Patients are between a Rock and a Hard Place with Topamax, But They Didn’t Know It

Posted by on Apr 3, 2015 in Injury, Pharmaceutical Dangers | 0 comments

Migraines and epileptic seizures can seriously affect a sufferer’s quality of life. Such conditions make it difficult to go into certain careers, or to do many activities that most of us take for granted. Medications like Topamax (topimirate) effectively manage the symptoms of these conditions so that patients can lead more or less normal lives. However, there is a price to pay.

Like most prescription drugs, Topamax is effective but it can also be dangerous. Topamax is approved for the management of migraines and epileptic seizures. Powerful drugs such as these can have serious adverse side effects that can sometimes outweigh the benefits they offer patients. In most cases, a physician will explain these side effects to a patient, and the patient can choose whether or not to risk the side effects.

When the drug company fails to disclose known side effects to the public, the patient takes risks they did not know existed, and sometimes this can have long-term consequences. Johnson & Johnson (J&J) subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals is currently facing more than 130 lawsuits claiming that the drug company has withheld important information about its product Topamax that led to women giving birth to children with birth defect. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, subsequent studies indicate a strong link to this with taking Topamax, and plaintiffs allege that J&J knew about the risks but did not inform the public.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) required J&J to put a black box warning on its Topamax labels in 2011, too late for many women. However, the problems with Topamax may not be confined to birth defects. There have been complaints that Topamax may have other side effects that patients do not know about, such as reduced cognition and chronic kidney disease. There are no supporting evidence yet for these other side effects, but complaints from patients are how these things get found out. Somebody had to be first.

If you are on Topamax and suspect that it may be causing you medical problems you were not warned about, you could be that first claim. Consult with a Topamax lawyer in your state to find out your legal options.

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Basic Facts about Personal Injury in South Carolina

Posted by on Apr 1, 2015 in Injury | 0 comments

Accidents happen all the time, and South Carolina is no different from other states. However, while state law defines negligence in a pretty straightforward way, and allows for most of the usual causes of personal injuries, it can be a little harder to make a claim in South Carolina.

For one thing, you have to be less at fault than the negligent party. This is called the modified comparative fault doctrine. In essence, it means that if you are more at fault than the negligent party by just a little, you cannot recover damages. For example, if you are jaywalking and a car comes around the corner and hits you, the jury can find you more than 50% at fault for crossing the street illegally.

A Columbia personal injury lawyer can probably help your case by arguing that you were trying to keep an unaccompanied child from walking into the street at the time of the incident, which can lessen your share of the fault enough to help you get some compensation for your injuries. However, the award will be reduced by your fault. If you are found 40% at fault and the jury awards you $20,000 in compensation, they will take away 40%, which means you will only receive $12,000.

One of the major components of certain personal injury claims are punitive damages, which applies to defendants that acted in an egregious manner, such as drunk driving. It is meant to punish the defendant and not award the plaintiff. Punitive damages are more subjective, and some states place a cap on this. In South Carolina, the cap is at $500,000 or three times the amount of compensatory damages, whichever is lower. For defendants with a prior felony conviction for the same act, this can go up to $2 million or four times the amount of compensatory damages, whichever is lower. In some cases, the punitive damages cap does not go into effect if there was intentional harm or responsible party acted in an extremely bad manner.

If you are in South Carolina and you want to get compensation for a personal injury, you should consult immediately with a lawyer that specializes in personal injury cases in the state. This will give you a better chance of getting positive results.

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Workers’ Compensation Benefits under Iowa Law

Posted by on Mar 30, 2015 in Injury, Workplace Accidents | 0 comments

It is easy to take your workers’ compensation for granted when everything is fine and hunky-dory, but when the time comes that you have to make a claim, do you know what you are entitled to? The website of the LaMarca Law Group may be able to put you straight on that right away, but maybe you should know the basics of what you are entitled to, anyway. Just to set the record straight, and all that.

Iowa law is very specific about what benefits you can get under workers’ compensation insurance. It requires employers to provide medical care, lost wages, and permanent disability benefits.

The employer should pay for your medical benefits for a workplace injury even as the insurance claim is being processed. Your employer (or insurance carrier) can choose which doctor will do the treatment, and because your employer has to reimburse you for transportation costs (gas and vehicle use) for doctor’s appointments, it will probably be someone who is in the vicinity. However, if you are not happy with their choice of physician, you can petition to have him or her replaced subject to certain conditions as laid out in Iowa Code § 85.27.

While undergoing treatment or during recuperation, your insurance should also cover lost days of work until such time as you are declared fit to go back to work. The daily rate may be less than your actual rate because it s not taxable. There are cases where the physician may allow you to go back to work but restrict you from certain key activities or limit your work hours because of your medical condition. This usually means you will be paid at a lower rate or for less work hours, in which case you will be eligible for temporary partial disability. This will make up the difference between what you should be earning if you had not been injured, and what you are earning after being injured. This is all spelled out in Iowa Code § 85.33 to 34.

If you are declared permanently disabled by your physician, the benefits will depend on whether you are partially or totally disabled, and what part of the body has been affected. This determines the seriousness of the disability, and how it reduces your capacity to earn. The insurance company typically calculates the proper compensation using the American Medical Associations Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, 5th Edition in part, subject to specific conditions. It all boils down to how your injury affects your ability to do the work you were doing prior to the injury. You can find the details for this benefit under Iowa Code § 85.34.

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Personal Injury Liability Based and Carelessness

Posted by on Mar 27, 2015 in Injury | 0 comments

We often hear the term “duty of care” when discussing personal injury liability. This may be defined as a fancy way of saying someone was careless, and it resulted in someone getting seriously hurt. However, it is not always a simple as that. When a person is careless, it usually means the person or entity involved did not take reasonable precautions to protect others from harm. A good example is a person who causes an accident because of texting while driving. As described on the website of Ritter & Associates, the driver was careless, and may be considered negligent for causing the injury.

However, there are also personal injury claims based on an entity deliberately suppressing information, or misleading the public about a product or service that resulted in harm. This type of negligence commonly occurs with pharmaceutical companies that sell dangerous drugs. Plaintiffs may claim that the company purposely failed to give adequate warning about the possible side effects of the drug even though they knew it existed for fear of losing sales. Another approach is to market a product aggressively for off-label use, which means it hasn’t been approved for such uses. One example of the former is the oral contraceptive Yasmin, while an example of the latter is the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal for treatment of behavioral problems of elderly patients with dementia.

To define personal injury liability as mere “carelessness” would be to limit the scope of such liability. There are many people and entities that act knowingly and intentionally to achieve an end and ignoring the consequences to others. Pharmaceutical companies are one, and construction companies are another. Many workers have sustained injuries because their employers intentionally chose to ignore safety regulations and put their workers at risk because they want to cut down on costs.

Deliberate or no, if the actions of a person or company results in serious harm to you or a loved one, they can be held liable for it. Consult with a personal injury lawyer to find out if you have a provable case.

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Emotional Distress and Personal Injury Law in Kentucky

Posted by on Mar 22, 2015 in Injury | 0 comments

Emotional distress is traditionally coupled with physical injury in a personal injury claim. The presumption is that the plaintiff suffered emotional distress because of the physical injury sustained. However, there are some cases where there was no physical injury, but the emotional and psychological impact is nevertheless significant. A good example would be a defamation suit, in which the lies told by another person ruined the reputation and social standing of an individual. There is no physical injury, but the repercussions certainly have monetary value.

In Kentucky, the “impact rule” used to be strictly applied for emotional distress claims. In that rule, the plaintiff will only recover damages if there was concurrent physical contact. No contact, no case. However, the Kentucky Supreme Court rejected the impact rule in a 2012 case Osborne v. Keeny where the homeowner did not sustain any physical injuries when an airplane crashed into her house. Instead, the court required the plaintiff to prove that there was emotional injury from the incident though expert medical proof. This means that the plaintiff has to hire a specialist to provide scientific evidence that the plaintiff in fact suffered severe emotional trauma.

The importance of this about face in negligence claims in Kentucky is considerable. A pedestrian who narrowly escapes being run down by a speeding car can claim emotional distress; the same applies for witnesses to a horrific accident or relatives of a person who was injured or killed in an accident. According to the website of the Sampson Law Group, it is far easier to recover from a physical wound than an emotional injury, so this ruling comes as a welcome change for direct and indirect victims of negligent accidents.

However, Kentucky law places a statute of limitations of one year for general injury claims. If you are coping with extreme emotional distress, you should act fast to get the compensation you deserve. Consult with a personal injury lawyer in Kentucky as soon as possible to assess your case and get going on filing your claim.

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