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February 9, 2016 / Medical Malpractice

Risky Remedies: Overdosing on Cold and Flu Medications

Cold and flu medications are staples in most of our homes, especially during winter. A lot of us consider all over-the-counter (OTC) medications to be perfectly safe. After all, you can buy them without a prescription, so they must be harmless, right? Generally, OTC medications are innocuous as long as they are taken as directed. But some folks ingest one medication, feel it isn’t doing them much good, and then take another, different one. Some people routinely combine OTC medications. But doing so can be quite dangerous. Read the Labels One of the biggest hazards comes from overdosing on the painkiller acetaminophen, also known by the brand name Tylenol®. Most cold and flu formulas include acetaminophen as one of their active ingre[...]


January 15, 2016 / Truck Accidents

Drivin’ My Life Away…

We have a truck driver shortage in the U.S., despite the fact that it is the most common job in nearly 30 states. In the U.S., truck drivers number 3.5 million, with about 1.8 million of them working specifically as long-haul or tractor-trailer drivers, according to 2014 figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Despite that number, according to the American Trucking Association, the industry lacks at least 48,000 drivers. Some peg the number of drivers currently needed at 100,000. And the need is growing. Why the Demand for So Many Drivers? One big reason is that trucking cannot be outsourced, and driving trucks can’t be automated—at least, not quite yet. Goods need to be moved from points A to B, and that takes human beings sitti[...]


December 16, 2015 / Personal Injury

Dieselgate: Another Name for Plain Old Fraud

It’s being called “Dieselgate”—the outrageous cheating that Volkswagen engaged in when it came to using its specially-modified emissions software to fake the test results for its TDI “clean diesel” engines. Lawsuits are emerging that involve a number of charges, most of which argue the point that Volkswagen duped buyers with its erroneous claims of engine performance. Without a doubt, owners want—and deserve—compensation for the premium prices they paid to own a TDI vehicle, and for the now sharply-reduced resale value of those same vehicles. Owners who bought cars they believed were better for the environment feel swindled, and not just monetarily. As of the last count, there are 11 million of you worldwide. About a half[...]


December 1, 2015 / Product Injury

A Toy Story?

Your Children’s Toys: How Safe Are They? It’s difficult to contemplate that items bringing as much happiness as toys do might cause harm. Yet, like it or not, toys are responsible for a significant number of injuries. Over a quarter-million kids visit the ER because of toy-related injuries every year. One-third of injuries happen to children under the age of five. Still, we have to ask ourselves, with the annual lists that appear touting “dangerous toys,” is the danger nothing but hype? We know the news media can be prone to exaggeration. What are the facts? Toy Safety Facts The numbers of children that end up injured or even dead from toys are not hype—they are facts. But childhood injuries are largely caused by toys that a[...]


November 5, 2015 / Medical Malpractice

Unnecessary Surgery, Insurance Fraud, and You

Have you had any surgeries in the past few years? Think back, especially if it involved your heart or circulatory system. Perhaps you had spinal fusion or a joint replacement done. Did you have any surgery done because the doctor told you that you needed it? Often we have surgery because the doctor tells us that surgery is the only option. Few of us have the medical knowledge to ask the right questions regarding alternatives. We do what the doctor tells us to do, especially if death is mentioned. The lure of easy insurance money, especially when it is from Medicare or Medicaid, can play a part in a surgical recommendation if the doctor is not ethical. Here in Indiana, a group of cardiologists and a hospital, Cardiology Associates of North[...]


September 9, 2015 / Vehicle Accidents

Accidents Happen—and This Manufacturer Made Them Worse

Accidents that occur on major highways, or in places where drop-offs or other hazards exist, can be horrific. That’s why guardrails that stop a car’s progress are so important in mitigating such crashes. But, as it turns out, sometimes the very item meant to protect us ends up harming us. This indeed appears to be the case with Trinity Industry guardrails, which have been installed on roads around the U.S. for many years. A change in Trinity’s manufacturing process to its ET Plus product, beginning in 2005 -- a change which they kept secret -- created “end caps” on guardrails that turn into deadly spears, killing and maiming occupants of cars instead of protecting them by peeling away. What Happened? After Trinity’s guardrail de[...]


September 2, 2015 / Vehicle Accidents

But I Fastened My Seat Belt!

You’ve probably read quite a bit this year about the multi-million-vehicle Takata air bag recall. The faulty air bags have been implicated in at least eight deaths and over 100 injuries, and the automakers run the gamut from Honda to GM to Ford to Nissan. But you might not have heard as much about the seat belt recalls involving four major car manufacturers. Air bags would not be as life-saving as they are if we didn’t have seat belts in our cars. Seat belts do indeed save lives. It could even be argued that seat belts are more critical to our safety than air bags. They are the original, first line of defense when it comes to minimizing serious injury and death in automobile accidents. Seat belt use has risen over the years. India[...]


August 5, 2015 / Vehicle Accidents

DWS (Driving While Sleepy)

As drivers, we’ve all felt the heaviness in our eyelids that means, “pull over,” and perhaps even scared ourselves because of an unintentional drift in our steering path. Drowsy driving is no small problem: In the U.S. every day, a quarter-million folks fall asleep at the wheel, according to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Driving while sleepy” in the U.S factors into more than 100,000 crashes annually, with 1,500 deaths and 40,000 injuries. An astonishing 23 percent of adults have fallen asleep while driving, according to a 1998 survey. But legal drugs are making the situation worse. Asleep at the Wheel An increase in car accidents has become associated with three prescription sleeping aids: te[...]


July 24, 2015 / Vehicle Accidents

GPS: Blessing and Bane

In a few short years, GPS systems and satellite navigation have changed our lives in fundamental ways. Some of us couldn’t get ten miles up the road without it. No more checking paper maps en route, or printing online maps and directions before we take a road trip. It’s a good thing to have when you are traveling in unfamiliar areas, especially when you have the step-by-step audio guidance so common these days. Theoretically, you can keep your eyes on the road and your mind on your driving. But, if that’s the case, why are we seeing accidents that have been triggered by the use of GPS? What is GPS? GPS stands for Global Positioning System, which means a group of satellites that communicate with your device to determine location. These[...]


July 20, 2015 / Vehicle Accidents

ATV: All Too Vulnerable to Injury

There’s no question that summer is the time when those who enjoy all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are in their glory. And there’s no denying that ATVs can be a ton of fun. But when operated incorrectly, without safety equipment, or when under the influence, ATVs can be deadly. During one May weekend in 2014, three separate ATV accidents in southern Indiana’s Harrison and Washington counties left one dead and two seriously injured. So many accidents happen during the summer that the period of time between May and September is known as “crunch time.” We at Stephenson Rife want you and your loved ones to avoid getting “crunched.” Injuries: All Too Frequent The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) most recent report co[...]


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