Surprising Signs of Depression

Most everyone knows depression is usually indicated by extended sadness. However, each individual copes with their depression differently, making the illness hard to identify for some people. If you have experienced a behavioral change lately, here are signs it may be attributed to depression.

Drastic Increase in Exercise

If you have taken to exercising for several hours a day, or multiple times a day, when you didn’t before, this may indicate depression. Your body may be craving endorphins due to extended sadness. Clearly, exercising is a great habit—but a sudden, almost compulsive desire to hit the gym may be a warning flag.

Change in Eating Habits

Any major difference in eating habits may indicate depression. A depressed individual may pick at food when he or she usually has a healthy appetite—or, on the other hand, binge eat. Depression may even lead to eating disorders.

Thrill-seeking

Those who are fighting away depression often engage in thrill-seeking behavior, including an increase in sexual activity. Likewise, they may gamble or make drastic life choices, such as quitting a job or getting a tattoo.

Aggressiveness

Those entering depression may be more likely to start fights. Minor conflicts could be an excuse for them to yell and discharge feelings of anger and sadness.

Detachment/Lack of Emotion

Individuals may display a marked lack of interest. They may seem “flat”, or display less emotion. Depressed people may avoid hobbies and people they love, isolating themselves. They may not show any signs of sadness—or any other emotion.

Lack of Focus

If you or a loved one are constantly daydreaming—to the point where daily activities seem nearly impossible due to an inability to focus—this may indicate depression.

These hints are not a clinical diagnosis. If you or someone you know is experiencing several of these signs, it may be wise to seek psychiatric assistance. Only a psychiatrist or a doctor can prescribe medication, and serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Prozac have been known to assist depressed people with their disease. However, there are instances where a person should not take SSRIs due to certain complications that may arise. For example, women who take Prozac during pregnancy may risk birth defects in their developing child. Additionally, SSRIs are not meant to be a cure on their own; they work best when coupled with therapy.

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Personal Injury with Dangerous Drugs

Modern Western medicine relies heavily on pharmaceutical preparations in treatment or health management protocols. Many drugs have been developed over the years that have undoubted benefits, although they are unfortunately too often offset by side effects. Historically, these side effects are revealed on a trial-and-error basis, and dangerous drugs such as cocaine have been withdrawn from the market when the health risks outweighed the benefits.

Regulations are currently in place to minimize the risks posed on the general public by these drugs. Before a new drug or formulation is approved for use, agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration require that drug companies comply with procedures designed to determine the safety and efficacy of the products. This includes clinical trials that should reveal what side effects it may have. In general, drug companies observe their duty of care and follow these procedures. Sometimes, though, they breach this duty out of greed or inadvertence.

Take the case of Granuflo. First introduced in 2003, it is a dry acid formulation designed to improve the acid neutralizing capacity of bicarbonates during dialysis. It was marketed to facilities that cater to patients with reduced kidney function, and a dialysis machine is used to clean the blood of toxins in lieu of the kidney. An overdosage of Granuflo could lead to potentially fatal cardiac problems, including but not limited to metabolic alkalosis. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, the real problem that led to lawsuits filed against manufacturer Fresenius Medical Care (FMC) is that the company failed to inform non-FMC dialysis centers about these dangers even as they circulated a memo to FMC centers about it.

When personal injury results from the failure of drug companies to warn about dangerous side effects or to take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of their patients, this can be construed as negligence. Consult with a product liability lawyer experienced in civil litigation cases involving dangerous drugs to see if you have an actionable case.

If you have been hurt because of a dangerous drug, make sure to contact a personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible. An attorney will be able to help you through your case and make sure that you are justly compensated.

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The Jones Act, Crew Member’s Personal Injury Claims

Working on ships can be difficult because any treatment for injuries can be stalled because of limited resources. For those crew members who have been injured while working on ships, they can file for personal injury claims through the Jones Act. The Jones Act, better known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, is a statute in the United States providing the promotion and preservation of a US merchant marine.

Generally, the Jones Act provides protection for sailors who are injured or have died due to negligence of the owner, a master or a fellow sailor of the same vessel, while they are on the course of their service. Through this act, the injured sailors or their survivors have the right to file a lawsuit against their employers so long as the negligent conduct of their employers or fellow sailors are the reason for the injuries (through illogical carelessness) and the injured sailor has the right for trial by jury.

The Jones Act is a very important and vital part of maritime law, particularly for sailors, because those who are injured during their employment are not allowed to file for worker’s compensation or worker’s comp claims versus their employers since they are not entitled for it according to state and federal law. Also, in order for a sailor to be covered by the Jones Act, they should be working more than 30 percent of the time employed as a crew member. Dock workers, along with shipbuilders, are not covered by the Jones Law.

An employer can be held liable for injuries or death under the Jones Act if they have not complied with providing a reasonably secure place of work as well as failing to maintain and keep the vessel (or workplace) is a safe condition. Because the Jones Act is an employee-friendly law, it is easier to prove negligence and causation. All the injured sailor has to do is prove there is negligence that created a dangerous condition that subsequently led to injury.

Just as with any personal injury claims, an injured sailor is entitled to damages that cover medical bills (both past and future expenses), lost earnings, mental anguish, and pain and suffering. Sailors should be aware that they have three years to file for an injury, otherwise it would be more beneficial to contact a lawyer who specializes in maritime law.

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Oil Field Accidents and Injuries

Oil field jobs are sought after because they are very well paid. This is because working in an oil field is probably one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Oil fields are inherently dangerous sites because the nature of the work requires the presence of lots of pressure, flammable materials, and hazardous chemicals. After all, it is the energy industry.

Oil field workers are constantly exposed to these dangerous working conditions and expected to do a lot of heavy lifting under strenuous circumstances. Those aspiring to make money from oil fields as a worker therefore need to be physically fit and healthy to be able to handle the stresses of the job over an extended period. The best way to ensure this is to subject would-be new hires to pre-employment screening that includes a thorough physical exam, endurance testing, strength measures, and lifting capabilities.

However, even if a worker passes pre-employment screening, it is no guarantee that the potential for injury is eliminated. A physically qualified oil field worker typically works a minimum of 12 hours a shift, seven days straight before a break, and the work is hard and dirty. This takes a toll on the workers’ energy and concentration, and oil field accidents and injuries happen constantly. The most common injuries are caused by explosions or the uncontrolled release of pressure which is part and parcel of the fracking (hydraulic fracturing) process. Such injuries are often serious, and many are fatal.

Given that oil field work is dangerous, according to the website of these personal injury lawyers, employers have the responsibility to provide their workers with as good as chance at surviving as possible by supplying them with the appropriate safety gear, giving them proper training, and allowing them reasonable rest periods. Failure to take the proper precautions which lead to serious oilfield accidents and injuries may be construed as employer negligence. Contact an oilfield accident attorney to learn more about how civil litigation in such cases work. You may be able to receive compensation for your injuries if they were preventable and were the result of one of these forms of employer neglect.

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What Happens to a Family-Owned Business during Divorce

Divorce in itself is a complex, highly-charged emotional and stressful experience. It can be further complicated when a family business is thrown into the mix. With more than 50% of marriages in the US ending in divorce, and with nearly 90% of businesses being family-owned, the chances that a family business will be part of the property division issue of a divorce is quite high.

There are many issues that will come up with regard to this type of property division, and because of the many legal ramifications, it is important to have competent legal representation overseeing the process. As an article on the website of the San Jose Law Office of Daniel Jensen, P.C. states, a divorce lawyer should have a deep understanding of how to protect the client’s rights when it comes to dividing the family business.

The difficulty of dividing the assets of a family business so that is it fair to both spouses depends on many things. Aside from any rancor that the spouses may be feeling towards each other, the business side of the family business will affect the way it will be managed in a divorce. For example, in a single proprietorship or partnership, only the spouses will be affected by the division of assets. In a corporation, there will be other shareholders to consider.

There is also the question of control. If one spouse runs the company without the help the husband or wife, it is more than likely that a buyout will occur. If both spouses are heavily involved in the business, it is possible that they will continue to work in the business after the divorce as no more than partners. The simpler option is for both spouses to agree to sell the business to a third party and divide the proceeds.

At any rate, the family-owned business, unless otherwise stipulated in the business papers, is community property and will be divided equally to the spouses. The method by which the valuation and division is done will be determined by the circumstances of the divorce itself and the business setup.

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The Risk of Motorcycle Accidents

One potato, two potato…a motorcycle accident can involve just a single vehicle as well as multiple vehicles. Motorcycles are inherently unstable because they only have two wheels. It is a constant balancing act, and because motorcycles are typically driven at high speeds, even small defects on the road such as loose gravel can result in a motorcycle wreck.

Yet because motorcycles are convenient and economical ways to get from point A to point B, more and more motorcycles are hitting the road, a gain in 2013 of about 1% from sales in 2012. This translates to more than 300,000 new two-wheel vehicles in the US alone. There are currently about 9 million motorcycles travelling US roads.

The main concern about motorcycles is safety. Regulations in some states require motorcycle riders to wear helmets, but they are still 35 times more likely to be seriously injured or hurt in a multiple vehicle accident than a passenger in a car. It is very important, therefore, that riders exercise caution every time they straddle their motorcycles.

But even when a motorcycle rider is careful, they still have to contend with adverse road conditions and other vehicles on the road. When a car plows into a motorcycle because the driver was texting, spilled a drink, or intoxicated, the most defensive motorcyclist can do very little to keep from crashing. If the rider is very lucky, the worst that happens is a little road rash and an overwhelming desire to kick someone in the rear end. Unfortunately, that is not what typically happens.

Motorcycle riders involved in single or multiple vehicle accidents often end up with moderate to severe brain injury, broken bones, lacerations, bruises, and internal damage even with safety gear. The human body is vulnerable, and without the protection afforded by a hardier structure such as a car frame, the motorcyclist is in for a world of hurt and huge medical bills.

If you or someone in your family was injured in a motorcycle accident because of the negligence of others, you will probably have to contend with a lot of expenses. You may be able to get some compensation with the help of a personal injury lawyer used to dealing with motorcycle accidents.

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