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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT PERSONAL INJURY

1. I hate waiting in line at the pharmacy. Online pharmacies certainly seem like a more convenient option. But are they safe? There are three specific types of websites selling medications: Those that sell drugs to anyone that asks, those that both prescribe and dispense drugs based on an online questionnaire, and those that fill only those prescriptions written by a patient's regular doctor. The first two types raise red flags for doctors, pharmacists and government officials - and they should probably do the same for you. Many of these sites simply send prescription drugs to anyone willing to pay. Even if a patient fills out a questionnaire, there's no guarantee a qualified physician will review the answers. Similarly, there's no means to be certain you're receiving the right dosage, or whether the medication is pure. Most importantly, you will not have a real live doctor to monitor you for possible harmful side effects. The third type of online pharmacy is probably the safest. This type functions more like a mail-in prescription service. With these services, you mail in prescriptions from your doctor, or your doctor calls or faxes your prescriptions, and the pharmacy sends you the medication you need. Once you are in the pharmacy's system you can refill your prescriptions with a click of the mouse and have them arrive on your doorstep. Many of these pharmacies are also affiliated with major "brick and mortar" chains, thus increasing the chance that you are likely to get what your doctor prescribes. But remember, given the time involved in receiving an order, it's best to use these sites for medications related to chronic conditions, rather than in an emergency.
2. It's so hard to get an appointment with my doctor. If I've got a minor problem is e-mailing him/her a suitable option? E-mail communication is best for those tasks that doctors or their staffs typically handle over the telephone, such as making appointments, obtaining test results, and prescription refills. Routine matters such as monitoring chronic conditions are also good candidates for e-mail contact with your doctor. But e-mail should not replace periodic office visits especially in more serious cases in which a doctor has indicated that office follow-ups are necessary. Even minor problems such as a sore throat or sinus infection are sometimes reason enough to see your doctor. And while it should go without saying, NEVER e-mail your doctor if you are having a medical emergency. Bottom line: E-mail is a good substitute for any task your doctor might normally handle over the telephone. 3. I've read several articles about the problems associated with a drug that I took several years ago. How do I know if taking this drug has put me at risk? If you read or hear that a drug you have taken has been linked to unanticipated serious side effects, your safest option is to schedule an appointment with your doctor. He or she will be familiar with the latest findings on the particular drug and will be able to run tests to make determine if you've suffered any serious or life-threatening side effects. As with any medical issue, it's best to see your doctor sooner rather than later. 4. If so many drugs these days cause serious side effects, how do they get approved by the FDA? In the early 1990s, there was great political pressure to bring AIDS and HIV-related medications to market quickly. Congress ordered the FDA to work with the pharmaceutical industry to accomplish this goal. As a result, the FDA began giving 'fast-track approval' to certain new drugs. Drugs on fast track went through the approval process in half the normal time - one year instead of two. Critics of the fast-track approval process say that rushing drugs through the approval process is to blame for the spate of drug recalls in recent years. While the FDA has never publicly denounced the fast-track plan, now that the organization is under new leadership, and drug approvals have declined to the lowest rate in a decade. The agency attributes the slow down to increased testing of drug-to-drug interactions and greater scrutiny of each new application. Only time will tell if the slowdown in FDA approvals will translate into safer drugs, or if fast-track approvals really weren't the health hazard that critics claim. 5. What if I was not wearing a seat belt at the time of my accident? Can I still recover damages? In some states, not buckling up can negate or reduce any potential compensation for damages, on the basis that people suffer more severe and expensive injuries when they're not wearing seat belts. In other states, this is not the rule. In Texas for example, the use or non-use of a seat belt is NOT admissible evidence in injury cases filed before September 1, 2003, and IS admissible evidence in cases filed after that date. 6. What determines who is responsible in an automobile accident? Figuring out who is at fault in a traffic accident is a matter of deciding who was careless. And for vehicle accidents, there is a set of official written rules telling people how they are supposed to drive and providing guidelines by which liability may be measured. These rules of the road are the traffic laws everyone must learn to pass the driver's license test. Complete rules are contained in each state's Vehicle Code, and they apply not only to automobiles but also to motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians. 7. Should I release my medical records to the driver's insurance adjuster? No. Medical record releases should only be signed under limited circumstances and after consulting with a qualified personal injury lawyer. If your medical information gets into the insurance adjuster's hands, it could potentially hurt your case. 8. What happens if the cause of the automobile accident is not clear? It is sometimes difficult to say that one particular act caused an accident. If you can show that the other driver made several minor driving errors or committed several minor traffic violations, then you can argue that the combination of those actions caused the accident. Almost half the states have some form of no-fault auto insurance, also called personal injury protection. In general, no-fault coverage eliminates injury liability claims and lawsuits in smaller accidents in exchange for direct payment by the injured person's own insurance company of medical bills and lost wages regardless of who was at fault for the accident. No-fault coverage often does not apply at all to vehicle damage; those claims are still handled by filing a liability claim against the one who is responsible for the accident, or by looking to your own collision insurance. 9. If I file a personal injury claim, do I have to go to court? If another driver's insurance company agrees to pay what your attorney believes your case is worth, and you wish to settle for that amount, then your case will not go to court. This is what happens in most situations. Some cases do require a formal trial proceeding, however, in either situation, hiring a law firm with experience in handling personal injury cases is critical. 10. If I don't feel injured after an automobile accident, should I see a doctor? Both you and your passengers should consider seeing a doctor after an accident. The doctor may recognize injuries, sometimes serious, that are not apparent to you. The charges for a doctor visit and medical treatment may be covered by your insurance. It is not recommended that you settle claims from an accident until a doctor has seen you and advised you about the extent of your injuries. 11. What if I believe the accident was partly my fault? You are probably not in the best position to assess how or why the accident happened. Defective equipment in your vehicle, a malfunctioning traffic signal, or another driver's intoxication are among many possible causes of an accident, which your attorney can investigate and evaluate. Accepting blame and apologizing to another driver may be used as evidence against you at trial. Leave it to a judge or jury to decide who is at fault. 12. Can I still win my case if my memory of the accident now conflicts with things I might have said at the time of the accident? It's very common for people to say things at the time of an incident that they later realize were inaccurate. Sometimes, a witness may misstate what you said about how the incident took place. You might have a hard time explaining how it is that you now remember things differently than you did at the time of the incident, but if you consult with an attorney, he or she will have experience handling such a situation, and can help find support for your side of the story. 13. I was in a car accident and the air bags in my car didn't deploy. Do I have a case against the car manufacturer? That depends, as there are several factors that dictate whether an air bag will deploy in a collision. 65 to 90 percent of vehicles on the road in the U.S. have some degree of electronic data recorder (EDR). Contents of your EDR should be downloaded and preserved. If the circumstances of your accident were such that the airbags should have deployed, you very well may have a product liability claim against the manufacturer.

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The Texas personal injury attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm represent clients throughout Texas, including Arlington, Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Garland, Houston, Kauffman, Lubbock, San Antonio and Tyler. Our personal injury lawyers handle a various types of personal injury claims, including automobile accidents, medical malpractice, birth injuries, nursing home abuse, product liability, defective products, premises liability, day care abuse, maritime injuries, workplace injuries, overtime pay, social security disability benefits and securities fraud.



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