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Texts: They Can Wait!

Under no circumstances should you ever drink and drive. Or more broadly, under no circumstances should you ever drive while under the influence of a mind-altering substance. Nor should you be a passenger in a car driven by someone under the influence! Among many reasons, there are two reasons that primarily stick out as to why you should not.

Firstly, it is illegal to drive while intoxicated in every state in the US. But more importantly, the second reason is that driving while under the influence is categorically and absolutely unsafe. Full stop, no doubt about it. Yet people still drink and drive every day.

The reasons people do so are varied, but there is no good excuse. And most people agree on this issue! Even people who drink and drive (or at least have done so before) are usually hesitant to publicly admit to doing it. But what about driving and texting?

You probably did not expect such a sudden change in the topic as a reader. Funnily enough, if you are texting and driving there will be sudden changes that you also will not be able to expect — not from sudden changes in topics but in sudden changes on the road because of the actions of other drivers. As the Jurewitz Law Group points out on its website, texting while driving is illegal and dangerous, too.

Texting and driving is a downright epidemic in America with a large number of American adult drivers admitting that they have texted or used their phone while driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But there is no safety in numbers; just because many Americans text while driving does not make doing so any safer. In fact, there is an opposite effect due to the distracting nature of driving while texting; the more drivers using their phone, the more dangerous of an action it is to text while driving.

Dangers of texting while driving

The effects of driving and using your phone are numerous and none of them are good. Depending on how fast you are driving, a simple glance down to check a text could mean that dozens of yards pass by without the faintest recognition on your behalf. This means that pedestrians, objects, or other things in-place on these unseen paths are at risk of a collision. All because a text was seen as more important.

In addition to not seeing entire segments of the road, texting while driving also causes erratic movements. A driver is likely to quickly and dangerously move a car’s steering wheel if they perceive a danger after ignoring the surroundings to focus on their phone. However, overcorrection is common and a driver’s quick, sudden, and reactionary movements can lead to situations more dangerous than if they had remained on the same path.

And while it is certainly true that people make mistakes on the road even without texting and driving, it is simply a fact that driving with distractions like a cellphone make it all the easier to make mistakes and potentially hurt other people. No text is worth it, wait to read and respond to them until you are finished driving.

What are the long list of side effects on drug commercials?

I see ads for new prescription drugs on TV almost every day. These drugs are for tons of different things. Some are sleep aids, some are ED medicine, some are for joint pain. No matter the type of drug, these commercials end with a laundry list of potential side effects. Just one example of this is the commercial for the popular sleep aid Lunesta. The commercial spends the first 28 seconds talking about how it will help you get a full night of sleep then sneaks in that the drug may increase thoughts of suicide or cause fatal throat swelling. These seem to me like pretty over the top side effects for a drug that should only be designed to help people sleep. So what is the reason behind all these potential side effects we hear about on television? Is every listed side effect relevant to every person? I started doing some research on this, and I found out some information on the Law Offices of Seaton & Bates, PLLC website. 

Drug companies are regulated by the United States FDA. Because of rules and guidelines set by the FDA, these companies are required to inform potential users of all potential side effects. This is much different than speaking to a doctor one on one about a certain prescription drug. When you go into a doctor’s office and talk about various treatment options, your doctor is only going to discuss the potential side effects that are relevant to your situation. Medications cause different reactions in different people based on their current health condition, sex and age. When advertisements air on television, companies recognize that they are advertising to a very wide audience. Literally, anybody could be seeing the commercial, so companies must warn of the side effects that could affect literally anybody. In order to stay within FDA guidelines and avoid a lawsuit, they list all the known potential side effects.

 If you take a prescription drug and experience harmful side effects as a result, you may be able to sue the drug manufacturer. If you choose to sue, the drug company will have to prove that they warned you of the side effects and that you chose to take it anyway. Let’s take another look at the prescription drug Lunesta. Lunesta might discover that men over the age of 40 that also take three different specific medications can potentially experience throat swelling while taking Lunesta. That’s a hyper-specific group that will likely not ever end up taking the sleep aid. Although, if companies fail to warn of the potential risk and someone does end up hurt as a result, the company could lose millions of dollars in a court case.

Because of everything I talked about, it is not likely that you have to worry about every side effect listed on the commercials for a prescription drug. Most people will only have to deal with one or two of the most common side effects. It is important to speak honestly with your doctor about your specific health status before starting a new prescription drug.

 

Losing Financial Aid Because of Marijuana Possession

Financial aid is money that is given to millions of individuals to help pay for college. This money may be provided by the school, the state, the federal government, or a nonprofit organization. Regarding the federal government, the U.S. Department of Education awards over $120 billion in financial aid to over 12 million students. The money is used to pay for tuition, books, room and board, travel, and other expenses. Often, receiving financial aid is done through a process known as a FAFSA application. After review of the application, if all goes well, financial aid is awarded to the applicant.

As someone who was once a recipient of federal financial aid, I decided to do a little research on the specifics of financial aid. I wanted to see some of the more common ways financial aid could be denied after applying. I was astounded to find out that during my research, I came across an article that explained that even marijuana possession charges (requiring a certain amount of marijuana possession) could supply as grounds for denying financial aid. A minor charge like this could change a student’s life forever.

The article written by James Powderly explained that even minor marijuana possession charges could lead to severe consequences, including the denial of financial aid. In addition to financial aid, a marijuana possession charge could serve as grounds for denial of employment benefits, public housing, or even the right to operate a motor vehicle.  However, the article did express a positive sentiment: these benefits, including financial aid, cannot be denied if the marijuana possession is small. For example, a marijuana possession charge of possessing one ounce or less of marijuana cannot warrant denial of financial aid.

I was encouraged by these final words provided in the article. It seems very unjust, unreasonable, and overall unacceptable to deny financial aid only because of a small marijuana possession charge. Millions of students rely on financial aid to expand their knowledge and receive a quality education. With this knowledge and training, financial aid recipients intend to use the skills and things they learned in school to go on to do great things for society. For instance, many recipients of financial aid will go on to be great lawyers, doctors, scientists, engineers, or savvy business minds. It would be heartbreaking to hear that these paths were closed merely because an individual had one ounce of marijuana in their possession. I was pleased to read this article and see that these benefits could not be stripped away on these grounds.

My advice to any current or future recipients of financial aid would be to initially do extensive research to understand what could result in denial of financial aid. After this research, understand and follow what you have learned. You do not want your path to excellence to be derailed because of something like a marijuana possession charge.

Single-car crash on I-5 claims life of Sacramento man

A single car accident on Interstate 5 claimed the life of one man and caused injury to the driver on Saturday morning. According to authorities, the accident occurred around 4:00 a.m., when the 21-year old woman who was driving the car swerved off the road and crashed while heading southbound on I-5 near Airport Blvd.

The crash was so violent that the vehicle erupted in flames and was fully engulfed in fire by the time emergency responders arrived on the scene. According to the California Highway Patrol, people pulled over to lend assistance, but there were no actual witnesses to the accident itself. The deceased was reportedly a 25-year old man, while the injured driver was a 21-year old who suffered a broken leg in the crash.

ABC 10 news reports: “Numerous people stopped to help, including one driver of a big rig, who ended up pulling the driver of this car away from the scene as it was becoming fully engulfed.” California Highway Patrol officials do not yet know the exact cause of the crash but are currently still investigating. They don’t believe that alcohol or drugs were involved, but the final determination will come down once a thorough investigation is conducted.

In the meantime, the family will be forced to deal with the loss of a loved one. Following a devastating car crash, there are many stages, including the immediate grief that comes with such a devastating loss. The family must also consider funeral expenses and the costs of managing the individual’s estate. While it is difficult to consider taking legal action following a tragic death caused by a car accident, the family may also be considering legal action against the driver if it is found that she behaved in a reckless or negligent manner and caused the death of her passenger.

Families do not deserve to lose a loved one in a senseless accident, and if they feel that the accident could have been avoided if the driver had behaved in a responsible manner. It is often unthinkable for many to file a lawsuit, but it may be necessary to secure compensation for the expenses associated with the person’s death, as well as compensation for the family’s loss on an emotional level.

The family of the deceased will have to decide what (if any) action they want to take following the tragic loss of their son. They may wish to consult with a car accident attorney in Sacramento like this one that I found, who handles these types of legal claims. They may decide that they do not want to pursue legal action as well, and no one can tell them that they are right or wrong, regardless of what they decide to do. During this trying time, it is best for the family to stick together, go through the grieving process, and try to move on with their lives, no matter how difficult that may seem in the aftermath of such a senseless tragedy.

 

Medical Negligence in Cruise Ships

Cruise ships are places for recreation, but they can also be places for harm. It is worse if the harm is directly related to cruise ship management, like when an accident and injury has occurred because of its failure to maintain facilities, or its medical staff has committed negligence, resulting into the harm of an ill or injured passenger.

According to the website of Louis A. Vucci, PA, those who have been victims of negligence on the part of cruise ship medical staff may have legal options, such as getting compensation for the damages.

First, let us look what medical negligence is. Medical negligence occurs when a medical professional has a direct relationship with a patient, and the patient has been harmed in any way because of the medical professional’s action or inaction.

This can be particularly tricky when it comes to cruise ships, because most of the time, the medical professionals there are employed as independent contractors. It is much easier if the cruise line has its own medical staff, like on the following instances:

  • The cruise line pays the salaries of doctors and other medical staff
  • The cruise line handles the medical supplies, including equipment and medicine
  • The cruise line bills passengers for medical care
  • The cruise line has advertised its medical staff and facilities to passengers

Common Medical Negligence Cases

Medical negligence is both a health and legal issue, but more on the health aspect because the medical negligence can potentially be serious enough to result into complications, injuries, and even deaths. Below are some of the most common medical negligence issues in cruise ships.

Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis occurs when a medical professional has wrongly diagnosed a person, like when he or she has diagnosed a healthy patient as sick or a sick patient as healthy. These have their own respective risks and damages.

A healthy person diagnosed as sick may be subject to unwarranted procedures, medications, and other treatment methods, while a sick person diagnosed as healthy may be subject to delayed or complete absence of treatment, which may result into the worsening of his or her medical condition.

Incorrect Treatment

Even if the patient has been diagnosed correctly, he or she is still not completely safe, because he or she can still be treated incorrectly. Receiving inadequate medications and being subject to improper treatment methods or incompetent treatment techniques may result into several health risks, including allergic reactions, worsening of current medical conditions, and rising of new medical complications.

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