and coworkers. Keep as low a profile as possible during the investigation. Comply with all pre-trial requirements and try to show evidence of good, moral character. Dress professionally and show respect for the court during all proceedings. Demonstrate a serious attitude at all times.

Being aware of the seriousness associated with being involved in a DUI accident is vital to surviving the outcome of a law enforcement investigation. It is best to exercise caution throughout the entire investigation process. Understanding the possible consequences for being convicted or being found at fault in any alcohol-related accident is vital. The objective of an investigation is to try to find out the truth about what really happened in an accident and if any mitigating circumstances such as DUI were involved. Hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately after the accident can have a major impact on the outcome of the investigation.

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 three-year-old husky Snowball.

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How to Prepare Your Elderly Parent for a Medical Emergency

How to Prepare Your Elderly Parent for a Medical Emergency

If you have aging parents that are living alone, you likely worry about their safety—especially if they suffer from medical conditions. While medical emergencies are common in households with elderly people, you don’t have to live with constant worry about your parent. Being best prepared for these situations can help make them easier to deal with and possibly save someone’s life. As your parents are getting older, make sure that they are set up with all that they need in case they encounter such an experience. Here are a few suggestions to help you prepare your elderly parent for a medical emergency:

Medical Alert Bracelets

When preparing for a medical emergency, it’s important to make responders aware of information they may need in order to care for the patient. Medical conditions, current prescriptions, drug and food allergies and emergency contact information can be engraved on bracelets or necklaces. It should be worn at all times. That same information should also be kept in their purse or wallet as an added security.

Stock an Emergency Medical Kit

As we get older, senses and reaction times wear away and can cause accidents. Keep a stocked first aid kit accessible in your parents’ home in case they have accidents that they can treat before medical attention arrives such as a trip or fall, mishap while preparing food and cooking, or an insect sting or bite. Temporarily treating the injury may help the further treatment they receive. Items like gauze, CPR instructions and backup medications and insulin are important. It could save a life if they have supplies on hand.

Medical Alert Devices

We always worry that our parent will fall, or have a heart attack or seizure while alone. Many companies have created medical alert devices for the elderly or disabled to wear and contact emergency personnel when in need. Take a look at this comparison list to get a good idea of which device is best for your loved one based on price and services.

Become Friendly With Neighbors

Both you and your parents should ensure that you know and have relationships with the people who live close to them. As any great neighbor relationship, your parent can look out for them and they can look out for your parent. Make them aware of daily activities and emergency contact information. If anything looks out of the ordinary, the neighbor can contact you and possibly save your parent’s life if something has happened to them.

Preparedness is the best technique when it comes to handling medical emergencies. The only way to combat the unknown is to be generally knowledgeable and have what’s needed on hand. We all want to give our parents the tools they need in case of emergency, and they deserve it. The information for this article was provided by the professionals at 911 Industrial Response Inc., who offer ambulance services in Calgary.

This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write for business, finance, women’s interests, and technology. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.

Photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net via Toa55.

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Law And Finance: Five Offenses That Could Cost A Lot Of Money

5 Offenses That Could Cost A Lot Of Money

Breaking the law always comes with negative consequences, but some offenses can cost more than others. In addition to the revocation of certain privileges and possible jail time, many offenses can cost major dollars.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

Driving under the influence can be an extremely costly crime to commit, with fines ranging from $500 to as much as $2,000. Many courts order substance abuse counseling, which you will have to pay for yourself. You may be ordered to install an ignition interlock device in your car at your own expense. You can also anticipate much higher rates for your automotive insurance. Be sure to talk to a DUI Lawyer in Mesa to understand your rights and possibly lower fines. It’s important to work with attorneys for cases dealing with a DUI.

Speeding

The cost of speeding citations vary across the states and are also contingent upon how much you were exceeding the speed limit. If you are a habitual offender, you can expect to accrue points against your license, increasing the amount of your ticket. You may risk having your license revoked and be required to pay hefty fees to have it reinstated. Additionally, your insurance company will increase your premium for any speeding ticket you receive.

Possession of Drugs

Federal laws dictate that aside from minimum jail time, an offender must pay upwards of $1,000 dollars for even a first time offense. The fines increase per offense, and the related incarceration will stall any career plans. You can lose access to federal assistance for education if you have a record of drug related offenses, resulting in the loss of potential thousands of dollars in student financial aid.

File Sharing

Many people casually engage in the illegal sharing and distribution of files such as movies or music albums, unaware and ignorant of the fact that it is illegal. Some offenders have been charged fines in excess of half a million dollars, and the litigation costs are astronomical.

Trespassing

Considered a minor crime, many trespassers can face major fines of thousands of dollars. In addition to court costs, if the trespass charge is severe enough, you may be ordered to serve a term of probation. There are generally many fees related to probation, and if you mess up even once you may be required to pay additional fines to stay out of jail.

Money is a great motivator, and the courts have instated these egregious fines to deter criminal behavior. Keep in mind these high cost offenses the next time you consider engaging in risky or foolish behavior.

This article is courtesy of Anita Ginsburg, a freelance writer from Denver who often writes about home, family, law and business. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family when she isn’t writing.

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Lawmakers Call on Congress to Reform US Food Safety System

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Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Rep. Rosa L. Delauro (D-CT) argue in an op-ed for The Hill that food safety “needs to be a part of our national security conversation.” They note that “fifteen separate agencies” are currently responsible for policing the US food supply and say that this “nonsensical oversight arrangement” became evident during a 2010 nationwide egg recall due to Salmonella contamination. Durbin and Delauro call on fellow lawmakers to consolidate these agencies into a single body and bring the US food safety system up to date.

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

Photo courtesy of Rakratchada Torsap and FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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Bacterial Deaths Associated With Use of Duodenoscopes

USA Today reports on the “deadly pattern of illnesses” that emerged in Seattle hospitals in 2012 that in each case stemmed from the use of duodenoscopes. The device is a “specialized endoscope, threaded down the throat of a half-million patients a year to treat gallstones, cancers and other disorders of the digestive system, “that can “accumulate bacteria that are not always removed by conventional cleaning, so infections can pass from patient to patient.” CRE is “perhaps the most feared of superbugs, because it resists even ‘last defense’ antibiotics — and kills up to 40% of the people it infects.” The FDA “says in a written statement to USA TODAY that it is ‘aware of and closely monitoring’ the infection risks associated with the scopes.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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Study Warns of Cancer Risk From Formaldehyde in Some E-Cigarettes

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A number of media outlets covered the news Wednesday of study revealed in the New England Journal of Medicine that using high-voltage e-cigarettes may lead to greater exposure to formaldehyde, a potentially cancer-causing chemical, compared to using e-cigarettes at a lower temperature. The AP reports the study “does not prove a health risk – it involved limited testing on just one brand of e-cigarettes and was done in test tubes, not people.” In addition, the AP notes, the results of the study do “not mean e-cigarettes are better or worse than regular ones; tobacco smoke contains dozens of things that can cause cancer.”

Providing details of the study, Reuters reports that researchers at Portland State University in Oregon, US, took flavored nicotine from a company called Halo Cigs and used it in Innokin’s personal vaporizer, which allowed adjustable voltage settings, from 3.3V to 5V.

According to AFP, the machine “took 10 puffs over the course of five minutes, each puff lasting three to four seconds.” No formaldehyde was found “when the machine operated at the low, 3.3 voltage setting,” but “when it inhaled at the highest setting, five volts, formaldehyde was detected, at levels far higher than seen in conventional tobacco cigarettes.”

The Wall Street Journal reports that the study raises questions about the safety of e-cigarettes, which are generally seen as being less harmful than regular cigarettes.

Similarly, discussing the safety issue of e-cigarettes, NBC News quotes study co-author James F. Pankow, professor of chemistry and engineering at Portland State University, who said, “A lot of people make the assumption that e-cigarettes are safe and they are perfectly fine after using for a year.” He added, “The hazards of e-cigarettes, if there are any, will be seen 10 to 15 years from now when they start to appear in chronic users.”

“For the sake of comparison,” the Los Angeles Times “Science Now” blog writes, “a 2005 study in the journal Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology estimated that a person who smoked a pack of 20 cigarettes would inhale 3 milligrams of formaldehyde in the process.” The researchers “calculated that the lifetime cancer risk incurred by inhaling formaldehyde would be 5 to 15 times higher for long-term e-cigarette users than for long-term tobacco smokers.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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