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stockfresh_86920_nurses-standing-outside-a-hospital_sizeS-300x200Nurse do extraordinary work in promoting patient safety. We often think about the important role that physicians and surgeons play in providing life-saving treatment to patients in hospitals and other healthcare settings in Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina and across the country, but nurses also play an extremely important role.

According to an article from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, nurses are essential to improving patient safety in all aspects of American healthcare and to improving medical safety more generally.

More Nurse Leadership Could Mean Improved Patient Safety

According to the article posted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), if we want to improve American healthcare and to increase patient safety by preventing medical errors, then we need to give nurses bigger leadership roles in hospitals and physician’s offices. As the article explains, a recent RWJF Initiative on the Future of Nursing released a report with recommendations for improving medical safety. One of the most notable recommendations was that “nurses should be full partners, with physicians and other health care professionals, in redesigning health care in the United States.”

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Building a new home is a time-consuming, stressful process that can have a lot of payoffs for the new homeowner. For one, if you have been monitoring the construction to some extent, you may have reasonable confidence that the construction is being done right and that contractors and subcontractors are not cutting corners.

You can also stockfresh_1456672_home-inspector_sizeS-200x300generally expect to have fewer problems with a new home that you might with a pre-owned home — fewer pests, less risk of mold or structural problems, etc. Except that is not always the case.

What happens if you have moved into your new home and you are already noticing problems? Who is responsible? What can you do?

Because most injuries and illnesses change over time, the Veterans Administration allows Veterans to file for an increase in certain disability ratings.  It is important to note that the VA will not automatically adjust a Veteran’s compensation if his or her condition worsens – the Veteran has to actively file for an increase, even if it is clear to the VA that the conditioned has worsened.

stockfresh_7143766_military-fatigues-flag-dog-tags_sizeS-1-200x300Disabilities rarely stay the same.  They improve, worsen, or change altogether throughout their existence.  When an injury or illness worsens, such as an arthritic knee losing flexibility or a veteran with Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI experiences greater memory loss or increased seizures, a claim for a disability rating increase should be filed.  There are a couple of options on what to file.  VA Form 21-526b, Veteran’s Supplemental Claim for Compensation, may be submitted as a formal claim for an increased rating claim.  VA Form 21-526EZ, Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits, can also be used for increasing a rating. VA Form 21-8940, Veteran’s Application for Increased Compensation based on Unemployability, can be submitted as a formal claim for total disability rating based on individual unemployability (“TDIU”).  It is import to know that a claim for TDIU does not increase the actual rating of a specific claim, rather it potentially increases the rate of pay if a condition(s) leads to the inability of a Veteran to find and maintain gainful employment.  A veteran may also file a VA Form 21-0966, Intent to File a Claim for Compensation and/or Pension, or Survivors Pension and/or DIC (“Intent to File”).  Filing an Intent to File form will preserve a date to act as the effective date as long as one of the forms mentioned above is filed within one year of filing the Intent to File form.

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stockfresh_5975459_doctor-holding-brain-mri_sizeS-300x200Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), concussions and other head injuries can have devastating long-term consequences. All employers must take proper precautions in order to protect workers from suffering a TBI. Construction workers, in particular, are at high risk.

Unfortunately, far too many construction companies are still falling short of their legal duty to protect the safety of their workers. If you have suffered a construction TBI in Western North Carolina or Upstate South Carolina, please contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at Grimes Teich Anderson LLP today to discuss your legal options.

Traumatic Brain Injuries on Construction Sites

TBIs on construction sites are a major problem. Recently, researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released a report exploring the frequency of traumatic brain injuries in the construction field. The study was included in the March 2016 edition of the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

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stockfresh_3555264_asian-man-texting-while-driving_sizeS-300x200There are ways to test for alcohol-impaired driving, but it is much more difficult to determine whether a driver has broken the law by texting behind the wheel. That may change soon.

Breathalyzers are used by police officers when alcohol impairment is suspected, either when a driver is operating their vehicle erratically, or at the scene of an accident, for example. The use of breathalyzers is widely accepted and allows police officers to crack down on drinking and driving – a deadly behavior.

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stockfresh_1319734_assorted-medicines_sizeS-300x225A VA disability rater cannot consider the positive effects of current medication when rating a disability if the applicable diagnostic code is silent with respect to medication. However, this can be reversed by the VA amending the Federal Code.

During the rating decision, the VA looks at the current level of disability claimed and applies the rating schedule, found in 38 C.F.R. Book C. Quite often, the rater looks at the current level of disability as the veteran presents at that moment, as described in the veteran’s application, as described by a medical doctor, and as presented in the veteran’s medical charts. The veteran’s current condition is usually rated including the positive effects of any medication. Continue Reading

stockfresh_4903617_legal-advice-on-orange-puzzle_sizeS-300x300When you have been injured in an accident, you may instinctively know that you need legal representation to file a personal injury claim. But amid a sea of attorneys in North Carolina and South Carolina all clamoring for your business, how do you decide which law firm is best suited to handle your case?

Selecting the Right Law Firm for Your Claim

If your car breaks down, you want to know that the mechanic fixing your car has worked on your make and model before. In a similar way, it is important to seek out an attorney who has experience handling personal injury cases if you have suffered a personal injury.

stockfresh_1670407_warning-medicine-bottle-cap-warns-of-danger-and-poisonous-pill_sizeS-297x300If you or someone you love took Risperdal and have developed gynecomastia, you may be able to seek financial compensation by filing a product defect claim. According to a fact sheet from the Mayo Clinic, gynecomastia is a condition in which breast tissue swells in boys or men, resulting in enlarged breasts.

Recent articles in Forbes Magazine and The Wall Street Journal reported that Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which is a Johnson & Johnson company, has been accused of a failure to warn about the side effect. In this product defect allegation, the articles suggest that the drug maker failed to alert healthcare providers and consumers that risperidone, the generic name for the brand-name drug Risperdal, may lead young males to develop breasts.

Understanding Risperdal and Its Uses

What kind of drug is Risperdal, and why are young male patients taking it? Continue Reading

Temperatures are dropping, days are getting shorter, and stockfresh_5349721_woman-suffering-from-cold-at-home_sizeS-200x300(unfortunately) flu and pneumonia are beginning to appear in Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina.

Getting a vaccine is a simple act of preventative care that some North Carolinians and South Carolinians fail to do. This is despite the widespread availability of vaccines throughout both states. Whether your failure to get a flu shot in the past has been due to fear about potential side effects or whether it is a task that simply gets neglected due to the business of the season, it is important that you make an effort to get a flu vaccine this year.

Why Flu and Pneumonia Shots Are Critical for Your Health

stockfresh_4360979_two-women-cycling-on-suburban-street_sizeS_eb249a-200x300If you are one of the growing number of adults in North Carolina or South Carolina who ride a bicycle for commuting, exercise or pleasure riding, you might be surprised to know that you are in one of the worst states in the country for the number of bicyclist fatalities in motor vehicle accidents.

North Carolina ranked 9th among U.S. states for “pedal cyclist” fatalities involving motor vehicles in 2013, and South Carolina ranked 11th, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Pedal cyclists, as defined by the NHTSA, are bicyclists and other cyclists, including riders of two-wheel, non-motorized vehicles, tricycles, and unicycles powered solely by pedals.

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