The Harper Law Blog

The Harper Law Blog offers news, announcements, thoughts and articles on life, law and our practice areas of emphasis.

Teen Driving Tips

Posted Tuesday, July 26, 2016 by Ed Harper

Did you know that teens are 3 times more likely to crash per mile driven than adults? And that car crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens? These startling and alarming stats are important to keep in mind as your teen gets behind the wheel. Working together to prepare for this move toward independence is essential. Click the link to read 10 things you should keep in mind as your teen gets out on the road.

http://www.spirit1053.com/legal/2016/07/25/teen-driving-tips

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Cognitive Health Diet to think about for brain injury survivors

Posted Tuesday, June 14, 2016 by Ed Harper

According to Medscape in a recently article they proposed the MIND diet. Here is the article text:

The MIND diet, created by researchers at Rush University Medical Center, has repeatedly ranked as the easiest to follow and second best diet overall in terms of reducing the risk for hypertension, heart disease, and stroke. It has now been found to protect against dementia. The name MIND stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, where DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.

In a recent study, the MIND diet lowered the risk for Alzheimer’s disease by 53% in participants who rigorously adhered to it and by nearly 35% in those who followed it moderately well.[1] Adhering to the MIND diet has also been found to slow cognitive decline among aging adults independent of any Alzheimer’s disease risk.[2]

The MIND diet has 15 dietary components: 10 brain-healthy food groups and 5 unhealthy groups, which consist of red meat, butter and margarine, cheese, pastries and sweets, and fried or fast food. To adhere to and benefit from the MIND diet, one would need to eat at least 3 daily servings of whole grains, a green leafy vegetable and one other vegetable every day, drink a glass of wine daily, snack mostly on nuts, have beans every other day or so, eat poultry and berries at least twice per week, and eat fish at least once per week. Limiting intake of the unhealthy foods is imperative to realizing the full benefits of the diet. Confirmation of these results in different populations and through randomized trials is needed.

References

Morris MC, Tangney CC, Wang Y, et al. MIND diet associated with reduced incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimers Dement. 2015;11:1007-1014.

Morris MC, Tangney CC, Wang Y, et al. MIND diet slows cognitive decline with aging. Alzheimers Dement. 2015;11:1015-1022.

Cite this article: Can the MIND Diet Reduce Alzheimer’s Risk? Medscape. Mar 08, 2016.

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Painkillers

Posted Friday, June 03, 2016 by Ed Harper

The invention of synthetic and natural pain medications within the past century has done wonders for those who suffer from chronic pain, victims of painful accidents, and those suffering from long term illness. Even so, many drugs used to treat pain come with adverse side effects such as kidney failure, heart disease, and addiction. Over the counter pain medications are largely unregulated and thus can be abused or mistreated in an attempt to relieve pain. This is the case for a class of drugs known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). NSAIDS do an incredible job of relieving pain, especially where the pain is from inflammation such as headaches, arthritis, tendonitis, and many others. Drugs included in this category include Ibuprofen, often marketed as Advil, and Naproxen, also known as Aleve, and aspirin. These drugs are powerful and come with harsh side effects with long-term use. NSAIDS work by targeting nerve cells in tissues to constrict blood vessels in order to reduce swelling and therefore relieve pain. While helpful in the short term, this can lead to heart disease, hypertension, and many other harmful side-effects. Check with your doctor if you take NSAIDS long term. I would suggest if possible to get a prescription for long-term pain relief. If a prescription is not possible, studies have shown that Acetaminophen (Tylenol) has been correlated with less severe long term damage.

One example of the dangers of NSAID use is in the case of Kenny Easley. Easley was a star defensive back for the UCLA Bruins and then the Seattle Seahawks in the 80’s. For many months in 89, Easley took between 15-20 tablets of ibuprofen every day. This resulted in him having severe kidney failure. It effectively ended his football career. This injury caused him to bring a suit against the team doctors. It was only discovered that he had anything wrong with his kidneys when he was traded to another team and had to do a physical. It caused him to bring a suit against the Seahawks’ team doctors and the case was eventually settled out of court.

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Timing Is Everything: How Immediately Seeking Legal Counsel Can Make A Difference

Posted Friday, March 25, 2016 by Ed Harper

Do you know someone who has been injured due to an accident, or someone else’s mistake? Have you thought this would not happen to you or a loved one? If it has happened, don’t wait another day and call Ed Harper at Harper Law.

Why does it matter?

In short, timing is everything.

The person who has been injured has the burden of proof. Acquiring evidence is the injured person’s responsibility and is necessary to prove your case. Evidence will disappear or could be lost forever if you don’t collect the information right away. This is why it is essential to get the right attorney on your side as soon as possible.

At Harper Law, we know how important it is to make sure you are treated with care and compassion throughout this process. Ed Harper will provide trustworthy, honest, and compassionate legal counsel, and we will take the load off of all the legal worries following a wreck. We will strive to ensure your bills get paid, your car gets fixed, and we will do our best to get you the best possible settlement at the end of your case. All you have to do is focus on your recovery.

Far too often, we see the negative effects of waiting too long before seeking legal counsel after a wreck. We want to help you through this process, and we will do so with the utmost integrity. Don’t wait another day to call - Harper Law is here for you.

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DELAY, DENY, DEFEND: How Auto Accident Claims Drive up Profits for Insurance Companies

Posted Tuesday, February 23, 2016 by Ed Harper

This blog was originally written in September 2007 in regard to the CNN investigative report on the big-box insurance practice of delay, deny, and defend. A former client recently emailed me saying he had forwarded this often to friends, finding the facts extremely useful and informative. With many clients additionally expressing concern over dealing with insurance companies, my hope is this edited and updated repost provides additional help and insight.

In 2007, CNN’s investigation into auto accident claims proved there are several insurance companies who abuse the claims process. In 2011, the Huffington Post conducted a similar investigation on delayed claims by the same insurance companies. The result has been massive profits to the insurance industry at the expense of shorting companies.

By both denying and refusing to pay legitimate claims for medical bills and wage loss, State Farm Insurance and Allstate Insurance have forced many injured people to go to court to litigate and contest their own claims. Despite the insurance industry being bound by law to act in good faith, “claims have been converted into a money-making process,” according to Russ Roberts, a New Mexico-based management consultant and former business professor at Northwestern University.

Since 2012, Allstate’s gross profit has been holding steady, and the stocks display they are making boatloads of money averaging $4.25 billion over the last 3 years. Gross Profit Data

Additionally, over the course of this same time period, the national average for insurance rates rose an average of 3.8%. Insurance Rates Data

Allstate’s 2014 gross profit: $4.63 Billion

Allstate’s 2013 gross profit: $4.45 Billion

Allstate’s 2012 gross profit: $3.66 Billion.

Corporate greed should be discouraged and watched closely. The insurance company wants to prove a point and drive claims down.

They will set subjective financial thresholds for the amount of property damage. In other words, if the property damage estimate is below this subjective amount, or if the property damage does not look “bad” in a photo, they will force you to court.

The CNN story points out it is not a question of profit for insurance companies, but how much profit.

According to Anderson Cooper, you may think all the savings from these thresholds would mean lower premiums for drivers. Well, guess again. The Insurance Information Institute says auto insurance rates have actually gone up 30% over the 10 years since this went into effect.

Roberts also relayed to Huffington Post that, by his estimate, companies that take in 70% of their total insurance profits in the United States now abuse their obligations to their policyholders. And they are certainly gaining from this process; Allstate made $4.6 billion in profits in 2007. This was double its earnings in the 1990s. They are profiting off many consumers at their most valuable, and it is not just fluke occurrences, as they would like you to believe.

Jim Mathis, a former Washington claims adjuster in Washington was asked to describe this denial strategy in the claims process to the CNN reporter:

JIM MATHIS: It really came down to three basic elements. A position of delay. A position of denying a claim. And then ultimately, of course, defending that claim that you denied.

GRIFFEN (CNN Reporter): The three D’s?

JIM MATHIS: Exactly.

GRIFFIN: Jim Mathis is a former insurance company insider who now testifies against insurance companies in court.

JIM MATHIS: And the profits are huge. Profits are good. And as long as the public allows this to occur, the insurance companies will get richer and people will not get a fair and reasonable settlement, period.

See Anderson Cooper’s blog and the Huffington Post article on this topic:

Anderson Cooper’s Blog & CNN Investigation

Huffington Post Investigation

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