Bankruptcy tells us a lot about the economy

Bankruptcy is useful for those who have made some bad investments and need to wipe the slate clean and start over. But they also tell us the state of the economy. The more bankruptcies should suggest a bad economy since more debt with too little income is the usual cause of bankruptcy. Whether it is small businesses, massive corporations, or individuals, a bankruptcy means the money is upside down and so much, so it’s better to put yourself at the mercy of the courts.

So, what does the American economy look like right now?

First, it’s worth pointing out some basic bankruptcy statistics. There were almost 800,000 bankruptcies filed in 2016. That number is significantly lower than the all-time high, which was in 2005 (not, as you might expect, 2009 or 2010), with two million filings. The 600,000 filings are about on par with 2006, which was the first year that the filings took a large decline.

Before that, from 1980 to 2005, bankruptcies were on a regular increase.

Nowadays, bankruptcies are far more likely to be filed by individuals than large businesses. This suggests the US economy is stable, although perhaps not in ideal shape. I say that because a very large percent of bankruptcies are due to one of the great economic problems of modern America: health care. As with so many other issues, bankruptcies are tied to the rising costs of health care. In 2005, that record high year, 46% of bankruptcies were due to medical bills.

Since then, other economic issues have also been on display. Those include instability in income (which might be expected from the Great Recession), job loss, and credit card debt. Divorce is also often cited but has less to do with the present discussion.

All of those issues are in fact very common anxieties for modern America.

So what can bankruptcies actually tell us about the overall economy? Perhaps only that the important issues elsewhere in the economy also inform the choice to declare bankruptcy. While the numbers are lower, it seems the causes remain stagnant. People are having trouble paying their medical bills. They are struggling to find jobs that pay what they need and that offer some stability. They owe too much on credit cards, and they can’t quite get back into the black.

Additionally, we can see by the number of individuals versus businesses that the business world is looking more stable than ever, even as individuals still struggle. This too matches our perception of the economy, where minimum wage and wage growth, in general, are hotly debated topics.

In conclusion, bankruptcies have a lot to tell us about the state of our economy. Some of that information is positive, but a lot of the underlying issues are, as expected, not so rosy.

Medical Malpractice in Massachusetts: have you been a victim?

Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor harms their patient by failing to fully complete their duties. In order to make a case for medical malpractice, you must be able to identify certain elements of your doctor’s care including, a doctor-patient relationship existed, the doctor was negligent in their care, this negligence resulted in your injury or illness, and you have suffered damages because of this injury. These are the basic requirements to prove medical malpractice across the country. However, each state has the ability to determine their own stipulations about malpractice.

In order to prove medical malpractice, in Massachusetts, you must be able to indicate that your doctor or other health care provider violated the standard of care. This is the generally accepted practices or procedures that are used to treat a specific kind of illness or injury. You will need to provide evidence from medical experts to indicate the standard of care expected for your specific case and where your physician deviated from this care. Additionally, in order to ensure that you are able to make your case of medical malpractice, you must also be aware of the Massachusetts statute of limitations, which determines the time period in which your claim is valid. In the state of Massachusetts, you must file your claim within three years of when you learned about your injuries. Additionally, you may not file a claim for injuries discovered more than seven years after the incident that caused them. These time limits are extremely strict and can prevent even a valid case from reaching the court. Therefore, you must move quickly if you believe you have been the victim of medical malpractice. Lastly, it is important to note that Massachusetts places caps on the amount of compensation, known as damages, that you may receive. Although there are no caps on compensatory damages, such as the cost of treatment and lost wages, there is a $500,000 cap on noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering or mental anguish.

Many of these restrictions may appear to be arbitrary and unnecessarily specific, and often times they are. There is no discernable reason why a claim is any more valid at two years and twelve months than it would be at three years and one month. Despite this very frustrating fact, if you want a judge to even consider your malpractice case, you must follow these strict requirements.

These specifications about Massachusetts medical malpractice law are essential for anyone wishing to pursue a lawsuit. This process is particularly complex and often takes place over a long period of time. Deviating from these laws and requirements, failing to complete necessary paperwork, or any other number of minor errors can seriously affect your ability to receive compensation. However, an experienced Boston medical malpractice lawyer can help ensure that you do not make any of these mistakes that could be devastating to your efforts.

Deadly Car Accidents: T-bone Collisions

When you think about deadly car accidents, the first things that come into your mind are high-speed collisions, drunk driving accidents, head-on crashes, and other extremely violent scenarios. That is understandable, because those scenarios are indeed violent enough to take lives.

But there is one kind of car accident that seems to be overlooked, even though it is arguably one of the most dangerous ones. It is called a T-bone collision. A T-bone collision, also known as a broadside collision, occurs when the front end of a car crashes into the side of another. This usually forms the letter “T,” hence the name.

Causes

According to the website of Brunkenhoefer P.C., the two common scenarios that lead to a T-bone collision are when a driver runs through a red light or makes an unsafe left turn through oncoming traffic – either ultimately leads to a collision where a front end of one car crashes into the side of another.

From these scenarios, it can be said that T-bone collisions happen mostly because of negligence. On the first instance, the driver has neglected traffic light changes, which are implemented to promote safe right-of-way transitions. On the second instance, the driver has completely neglected other motorists in the area, which can easily translate into any kind of collision, not just T-bone.

Dangers

These acts of negligence have resulted into property damages, injuries, and maybe even deaths of innocent parties. This is because a T-bone collision is often catastrophic, as mentioned earlier. But how so?

It is merely physics. A car that has been broadsided has a good chance of overturning or rolling over, even if the collision is not that violent. Overturning and rolling over present additional problems, such as getting hit by debris, getting ejected from the car, and getting pinned under the car.

It is also important to point out where T-bone collisions mostly happen – on intersections. Because of this, T-bone collisions almost always result into chain reaction accidents. After impact, the vehicles involved may crash onto traffic lights, utility poles, and fire hydrants. The vehicles that are not involved may also suddenly see themselves as parts of the accidents.

Due to their violent nature and scope, T-bone collisions are some of the deadliest car accidents today, and they should not be ignored.

Concussion and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE): Most Damaging Football Injuries

Concussion and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE): Most Damaging Football Injuries

During the 1993 NFC Championship Game, Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman suffered a serious (knee) blow to the head which landed him in a hospital that same evening. The year after, another National Football League player, Chicago Bears fullback Merrill Hodge, announced his retirement from football following a blow to the head that, according to reports, caused him to recognize his close family members, including his wife.

In 2013, around 4,500 former NFL players listed as plaintiffs in lawsuits against the NFL for concussion-related injuries. When asked to comment about this lawsuit filed by NFL players against the League, Super Bowl winning quarterback and TV personality Jim McMahon said that he knew his shoulders, knees, and back, his whole body actually, would be beat up, however, nobody ever mentioned to him, or to any player, about injuries to the head. Even football legend, Mike Ditka, whose whole life was football, said that, had he a son, he wouldn’t encourage him to play football because the risk is simply much worse than the reward.

With very strong and heavy players running into each other at full speed, NFL players are most likely to sustain injuries. Injuries sustained, which range from minor, but bothersome, to severe and debilitating, include:

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL), and Torn meniscus, all of which are knee injuries;

  • Ankle sprains and strains
  • Muscle contusions;
  • Torn hamstrings;
  • Shoulder tendinitis; and,
  • Shoulder separation or dislocation.

Musculoskeletal injuries (or MSDs, which include injuries to the muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, discs, and blood vessels) are the types of injuries most commonly sustained by professional and college football players. More serious than these, however, are injuries that affect the brain, namely Concussion and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).

Concussion is a change in a player’s mental state due to a violent shock as from a heavy blow to the head. Its most common effect is temporary unconsciousness, though in others, it rather causes headache, dizziness, drowsiness, difficulty concentrating, loss of balance, nausea, numbness/tingling, and blurry vision.

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), on the other hand, is a progressive brain disease that is caused by repetitive brain trauma. This brain illness usually leads to memory loss, dementia and depression. Since CTE diagnosis requires evidence of degeneration of brain tissue and deposits of tau and other proteins in the brain, it can only be determined upon inspection (of the brain) after death (autopsy).

According to the Mokaram Law Firm, responsible parties often take negligent action in order to further the entertainment value of football games. Players frequently feel forced to perform despite incurring severe head injuries in order to retain their professional careers and fans. This is incredibly dangerous for players, as repeated concussions have serious long-term effects on a person’s wellbeing.

In 2014, the NFL settled a lawsuit filed by former NFL players, who attributed their neurological problems to their time in the league. Those filing NFL concussion lawsuits, may be able to avail of the settlement fund the NFL has approved and reserved for injured players. However, applying for compensation may lead to better results if done through and with the help of a seasoned lawyer, who may be able to help an injured player receive the maximum compensation possible, which is $5 million.

Nursing Home Abuse and Its Signs

The elderly is one of the most vulnerable members of society, especially because they cannot defend themselves and their physical limitations may prevent them from directly communicating that they are experiencing abuse, neglect, or the like. As a reasonable person, you have the responsibility to know protect or put your loved one away from abuse and other harmful conditions. Elders can experience different kinds of abuses in nursing homes, like physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional and psychological abuse. Below are some of the signs you should look out for to know if your loved one is experiencing abusive behavior. Signs of physical abuse Physical abuse is the easiest to detect, because it often has physical evidence, such as wounds. Negligence on the part of the medical staff can also be considered a form of abuse.

  • Abrasions, bruises, and cuts
  • Bed sores
  • Bloody, stained, or torn clothing
  • Fractures
  • Infections
  • Loss of hair
  • Signs of neglect like dehydration, malnutrition and poor hygiene

Signs of sexual abuse Believe it or not, elders are also vulnerable of sexual abuse. Watch out for these signs.

  • Pain or injuries, particularly in the pelvic area
  • Sudden difficulty in walking, standing, or sitting
  • Unwarranted sexually transmitted diseases

Signs of emotional and psychological abuse Most of the time, emotional and psychological problems are the result of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and overall neglect of the medical staff. If you see these behaviors to your loved one, he or she may be experiencing some form of abuse or neglect.

  • Change in behavior and mood, especially in the presence of medical staff
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Refusal to eat, drink, or take medication
  • Withdrawal or any reclusive tendencies

Your loved one does not deserve abusive treatment, and if you see these signs, you should be wary. Nursing home abuse and neglect may be subject to a personal injury lawsuit. It is a good thing to know that the law is at your side.

Motorcycle Safety Tips For A Safe Ride

Motorcycles provide a quick and easy way to get around streets and highways. But while they are convenient to ride on, they also put the rider at great risk of getting into an accident. The cold reality is that motorcycle riders are 30 times more likely to die in a crash than car drivers. Motorcycle accidents are often catastrophic. The good news is that there are safety measures that you can exercise to avoid being part of the statistics and continue to have fun with your two-wheeled ride. Here are 5 tips to help you stay safe on your motorcycle

  • 1. Do not buy a bike that you cannot handle If you have not been riding a motorcycle for some time, it may come as a surprise to you regarding the performance of today’s bikes. When shopping for a motorcycle, find one that fits you. Are you able to rest both feet flat when seated? Is the handlebar within your reach? These are some things that you need to consider when buying a motorcycle.
  • 2. Consider antilock brakes Statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) revealed that motorcycles equipped with ABS brakes were 37 percent less likely to get involved in a crash compared to those without it. Anti-lock brakes can help you a rider retain steering control during an emergency stop and comes in handy in slippery conditions.
  • 3. Hone your skills Attending an approved safety course is another way to keep yourself safe when riding on two wheels. Likewise, it can make you eligible for insurance discounts and others. These courses can teach you some motorcycle riding techniques such as performing evasive emergency techniques and other advanced skills.
  • 4. Wear the right gear Helmets, gloves, jackets, knee and elbow pads are safety gears that can go a long way in ensuring your safety.
  • 5. Be aware of road hazards Road hazards can cause a motorcycle to wobble or slide unexpectedly so your best defense is to watch for road hazards. These are just some safety tips that can help make your ride enjoyable and accident-free.

Are Indiana’s Laws Harming Cyclists?

Indianapolis has seen a great increase in bicycle accidents that lead many cyclists to suffer from serious injuries such as spinal and brain injuries and even death of the cyclist. The center of the state of Indiana has a number of bike trails that has helped increase the popularity of bicycles, but because of unclear laws regarding bicycles and road safety for cyclists, many have been left vulnerable to accidents and injuries and the increased number of bicycle mishaps.

The confusion caused by contradictory laws in the Indiana and in the city of Indianapolis is one of the major factors in the rise of the number of bicycle accidents. Under Indiana bike laws, any foot-propelled vehicle (regardless of the number wheels) are classified as bicycle. Laws pertaining on how and where these “bicycles” are to be operated are listed on Indiana Code § 9-12-11-1 to 9-12-11-11, along with giving cyclist the same privileges as those who drive motorized vehicles. Another newly-approved law states that bikes, mopeds, and motorcycles can run a red light when they have been stopped for two minutes. This is because majority of traffic signals are weight-triggered and therefore smaller vehicles may not be heavy enough to trigger them.

On the other hand, Indianapolis bike laws are simpler and straightforward. The emphasis is basically aimed towards pedestrians not using bike lanes unless specific signs are provided, and motorists giving right-of-way to cyclists when in a bike lane. The increase in bicycle accidents may have been due to the confusing laws and lack of education for cyclists who are using their bicycles to commute. Injury lawyers such as the Hankey Law Office also believe that reckless acts while driving or cycling also contributes greatly to road accidents. What makes awareness of cycling safety very important is because injuries that happen during accident often result to serious damages, so being aware of bike laws and riding with safety in mind are the basis for lower bike accidents and safer roads.

Medical Malpractice Resulting in Cerebral Palsy

Almost three out of every 1000 infants born in US are identified as having cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a phrase given to some enormous number of illnesses that primarily affect motor skills. Less generally, brain function is affected by cerebral palsy. But in the occasions where knowledge is affected, the patient encounters a more severe rehabilitation -life that’s substantial.

The various types are spastic, dyskinetic, ataxic hypnotic, and combined. Of the different kinds of cerebral palsy, cerebral palsy that is spastic is the most frequent, occuring in almost seventy percent of cases. Commonly, the most typical indication of spastic cerebral palsy is muscle firmness. Neural receptors in the back of the brain aren’t able to obtain signaling which subsequently leads to muscle tightness or spasm.

It is broadly considered to be a genetic illness while causes and exact variants for cerebral palsy is not an easy task to get for medical practitioners to understand. Premature newborns are more likely to develop cerebral palsy, as they’re often more vulnerable to breathing complications. Hypoxia of the mind, asphyxia, can be linked closely to the development of cerebral palsy.

As said on the website of United Cerebral Palsy, premature of the kid’s arrival, the development of cerebral palsy can sometimes be discovered. In the cases where early prevention could happen, the development of cerebral palsy can frequently be associated with medical malpractice. Medical negligence blunders which are frequent are identification, the late analysis, errors that are operative, and mistakes. Medical negligence might have suffering consequences like defects that are congenital or and conditions including cerebral palsy. In case the physicians have been in charge of birthing problems, households are entitled to financial rewards.

Congenital Heart Defects

Since 1991, many women suffering from nausea and vomiting during pregnancy have turned to Zofran (Ondansetron), a drug originally approved to treat these same symptoms in cancer and post-surgery patients but often prescribed to pregnant women “off-label.” Unfortunately, recent studies have linked Zofran as the cause of several congenital heart defects such as the following:

  • Atrial Septal Defects – Holes in the wall between the two upper chambers of the heart
  • Ventricular Septal Defects – Holes in the walls separating the heart’s lower chambers
  • Atrioventricular Septal Defects – Holes between the chambers and valves of the heart

Symptoms related to these defects include difficulty breathing, irregular or rapid heartbeats, easy tiring, heat palpitations, lung infections, heart murmurs, and cardiac arrest.

In 2013, one study found that women who are prescribed Zofran during pregnancy have about a 20 percent increased risk of having a child with a serious heart defect. Specifically, children’s risk of developing atrial septal defects is increase by 2.1 times, ventricular septal defects by 2.3 times, and atrioventricular defects by 4.8 times. Another study conducted in 2014 found similar results and concluded that when women are given Zofran early in their pregnancy, they are 1.62 times more likely to give birth to a child with an underdeveloped heart. View more information regarding the dangers associated with Zofran.

Although complications due to Ondansetron most commonly develop in children prior to birth, young children are also at risk at developing heart complications after birth. In early 2015, two cases, one involving a 10-year-old and one involving an 86-day-old infant, resulted in the death of both children after being given Ondansetron and having heart complications.

The Relation Between Monsanto PCBs and Cancer

ANNISTON, ALABAMA – it was in 1979 that Congress issued a ban on the use and manufacturing of products that contain the hazardous chemical substance known as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The Monsanto Company has been cited to having been the lead manufacturer of the substance as there has been the presence of the chemical in various products of theirs that range from electronic equipment, to food packaging, to paint under the name of “Aroclor”, which was trademarked to the company.

Toxic Monsanto PCBs have been cited by sufferers of certain ailments, including some rare cancers, as the primary cause for their diseases. Three plaintiffs filed legal action against the company in 2009, claiming a link between non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

There is some precedent for the claim as a study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proved the significant effects of exposure to PCBs with the immune system through the study of the effects of the same substance on the Rhesus monkey, a species that is 93% compatible with people – making them the prime test subject for the effects of certain substances on humans. The monkey’s thymus gland was quite significantly shrunk and the thymus gland is highly linked with the immune system. It has, through a series of studies, been assessed that PCBs are “probable human carcinogens”.

Early in 2015, Ben Unglesbee of the St. Louis Business Journal reported that San Diego has filed for legal action against the company for the chemical pollution that the San Diego Bay has sustained. In the report, it has been discovered that the Monsanto Company has been dealing with the production of PCBs for 40 years. Though the company allegedly stopped production of the substance two years before the government imposed ban in the late 1970s, there have been reported files that rooted from an internal memo within the company that states that the company has been aware of the detrimental nature of their products since the 1960s and yet continued with production anyway.