Many Herbal Supplements Don’t Contain Herbs on the Labels

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New York Attorney General Sheds Light on Herbal Supplements

Bowl of ground herbsThe New York Times reported on February 3rd troubling findings for anyone who has taken or is taking herbal supplements. According to the Times, the New York State Attorney General accused, “four major retailers on Monday of selling fraudulent and potentially dangerous herbal supplements and demanded that they remove the products from their shelves.” In an attempt to determine the ingredients of popular herbal supplements the Attorney General tested top selling brands of supplements at GNC, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart. The results were eye opening.

The Times reported, “four out of five of the products did not contain any of the herbs on their labels.” The results indicated that many of the pills were instead packed with cheap fillers. Some of the pills even included potentially dangerous material for those with allergies such as wheat and peanuts. “At Walmart, the authorities found that its ginkgo biloba, a Chinese plant promoted as a memory enhancer, contained little more than powdered radish, houseplants and wheat –despite a claim on the label that the product was wheat –and gluten free.

Many may not know that herbal supplements are not subject to the same rules that pharmaceuticals are. But, The New York Times explained that in 1994 a federal law passed, championed by Senator Orin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, which exempts supplements from the F.D.A.’s approval process for prescription drugs, “which requires reviews of a product’s safety and effectiveness before it goes to the market.” Because of these exemptions many of the supplements on store shelves don’t contain much, if any, of the herb listed on the label. Studies conducted by the University of Guelph in Canada found, “as many as a third of herbal supplements tested did not contain the plants listed on their labels – only cheap fillers instead.”

Unfortunately these mis-labelings lead to more than just money lost. In 2013, “an outbreak of hepatitis that struck at least 72 people in 16 states was traced to a tainted supplement. Three people required liver transplants, and one woman died.” Injuries such as these, along with recent evidence suggesting supplements may not contain the herbs listed on the labels have stirred renewed calls for stricter rules on herbal supplements. Whether the stricter rules materialize or not will be left up to the legislature, but the New York Times also points out that legislators, including Sen. Orin Hatch, have “accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the industry and repeatedly intervened in Washington to quash proposed legislation that would toughen the rules.”

No one thinks that medicine or supplements they take to make them better will do them harm. Unfortunately this does occur. If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of a prescription drug or an herbal supplement contact an experienced attorney at Hensley Legal Group. Call 24/7 at 1-888-436-7539 and receive a free consultation. Our staff can help you understand your options and help your determine whether you have a case. Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, so you really have nothing to lose. You can also contact us via the web. Fill out the ‘Get Help Now’ form and someone from our office will contact you as soon as possible to discuss your claim.

Truckers and Regulators Push Back and Forth Over Truck Driver Sleep Regulations

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Semi Truck

The June 7th accident involving actor and comedian Tracy Morgan and a Wal-Mart semi truck has helped to bring the public’s attention to a serious problem. The problem? The amount of sleep truck drivers get before getting behind the wheel.

According to the New York Times, “For decades, federal authorities have tried to ensure that truck drivers get adequate rest.” However, the industry has pushed back claiming that Washington has no right to create truck driver sleep regulations. This isn’t just a matter of life and death for commercial trucking companies, but a matter of money. The Times says trucking is, “a business that lives by the clock.” In such a business, “miles mean money.”

The New York Times reports that over 30,000 people die every year on highways, and that one in seven of those deaths involve large trucks. The Times also states, “Drowsy driving is a leading cause of crashes and highway fatalities, according to federal officials.” Prosecutors in the Tracy Morgan case claim that the truck driver that slammed into the van carrying Morgan and others, “had not slept in more than 24 hours.” Accidents like these lead Federal officials to reduce the maximum workweek for truckers to 70 hours -down from 82. The New York Times explains, “Drivers who hit this limit can start their workweek only after a mandatory 34-hour resting period.” The Times also notes that drivers cannot drive more than 11 hours in a day and they must have at least one 30 minute break in their schedule.

However, not everyone is happy about the new truck driver sleep regulations. The trucking industry believes the regulations are too strict, and they also believe they could make traffic worse for average Americans. The new regulations also include a clause that states drivers must have two periods between 1a.m. and 5a.m. a week off. This, according to the Times, allows drivers to rest at least two nights a week. But, opponents of this rule maintain that this will put more trucks on the road during peak driving hours ultimately congesting the roadways. In fact, “Brian Fielkow, president of Jetco Delivery, said the hours regulations that went into effect last year reduced productivity in the industry by putting more trucks on the road in times of heavy traffic without addressing the safety issue.” But, did the new rules make the roadways safer?

Update: The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015 was enacted on December 16, 2014, suspending enforcement of requirements for use of the 34-hour restart. For more information see FMCSA’s Federal Register notice:www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-service/hours-service-drivers

The Times reports, “Drivers who begin their workweek with just one nighttime period of rest instead of two were more likely to have lapses in attention and to deviate from their lanes while driving.” However, everyone acknowledges that the exact extent of the problem is difficult to measure because of people either dying in accidents involving drowsiness, or not being willing to tell the truth for fear of penalty. But even the American Trucking Association agreed that, “driver fatigue plays a role in about 7 percent of truck crashes” (other studies sited in the article suggest anywhere from 13-31 percent).

Federal Safety officials and safety advocates believe that the new rules put in place are necessary to protect the public. However, the trucking industry is opposed to the stricter rules and is a force to be reckoned with. With backing from the trucking industry Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, passed an amendment freezing the two periods of rest a week until further studies could be conducted. This leaves a significant part of the new regulations out, and sets the stage for a battle between safety and trucking advocates in the future.

Accidents involving semi trucks are particularly dangerous due to the size and weight differences between them and typical cars. If you or someone you love has been injured in a semi accident please don’t rely on the insurance company to be your advocate. These types of accidents are complicated and it is in the insurance company’s best interest to pay you as little as possible for your pain and suffering. Contact an experienced semi truck accident attorney at Hensley Legal Group, and let us explain your options. A free consultation is always offered, and we work on a contingency fee basis, which means you only pay us if you get paid. Call us to discuss your claim at 1-888-436-7539, or reach us via the web. Fill out the ‘Get Help Now’ form and someone from the office will contact you to talk about your situation.

9 Car Models that have Zero Car Accident Deaths

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The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) Reports 9 Models with 0 Car Accident Deaths

 

Seatbelt lightThe Insurance Institute of Highway Safety released exciting news for highway safety advocates on Thursday. According to cnbc.com, IIHS released findings that showed a “record total of nine models sold during the 2011 model-year that have had a death rate of zero.” This rating means that there have been no persons killed in a crash involving those vehicles during the period studied by the IIHS. The nine models getting the top marks included the:

 

  • Audi A4 4WD
  • Honda Odyssey
  • Kia Sorento 2WS
  • Lexus RX 350 4WD
  • Mercedes-Benz GL-Class 4WD
  • Subaru Legacy 4WD
  • Toyota Highlander Hybrid 4WD
  • Toyota Sequioa 4WD
  • Volvo XC90 4WD

 

Safety experts noted that traffic accidents have been decreasing dramatically in recent years with experts attributing this decrease to, “improved roadways and a crackdown on drunk driving” and improved vehicular safety designs. IIHS estimated, “there would have been 7,700 more fatalities in just the year 2012” if vehicles had not undergone major safety improvements in recent years.

Safety advocates studying the findings in the report are looking forward to a time where there are zero highway traffic deaths, and this report seems to suggest that this goal is achievable. However, not all 2011 models earned high marks for safety, which highlights the amount of work ahead. According to the IIHS the 19 worst 2011 models had death rates of 46 or more. “At the bottom was the Kia Rio, which had an overall death rate of 149, followed by the Nissan Versa sedan, at 130.” The Chevrolet Silverado and the Mercury Grand Marquis sedan also had high death rates both totaling over 65 a year.

Experts suggest that it may be many years before safety advocates realize their goal of zero highway deaths a year, and they note that reaching that goal will require “changes in road design and public policy that can help protect all road users.” But IIHS research chief David Zuby said, “Still, the rise in the number of vehicles with zero deaths show what’s possible.”

While it’s exciting to think about a future where highway accidents do not occur unfortunately that is not today’s reality. Accidents happen every day, many of which result in injuries. If you or someone you know has been injured in an auto accident call the car accident attorneys at Hensley Legal Group today. We have the experience you need to help you navigate the complicated claims process. Call today for a free consultation and see if you have a case. Reach us at 1-888-436-7539 any time and allow us to explain your options. You can also contact us via the web. Fill out the Get Help Now box and someone from our office will contact you as soon as possible to discuss your claim.

5 Ways to Protect Yourself in a Disputed Indiana Accident

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Wrecked CarBeing in a car accident can be a devastating experience. However, most assume that the truth about the accident will come out, and the at-fault party will be held responsible. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. People aren’t always honest about the factors that caused a wreck, and this can leave you stuck with the bill. Don’t let this happen to you. Follow these five steps to ensure that you protect yourself in the event of a disputed Indiana accident.

 

Take Pictures

We’ve all heard this before, but with smartphone technology there really is no excuse not to document the scene of the crash. You don’t even have to get out of your car. According to a Yahoo news article you can, “just snap a few photos with your cell phone from your driver’s sear that clearly shows the area of impact from your vantage point.” After an accident cars may be moved, but by taking pictures from your point of view you can make sure you have the evidence you need in case the police report does not reflect the accident.

Talk to Yourself Before You Talk to the Police

You may find yourself waiting for some time before the police arrive at your accident. This is the perfect time for you to talk yourself through what you will say to the police. Yahoo suggest you record yourself so that you can play it back and make sure that your story makes sense. Sometimes in a panic it can be easy to forget that the police officer has no background knowledge of the accident. Remember that you have to explain the accident to someone who has no idea what happened. If you played your recording to someone over the phone and he or she could understand what happened in the accident then you know you are on the right track.

Going First Isn’t Always Better

Don’t worry if you aren’t the first person who speaks to the officer at the scene of the crash. Yahoo explains, “Police often see the guilty or anxious party come right up to the police cruiser as soon as they arrive at the scene of an accident.” Police are cautious of those who are to ready and willing to explain the situation. The best thing to do is to remain calm and allow the police officer to come to you. Let him or her ask questions and refer to your pictures and the debris on the road. If you are able to hear what the other person is saying don’t let it bother you if they are not being honest. Stay calm and explain your side of the story, and don’t worry if you go second.

Use Your Phone

In the world of smart phones everyone has a digital recorder at their fingertips. Don’t be afraid to record your conversation with the police officer. Yahoo notes that it isn’t illegal to do so, and “it can be helpful later if the statements on the police report aren’t the complete truth.”

Police Reports Aren’t Written in Stone

Many people aren’t aware that police reports can be changed, but if you find that you have been misquoted or the report doesn’t match the events of the accident you can get the report changed. You just need to contact the precinct and arrange a meeting with the police officer who made the report so that it can be modified.

If you are in an accident don’t assume that you can trust the other person to tell the truth. You need to protect yourself in the event that the facts get misconstrued. Follow the five steps outlined here to make sure your side of the story is told.

Don’t be afraid to contact an attorney following an accident –especially if you’ve been injured. A personal injury attorney can help you understand your options following an accident, and can make sure that you aren’t taken advantage of by the insurance company. Hensley Legal Group has been working to protect clients since 1998 and has the experience you need to get what you deserve. We offer free consultations and we work on a contingency fee basis, which means that we don’t get paid unless we get a settlement for you. Call us today at 1-888-436-7539 to discuss your claim. You can also reach us via the web. Fill out the ‘Get Help Now’ form and someone from our office will contact you to explain your options.

930 Area Code Coming to Southern Indiana

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Area Code Growth

Area code growth. Source IN.gov/IURC

 

Starting February 7th, residents of southern Indiana will need to include the area code along with the local telephone number in order to complete a local phone call. Some of the towns affected by the change include Bloomington, Columbus, Evansville, New Albany, and Terre Haute. Those living in these, and other southern Indiana cities, will no longer be able to make local calls by simply dialing the seven digit local number as before.

 

With a growing population in the area, officials have added a second area code, 930, in order to ensure an adequate supply of phone numbers for the region. Residents should be aware that beginning March 7th telephone companies will begin issuing new numbers with the 930 area code. These numbers are still local -they simply require a different area code.

 

Many things will remain the same even after February 7th. For instance, you will still be able to reach 911 by dialing just three numbers. Also, it’s important to understand that your current 812 number will not change, and only new numbers issued with the 930 area code will be affected by the new code. The price of local calls will not change, and you will have to continue dialing 1 + area code + telephone number in order to place long distance calls.

 

It’s very important to realize that some emergency alert systems may be set to use the old 7 digit dialing system. If you are unsure about yours please make sure and check with your medical alert device manufacturer and alarm and security device manufacturer to make sure that the contact numbers have been updated. You may also want to check any business cards, printed checks, pet ID tags, and anything else that lists your phone number to ensure that it includes the area code.  For more information please visit the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s 930 area code implementation page.

 

Here at Hensley Legal Group we wanted to make sure that you had the information you need to get in touch with those who are most important. We also wanted to make sure that you were aware of the changes so that you can contact our local (Bloomington, Columbus, Evansville, Jeffersonville) office at (812.668.1453, 812.668.1453, 812.962.0055, 812.670.4107) in the event that you are injured in a car accident. Of course you can also always reach us via the web as well. Fill out the ‘Get Help Now’ form, and someone from our office will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your claim.

The World Health Organization takes on E-Cigs

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SmokeThe World Health Organization targeted e-cigarettes and their manufacturers in a blistering report which was released Tuesday August 26th . The report outlines The WHO’s fears about e-cigs, and makes recommendations that it believes are critical to public safety.

WHO Calls for Ban on E-Cigs Indoors

Most notably the report calls for a ban on the use of e-cigarettes indoors because of fears that the vapor produced from the devices could be harmful to others. According to the report there is no evidence existing to suggest that water vapor is the only chemical emitted from the devices. In fact, WHO officials said in a press release concerning the report, “Evidence suggests that exhaled e-cigarette aerosol increases the background air level of some toxicants, nicotine, and particles.”

The report also calls for a ban on the sale of e-cigarettes that are fruit, candy, and alcohol-drink flavored indicating that these flavors are highly popular with teens. It seems the organization believes that these flavored e-cigarettes deserve much of the blame for a rapid increase in teen and young adult e-cigarette experimentation in recent years. The report cites research published in early August of this year which showed teens who have tried e-cigarettes were more likely to also have tried tobacco cigarettes or to be current tobacco smokers.

Do E-Cigs Help Smokers Quit?

Manufacturers of e-cigarettes often market them as a way to help tobacco smokers kick traditional cigarettes, and as a healthier alternative. However, while The WHO admits that e-cigarettes “… are likely to be less toxic than conventional cigarettes…” they do not believe that makes them a safe alternative. They also site research published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine which showed that smokers who use e-cigarettes as a cessation aid are no more likely to quit regular cigarettes than those who don’t use e-cigarettes as an aid. For these reasons the report also suggests prohibiting manufacturers from making unfounded health claims in their marketing campaigns.

The report makes it clear that The WHO feels e-cigarettes are a major threat to the world’s health. But sales from the e-cigarettes doubled from 2008 to 2012 and numbers are expected to exceed $3 billion in global sales by next year. The WHO has an uphill battle in its fight against e-cigarettes, but if any of the recommendations outlined in the report are accepted, it would be a major victory for the organization and anti-tobacco advocates.

New Study Finds Link Between Brain Cancer and Cell Phones

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Cell PhoneAccording to Pew Research, as of January 2014, “90% of American adults have a cell phone, and 58% have a smartphone.” This number is staggering considering that the IPhone was introduced just seven years ago in 2007. However, the reality is that nearly everyone in America today has some sort of a cellular device, many have even abandoned traditional landlines altogether. But a new study out highlights the potential health risks of these devices we have become so accustomed to.

Study Suggests Link between Cell Phones and Cancer

Yahoo News reported on November 11th, 2014 that a study was released suggesting a link between cell phones and wireless home phone use and brain cancer. The study was conducted on Swedish residents, and found that “Swedes who talked on mobile or cordless phones for more than 25 years had triple the risk of a certain kind of brain cancer compared to those who used wireless phones for less than a year.” These findings seem to conflict with a previous study that was released in 2010 that found no evidence of a strong link between cell phone use and an increased risk of brain tumors.

More Research Needed

The researchers from the most recent study acknowledged study limitations, and also noted that rather than signaling the end of the debate, the new study “underscores the need for more research.” It seems the jury is still out on whether or not cell phones cause brain cancer, but according to Yahoo News there is no doubt that, “U.S. cell phone use tripled between 2000 and 2010.” With more and more people using cell phones the need for more research grows. In the meantime it’s important to be aware of the recent study and its findings, and to understand the potential health threat these devices pose, especially to young children.

Bicyclist Safety Report Reveals Startling Facts

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bicyclePrepared by Dr. Allan Williams for the Governors Highway Safety Association the Bicyclist Safety report was released in October of 2014. The report highlights some important statistics regarding bicyclist safety in the United States, and makes suggestions on ways to improve biker safety. The report notes that there may be some evidence that more people are biking today, but it cautions that, “many will be deterred from biking if they do not feel safe.” So do Americans have a reason to worry about their safety while biking?

It appears that there has been a small, but significant increase in the number of bicyclists killed by vehicle collisions between the years 2010 and 2012. In 2010 there were 621 deaths compared to 722 in 2012. This means there was a 16% increase in fatal bike vs. car collisions in this two year period. It is important to note however that, “current yearly deaths of bicyclists are among the lowest since 1975”, in which there were 1,003 deaths. The 621 deaths in 2010 were the lowest number of deaths in the 38 years since data has been collected. This is good news, but it is troublesome that the number of deaths, since the all-time low of 621 in 2010, has been steadily increasing to 680 in 2011 to 722 in 2012.

Bicycle Death Demographics are Changing

According to the report there has been a major shift in the characteristics of those killed in bicycle crashes since 1975. In 1975, 21% of bicycle fatalities involved adults over the age of 20. However, in 2012, 84% of fatalities involved adults over the age of 20. It’s also interesting to note the difference gender makes on fatalities. “Males age 20 and older accounted for 74% of all bicyclist deaths in 2012, followed by males younger than 20 (14%), females 21 and older (10%), and females younger than 20 (2%).”

Alcohol and Bicycles Don’t Mix

Two of the most unsettling statistics from the report involves alcohol, and helmets. While many of the factors that play into a bicycle accident are out of one’s control, both the decision as to whether or not to wear a helmet, and to decide how much to drink, are well within one’s control. The report indicates that 28% of fatalities of those 16 and older involved bicyclists who had a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher at the time of the crash. It also reports that “In 2012, FARS data indicated that 17% of fatally injured bicyclists were wearing helmets, 65% were not, and helmet use was unknown for 18%.” To put it another way, “More than 2/3 of fatally injured bicyclists in 2012 were not wearing helmets.”

Always Wear a Helmet

The personal injury attorneys at Hensley Legal Group want to urge bicyclists to wear a helmet while riding. While wearing a helmet does not guarantee one’s safety, it is a simple step one can take to significantly increase the chance of survival if involved in a crash. Henley Legal Group would also like to encourage you to drink in moderation while biking, and to play it safe while on the roadways. It’s generally best to stay off your bike if you wouldn’t get behind the wheel of your car.

Hurt in a Bicycle Accident? Contact a Bicycle Accident Attorney

If you or someone you love has been struck by a car while biking, contact a bicycle accident attorney at Hensley Legal Group today. We can help you understand your options after a bike crash, and have the experience you deserve to handle your case. Bicycle vs. car collisions are often particularly devastating, but don’t think you have to go through it alone. The team at Hensley Legal Group is here to help 24/7. Contact us anytime at 1-888-436-7539, or contact us via the web. Fill out the ‘Get Help Now’ form and someone from our office will contact you immediately to help you with your case. We never charge a consultation fee, and we work on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t pay us unless you get paid. Contact us today, and get on the road to recovery.

IMPD Saves Christmas for Local Family

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Christmas OrnamentSix IMPD Police Officers made sure that the bad guys didn’t ruin Christmas for one Indiana mother and her son. According to a WTHR article, Karie Steele came home one afternoon in December to find her home had been broken into. Karie was devastated to learn that the burglars not only took her valuables, but they also made out with all of the Christmas presents she had under the tree waiting for her son Miles. Officers from the North West Branch of IMPD responded to take a report of the break in, but to Karie and Miles’ surprise the responding officers returned the next day –bearing gifts. According to WTHR Karie was stunned, “I struggle enough as a single mom and for the cops to take their own money and time, it meant a lot.” Despite the burglars best efforts Christmas will still come for Karie’s son Miles thanks to the dedicated servants from the IMPD. Karie said, “Christmas is going to be good. It’s going to be good.”

Hensley Legal Group would like to thank the Police Officers who went out of their way to help Karie and Miles, and hopes that their spirit of giving will remind us all what the season is all about. From all of us at Hensley Legal Group, have a very merry Christmas!Ugly Christmas Sweater

 

Shop with a Cop

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A coalition of businesses, individuals, and police officers helped to make the holidays brighter for nearly 125 local children Saturday, December 13th. For some time now, the annual Shop with a Cop program has provided kids with winter clothing, a special toy, and a visit with Santa. Each year there is also a theme, this year’s being, “Paying It Forward-Taking it to the Next Level.” Quoted in an article published on wishtv.com, Rick Snyder, FOP President said about the theme, “We work with the children that we help and really talk to them about, even in a time when maybe they are in need, they have the ability to also pay that forward and help someone else.” According to WishTV8, “Each child and officer brought a canned food item to support the David S. Moore food pantry in honor of IMPD Officer Perry Renn who was killed in the line of duty this year. Children also assembled holiday baskets for seniors.”

Police Get Chance to Mentor Youth

Every year this program not only gives children in the community a chance to have the kind of Christmas ever child deserves, it also gives police officers a chance to interact with local children and mentor them. FOP President Rick Snyder said about the event, “Hopefully what the children will see is our officers leading by example and showing them how they can do that. Hopefully it’s a lifelong lesson that they learn.”

Hensley Legal Group in the Community

We here at Hensley Legal Group, believe in the Shop with a Cop program, and also believe every child deserves to have a Christmas filled with hope and joy. We were proud to be part of the business community that supported this effort, and would like to share a few pictures of our team with the kids.

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