Thursday, 26 May 2011

Bill to Prevent Truck Accidents Caused by Drugged Drivers

A piece of legislation introduced in April in Congress aims to prevent drug users from being able to secure employment as truck drivers. The legislation has been introduced by U.S. Senators Mark Pryor and John Boozman. The bill would plug a loophole that currently allows drug users to slip through the cracks and gain employment as truck drivers. Truckers driving under the influence of illegal drugs may be at a heightened risk of trucking accidents.

The bill known as the Safe Roads Act would establish a database of commercial truck drivers. The database would contain information about drug testing done on commercial truck drivers. Medical review officers, trucking companies, and service agents would be required to furnish any positive drug or alcohol test results to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Employers would then be required to check the database before they hire applicants. This would help weed out drug users from safe truck drivers, thereby preventing risks of accidents caused by alcohol and drugs.

The bill also has provisions for truck drivers who may be concerned about privacy issues. The bill contains privacy protection and employee rights clauses.

The establishment of a database like this was one of the recommendations of the Government Accountability Office. The Government Accountability Office had recommended the establishment of a feasible and cost-effective database that would contain information about positive drug test results from drivers, giving employers easy access to accurate information to help them make hiring decisions.

California serious injury lawyers are concerned that current federal safety laws may have too many loopholes which allow truck drivers to continue to drive even after testing positive in drug tests. Many truck drivers do not report their testing history to new employers. Additionally, trucking companies may not complete drug and alcohol testing on truck drivers. According to recent studies, out of the approximately 3.5 million truck drivers on our highways, approximately 68,000 have had positive drug test results.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Patrick Kennedy Spearheads New Brain Injury Research Initiative

Former U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy is the face of a new initiative aimed at the establishment of a strategic plan to speed up research into cures for brain diseases. He is the cochairman of the One Mind for Research Scientific Forum, which is scheduled to run in Boston early this week.

According to Kennedy, the goal of the forum will be to establish a 10-year plan that will facilitate greater collaboration in neurosciences, boosting current research into brain illnesses and conditions. On top of the agenda at the forum will be the mental illnesses and conditions that veterans returning from battlefields suffer as a result of traumatic brain injuries. According to Kennedy, suicide rates involving vets returning from battlefields are, in some cases, greater than the number of soldiers actually dying in combat. He believes that there has been sluggish progress in research that would offer the hope of a complete cure for people who have suffered a brain injury and struggle with the aftermath. Los Angeles brain injury lawyers would agree.

Much of the focus at the forum is likely to be on dealing with the consequences of a brain injury, including depression and suicidal tendencies. Depression is one of the most common aftereffects of a brain injury. The forum is also likely to attack topics like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and the growing incidence of Alzheimer's disease. These conditions are sometimes the result of a brain injury. One of the subjects that researchers need to tackle is the alarmingly lowered funding sources for brain injury research and treatment.

The forum is likely to see scientists, clinical researchers, brain injury advocacy groups, and representatives of the National Institutes of Health. Los Angeles brain injury attorneys also expect to see people who have been personally impacted by brain injury affecting them, or those near to them.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Antilock Braking Systems Can Help Prevent Some Injurious Motorcycle Accidents

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recommends antilock braking systems to prevent the kind of accidents Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers often see when the brakes of a motorcycle lock during an emergency braking maneuver. This week, BMW announced that it would be making antilock braking systems standard on all its models of motorcycles.

The systems will be installed in all models from 2012 onwards. BMW has been installing antilock braking systems on its motorcycles at least since 1988. The company has been at the forefront of using cutting-edge motorcycle safety technology to reduce the possibility of motorcycle accidents. For many years, BMW was the only company offering the systems on its motorcycles.

Antilock braking systems work by preventing the kind of locking that can occur when a motorcyclist brakes at high speeds. When the wheels lock, it can throw a rider off the motorcycle, with devastating consequences. Estimates by the Governors Highway Safety Association in 2010 found that motorcycle crash fatalities were actually on their way up. There was an overall decrease of 2% in crash fatalities for 2010, but in the last quarter of 2010, there was an increase in the number of motorcycle crash fatalities.

Could antilock braking systems on motorcycles help save lives? BMW and the Insurance Institute certainly seem to think so. However, motorcyclists have been divided about the need for antilock braking systems. Many riders believe that having these systems on their vehicles takes away some of their control. However, the kind of injuries that can result from an accident when motorcycle wheels lock, can be devastating.

The presence of auto safety features like electronic stability control systems and side airbags in cars has been credited for the declining traffic accident fatality rates over the past five years. While many motorcycle accidents every year could be prevented by raising motorist awareness, motorcycles would also benefit by buying motorcycles that come with more safety features.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

False Advertising Allegations too Bitter to Swallow for Sugar Producers

Few deceptive business practices that California business dispute lawyers come across are as widely used as false and misleading advertising. A group of sugar producers have filed a false advertising lawsuit against manufacturers of high fructose corn syrup, claiming that their marketing campaigns that promote high fructose corn syrup as being as sweet as sugar, constitute false advertising.

The lawsuit has been filed by three sugar producers, and names several corn processors as defendants, including Cargill. In the lawsuit, the sugar producers are alleging that the corn processors are falsely advertising through a marketing campaign that promotes high fructose corn syrup as a natural substitute to sugar. The lawsuit is claiming compensation for lost profits for the sugar processors. The lawsuit also wants the defendants to correct their advertising. The corn processors, on the other hand, claim that the lawsuit is without merit, and that both high fructose corn syrup and sugar are similar nutritionally and metabolically.

High fructose corn syrup is used in a wide variety of processed foods. However, there have been concerns about the health effects from the use of the product. In fact, sales of high fructose corn syrup have dropped significantly last year. The sugar industries claim that the corn processing lobby is using false advertising tactics in order to rebrand high fructose corn syrup, as a safe and natural sugar equivalent.

Last year, the Corn Refiners’ Association filed for permission to use the word “sugar” on labels of foods containing high fructose corn syrup. However, the Food and Drug Administration has not decided on the matter. Notwithstanding the lack of approval from the federal agency, the corn processors have been using the term in advertising. The industry has launched a massive marketing campaign that includes television and print commercials as well as websites dedicated to the promotion of corn sugar. It's this kind of promotion that the sugar industries are protesting through their lawsuit.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

You May Qualify for a Probate Cash Loan Even if...

One of the most attractive features of probate cash loans is that these can be secured even in situations where you would typically not be eligible for a conventional loan. Probate cash loans or inheritance cash loans can be obtained even under the following circumstances:

  • You are unemployed, or have bad credit. Not having a job or having a bad credit history will not stop you from being eligible for a probate cash loan.
  • There is no will in existence. If there is no will, then an estate attorney will be able to determine whether you are eligible for a portion of the estate under the laws of California. You can then apply for up to 30% of that inheritance in advance.
  • The probate is ongoing in a different state. Even if the probate process is being undertaken in a state other than California, you may be eligible for a probate cash loan. It's quite common for heirs or beneficiaries to be living in a state different from the deceased.

Therefore, you can secure an inheritance cash loan even in those circumstances in which your bank or money lending agency would not lend you money. Besides, you don't have to worry about paying back the loan. The estate will take care of it for you. At the time of distribution of the estate, the loan is repaid from the estate funds.

Even if the estate takes a much longer time than expected to settle, it won't make a difference to the amount that you owe. A probate estate lender assumes several risks when it lends probate cash loans, and delayed estate distribution is just one of those risks.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Right Diet Could Help Speed up Healing of Traumatic Brain Injury

Some of the most extensive research of interest to California brain injury lawyers is now being financed by the military. In the latest studies commissioned by the U.S. Defense Department, researchers have found that a person with a traumatic brain injury could have a much quicker recovery, if the brain injury victim is fed as soon as possible after the brain injury. More specifically, the diet after a traumatic brain injury should be high in calories, and include vital proteins and nutrients.

According to the research conducted by the Institutes of Medicine, a combination of calories and nutrients administered to patients within 24 hours after the traumatic brain injury can help reduce inflammation of the brain. The study found that proteins and energy are most beneficial if administered soon after the brain injury.

The study is recommending that persons with a brain injury be placed on an immediate program of energy and protein for about two weeks after the injury. The recommendation is at least a gram of protein per kilogram of body weight.

The researchers also conducted an analysis of other studies on animals with brain injuries to determine what kinds of nutrients are most beneficial in treating brain injuries. They found that certain proteins like creatine help give the brain an additional boost of energy that can aid in the survival and healing of brain cells. This nutrient is commonly found in meat. Also, resveratrol, a nutrient that is commonly found in red grapes, and curcumin, which is derived from the spice turmeric, were found to be beneficial in controlling inflammation after an injury.

More research is needed before scientists can define a specific nutrition therapy program that contains all the vital nutrients and proteins that are needed to benefit brain injury patients the most. However, the study does seem to indicate that the right diet soon after a brain injury in combination with other forms of therapy, could enhance a patient's chances of survival.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Ventura County DUI Cases under Scrutiny Because of Defective Breathalyzer


Doubts about the accuracy and reliability of breathalyzers could place hundreds of DUI arrests in Ventura County under the microscope. Prosecutors will soon begin reviewing close to 300 DUI cases that involved the use of breathalyzers. A number of DUI cases linked to the use of the breathalyzer could be dropped.

The breathalyzer in question here is the Alco-Sensor V. Los Angeles DUI defense attorneys have come across several instances earlier that have also pointed to possible defects in the breathalyzer, bringing into question the accuracy and validity of test reports. However, for a long time now, the problems with the breathalyzer have been swept under the rug by Ventura County officials. They have mostly insisted that these problems are random, confined to just a few breathalyzers, and not systemic.

That doesn't really seem to be the case now. The defective design of the breathalyzer has been validated by none other than the company that manufactures the breathalyzers. The manufacturer has written to the Ventura County Sheriff's Department which states that tests conducted by the company have confirmed a problem with the breathalyzer’s mouth device. The company says that the breathalyzer will be subjected to rigorous retesting.

According to the Deputy District Attorney, his agency has stopped further work on any of the DUI cases that involved the breathalyzer. Initially, the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office claimed that 226 DUI cases involving the breathalyzer had been identified. Now, that number has been increased to 294. Out of these, 157 cases have involved defendants who have pleaded guilty or no-contest to DUI charges. The remaining cases are still pending.

Los Angeles DUI defense attorneys believe that it’s quite likely that many of those DUI arrests that were made solely on the evidence of the breathalyzer, will now be dropped.