Most Off-Label Use of Antidepressants May Not Be Supported by Evidence

AFP reports that “most off-label use of antidepressants is not backed by evidence that the” medications “will work as intended…say” researchers.

HealthDay reports that investigators came to this conclusion after analyzing approximately “100,000 antidepressant prescriptions issued in Quebec, Canada, between 2003 and 2015.” The findings were published online in BMJ.

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

(image source)

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Zimmer Biomet Recalls Spinal Fusion Stimulators Due to Harmful Chemicals

Mass Device reports that the Food and Drug Administration “released information on a Zimmer Biomet (NYSE: ZBH) recall of select SpF Plus-Mini and SpF XL IIB implantable spinal fusion stimulators over issues with potentially harmful chemicals which could be toxic to tissues and organs.” Seeking Alpha also covers the story.

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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How to Avoid and Detect Elder Fraud: A Guide for Older People, Caregivers, and Relatives

The website Comparitech.com has a good article on elder fraud. Check it out. Here are the opening paragraphs:

Elder abuse is a problem in western cultures world-wide. There are many forms of abuse ranging from neglect to physical abuse, and within that range is financial fraud. Elder fraud can take many forms and we’ll focus on the type of fraud that primarily uses the internet in this article.

Seniors are disproportionately targeted as victims for fraud. The AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired People) found that while only 35 percent of the American population is over 50 years old, fraud victims over 50 accounted for 57 percent of all fraud.

It’s difficult to obtain numbers on how large a problem elder fraud is world-wide. Different organizations calculate numbers in different ways and also define fraud differently. All we can be sure of is that billions of dollars are lost each year to criminals preying on elder citizens.

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What to Do When Someone Gets In an Accident Driving Your Vehicle

We all occasionally lend our cars to family members and friends to drive when they need some help. Unfortunately, there is always the risk of getting into an accident whenever you get behind the wheel of a car. Even if the person you lend your car to is the safest driver you know, there is always a chance you could get a phone call from them saying they were just in an accident, and in your car.

As with any car accident, before you do anything, it is best to remain as calm as possible. Getting angry with your friend, family member, or the other party involved in the accident will not get you anywhere. Instead, do the following four things as soon as you can. These steps will help get your car repaired or replaced as soon as possible and with as little money from your pockets as possible and help protect you from any legal issues in the future.

Get All the Details

After getting into an accident you should first check on the safety of everyone involved and dial 911. Once you finish calling any emergency services, you should always try to get as much information from any other parties involved in the wreck.

Hopefully, the person driving your car did the same thing and has it all written down. Having as much information as possible about the accident can help when contacting your insurance agent or attorney.

Contact Your Insurance Company

When you have all the details and personal information about everyone involved in the accident, call your insurance agent to file a claim.

There is a myth that car insurance follows the driver when they borrow other people’s car. In almost every jurisdiction around the country, car insurance policies follow the car. Most insurance plans have some form of coverage for other drivers, but they vary from policy to policy so double check with your insurance agent. If it does, your coverage policy should be the one that pays for a large portion of any medical and repair bills.

Have Your Friend Contact His Insurance

There is a small chance that your insurance policy may not cover 100% of all bills from the accident. If the person who was driving your car has an insurance policy of his or her own, it could become a secondary policy to the accident.

A secondary policy will help cover any of the remaining costs associated with the accident. If they do not have any insurance of their own, then you might be responsible to foot the rest of the bills yourself.

Protect Yourself with an Attorney

Car accidents can quickly become messy problems in normal situations. When you add in another person who was driving your car, it gets even trickier to sort everything out.

Depending on who was responsible for the crash, and what the details were, you might be at legal and financial risk. If you were in an accident yourself or have had your car involved in one with someone else driving, contact a legal representative, like Katz Nowinski PC, to help you with any legal needs.

There are so many steps to take whenever there is a car accident. When someone else was driving your car, even more steps are necessary. It cannot be stated enough how important it is to get all the information about the crash and to contact your insurance and an attorney. Doing so can help all parties involved resolve any issues as quick and easy as possible.

Author Info: Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake. You can find her on Twitter.

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5 Tips on Filing Social Security Disability

Filing for social security disability benefits can be a daunting task. Many applicants do not receive benefits during the initial stages of application. In some cases, it takes a long time before a claimant is awarded the benefits they deserve. Here are some tips that will help you when filing for social security disability benefits.

Take Immediate Action

Determine whether you qualify for benefits and fill the application properly. You should apply for benefits the moment you become disabled. This means if you suffer from a mental or physical impairment that prevents you from working for a full year. Since it can take between 3-5 months for SSA ( Social Security Administration) to decide on the status of your application, you should initiate the process as soon as you can.

Prepare For the Interview

One of the most important tips when pursuing a social security disability claim is to be prepared for the interview. An interview can last up to ninety minutes and it is imperative for you to be ready. You should be prepared to answer questions on your birth, your work history, the physicians and clinics you have attended, personal information about your marriage and children, and your financial resources.

Be Honest About Your Condition

When applying for social security disability benefits, you will be required to include your health problems. You need to be honest about your health condition in your application. While your medical records are not guaranteed to convince SSA of your need for benefits, you should not try to exaggerate the severity of your condition as this will eventually be discovered.

Maintain a Journal to Strengthen Your Claim

Law firms like Horn & Kelley, PC Attorneys at Law advise applicants to maintain a dated journal that describes their illnesses, ailments, and the pain they experience and any way their disability is impacting on their lives. A journal is a good way of strengthening and adding more credibility to your claim.

Responding to Unfavorable Decisions

It is not unusual for a social security disability claim to be denied. If your application is declined you need to file an appeal within 60 days. Failure to file an appeal in time will disqualify you from making any claim for benefits in the future.

While applying for social security disability benefits seems like a straight-forward process, there are many complexities involved. In most cases, the decision to grant you benefits might take a long time. In other cases, SSA may turn down your claim. To determine your eligibility and options when filing for social security disability benefits and for a good chance of succeeding in your application, consult an attorney.

About the Author: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her husky Snowball. You can find her on Twitter at @LizzieWeakley and on Facebook at facebook.com/lizzie.weakley.

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Class Action Targets Prices, Rebates for Diabetes Treatments

Fierce Pharma reports that Novo Nordisk and pharmacy benefit manager OptumRx are facing a class action lawsuit over an alleged “conspiracy to raise the price of diabetes medicines so that the drugmaker could pay rebates to the PBM.” The lawsuit claims that Victoza and other diabetes medications have increased in price due to a scheme to “game the system for their mutual benefit.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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Looking For Lawyers: 4 Tricks to Choosing an Attorney

Most of us will need an attorney at some point. It can be difficult for you to find the right attorney to take your case. However, this task will be a lot easier if you know what to look for beforehand.

Consider the Attorney’s Experience

Generally speaking, the more experience an attorney has, the more qualified he or she is. Experienced attorneys have likely handled several cases that are similar to yours. They know the type of evidence they should be looking for. Experienced attorneys are also familiar with the laws in your area and how your case will be impacted by them.

Consider the Attorney’s Specialty

It is important to choose an attorney whose specialty relates to your case. For example, if you are trying to get compensated for a slip and fall injury, then it is best for you to hire a personal injury attorney. Attorneys receive training in just about every area of law while they are in law school. However, an attorney is more knowledgeable about the area of the law that they practice in.

Consider the Attorney’s Reputation

An attorney’s reputation is definitely something you should think about before choosing them. An attorney’s reputation says a lot about their ability to handle a case. You can find out about an attorney’s reputation by reading reviews online. You may also want to reach out to previous clients and ask them about the experience that they had with the attorney.

Consider the Fees

Hiring an attorney is not cheap. That is why the attorney fees are definitely something you need to consider before you hire an attorney. Lawyers typically work on either a contingency or hourly basis. If an attorney works on a contingency, then you will not have to pay anything unless you win your case. The lawyer will get paid by taking a portion of your settlement.

If the attorney works on an hourly basis, then you will be charged for every hour that they work. This means that you will have to pay regardless of the outcome of the case. Personal injury attorneys typically work on a contingency basis. However, criminal defense attorneys may work on an hourly basis.

Because you will likely need to hire an attorney like Richards & Minore, P.C. or someone similar at some point in your life, it is important to know the key things that you should look for. The attorney’s specialty, experience and fees should be taken into consideration. You will also need to take the fees into consideration.

Author information: Kare Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max. You can find Kara on Facebook and Twitter.

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Abbott Recalls Thoratec HeartMate II Controllers After 26 Deaths

Mass Device reports that Abbott “is recalling nearly 29,000 controllers for the HeartMate II implantable heart pump made by its Thoratec subsidiary after 26 patients died trying to change out the controllers on their own.” The FDA has received 70 reports of “incidents in which the controller has malfunctioned after an exchange,” which include 19 injuries and 20 deaths.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that it is unclear “when the patients were affected, but an FDA recall notice says the covered devices in the recall were distributed between July 2012 and December 2016.” The AP also covers the story.

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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Graco Recalls 25,000 Car Seats Over Flaw in Harness Webbing

AP reports Graco Children’s Products has issued a recall for “more than 25,000 car seats because the harness webbing can break in a crash and may not keep children restrained.” According to the AP, “the recall affects certain My Ride 65 convertible seats” made on July 22, 2014, “with model numbers 1871689, 1908152, 1813074, 1872691, 1853478, 1877535, 1813015, and 1794334.”

CNN reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced the issue, saying the webbing in the My Ride 65 car seats failed to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards during NHTSA tests.

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

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Everything You Need to Know When Going Through a Personal Injury Claim

The personal injury claim process is one that can take months or years to complete. While you may want or need your money now, it is generally better to be patient as that may increase the odds of getting the biggest financial award. What should you know about this process before going through it?

Talk With an Attorney

The first thing that you need to do is talk with an attorney about your legal options. Professionals, like those at Bennett & Sharp PLLC, know that this is the best way to start any personal injury claim. In most states, there is a statute of limitations that starts on the day that you are hurt. Filing a lawsuit as soon as possible may help to preserve your rights and give you more leverage during settlement talks.

Keep Copies of All Relevant Records

The more evidence that you can bring to settlement talks or to a trial, the easier it will be to win your case. For instance, showing that you incurred medical bills after a car crash makes it easier to show that negligence occurred. It also gives your attorney or a juror a starting point to determine how much you deserve to be paid as part of a settlement. Other important records include pay stubs or anything else that can show how much of your income was lost because of the injury.

Don’t Try to Be a Hero

If you claim to have hurt your back in an accident, you shouldn’t try to lift heavy objects. This could be used as proof that your injuries weren’t as severe as you say, and it could result in less money in a settlement. In some cases, it may lead to both civil and criminal fraud charges. Your attorney will likely advise you to take it easy and to listen to your doctor’s instructions.

Don’t Talk About Your Case

The less that you can say about your case, the easier it will be to obtain a favorable outcome. Ideally, you won’t post to social media accounts or talk to your friends or colleagues by text or other messenger apps. Doing so may provide the defendant with information that may make it harder to prove your case or make it harder to get the maximum possible settlement.

If you have been hurt, it may be possible to seek financial damages from the person who hurt you. However, it is important that you say and do as little as possible during the personal injury legal process. Otherwise, you may not get the cash needed to pay bills or take care of yourself today and in the long-term.

Author Info: 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: @RachelleWilber.

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