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Miami Personal Injury Law Blog

How do you know which pain relievers are safest for you?

For the millions of people who suffer from arthritis and other chronic conditions that cause constant pain or soreness, it seems like whatever over-the-counter pain reliever we choose comes with potential dangers. Just recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration strengthened its warnings on nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and their link to strokes and heart attacks. NSAIDs include popular over-the-counter pain relievers like Aleve and Advil as well as prescription medications known as COX-2 inhibitors that are taken for arthritis.

The potential risks of NSAIDs to the heart have been noted before. They've also been linked to gastrointestinal bleeding, ulcers, kidney problems and increased blood pressure. All of these risks can increase if someone takes them over a long period of time or uses more than the recommended dosage. However, many people still choose them over other pain relievers because they have the added benefit of reducing inflammation.

Could hackers take over your vehicle and cause an accident?

As if South Florida drivers don't have enough to worry about, thanks to all of the wireless technology in later-model vehicles, our cars (or those of others sharing the road with us) can be hacked. While sometimes this is done just to make mischief, such as messing with the driver's music, the results could be tragic.

Hackers can take control of the braking, steering and other systems. They can also change the speed of the vehicle, potentially sending it careening down the interstate at a dangerous speed.

Could your children's school supplies be harming them?

It won't be long before South Florida parents will be sending their kids back to school. That means new backpacks, binders, lunch boxes and other school supplies. Most people don't think of those rather innocuous items as potentially hazardous. However, school supplies are allowed to contain dangerous chemicals that have been banned or restricted in many toys.

Of key concern is a class of chemicals called phthalates. These are used in a number of vinyl, PVC and other products to make them softer. They can be found in everything from pipes to medical devices, but also in everyday items that we and our children touch, like food packaging, school supplies and rain gear.

Who are the innocent victims of the prescription drug abuse war?

The abuse of pain medication has become a growing problem throughout the country, and Florida, sadly, is no exception. Back in 2010, Florida legislators, with the support of Attorney General Pam Bondi, passed legislation aimed at the state's "pill mills." The legislation made it illegal to dispense narcotics from a medical office.

While our state has seen a drop in deaths caused by prescription drugs since then, some pharmacists, apparently out of fear of government or legal ramifications, are refusing to fill prescriptions for pain medications that many Florida residents legitimately need to deal with physical conditions.

How can you help protect your health and safety in hotel gyms?

Many of our readers heard about Dave Goldberg's death. Goldberg, who headed the company SurveyMonkey and was married to Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg, died while working out on a treadmill in the gym of a Mexican resort.

Although there are reports that Goldberg's death may have been related to a heart ailment rather than a treadmill malfunction, the story gave pause to many of us who use hotel and resort gyms while vacationing or traveling on business. Just how safe is the equipment there and how clean are the facilities? If we do have an accident, will we get the aid we need? Experts say that while the likelihood of dying from an injury or disease picked up at a hotel gym is rare, there are precautions we can and should take.

Was your grilling accident caused by a defective product?

Summer brings out the grilling enthusiast in many Florida residents. However, whether you use a charcoal grill or a propane gas one, there are a number of potential dangers that require that care be taken. While some grilling accidents are caused by people being careless, others can be traced to a problem in the design or manufacturing of the product as well as with the warnings and instructions provided.

Not only the grill itself, but sometimes grilling tools can be dangerous. Wire grill brushes have been known to come off and fall into the grate, where they end up in food. When swallowed, they can cause potentially fatal injuries to a person's digestive tract. They can pierce the intestines, liver and other parts of the body. Some must be removed and the damage repaired surgically.

Why can drinking and driving be even more dangerous for seniors?

Many people associate driving under the influence with young people who go out partying and have too much to drink or with middle-age people who stop by a bar and have a few drinks before driving home from work. However, senior citizens may be particularly susceptible to impaired driving.

It's easy for someone who has been driving for 50 years, more or less, to think that it's a skill that they've got down pat. With our aging baby boomer generation, there are a lot more of those drivers on the road. According to the Automobile Association of America, 20 percent of U.S. drivers will be over 65 by 2030.

Aviation accidents require experienced legal guidance

Airplane crashes don't always involve large commercial aircraft. In fact, people are injured and killed in accidents involving small planes all the time.

Just last month, a sightseeing plane carrying passengers from a cruise ship on an excursion crashed in the mountains of Alaska. Nine people, including the pilot, died in the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board is still working to determine the cause.

Why summer can bring more cases of listeria

 In Florida, barbeque season is pretty much all year, but summer is still peak season. If you are barbequing meat, the chance that you or your family may develop a foodborne illness should be a concern. However, it can be transmitted through other foods. One particularly dangerous illness transmitted through food is listeriosis. It is caused by a bacterium called Listeria monocytogenes.

Can someone be 'addicted' to distracted driving behavior?

We've talked about distracted driving on multiple occasions. People admit to doing everything from talking and texting to video chatting to taking selfies while behind the wheel. All of this activity is taking place despite the proven dangers of using mobile devices while driving as well as the laws around the country intended to curb it. Why is that?

One psychologist and assistant professor, Dr. David Greenfield, says that some people are actually addicted to their digital devices and the information they can send and receive by using them. He even started the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction. Dr. Greenfield says that some people are addicted to this "digital drug." He compares the feeling that people get while texting, talking or surfing the Web to the feeling of playing a slot machine.

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