The Dangers of Asbestos Exposure

The United States primarily ceased the use of asbestos in the 1970’s due to new information regarding the severe dangers of substance. Since the 1970’s, the United States has conducted extensive research and come to the definite conclusion that the mineral to incredible dangers to all of those who are exposed to it. Unfortunately, asbestos was thought to be the best way to resist corrosion and heat and was therefore used in places like construction sites, automotive repair shops, and all sorts of factories. The mineral has been banned for quite a few years now due to the massive number of deaths and health issues directly connected to asbestos. Today, the repercussions of asbestos use throughout the nation continues to plague the health of so many.

Predictions cite that in this year alone about 10,000 people in the country will die due to some kind of asbestos-related disease. The most common effects of asbestos exposure are the development of mesothelioma cancer and lung cancer. In addition, asbestosis currently affects 200,000 Americans and this is a respiratory disease that is caused by inhaling asbestos fibers. Asbestosis can take anywhere from 10 to 40 years to develop in those who were once exposed to asbestos. Therefore, many people are just now being diagnosed with diseases that were caused from asbestos exposure many years ago.

Despite the alarming statistics and clear evidence of the dangers linked to asbestos, close to 30 million pounds of asbestos are still being used each and every year in the country. The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization was formed to shed light on the issue. They have cited that 54 percent of asbestos cases are connected with occupational cancers, meaning that this threat is very much still prevalent today. As more and more information becomes available, it is rather terrifying to realize the rate and quantity at which Americans are exposed to asbestos.

Being diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease is life-altering news. While the team of doctors will work with the patient to maintain their health as best as possible, many victims face serious financial struggles due to the bills that come along with treatment. As such, asbestos victims often engage in lawsuits to ease the pain of their financial burden. Unfortunately, it is tricky to prove who is directly responsible for the exposure to asbestos. Therefore, it is critical to hire a legal team to assess the situation and guide the lawsuit in the right direction. Asbestos cases often awarded hefty sums of money to the injured and should be handled with care.

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Taking an Active Role to Prevent Medication Errors

The idea that a hospital, doctor, or any type of health care provider would make a mistake is a tough pill to swallow. As patients with any kind of sickness or ailment, we look to medical professionals to solve our problems, lead us in the right direction, and ensure that we are able to overcome any illness to become healthy again. Unfortunately, the reality is that clinics, doctor’s offices, and local hospitals make medication errors almost every single day throughout the nation. While some medication errors are easily defeated, others may have a lifetime effect on a patient. No matter how advanced medical technology becomes, human error will also be an underlying factor of medication blunders and healthcare mistakes.

Medication errors cost the United States billions of dollar each year because of injury and death that result in a mistake. Being aware of the most common types of medication errors and blunders is one of the most effective ways to avoid them. Patients must play an active role in preventing these mistakes from occurring. The American Hospital Association and the FDA cite the following as the most common types of medical errors:

  1. Inaccessible drug information (i.e. warnings are no up-to-date)
  2. Mislabeling when a drug is prepared and/or repackaged
  3. Partial patient information (i.e. not being aware of other medications being taken and misinformation about allergies, lab results, or previous diagnoses)
  4. Distractions that keeps medical professionals from completing their tasks (i.e. hospital interruptions)
  5. Miscommunicating a drug order (i.e. bad handwriting on a prescription, confusion on dosing units, etc.)

While the above medication errors are certainly the most common, there are a ton of ways that a healthcare professional can make a mistake in their daily job. As a patient, you must be aware and astute when it comes to your diagnosis, transferring previous medical history to new doctors, making sure the label reflects the doctor’s prescription/dosage orders, etc. Be a member of your medical team and drastically decrease the likelihood of a medication error.

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Senior Citizens on Florida’s Roads

The senior citizen population in Florida is large. While they often bear the brunt of many jokes, the reality is that South Florida is an incredible area to retire and therefore attracts this age range. The combination of older drivers and Florida add up to many comedy routines, but at the end of the day this is a very serious matter. A notable number of the auto accidents that occur in the state of Florida involve a senior driver, making this an issue for the retirees as well as the other Florida drivers on the roadways. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on-road safety for senior citizen drivers can be improved with:

  1. Minimizing the number of impaired drivers
  2. Increasing the use of seat belts
  3. Limiting driving to safe road conditions only

All jokes aside, the elderly community must take into account the many dangers that come with aging and driving. Things like slower reaction times and decreased arm strength can lead to some really serious accidents. Senior citizens can certainly still operate a vehicle, they just need to make adjustments to their driving habits to ensure the safety of all motorists. The following are some important pieces of advice for older drivers:

  • The headlights, mirrors, and windshield must be kept clean at all times
  • Never operate a vehicle without your corrective lenses and get your eyes checked every year
  • Make sure that your dashboard lights are on as bright as they go
  • Wear your hearing aids if you require them and get your hearing check every year
  • Avoid driving during rush hour and morning/evening commute times as much as possible
  • Try to avoid driving at night unless you feel extremely comfortable doing so
  • Speak to your physician about your medications and make sure that driving will not be impaired
  • Take your vehicle in for regular maintenance checks

Older drivers have a tough time letting go of their freedoms and the ability to drive is one of the most significant of them all. Nevertheless, seniors must follow their gut when it comes to operating a motor vehicle. When you and your elder family member begins to see a decline in memory, reflexes, range of motion, etc., it may be time to reevaluate driving ability.

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Tips for Teenage Passengers

Thinking about your teen driving is one of the scariest things that a parent has to go through. As a teen, pushing the limits and bending the rules happens, but combining those things with a motor vehicle is truly terrifying. The dangers of teen driving are vast. First and foremost, inexperienced drivers are hazards on the road. Second, teens tend to get overly excited about their newfound freedom of having a driver’s license. As a result, the dangers involved in teen driving rises. Finally, the passengers in a teen’s car is something that must be considered. While many parents create rules for first-time drivers that disallow passengers, teens tend to break the rules.

Being a passenger as a teen means understanding and respecting the rules of the road. Whether your teen is driving or not, if they are getting in the car with their friends, they need to know the following tips:

  • Buckle your seat belt before the vehicle is in motion
  • Keep the radio low
  • Do not distract the driver
  • Make sure that the driver never looks at their cell phone while driving
  • Be sure to keep the headrest behind your head, not the neck
  • Never allow more people in the car than there are seat belts
  • Do not engage in “joy rides” – drive where you need to go and stay there
  • Never get in the car with someone who has been drinking or using drugs
  • Always use your best judgment- if it seems wrong, it probably is

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ranks auto accidents as the number one cause of teen deaths in the United States today. Speak with you teens about being passengers in their friends’ vehicles. Safety is always the priority when it comes to teen driving.

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Motorcycle Group Ride Safety Tips

It’s happened to everyone. You’re riding along the highway and you suddenly hear a loud zooming noise coming from behind and then, in an instant, the noises grow in numbers and get louder as the come from either side of your vehicle. This is the sound of a motorcycle group ride or, as some refer to it, a motorcycle gang. As a car driver, this type of loud zooming and crowding on the roadways can be startling and dangerous. Motorists often find it difficult to maintain composure during this time, as they feel surrounded by motorcycles moving at fast speeds.

In Florida and around the world, motorcycle group rides are incredibly common. Motorcycle riders often find great pleasure in riding as a group. In fact, a recent study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated that motorcycle riders love the sense of community that they feel when riding in a pack. While this is great for the motorcyclists, it is often terrifying for the unsuspecting car drivers. Generally speaking, the most hazardous things about motorcycle group rides are:

  • Variance in motorcyclist skill level throughout the group
  • Expansive road coverage/blockage
  • Chaos in the form of loud noises and overall nature of motorcyclist packs

Car drivers are to remain calm when it close proximity to a motorcycle group ride. Remember to maintain your speed and continue to operate the vehicle as you normally would. Motorcyclists, on the other hand, can do a few things to keep group rides safe:

  • Ride with 10 or less motorcyclists
  • No “bullying” of cars by tailgating or surrounding
  • Plan for who will be the lead rider, sweep rider, and the overall formation of the intended ride
  • Discuss and plan your passing formation
  • Keep in mind the skill level of the group’s least experienced motorcyclist
  • Plan out the stops, route, and duration of the ride

Florida’s roadways are the safest when everyone does their part to drive carefully. While motorcyclists typically get a bad reputation in the event of a collision, it is truly up to all motorists to play a role in driving safely.

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Auto Accident Protection and Your Insurance Plan

Florida ranks as one of the top states for the largest numbers of uninsured drivers in the entire country. According to recent statistics, as many as 25 percent of all Florida motorists are driving around without insurance right now. While some may look at the 75 percent of insured drivers as a positive statistic for Florida, the truth is that many of these insured drivers are actually improperly insured, thus leaving them in a tough situation in the event of a car crash. If not properly insured, auto accidents can become incredibly expensive, which adds even more stress onto an already stressful situation. As such, Florida drivers must understand whether or not they are in fact properly insured.

In the worst case scenario, drivers who are not properly insured in Florida are at risk of losing their license in the event of a collision and might be subject to paying large charges at the DMV in order to get it back. Therefore, Florida drivers must make sure to carry no fault/PIP insurance if they are driving a registered vehicle in the state or if they are licensed to drive in the state – this means anyone spending more than 90 days in Florida. This kind of insurance covers the basics (as much as $10,000 per individual for injuries and lost wages). So, supplemental insurance should be considered in addition to this. Florida motorists should keep these tips in mind:

  • Purchase GAP insurance to make sure that the difference between auto value and auto loan is covered
  • Purchase an insurance policy option with high coverage levels
  • Make sure to carry uninsured motorist insurance in the event that the person involved in the car accident with you does not have insurance

In addition to carrying the right insurance and protecting yourself properly, Florida drivers should keep in mind that you should never admit fault by apologizing after a crash. Even if the accident was the other driver’s fault, apologizing is a form of fault admission and may be used against you. Also, do not give a statement to the other driver’s insurance company. Auto accidents are chaotic and overwhelming and this often causes drivers to act irrationally. Be sure to purchase a proper insurance policy today to save money in the future.

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Technology Company Determined To Stop Texting and Driving

Scott Tibbitts was a chemical engineer who worked for NASA, but today he is the CEO and Founder of Katasi, a technology company determined to stop texting and driving once and for all. Tragic beginnings marked the concept for the company. When Tibbitts was traveling to a business meeting and discovered that the person who he was supposed to meet with was killed by a texting while driving teenager. With his engineering background, Tibbitts immediately realized that a driver’s phone should be shut down while they are driving. Using the telematics box located in all cars built after 1996, Tibbitts realized there was something that could be done. When the telematics box sends the wireless message that the vehicle is in motion, the Katasi servers are notified of both the car and phone’s location and incoming data.

While the concept was there, Tibbitts needing some financial backing. In 2010, American Family Insurance found out about the Katasi project and eventually contributed a $1 million investment in the company. The ability to stop texts and social media alerts from coming through to a cell phone until the car has stopped could be one of the biggest breakthroughs in motor vehicle safety. Take a look at Katasi’s promotional video introducing their product, Groove:

Tibbitts was able to find a partner in Sprint to create a well-rounded team in order to continue the development of Katasi technology. Unfortunately, Sprint had to back off as they were concerned with the legal ramifications of backing this project. As such, the project was stalled. In the end, Tibbitts had to go off on his own again, although he did receive investments from the organization. To date, Tibbitts is still working towards creating a solution to texting and driving. The greatest challenge he must overcome is in the ability to conquer consumer demand. At the end of the day, Tibbitts has one true goal and that is to save lives.

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Childbirth Injuries Caused by Negligence

Childbirth is one of the most incredible, and also scary, events that take place in a woman’s life. With such a serious matter, it is absolutely imperative that the doctors and other healthcare providers are attentive, careful, and making every effort possible to avoid any type of errors. Injury to a child or mother during childbirth or pregnancy is devastating and while there are certainly risks involved in the process, injuries and complications caused by the negligence of a healthcare professional is simply unacceptable. In the terrible event that some sort of negligence has caused a complication during a childbirth or pregnancy, the healthcare provider is subject to legal ramifications. Due to the complexity of malpractice law suits, it is important to speak to an experienced attorney.

Legal claims are justified in the following childbirth injuries:

  • Failure to diagnose properly and treat any complications present
  • Failure to choose the right procedures and treatment
  • Failure to obtain informed consent prior to medical treatment being administered
  • Failure to consult with a healthcare specialist when it is necessary to do so
  • Failure to monitor the child’s or mother’s conditions properly

Unfortunately, for every 1,000 childbirths, 27 result in some type of injury. Oxygen deprivation is the most common amongst these injuries often due to issues with the umbilical cord. Additionally, many child birth injuries occur due to an abnormal position during the birthing process. The following are some of the most common childbirth injuries:

  • Brachial Plexus Palsy
  • Brain damage
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Erb’s Palsy
  • Fractured Collar Bone
  • Klumpke’s Palsy
  • Skin Irritation
  • Temporary Paralysis

Physicians and healthcare providers have the duty to act “reasonably prudent” while at work and as therefore held responsible in the event that some type of negligence takes place. The ability to recover damages for childbirth injuries is critical to being able to cover the expenses of physical injuries, medical expenses, economic damages, and more.

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Avoiding the Most Common Passenger Vehicle Errors

Passenger vehicle errors are one of the top causes of truck accidents in Florida today. Traveling on the turnpike or I-95, it is likely that you will pass several 18-wheeler trucks or large tractor-trailers. Due to their size and weight, these large trucks often travel at slower speeds than a typical motor vehicle and this can cause frustration for other drivers on the road, particularly when the truck is traveling in the middle or left lane. For the most part, tractor-trailer trucks are expected to travel in the right-most lane. Nevertheless, these trucks cannot always travel in that lane and therefore the passenger vehicles must adjust their driving habits accordingly.

Each year there are more than 2,000 motor vehicle accidents with large commercial trucks. Since these trucks are so enormous, the results of these crashes are often catastrophic. Florida motorists must make every effort to avoid the following most common passenger vehicle errors:

  • Tailgating
  • Driving in a truck’s “No Zone” (their blind spot – which is very large)
  • Changing lanes improperly
  • Changing lanes without using the turning signal
  • Keeping only one hand on the steering wheel
  • Neglecting to adjust their follow distance during poor weather conditions

The above errors can cause an accident with any type of vehicle, but when a large commercial truck is involved, the aftermath can be fatal. For instance, did you know that when you are traveling behind a tractor-trailer truck and are unable to see their side view mirrors they are unable to see your vehicle? This is known as the truck’s “No Zone” and, unlike a typical vehicle, the blind spot is lengthy. Keeping in mind the most common passenger vehicle errors will help Florida drivers to avoid them. When in doubt, it is always a good idea to give a commercial truck as much space as possible on the roadway, even if that means waiting to pass them.

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What To Do After a Hit and Run Accident

According to Florida law, all drivers involved in a car accident must remain at the scene of the collision until all auto accident requirements have been fulfilled. Unfortunately, far too many motorists completely disregard this law and drive off in the hopes that they will get away with their wrongdoing. In the state of Florida hit and run crashes are a very serious crime. Luckily, Florida is a “no fault” insurance state, meaning that insurance companies in Florida are responsible for providing compensation to the victims of a hit and run collision. While this is promising to some extent, many insurance companies will attempt to only pay for a percentage of the medical expenses and lost wages incurred due to the crash.

The best way to deal with a hit and run accident is to be prepared beforehand. No one can predict when something like this will occur, but being mentally prepared will help for this terrible situation to go as smoothly as possible. Here are a few tips on what to do immediately following a hit and run collision:

  1. Attempt to get the driver’s license plate number
  2. Call the police to report the incident
  3. Fill out an accident report with the police
  4. Speak to any witnesses who were at the scene of the crash
  5. Contact your insurance company to report the crash

Remember, the best base scenario is to pull over to the shoulder and exchange information with the other driver. However, if the other driver neglects to stop, you must take the above actions. The following are things that you should not do after a hit and run accident:

  1. Follow the fleeing vehicle
  2. Block traffic while waiting for the police to arrive at the scene
  3. Leave the car in the travel lane

When an accident occurs it is easy to make mistakes in the chaos. It is likely that the person who fled the scene of the accident did so because they are not insured or not properly licensed. At any rate, it is not your job to track them down. Do your best to write down a license plate number and contact local law enforcement. Dangerous things can happen if hit and run crashes are mishandled. Keep these tips in mind in the event that you are involved in a hit and run collision in Florida.

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