A Myth Regarding Personal Injury Protection

I often get told by my clients that they “do not want to make any claims on their own insurance policy” because “it will raise their rates.” Like many things, this is an insurance tactic meant to scare people from claiming what is rightfully theirs. Let me elaborate further.

Under Texas law, every person in the State must carry Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) coverage on their auto insurance policy, unless you expressly sign a rejection or “opt-out” of this coverage. The State minimum requirement is $2,500, although many people carry $5,000 or $10,000 in coverage (or sometimes even more, depending on what their auto insurance carrier offers). Importantly, under the Texas Insurance Code, it is illegal for your insurance company to raise your insurance rates, drop your coverage, affect your credit, etc. for making these claims. Therefore, if you have this coverage, you always want to use it.

PIP coverage is meant to reimburse you for two things: (1) medical bills you have already incurred or (2) lost wages (although it will only cover 80% of your lost wages). Additionally, Texas allows “stacking” of insurance benefits. For example, let’s say you get into an accident and you are taken to the emergency room where you incur a $10,000.00 bill. Let’s also say that you have the standard $2,500 PIP policy through your insurance company. After you are finished treating, we send that same $10,000 bill to both the Defendant’s insurance company and to your own. We get you paid $10,000 from this insurance company plus $2,500 from your own PIP coverage for a total reimbursement of $12,500. That’s right, you get paid $12,500 for a bill that was originally $10,000.

I always tell my clients the same thing: If you pay for this coverage every month in your premium, and if your insurance company cannot raise your rates for using it, then why wouldn’t you use it? It is free money falling out of the sky. However, because it’s free money falling out of the sky, many insurance companies (and their agents) will deliberately try to convince you that you do not need it because “it cost more.” Again, this cannot be further from the truth. The cost of this coverage is literally pennies on the dollar for what you get in return should you need to use it. Further, the best part is that this coverage is no-fault, meaning you are entitled to these benefits whether you caused the accident or if someone else hit you.

For these reasons, it is a no-brainer not only to have this coverage, but also to use it once you need it.

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Three Important Things to Know About Radicava

The ALS Association is the largest charity for people with Lou Gehrig’s disease in the United States. Not only do they provide excellent patient provision through care takers and support groups, they are also the leading fundraiser for new research when it comes to ALS treatment and a possible cure. During the summer of 2014, the ALS Association’s Ice Bucket Challenge went viral online and raised over 100 million dollars. This was the largest amount of donations the fundraisers at ALS had ever seen. They were ecstatic! This boost in funding led to the research and development of three new treatments for Lou Gehrig’s disease, one being Radicava, which will likely be available August of this year. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Radicava slows the progress of ALS by reducing oxidative stress in the body. ALS is essentially a slow reduction in the body’s ability to function overall. This eventually leads to the shutdown of vital organs within the body. One of the first signs of ALS is the presence of oxidative stress, which is an imbalance between the presence of toxins in the body and the immune system’s ability to detoxify. These effects will first manifest themselves as a general slowing of autoimmune abilities followed by the more sinister effects of ALS, such as major organ failure. Radicava offers a time out to these unfortunate realities. The new medication has been shown to slow oxidative stress, and most patients see a 33% reduction in the decline of their physical abilities. Additionally, all Radicava test patients had higher scores on the ALS Functional Rating Scale
  2. First new medicine in 22 years. Because the origins of ALS are still largely misunderstood, it is incredibly difficult to approve and test new medications. Since the mid nineteenth century, our knowledge of what causes ALS has not kept up with other medical advancements. Because of this, it is incredibly difficult to find funding for new treatments when legislatures do not understand the medicinal premise. The first and last drug to be approved for treatment of ALS was Riluzole, which slowed lung failure. Unfortunately, the relatively small benefit offered to ALS patients compared to its astronomical costs essentially relegated Riluzole to pipe dream status. The mystery surrounding its origins combined with a lack of funding lead to a two decade ASL treatment dry spell. However, after the 2014 Ice Bucket Challenge, three new medications were presented to the FDA for approval. The first to reach the pharmaceutical market will be Radicava in August!
  3. Administered by infusion. At this point you’re probably wondering how Radicava will be administered to patients. Is it overly intrusive or painful? Will it even be worth it? For those who participated in the testing of the drug, Radicava absolutely is. The treatment is administered intravenously over a fourteen day period, followed by a fourteen day rest. After the initial treatment, patients will receive injections for ten out of every fourteen days. While this is a time-consuming treatment, this is the first ASL medication with legitimate promise for, not only extending the lives of those with Lou Gehrig’s disease, but also improving their quality of life!

After so many years of failed treatments and questions surrounding the origins of ALS, Radicava’s approval is a beacon of hope for patients and their loved ones.

The Weakness of Contemporary Cultural Medicine

The term Cultural Medicine is used to refer to changes to a medical system provided specifically to reach out to and serve a diverse culture. The title is applied differently than Integrative Medicine. Integrative Medicine acknowledges that there are different preventive and reactive ways to address issues of preventive health, health maintenance, disease, injury and medical care (IntgMed), many of them cross-cultural. Cultural Medicine is applied to all that is not specifically IntgMed. Rather, it is that which supports underlying layers of infrastructure required to deliver ever-expanding, culture-specific positions, products and services, rather than focused, inclusive services.

An example of inclusive delivery is recognition that the national language is English. A focused, nationally oriented, fully integrative system of medicine would acknowledge the beneficial elements of all IntgMed, but it would be delivered in English (except non-translatable elements). This approach encourages all citizens to learn and excel in English and markedly limits the cost of IntgMed products/services components delivery. If for example, government-paid and/or delivered services focus on delivering a more culture-neutral, English-based IntgMed service only, costs would be markedly reduced and all citizen-consumers would be encouraged to become more English-language proficient. As an aside, pharmaceutical products, medical technologies, acupuncture needles, physical therapeutic manipulations and exercises, and other key elements of IntgMed do not recognize the human body as gender, ethnicity or culture-specific – they simply perform functions. Such subdivisions are behaviors of service providers.

One of the primary sets of questions ignored by state and U.S. governmental agencies are:

  1. Who is most qualified to determine if a proposal or intervention should be that in which we should invest given all other needs, ideas, and proposals?
  2. Who should be responsible for payment for this proposal/intervention if we proceed with it?
  3. Define success. What does it look like?
  4. When (initial and follow-up) and how shall we measure the effectiveness of the subsequent program, service, or intervention?
  5. Is it not appropriate for payers (e.g., public taxpayers) to receive easily accessible, unbiased reporting of interim services delivery progress and performance measurements?”, and
  6. What will we do if measured results are not as expected and desired (e.g., inadequate Return on Investment)?

If you took your car in for service, paid for the services, and only fifty percent of the claimed fixes were effective, would you be satisfied? No, you would not be satisfied. If the same automotive repair company employed you, yet still provided you and your peers with the above-described poor service, would you then be satisfied and recommend to your friends that they should be satisfied in similar circumstances? You should respond, “No.” You should not be favorably biased toward the repair company simply because it employs you. However, government initiatives usually provide many millions, if not billions of dollars to the recipients of their investments, including the creation of well-paying jobs. And, unlike as would be the case in private industry, recipients of these public windfall monies and opportunities are loath to give up your tax money, and are often willing to publicly denigrate you for demanding that they be held accountable (e.g., fix the entire car as promised versus aren’t you satisfied with partial function?)

There are numerous governmental pseudo-medical/medical programs that are abysmal failures, that continue to expand. In spite of their prolonged failures at missions to curtail drug abuse, misuse, pharmaceutical products-related deaths, decrease STD/STI incidence, minimize gender-critical maladies, and social disruptions due to related issues, the programs and funding persist. With grand budgets and swollen senses of importance and entitlement, no one receives good answers to above listed six questions from these program representatives. Such are the effects and weaknesses of contemporary Cultural Medicine. Everyone in the culture, position-empowered or not, rich and poor, citizens or not, payers or not, aware of and sensitive to current budget constraints or not, believes that they should receive timely, broad-based, sometimes very expensive, individualized care and financing of their programs. And, numerous cultural subgroups (geographic, ethnic, gender-specific, age-specific, financial, religious, secular, other) with sufficient financing and/or sophisticated representation, lobby for special consideration. To suggest that they do not have the right to do so would be politically incorrect and insensitive, right?

Contact your local, regional, state and national government representatives to determine how they are addressing the weakness of contemporary Cultural Medicine in your neighborhood.

Personal Injury Should Be Well Taken Care Of

If there is ever a situation where a person is suffering terribly from an injury, disability or in worse case scenarios, even death, mostly due to a careless negligence of an individual, in such cases, the personal injury law covers these instances and extends its hand for help.

A severe injury can cost an individual to shell out a lot of money, sometimes an amount that the individual might not even be capable of paying, if you opt for a personal injury claim in such desperate moments then you are eligible to seek some compensation for the injury you have faced and the payment gets taken care of because of the claim.

Mostly this law covers all the kinds of injury that can possibly take place, these injuries can be of any type. It can either be something that can cause a lot of harm to your body or it can make you face some kind of emotional trauma as well. It can be anything and at anytime and having a claim especially for these kinds of injuries will help you in emergencies.

Be alert and be careful of every step you take.

Let us have a look at some of the tips that can help you get this claim:

• DO NOT DELAY TO GET SOME MEDICAL ATTENTION

The first and foremost step that you need to take when you get an injury is to seek out for medical help immediately and instantly. Do not under any circumstances delay that step because the more you delay it, the more serious it can get, therefore seek out for some medical help as soon as you find yourself in such a situation.

• BE CAREFUL OF THE STATEMENTS YOU MAKE

Be absolutely confident and clear in what you say in the accident scene. Do not say anything that might make the situation much more complicated than it already is or give rise to some kind of a conflict. Be clear in what you have to say and keep it straight when asked about it. This will help in dealing with the process much quickly.

• KEEP A CHECK ON ALL THE EXPENSES

This would include all the bills in the hospital. Be it expense bills; diagnose bills, medical bills or any other tests that you might have undergone. Have a record of all the expenses because it might be asked for when you go to claim for compensation. You can also keep a record of some lost wages that you might have faced due to missing work. Keep a track of everything.

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Sterility in Medicine

We are lucky to live in this century, one where medicines have been developed to combat most ailments, where we can be sure that the medicines we have are safe and sterile when needed and if we need a surgery, that the tools and equipment needed is all safe, clean and germ free.

Throughout history, they didn’t give much thought to keeping things clean and sterile, but luckily today we know that it is used to promote health and to eliminate the risk of contamination. What does being sterile mean though? Well, sterility is defined as the complete absence of any viable microorganism whether on a surgical tool, on equipment or in medicines themselves.

There are a few different ways that sterility is achieved in the medical and pharmaceutical fields. The first is using steam. This technique was actually invented back in the 1880’s by a man called Charles Chamberland. He came up with the autoclave, a steam sterilizer that used water to create steam to clean surgical tools and kill bacteria between patients. Today we still use this technique to clean glassware and surgical instruments.

What about things that can’t withstand high temperatures? In the case of sensitive electronic components, plastics and cardboard that need to be sterilized, the technique is EtO or EO, and it uses Ethylene Oxide gas as the sanitizing agent.

Another way to sanitize things is by the use of dry heat. This is used for things like needles and metal instruments that can get very hot with no worry that they will disintegrate.

But what about medicines themselves? They can’t be steamed, but they can go through the process known as aseptic processing. This takes a sterile medicine and packages it in a sterile container using flash heating. It is a task that also requires the use of clean rooms, bacteria retaining filters and dry heat. By using this technique however, drugs can be imported and exported anywhere in the world without the need for refrigeration and will be sterile when they arrive at the patient.

Sterile medicines, equipment and tools all help to provide the best care possible to us when we are sick. We don’t have to worry about contamination as the risks for it is low if all temperatures, gases, humidity and pressure levels have been accurately monitored throughout the sterilization process to ensure validity and effectiveness. Medicine has come a long way and the results are safer and more reliable than ever before.

What Damages Can I Claim After a Drunk Driving Accident

Being injured in a drunk driving accident can be life-altering. You need to hire a professional personal injury attorney. Only he can educate you regarding the legal process and eventually help you win the case with the best possible compensation.

As per the Florida law, you are a victim of a drunk driving accident if the accident causes you loss of any form that demands compensation. Under Florida Statute for victims of DUI crashes, there are certain “allowances” provided for the victims. However, the victim or his lawyer often requires to pursue these allowances he is subjected to!

You must be aware about the multiple ways through which a victim can obtain benefits. A set of Qualification Requirements has been established by the Florida’s Bureau of Victim Compensation for receipt of funds under its Crimes Compensation Act. Here are the requirements:

  • The reporting of the crime to law enforcement needs to be done within 72 hours.
  • It is necessary for the victim to have suffered some form of personal physical injury. There is an automatic reduction in the funds for those who have just suffered psychiatric or psychological injury due to the accident.
  • Application needs to be filed within the time period of one year after the crime date. In case a valid cause is shown, the time period might be expanded up
  • to 2 years.
  • The victim must cooperate with law enforcement, State Attorney’s Office, and the Attorney General’s Office fully.
  • The victim must not have been engaged in any form of unlawful activity at the time of the accident.
  • The victim must not be responsible for the accident in any way.
  • The victim must not have a record of felony conviction.

What are the benefits available to the victim?

You need to meet all the above criteria in order to be proven as the victim. Only then, as per the Bureau you are entitled to the following benefits:

  • Loss of wage
  • Loss of support such as the death of a close relative etc.
  • Disability of any form
  • Expenses related to funeral
  • Expenses pertaining to medical treatments
  • Mental health counseling
  • Compensation for any kind of Property Loss

However, the truth is that you and your lawyer need to pursue your compensation actively in order to avail all the benefits available under the Florida Law. This specific statute helps to save you a good deal of your medical costs.

An injury caused due to drunk driving accident might cause you loss of time at work and subsequently loss of high wages. You might have to struggle to pay the bills. When your general bills are added on by your medical expenses, you might lose your sleep at night. So, it is more than essential for you to claim lost wages in a drunk driving accident. This includes future wages If the injuries you suffered leaves you disabled or incapable of functioning properly to provide output to the company, you need to count your future wages as well for compensation.
You are also entitled to seek damages for pain and suffering caused by such an accident. This involves the physical or mental distress caused due to someone’s death. You need to prove the nature and severity of your injury as well as the prognosis issued by the doctor with the intent to claim such damages.
Out of all the damages claimed, those related to medical expenses is the most common. This is because in most cases, medical expenses can add up at a striking rate into a lump sum. The situation might be the same even when you have medical and auto insurance. You can demand reimbursement for ambulance rides, consultations, medical equipment, physical therapy, in-home medical care and all other expenditures.
What to do just after a drunk driving accident occurs?
  • Dial 911

When you find out you are the victim in the crash, dial 911. Make sure to receive treatment for your injuries instantly, if possible. Police officials soon test the other driver for the accident.

  • Gather contact information

Collect important contact information. It includes the other driver’s name, contact number, address, and details related to insurance. Also, gather relevant info from the witnesses on the scene. Gather their basic contact information as well since it might come handy later.

  • Gather every possible piece of evidence

Click pictures of the crash scene, the vehicles or vehicles that were involved, and any injuries that you suffered. If there are other pieces of evidence like torn clothing, crashed debris etc., make sure you keep those handy as well.

  • Hire a drunk driving accident attorney

Only the qualified drunk driving attorney has an absolute knowledge on law. At first, the case might seem to be simple but things might get tense with the progression of the case. So, be on the safe side and get yourself a proper attorney with specialization in this field.

Who is usually responsible for drunk driving accidents?
If the person who apparently caused the accident is found to have a BAC that is higher than the legal limit, you can go ahead in filing a lawsuit against him. You can also file a claim against a restaurant or bar if it is responsible for providing alcohol to the person accused for the accident.
  • The accused person needs to be Under 21 years of age.
  • The accused need to be someone who is “habitually addicted” to alcohol.

It is pretty difficult to put the blame or a part of blame on the third parties that might actually be liable for the drunk driving accidents.

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Aseptic Processing

If you go back in time, hygienic practices weren’t even heard of let alone carried out. Medicines were made primarily of plants and whatever else was on hand and even, during the Victorian period when pharmaceuticals became more main stream, they weren’t very worried about how sterile the compounds were.

Today of course, pharmaceuticals are big business and having a product delivered to a patient sterile and ready to go is the norm. We’re talking eye drops, ear drops, injectables, infusion products and the like, all things that have to remain sterile until ready to use.

By definition, something that is sterile has the absence of any viable microorganism, and the specification is unchanging and independent of the manufacturing process of the drug in the first place. To make a sterile product then, means filling and sealing the product containers under high quality environmental conditions, with care and with the same practices in place day after day.

When you are talking foods, beverages and medicines, keeping them sterile is a process called aseptic processing. This means that the sterile product is packaged in such a way as to keep its sterile rating. It is accomplished by flash heating which uses less energy than other techniques while (in the case of food) retains more nutrients. When you are talking pharmaceuticals, the ante is upped and the procedure also includes the use of clean rooms, bacteria retaining filters, and either dry or steam heat.

Some examples of food and drinks being in a sterile container include tetra juice boxes and drink pouches, but for medicines, they are stored in plastic or glass containers as these materials form a tight seal against microbiological organisms, contaminants, and degradation of the substance being carried. Using aseptic processing means you no longer need refrigeration and it makes worldwide import and export safe and economical.

Aseptic containers range in size from tiny ones that hold just a few ounces of medicine to ones that can hold eight million gallons in a tank on an ocean liner. Companies that package these medicines and the like can then send their product all over the world, knowing that once it reaches its destination, it is still a viable, sterilized product and will remain that way until it is used for a patient.

The next time you have a prescription for eye drops or have medicines administered by injection or drip, you can be sure those medicines are sterile, all thanks for aseptic processing.

How to Complete a Self-Health Assessment Following a Car Accident

As soon as you are involved in a car accident, the first priority is to have your health and over-all condition assessed by a professional emergency medical technician on-site or at the hospital. For less serious car accidents, it is still important to assess your own health to be sure you are not suffering from a head, spine, or neck injury. The issue with these kinds of injuries is that they can become evident or worse as time passes. So you might seem fine after a car wreck, but can then start to develop symptoms later on that point toward neck and back injuries.

There are signs and symptoms to look for, as well as, tips to learn how to identify the difference between vague soreness and tenderness of muscles, and an actual serious injury. Continue reading for a post-accident health assessment guide and information about filing a car accident injury claim for injuries and damages sustained in a serious collision.

Checking On Your Health

Once you have been involved in a car accident, whether it was your own fault or not, is to seek immediate medical attention. As a car accidents happens, authorities are usually alerted almost immediately; either by someone involved in the wreck or a bystander. Police will ask if you or your passengers need to go to the hospital if it is not obvious or evident that someone is hurt. You can make this assessment yourself, or you can simply have an EMT check you out at the scene of the accident or at the hospital.

You can choose to ride in an ambulance for a faster commute to the hospital for emergencies, but for less serious and less evident injuries, you may choose to take yourself or have a loved one drive you. In other cases, you might feel like you are not injured enough for professional medical care, and pass up the opportunity to go to the hospital altogether. Once you are familiar with how to assess your own condition after an accident, you will be able to responsibly make the choice of seeking further medical assistance, or to care for yourself.

Here are some symptoms to look for immediately after, as well as, the days following a motor vehicle accident:

  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Soreness or Tenderness of Neck
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Mental Confusion
  • Pain or Tenderness in Lower Back
  • Pain in Neck or Spine
  • Difficulty Standing
  • Pain When in the Seated Position
  • Swelling of Neck, Back, or Head
  • Redness or Abrasions on Body
  • Nausea or Dizziness
  • Blurred Vision
  • Slurred Speech
  • Bleeding
  • Broken Bones
  • Immobility

Any of these symptoms could be a sign of a more serious injury or internal damage. If you are experiencing more than three of the above symptoms, it is strongly encouraged to go to the hospital or to request an EMT at the sight of an accident. Concussions are one of the most common and overlooked head injuries that results from car accidents. And the problem with this type of injury is that a person can seem fine at first, only to later suffer serious consequences and health decline as a result of a neglected head, brain, or spine injury.

Filing a Car Accident Injury Claim
Contact a licensed personal injury lawyer for information about filing a car accident injury claim against a negligent party that caused you or a loved one serious harm following a traffic accident or collision. You may be entitled to compensation.
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Kidney Transplant – Patient Assessment Factors

When kidneys stop working effectively, you either have an option of a dialysis or a kidney transplant. Dialysis ensures that you get rid of the waste products from your body but it does not replace all the functions of the kidneys. When you are diagnosed with failing kidneys, treatment can sometimes prevent or at least delay their complete failure.

However, with a transplant, your body can continuously remove the waste products of metabolism, and excess fluid. Kidneys also help in the production of a natural hormone called erythropoietin that prevents anemia. It also helps convert the vitamin D in food into an active compound that helps keep bones healthy. Moreover, it helps excretion of some toxic drugs. Finally, it plays an important role in helping control blood pressure.

Kidneys normally undertake all these functions. It is a known fact that kidney transplant provides patients with a better quality of life than dialysis.

Assessment for kidney transplant

There are a few very important factors to be checked before you undergo kidney transplant surgery. To begin with, you will be referred to transplant only when you are nearing or have started dialysis.

  • There is no dependency on age factor or ethnic background when it comes to assessment for a transplant. It all depends on whether you are fit enough to have the operation and deal with all the after effects of the surgery.
  • Some of the factors checked are evidence of heart disease, chest conditions and other problems. Special investigations are conducted to assess whether these risk factors are too great for transplant.
  • Next there will be a thorough discussion between the specialists such as the surgeons, nephrologist, cardiologist and the physician before the decision is finalized.
  • Once you are considered fit enough for a transplant, the specialists will explain all the risks and benefits to you.
  • Many times there is a waiting list for a transplant.
  • There will be a number of tests conducted to check whether you have had certain virus infections.
  • Well, the specialists will also ask you whether you have any close friends or family who are willing to be live donors.
  • Live donor transplants are known to give the kidneys a better chance of long term survival as compared to diseased donor transplants.

Whether you receive a particular donor kidney or not is determined initially by the blood group. It is pretty difficult to get two people to be perfectly alike, because the genes are different. It is however possible to achieve a good enough match for a successful transplant. The surgery takes around three hours and appropriate care needs to be taken post operation too. 

Do I Need an Attorney for My Divorce?

Many couples debate whether they need a divorce attorney when mediation is required by the courts. It is recommended, at minimum, consulting with a family law attorney about your options and what is best course of action for your case no matter how well you and your ex-spouse get along.

Below you will find just a few examples of the aspects you need to consider if you are debating whether you should hire an attorney for your divorce:

  • If you have many complicated assets to divide up. If you have accumulated various expensive marital property, you should consider hiring a lawyer. You will want to have a lawyer present if you have complicated possessions you are dividing, like businesses, numerous vehicles, and real property.
  • If your spouse is prone to lying. If your former spouse is known to lie, it could become difficult when it is your word versus theirs in a hearing or mediation session. If they are spreading false information about you, or lying in the courtroom, you need a lawyer on your side to protect your interests.
  • If violence or abuse is ever involved. If any abuse is present, whether it’s related to children, substance abuse, sexual abuse, mental abuse, or any other form, you should always hire an attorney. Not only will the abused spouse not be able to negotiate properly for fear of manipulation or further abuse, but a family law attorney can help take the appropriate steps to protect you and your family.
  • If your spouse has hired an attorney. Your spouse may choose to hire a lawyer to represent themselves at the last minute. We see attorneys appear at hearings and mediation with little to no notice to the unrepresented spouse. If your spouse decides to have representation, you should as well. It will be difficult to make your case against a family law attorney, even if you believe you have a clear and reasonable argument.

There is so much at stake! If you are going through divorce and you are debating on whether you need to hire a divorce attorney, call and speak to a family law firm you trust in your area. An experienced attorney should answer the questions you have, discuss your options and your particular case to help you understand your options during divorce. A skilled lawyer may be an invaluable asset to protect your and your family interests.

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