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Possible Causes of Cerebral Palsy

As many as 28,000 babies are born with birth injuries every year, with about 9,000 deaths resulting from these injuries; these figures are based on statistical records from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. While many injuries are minor and, therefore, will not really affect many of these babies, there are also serious ones that will cause a change in the quality of lives of thousands of these children.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one severe type of birth injury is Cerebral Palsy (CP), a neurodevelopmental motor impairment that affects a child’s mental capabilities, speech, and posture and balance.

Cerebral Palsy is a chronic and incurable brain disorder which damages sensation, muscle control,muscle coordination, reflex, body movement, and various brain functions, such as speech, perception and cognition. This neurodevelopmental motor impairment can be due to the abnormal development of the brain or physical injuries to an infant’s brain; it may otherwise be congenital or inborn, occurring during pregnancy or during the birthing process, or, again, it may be acquired, occurring during the first years after birth.

Though 85% of all cerebral palsy cases are congenital in nature, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is not certain with regard to its exact cause; it does, however, identify some factors that can increase the chances of newborns developing this type of impairment:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 85% of all cerebral palsy cases are congenital in nature, but while there is no certainty about its exact cause, there are certain factors which increase the chances of newborns developing this neurodevelopmental motor impairment. For congenital CP, these factors include:premature birth, low birth weight, birth complications, infections during pregnancy, birth complications, and health condition of the mother, such as Down’s syndrome, thyroid issues, syphilis, toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus, chickenpox (varicella), German measles (rubella), or illnesses which cause seizures.

While it can be a source of so much pain if you see that your child is affected with a birth injury that will no longer be healed, the pain will be much greater if you find out that the injury was actually sustained by your child because of a mistake committed by your doctor. Due to this, it would be in your best interest, for the sake of your child, to pursue birth injury claim which will help you pay for all the medical care and treatment required by your child.

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Sources of Long-Term or Permanent Disability Benefits

Workers’ Compensation, or Workers’ Comp, and Social Security Disability are the two largest programs in the U.S. which offer cash benefits to workers who sustain serious injuries or illnesses that render them disabled. Though both programs consider employment as the basic requirement for eligibility to make a claim, these still significantly differ with regard to details of eligibility. While the Workers’ Comp considers a person already qualified even on the very first day of his or her employment, Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI requires a substantial work period and the payment of Social Security taxes which are automatically deducted from an employee’s monthly pay (this monthly tax, which is included in an employee’s paycheck, is called the Federal Insurance Contributions Act or FICA).

The type of injury or illness eligible for compensation, as well as the amount of benefits given by Workers’ Comp depends on the state. Though states may differ in some of the benefits awarded, these are sure to cover lost wages and cost of medical treatment, among others.

Workers’ Comp benefits are fast and sure financial benefits for workers who get injured on the job or who develop occupational illnesses due to exposure to hazardous substances. If an injury or an illness ends in disability, the amount of benefit will depend on the classification of the disability. Health providers classify disabilities under four types: Temporary total disability; Temporary partial disability; Permanent total disability; and, Permanent partial disability.

According to the law firm Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC, total permanent disability (TPD) benefits are available for workers whose injuries are so severe that they cannot continue to work in any occupation; partial permanent disability (PPD), on the other hand, are available for workers whose injuries are permanent, but who can continue to work.

Injured workers usually have 30 – 45 days (from the day the injury was sustained or the illness was discovered) to notify their employers about such injury or illness. Failure to notify one’s employer can mean loss of right to file a workers’ comp claim. Besides this, there is also a statute of limitations within which the injured worker will have to file his or her application for benefits. States have different guidelines with regard to statute of limitation, but for guaranteed safe filing, this should be done within one year from the date of the accident or discovery of the illness.

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The Difference Between Assisted Living and Independent Living

Considering long-term options for the care and welfare of an elderly loved one can be a difficult thing to ponder on. Close knit families usually like to keep their loved ones under one roof but, sometimes, it just isn’t feasible. Perhaps the household is too active with children and the elderly relatives can neither cope with the high energy or are even medically disturbed because of it. Maybe the main earners of the family are simply not in a place to provide personalized care for their elderly relatives instead.

So maybe you’ve heard of the two options of assisted living and independent living. There is a difference that lies beyond the connotation of what the names suggest. Independent living, in the terms of elderly care, is settling within a community of other elderly folk where they can live out the rest of their lives in peace and with the comfort of each other’s company. These are for elderly folk who can still manage by themselves.

For some elderly people, unfortunately, this is not a viable option. According to the website (SeniorAdvice.com), there are certain signs that a person could exhibit that state that assisted living may be necessary for them. They might not be capable of caring for their hygiene or keep house or remembering their medication. Carers in assisted living situations care so that the elderly don’t have to and this is usually because they themselves cannot.

Though the costs between the two options are quite wide, there is a difference between a frivolity and a necessity. An elderly person who is perfectly capable of living on their own has no use of a carer while an elderly person who cannot remember the last few years of their life or have difficulty with even the most basic locomotive actions, then a carer is all but necessary for them to live on with what remains as the rest of their lives.

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Ensuring Safety When Driving At Night

Driving in itself is already a dangerous activity; and what could be worse than driving is driving after dark. There are many evils when driving at night. Sleepiness and fatigue, for instance, usually set in at night, especially when you’re in for a long drive. Apart from sluggishness, darkness significantly compromises your perception of depth, making you more vulnerable to road dangers. Driving at night can be so dangerous that Forbes even revealed that 49% of deadly car-related incidents happen at night.

According to jeffsampson.com, car-related incidents may result in debilitating physical injuries and lost time at work. So to keep accidents at bay when driving after dark, remember these tips:

Drive with a co-pilot

As much as possible, do not drive alone. One of the greatest challenges of driving at night is sleepiness. After dark, our brain naturally produces melatonin, a hormone that is central to our sleep. Driving with someone could help you fight against sleepiness. Furthermore, your co-pilot can perk you up whenever s/he notices that your eyes are becoming heavy, or you are slowly veering off the road.

Ensure that your lights are working properly

Before driving at night, check if your headlights are working as they should be. You should also check for your turn lights and brake lights to give your fellow drivers ample time to react when you hit on your brakes or make a turn.

Use technology properly

Driving at night while you text or send email could spell disaster. However, that doesn’t mean that you should not be bringing your mobile phone with you. Mobile phones are helpful during emergency situations, such as a car breakdown. Most cars are also equipped with a GPS navigation system to prevent you from getting lost, especially after dark.

Rest when needed

Finally, do not risk driving while feeling bone dead tired and sleepy. Pull over safely in a well-lit area and take a quick nap.

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How Can I Avoid Disaster Relief Fraud?

Natural calamities are not kind – they are uncaring and beyond human control. The world that people now know is one that has experienced its fair share of disasters and catastrophes from earthquakes to tornadoes to massive, days-long hurricanes.

It is not something that anyone can get used to – and it is certainly not something anyone can easily recover from.

Disaster relief is offered to affected areas in order to help people recover and reconstruct some kind of normalcy after such terrible, inclement circumstances. However, even these efforts can be extorted for personal gain and avarice – and that can get anyone into a whole heap of trouble. In the middle of rebuilding after something as tragic as all that, it is made so much more difficult to get back on your feet if you are accused of felony due to disaster relief fraudulence.

According to the website of the Cazayoux Ewing Law Firm, it is often the case for there to be accusations thrown around after relief efforts are made and this can cause a lot of problems if the allegation just so happens to fall upon you.

You can also avoid disaster relief fraud by being meticulous with everything, following a disaster. It is advised that deals and exchanges and the like are cemented in writing. Proof and evidence could be vital in cases of defense against situations like these. If there are contracts involved, it is so important to make sure that the contents of the contract are legitimate and legally sound before you sign or pay for anything.

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The Dangers of Construction Work and Bouncing Back After an Accident

Accidents can happen at any given time or place. However, the risk of facing a serious accident is much greater if you are employed in a high risk job such as construction work. As noted by the U.S. Department of Labor, a total number of 2.9 million cases of workplace injuries were reported in the private industry during 2013. Majority of these cases involved accidents that occurred in manual labor industries. Similarly, the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® reports that there are thousands of construction accidents leading to serious injury and death annually in America.

Working manual labor jobs like construction work involves certain risks and hazards that are obviously not present for an employee in a desk job. Construction work involves the use of high powered tools and heavy machinery. To reach heights, workers need to make use of scaffolding that could quickly become unstable causing them to fall. Certain hazardous materials are also used in a number of tasks and workers can end up getting exposed to harmful chemicals. That’s why it comes as no surprise that so many of these workers end up falling victim to serious injuries. Anything from fractures to spinal cord injuries can result from the often dangerous conditions they are working under.

When these accidents do take place, it’s obvious that the burden on workers only become greater and greater. The injuries commonly associated with the dangers of construction work often require a long and difficult recovery. There’s also the question of medical expenses and other financial burdens caused by the worker’s inability to return to his or her job and earn an income. In such cases, workers need to be able to rely on financial assistance provided by their employers. As noted by the website of Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC, these injured employees can look to workers’ compensation benefits to cover the expenses caused by their accident.

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The Role of Mechanical Defects in Large Truck Accidents

Vehicular accidents are happening with more and more frequency in the United States. Any commuter should know that they are facing a certain amount of risk anytime he or she rides a vehicle out in roads and highways. While it may not be the case for every crash or collision, it’s a common scenario that these accidents lead to very serious injuries and even fatalities. This is particularly true for accidents involving large trucks. Due to the sheer weight and size of these vehicles, even minor collisions involving trucks and passenger vehicles can lead to devastating outcomes.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or IIHS recorded a total number of 3,602 fatalities caused by large truck accidents for the year 2013. A breakdown of this figure is as follows: 2,410 of the fatalities were of car passengers, 586 were truck operators, and 557 were pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. According to the website of the Abel Law Firm, among the most common causes for the accidents behind these fatalities are mechanical defects and truck malfunction.

The website of the Cazayoux Ewing Law Firm says that large trucks make use of integrated mechanical and computer systems to successfully operate. Failure in any or both of these systems can cause malfunction that could then lead to a dangerous accident. The website of Pohl and Berk, LLP adds that some of the common problems that occur with large trucks include brake malfunction and tire defects.

Trucks are complex vehicles that require proper maintenance and upkeep to ensure the safety of its operators and the drivers and passengers that share the road. Trucking companies and their operators have the responsibility to ensure that their vehicles are on par with safety regulations and standards to avoid any unwanted outcomes. Trucks that aren’t properly maintained can be susceptible to a host of mechanical defects and malfunction that could endanger public safety.

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Information for Medical Professionals: Receiving Proper Compensation through the Texas Prompt Pay Act

American health care is generally regarded as more expensive than in other countries. An article published by The Washington Post cites a survey conducted by The Commonwealth Fund ranking the cost and efficiency of the health care systems of a number of different. The survey concluded that the United States is home to the most expensive but least effective health care system compared to other industrialized western nations. While the U.S. spends an estimated amount of $8,508 per person on health care services, the United Kingdom—which had ranked first on cost and quality—spends more than half at $3,405 per person.

Due to such expensive medical costs, plenty of Americans rely on health insurance coverage in order make payments that they might not otherwise be able to afford. Unfortunately, the health insurance system isn’t always without certain flaws. As it happens, there have been several instances when medical professionals are not properly reimbursed through these benefit programs. As noted by the American Medical Association, a lot of health care workers have reported failing to receive timely compensation from insurance companies meant to reimburse them for the cost of services they’ve rendered for patients relying on financial assistance. In certain cases, some physicians noted that receiving compensation from insurance providers can take as long as 6 months.

This is where the Texas Prompt Pay Act of 2003 comes in. Physicians and other health care professionals working in Texas are allowed to make claims for compensation from health insurance companies through an established system mandated by state law. As noted on the website of Williams Kherkher, insurance providers that are unable to deliver on the reimbursement within a specific schedule can end up facing a number of serious penalties. These penalties can end up doubling the amount required from insurance providers, as well as causing them to pay additional fees.

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Dangerous Pharmaceuticals: The Possible Harmful Effects of Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants

Advancements in the field of medical technology and pharmaceuticals have allowed doctors to provide patients with treatment solutions that would not have been possible just a few decades back. One of the greatest contributions of the aforementioned industry is the use of implants. These synthetic devices are used by doctors to replace or support certain biological structures without which could cause serious medical conditions for patients. An example of these is hip implants, which are used to replace damaged hip joints caused by fractures, arthritis, and other issues affecting its mobility. These implants are manufactured by a number of pharmaceutical companies—among them the company responsible for creating the Rejuvenate and ABG II implants, Stryker.

The Rejuvenate and ABG II Stryker implants received approval from the Food and Drug Administration first on 2008 and then on 2009. The two brands proved to be a helpful development in treating issues with hip pain and damage. However, developments in the subsequent years showed that Stryker hip implants posed a significant risk factor that could cause severe symptoms. Because of the use of metal-on-metal components, the two brands could cause metallosis and lead to nerve and tissue damage in the area surrounding the implant, intense pain and limited mobility, as well tissue necrosis in the implant area. In some cases, these metal-on-metal implants can also cause a patient to develop high levels of toxic metal inside their systems. Many people have filed a personal injury lawsuit in hopes of recuperating the costs of additional surgeries.

To correct the harmful effects caused by metal-on-metal hip implants by Stryker and other manufacturers, patients will have to undergo another replacement surgery and suffer through all the associated post-op conditions and recovery time. On top of that, patients will also have to deal with additional medical costs and expenses. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, individuals that have been affected by dangerous medical devices and pharmaceuticals such as metal-on-metal hip implants may be able to do something about it.

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Penalties for Drunk Driving in Massachusetts

All over the United States, alcohol-impaired driving is considered a serious offense. In Massachusetts, drunk driving is prosecuted as operating under the influence or OUI. Drivers caught operating their vehicles while having a blood alcohol content level that is beyond the legal limit can expect to face serious penalties.

These limits are as follows, as noted by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles:

  • For drivers operating regular passenger vehicles – 0.08 percent or higher
  • For drivers operating commercial vehicles – 0.04 percent or higher
  • For drivers under the legal drinking age( below 21 years old) – 0.02 percent or higher

Drivers who are pulled over by traffic officers at check points or due to particular concerns will be asked to take a breathalyzer test. This involves blowing into a special instrument that will measure one’s breath alcohol content level. The results will then be used to determine the blood alcohol content level in one’s system. A Cape Cod drunk driving defense lawyer would be aware that officers also employ other methods to test for sobriety. These field tests include asking the drunk driving suspect to do a one leg stand and the nine-step walk and turn.

Suspects who fail the breathalyzer and field sobriety tests will be arrested and charged with an OUI. Punishment for an OUI charge will depend on the age of the driver and the number of prior OUI arrests. These penalties include expensive fines, possible jail time, and the suspension of one’s driver’s license. In some cases, the driver might also be required to attend an alcohol education program. For drivers under 21, a first offense could entail a 3-year license suspension period, as well as required attendance to a 210-day alcohol program. Meanwhile, OUIs that lead to vehicular manslaughter can lead to a minimum 15-year license suspension, spending between 5 to 20 years in prison, and paying up to $25,000 in fines.

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