America Has a Debt Problem

America owes a lot of money. As a country, it owes some number of trillions of dollars, a number that is constantly rising, and that the government seems eager to keep raising at every opportunity. There’s no sign any effort will ever be taken to lower this debt, let alone pay it off. We’re just going to be saddled with it forever.

With that sort of attitude, it’s not hard to understand why the country’s citizens are so underwater as well. How underwater? Well, start with how many. 80% of Americans are in debt right now. That debt takes many forms, but much of it is made up of mortgages (in the older generations), credit card debt (everyone), and student loans (millennials).

Those debts are not small either. The average household debt is almost 68 thousand dollars. Much of that is, of course, mortgages (which average out to over 100 thousand dollars), but there are other massive debts involved as well, including, increasingly, student loan debts, which is now at 37 thousand.

Credit cards are no small part of the debt problem as well, with 16 thousand owed on average per household.

These numbers, if it wasn’t clear already, should be worrying. First of all, there is a major problem in holding so much debt when the market for wages is so stagnant. We often hear about how good the economy is, and it is good in some ways. Unemployment is low, and the stock market is high, but that has not translated to wages keeping up with inflation. In fact, wages are not significantly lower for many people than they were a few decades ago. The minimum wage, historically, was much higher when adjusted for inflation, as high as 21 dollars in the past.

While most Americans don’t work for minimum wage, there is a relationship between how those at the lower end of the pay scale are paid and how those above are, at least until we reach the upper echelons of management.

What all this means is that America has an increasingly large amount of debt and increasingly little money to pay it off. This is partly the reason that there are so many mortgages for older generations and so few for millennials. Not only are millennials burdened with large debts straight out of college, they lack the ability to find jobs lucrative enough to pay off those college debts and/or to save for a home.

Of course, there are numerous forms of bankruptcy that might be employed by some Americans to help ease these debt concerns (they’ve been helpfully highlighted on the Greenway Bankruptcy Law, LLC site), but if everyone declared bankruptcy, the system would crash.

In fact, there’s reason to fear the system is heading towards another big crash. With the disparity between the highest earners and the lowest growth, too much access to credit available and not enough pay to pay it off, something has to give at some point.

It’d be better for America to work on fixing the problem now before it got out of hand, but if you look at what the country owes, it doesn’t look like the most responsible country to discuss finances with its citizens.

The Importance of Child Safety Seats

One of the great fears of any parent is to find that the products bought to protect their children fail when they need them.

It’s horrible to imagine, but families have to deal with the results (sometimes the tragedies) of these objects failing when they are needed most. Children fall from seats that were designed to keep them safe, for instance. Perhaps the most worrying, though is the child safety seat.

Parents buy these seats not only out of concern but because it is the law in most states. Parents must have a child’s safety seat in the car and the child in the seat. The reasons for this is obvious: it usually saves lives. But not always.

There are plenty of stories of safety seats failing, and what happens next is almost always heartbreaking. There have been innumerable lawsuits against child safety seat manufacturers. That, of course, is little comfort to those who have been through the tragedy, or really, for those who fear it could be them.

How can you protect your children from this? Follow these three steps:

  1. Buy brands you trust

There are all kinds of car seat brands out there. Some of the most popular are quite expensive. On this, though, be sure not to scrimp. This is not the area to try to save money. Buy a brand that comes well recommended. Ask your doctor, ask friends with young children. Then, read reviews online for the particular seat you’re interested in purchasing. That way, you can be confident your seat is likely to be manufactured safely.

  1. Make sure you install it correctly

Sometimes, the error isn’t on the company making the seats but on the parents for installing it incorrectly. Child safety seats are notoriously complicated. Most states have officials who will help you install it for free. Use this resource. If it isn’t available. Ask for someone with some experience with car seats to help out. And be sure to read the instructions thoroughly cover to cover. This isn’t the product to cut corners on.

  1. Check regularly to make sure everything is working

Just because the seat is put in correctly once doesn’t mean it will remain that way. Seats can slide around and out of place. Belts can become unfastened. Objects can move into dangerous locations near the seat. And, the seat itself can malfunction even after it’s been installed. Be sure to check the seat regularly to make sure nothing is out of place.

By following these three steps, you can have some peace of mind that your child safety seat will hold up if the moment comes when it has to be tested.

Don’t make the mistake of assuming your seat is safe. The cost and time it takes to install a good seat and maintain it are nothing compared to the tragedy when those seats don’t work.

Side Effects and Risks of Mirena

An intrauterine device (IUD) seems like the perfect solution for the busy woman who doesn’t have time or inclination to take an oral contraception everyday. Mirena is a t-shaped IUD placed within the uterus by a healthcare provider to prevent pregnancy for up to five years, according to the manufacturer Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals. Mirena consists of two arms a stem, a reservoir for levonorgestrel hormone, and thin threads for monthly self-checks. But how does Mirena work and what are the associated risks?

The Mirena IUD releases small amounts of a hormone called levonorgestrel into the uterus. Mirena works by inhibiting sperm from reaching and fertilizing the egg, thinning the uterine lining, and thickening cervical mucus to prevent sperm from entering the uterus. Mirena is also reversible meaning it can be removed if women want to try to get pregnant right away.

There are a number of side effects and risks associated with Mirena including ovarian cysts, irregular bleeding and spotting, pelvic inflammatory disease, and more. Many women have cited issues with Mirena, filing lawsuits against Bayer. The most common complaints are device migration, ectopic pregnancy, uterine perforation, and pelvic inflammatory disease. With device migration and uterine perforation, surgery is typically needed not only to remove the device but also to repair damage done to the organs. Ectopic pregnancies, while rare, have very serious health consequences for both the mother and child.

Is the convenience of not taking a pill everyday worth the potential risks? In my personal opinion, no it is not. Although IUDs are very effective in preventing pregnancy when used correctly, the risks of device migration and uterine perforation among other dangerous side effects far outweigh the benefits of convenience. Women have a number of other options when it comes to birth control, including shots, the pill, and patches to name a few.

According to LawyersandSettlements.com, the most common complaint in the lawsuits involves uterine perforation and device migration; however, pseudotumor cerebri (PTC) and idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) have been cited as two side effects that have to do with a dangerous buildup of fluid around the brain, causing blurred vision among other issues.

In one case, a woman from New Jersey, Brittany Collins, filed a lawsuit against Bayer for PTC. After receiving the Mirena IUD in 2011, Collins shortly began to experience a number of side effects, including “severe headaches, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, dizziness, nausea, and pain in her neck and shoulders.” Collins was then diagnosed with PTC almost three years later, which means the plaintiff has had three lumbar punctures to relieve the buildup of pressure on her brain and optic nerve.

Plaintiffs argue that Bayer engaged in deceptive marketing by concealing information and backing a defective product without warning consumers of the potentially dangerous side effects. According to Spiros Law, P.C., the law firm has included Mirena as part of a mass tort lawsuit against Bayer.

Personal Injury: Types and Cases

Have you been personally injured? Personal injury law is very broad, encompassing many different situations and cases. Unfortunately, some people may have been personally injured and not even realize that they are eligible to receive financial compensation to help with the costs associated with their injury. After an injury or accident, many people might simply accept the fault as their own, even if that isn’t the case. To help prevent this, we will explore some of the many types of personal injury cases represented by the Spiros Law firm. This list is not comprehensive and some personal injuries might not be covered here. To be certain, you should contact a lawyer with any questions.

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice refers to any behavior by a medical professional that is unreasonable or contrary to common practice which results in either intentional or unintentional harm to a patient. This can include misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, unnecessary surgeries or medications, etc. Medical malpractice can be considered personal injury – if you believe you have a case, contact an attorney for more information.

Car Accidents

Personal injuries from car accidents may not be your fault. If another driver caused your accident, or if you were a passenger in a car and sustained an injury due to the recklessness or negligence of the driver, you may be eligible to receive financial compensation to help cover the costs of your injury.

Defective Drugs & Devices

Drug/medical device manufacturing companies have a responsibility to discontinue defective products and report any problems for the health of its customers. In some cases, companies and/or doctors knowingly distribute poorly made or dangerous drugs and medical devices. This can have serious and devastating results on patients’ health.

Trucking Accidents

Trucking accidents can be catastrophic and induced by many different things including reckless driving, companies over working drivers, overloading trucks, etc. If you were involved in a trucking accident and sustained an injury, you should contact an attorney to determine if you are eligible for financial compensation.

Nursing Home Abuse

Personal injury, unfortunately, even extends into nursing homes. Some people are physically, emotionally, and even financially abused in nursing homes. Injuries can come from beatings, berating, bullying, theft, neglect, etc. If you or someone you love has fallen victim to any injuries sustained in a nursing home, you might have a case for personal injury.

Product Liability

Product liability is similar to defective drugs/devices. Product manufacturers are liable to their customers and shouldn’t sell any products that might have adverse health effects. In certain cases, if companies fail to enact product recalls or if the product design was knowingly faulty, manufacturers can be held financially responsible for any damages that are caused.

Premises Liability

Premises Liability is a complicated type of law. It covers personal injuries that are sustained while on another’s property. These injuries can be caused by slips, falls, dangerous buildings, chemical poisoning, etc. If you were harmed on another’s property, you might have a case for personal injury.

What is Wrongful Termination?

Employees can be fired for almost any reason, because employment is usually “at will.” But the key word there is almost, because there are certain reasons that are just not acceptable. If an employee has been fired because of an unacceptable reason, it can be said that he has been a victim of wrongful termination.

The website of the Leichter Law Firm mentions that those who have been wrongfully terminated may have legal options, but they should seek legal help immediately, because most of the time, there is only a specified period in which they can take their case to court.

But how can wrongful termination occur? Below are some of the most common ways.

Breach of Contract or Policy

If a person has been terminated in a way that violates the contract he has signed with the employer, he may have a wrongful termination case in front of him. The same can be said for an employee who has been terminated in a way that violates the employment policies of the employer.

Discrimination

One of the most controversial aspects of employment is discrimination. An employee can be said to be wrongfully terminated if he has been fired directly because of his inherent features, such as age, ethnicity, race, and sex, or personal preferences, such as gender and religion. It can also be argued that those who have been fired because of pregnancy have been wrongfully terminated.

Malicious Termination

There are also instances wherein employers act maliciously for their own benefit, often resulting into the detriment of the employees. For example, if an employer fabricates reasons to terminate you so it can replace you with someone who is willing to accept less pay, you may be a victim of wrongful termination.

Retaliation

Retaliation is mostly about abuse of power, wherein the employer terminates an employee who is starting to become a legal threat to the organization, such as those who expose their employers’ illegal activities and those who file workers’ compensation claims.

Swimming Pool Defects and Their Dangers

Swimming pools are popular recreational areas, especially during the summer. For this reason, many people are also vulnerable to accidents and injuries. Many of the swimming pool accidents that occur are caused by defects on the swimming pool itself.
According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, pool owners or managers may be legally responsible for the damages and may be required to compensate you for the medical expenses related to the injury, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other accident-related expenses.

Common Defects
Defects may involve the swimming pool itself or the equipment or service that complement it. For the swimming pool itself, the defects may involve the drains, pumps, and pool filters, putting swimmers in danger of suction entrapment, drowning, and explosion and shrapnel injuries.

Defective equipment may include diving boards, ladders, and slides. Even slippery swimming pool edges and the lack of barriers can be considered defects. Slippery edges can cause slip and fall accidents, and the victims may sustain injuries in the head, neck, back, arms, legs, or hips. The lack of barriers make the pool too accessible for children and the elderly, putting them at risk of falling and drowning.

Service problems around pool areas include inadequate security, lack of supervision for the physically limited, such as the children and elderly, and the lack of available safety equipment and warning signs.

Common Injuries
Drowning is the most common issue associated with swimming pool accidents, but it is important to note that not all swimming pool accidents involve drowning. Swimmers may also be vulnerable to injuries to the head, neck, shoulders, and back, because of slip and fall accidents and unsafe diving practices. Muscle and joint issues, such as sprains, can also be sustained because of slippery substances on the edge of the pool or on the floor of the pool itself.

Some injuries are also not that animated, such as those that involve chlorine, other disinfectants, and water-born bacteria. This may cause irritation to the eyes, skin, and on the worst instances, to the lungs.

Surgical Error – Often a Consequence of Negligence

Many medical facilities owners, like owners of hospitals or clinics, believe that keeping a roster of good doctors, specialist and highly-qualified nurses, continuous technological development that will lead to service upgrade, and making sure that patients are diagnosed correctly and given timely treatment, are the best means to display commitment in the provision of quality patient care.

This is not the case in many other medical institutions or facilities, however, as can be proven by the fact that these institutions have, time and again, been said to be having bad doctors or that these are just poorly managed due of the frequency of medical mistakes which result to injuries and patient death. Due to the lack of authentic concern to patients and the errors made in patient care, many hospitals, doctors, and other medical professionals, have been the addressees of many legal claims for damages.

Medical malpractice, which refers to acts of negligence by a health care professional or provider that result to i sub-standard treatment which, in turn, results to injury or death to a patient is one frightening reality in the United States that occurs much frequently than any one may realize. It can be maddening to know that this malpractice if nothing more than a consequence of negligence or carelessness of medical experts – a grave failure to provide the quality care that they promised to give and which patients rightly deserve. In 2010 alone, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services made a report regarding the death of about 180,000 Medicare patients; this is a small figure, though, according to a study that the Journal of Patient Safety printed, wherein figures ranged between 210,000 and 440,000.

One particular example of medical malpractice, which continues to cause great harm to patients is surgical error. Errors committed in the surgical room includes surgery performed on a wrong patient, incorrect surgical procedure, surgery on the wrong site, incorrect dosage of anesthesia, improper suturing, mishandling of surgical instruments, foreign objects inside body cavity, and post-surgical complications.

West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys know that negligent surgeons are capable of performing life-altering surgical errors that may leave a patient permanently injured or in need of expensive corrective treatment. Thus, if a mistake is committed, it may be for the good of the victim (and others who may end up as victims) to hold the negligent medical staff responsible for the injury that he/she has caused.

Consequences of Workplace Discrimination

Showing bias for a particular employee can put your company in a bad light. In the first place, the workplace should be an epitome of equality and fairness to employees. According to the website of Slater Pugh, Ltd. LLP, when a company is accused of discrimination by a current or former employee, it can have serious repercussions. There are different kinds of discrimination that can happen in the workplace but just the same it can have serious repercussions.

Fines and Penalties

Litigation Expenses

  • If the court deems that an employer practiced discrimination, they would not only have to pay fines and penalties but also litigation expenses such as attorney’s fees, compensatory and punitive damages, administrative fees, and others. The employer would also be made to pay for the lost income or revenue of the plaintiff.

Poor Work Atmosphere

  • One of the biggest consequences of workplace discrimination is the poor working atmosphere it can create. The discriminatory practice of the employer will not only affect the victim but also other employees. It can result to a culture of suspicion, mistrust, hostility, and rivalry among the employees. This could also result to a low job satisfaction on the part of the employee.

Loss of Patronage

  • Allegations of discrimination can have a snowball effect on the customers as well. Clients who have some affinity with the plaintiff will have the tendency to avoid the company’s products and services.

Unemployment

  • Discriminatory practices of employers can contribute to unemployment rate if they choose to show bias towards certain individuals.

The negative impact of workplace discrimination on companies, individuals, and societies cannot be taken for granted.

Assisted Living Communities

Based on the definition given by the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA), assisted living refers to long-term care which provides people with health care, housing and support services. This is actually viewed as a good, alternative choice over nursing home care for the elderly and the disabled who need assistance with daily tasks, which include preparation of meals, eating, using the bathroom, bathing, getting dressed, getting around, and managing medications.

There are approximately one million individuals receiving services from more than 31,000 assisted living communities all around the US, according to ALFA. Most of these are elderly seniors, 85 years old or above, who are no longer capable of living a safe or comfortable solitary life, but who do not need the level of medical care and attention provided in a nursing home.

Seniors in assisted living communities, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services, actually live in apartment units privately assigned to them. This is to give seniors their needed independence and freedom to make their own decisions. To assure their safety and to make certain that all their needs are addressed, a support employee of the community monitors them and provides them with whatever assistance or services that they require, including physical therapy, emergency medical assistance and hospice care.

While there can be a long list of signs which will indicate that it is time to consider assisted living, the most common and easily noticeable are: a senior recently having an accident; dirty dishes left in the sink; moldy food just sitting inside the fridge; and, a messy house.

Despite the seeming need for assisted living, many families hesitate sending their elderly loved one to any community due to the high fees that need to be paid. According to SeniorAdvice.com, though the cost of assisted living varies from one community to another, average annual cost falls anywhere from $25,000 to $30,000.

Majority of assisted living communities are privately owned, thus the need to pay monthly fees, for which families may receive assistance from Veteran Attendant and Aid or long-term care insurance. If both are unavailable, however, then private funds may, instead, be used, like Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA), 401k plans or personal investment portfolios.

How Can You Spot a Blood Clot?

The warning not to remain stationary for too long a time is one that is often heard on long-haul flights, usually those that last for more than four hours. This is due to the very real possibility of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), which is one of the more serious consequences of blood clots. Some situations involving DVT can involve the amputation of the affected area or pulmonary embolism, according to the information stated on the website of the lawyers with Habush, Habush, and Rottier.

Needless enough to say, blood clots should be avoided at all costs. But say that you think you have a blood clot, how can you tell?

Well, first of all, you need to assess if you are higher on the risk scale for blood clots. If you are pregnant (or within the six months of post-natal care), obese, a smoker, with cancer, or diabetic – then you are more likely to experience blood clots than the average person. Some people are also more at risk for blood clots if they have recently recovered from a traumatic physical injury that has required the use of surgical preventative measures such as IVC filters. These are devices implanted into the inferior vena cava in order to catch blood clots before they do any further damage but there are some cases wherein select filters have been found to have malfunctioned due to negligence.

It would then be more advisable for people who are higher at risk to consider physical exercise (even just simple walking for a few minutes) in order to stimulate blood flow.

You can tell that you may have a blood clot with the following symptoms: the skin around the affected area has become somewhat bluish in color or that the affected area is noticeably swollen and sore. If the clot occurs within the brain, some symptoms that may occur are sudden inability to speak, lapses in vision, and even seizures. If you believe you have a blood clot, it is recommended that medical action is taken immediately in order to prevent further damage.