Be safe on the roads this holiday season – Don’t drink and drive

By Arthur Elk

Last week, most of us celebrated Thanksgiving with our family and friends. Many of you probably started your Christmas shopping on Black Friday. As December approaches, we are in the full swing of the holiday season, with Christmas and New Year’s right around the corner.

The holidays are a festive time, full of family fun, parties and presents. They are a time for making special memories that will last a lifetime.

Some of you may be planning to attend office holiday parties. Or maybe you’re planning on getting together with some friends on New Year’s Eve. It’s likely you may drink some alcohol at any holiday function you attend. If you do, there are a few things you need to think about before you get behind the wheel.

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. adults drank too much and got behind the wheel about 112 million times in 2010. Every day in the United States, 30 people are killed in motor vehicle accidents that involve an impaired driver. In 2010, 10,228 people were killed in alcohol impaired accidents.

Drunk driving can change your life and countless other lives. In an instant, one bad choice can cause a tragedy that you will regret for the rest of your life. Don’t let yourself become just another statistic … just another tragic story.

What can you do to stay safe on the roads this holiday season?

  • Prior to any drinking, designate a non-drinking driver when with a group.
  • Don’t let your friends drive impaired. Take their keys away.
  • If you have been drinking, get a ride home or call a taxi.
  • If you’re hosting a party where alcohol will be served, remind your guests to plan ahead and designate their sober driver; offer alcohol-free beverages; and make sure all guests leave with a sober driver.
  • If you are the designated sober driver, be sure to keep your attention on the road. Don’t let yourself be distracted by your phone or other people in the car. Stay focused on your driving.

Make smart choices this holiday season. All of us at Elk & Elk wish you a safe and fun holiday season.

Thanksgiving travel expected to increase

rush_hourThis week, most of us will be taking some time off of work, getting together with our families to enjoy some turkey and stuffing and remembering all that we have to be thankful for. As you celebrate Thanksgiving, be sure to pay extra attention as you travel.

More than 43.6 million Americans are expected to travel at least 50 miles from home this Thanksgiving holiday (Wednesday through Sunday), according to estimates from AAA. If those numbers hold up, this will be the fourth consecutive year of increased Thanksgiving travel for Americans.

Of those 43.6 million Americans, 90 percent will be traveling by car, a 0.6 percent increase from 2011. Many will be traveling shorter distances than last year, likely in part due to higher gas prices. But in some good news, travelers should see some relief at the pump as the average price of gas has been dropping for the past few months. The national average dropped by nearly 40 cents a gallon since early October and is likely to continue dropping through the end of the year. As of Monday, in Cleveland, the average price of gas is around $3.43.

If you are one of the more than 3 million Americans traveling by plane during the Thanksgiving holiday, the Transportation Security Administration has a few tips to help you speed up your trip through the airport security process.

  • Call TSA Cares with medical issues: Travelers with disabilities and medical conditions should contact the TSA Cares helpline (855-787-2227) before their travel dates to see if they need to take any extra steps or if they qualify for extra assistance to clear security.
  • Don’t wrap presents: A TSA officer may have to unwrap gifts to inspect the contents.
  • Ship desserts in advance: While cakes and pies are permitted on airplanes, your creation may require further inspection and may not necessarily be permitted to board. Consider baking once you get to Grandma’s house.
  • Follow the 3-1-1 rule: Most liquids can be carried in bottles that hold 3 ounces or less, once placed in a quart-sized, clear, plastic, zipped bag to hold all of your small bottles. There’s a limit of one bag per passenger.
  • That liquid rule includes snow globes: You can bring small snow globes as carry-on luggage as long as they are less than 3.4 ounces and packed in your 3-1-1 bag. If you’re not sure, leave the globe at home or ship it. Otherwise, it may get seized.

If you are planning on traveling this week, the personal injury lawyers of Elk & Elk urge you to use caution so your trip and your holiday are something you and your family can be thankful for. As always, pay attention to the road and not your cell phone, wear your seat belt and drive defensively, not aggressively.

Have a safe and fun Thanksgiving holiday.

 

Women continue to report Mirena issues

It’s been more than three years since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Bayer about its deceptive advertising  practices relating to the intrauterine device known as Mirena.

Millions of women worldwide continue to use the product as birth control, and now, many are taking to the Internet to share their stories of problems related to use of the device.

A quick search online for “Mirena side effects, ” “Mirena issues” or “Mirena complications” will reveal  dozens of sites with women who either are using Mirena or who have used the IUD and now wish they had chosen a different form of birth control.

Many women report abdominal pain, extremely heavy menstrual flow, infections and mood swings. In more serious cases, the device has become dislodged and caused uterine perforation. Thousands of women have had Mirena removed because the side effects or complications were too difficult to endure.

Mirena’s marketing targeted “busy moms,” suggesting that the product would increase the level of intimacy, romance and emotional satisfaction for women. This in spite of clinical trials that reported at least 5 percent of women experienced decreased libido after use.  The marketing also suggested Mirena would help women “look and feel great,” despite known side effects including weight gain, acne, breast pain and tenderness.

The personal injury lawyers of Elk & Elk have nearly 50 years of experience battling big businesses who put the bottom line before the health and safety of their customers – businesses like Bayer, that continues to profit from Mirena despite the risk to millions of women’s well-being.  Making false and misleading ads and failing to inform patients of the risk of product migration and uterus perforation has endangered the health of every woman using the device.

If you have been injured or suffered complications while using Mirena, please contact us today. Call 1-800-ELK-OHIO or fill out or free online consultation form.

To find out more about Mirena and what the Ohio Mirena lawyers of Elk & Elk can do to help you, click here.

Arthur Elk’s Winter Survival Kit For Your Vehicle

By Arthur Elk

Like the Boy Scouts always say, it pays to be prepared. Are you prepared for any emergency that may occur while you are driving?

Automotive emergencies can take many forms – from accidents to breakdowns. If you live in an area where you must deal with winter weather for several months each year, a winter survival kit is an essential part of being prepared for whatever emergencies may come your way.

Snow, cold, ice and slush can all play havoc with your vehicle as you try to navigate your path across treacherous winter roadways. The odds of you having a driving emergency during the winter are much higher than in the other three seasons.

That’s why it is so important for you to have some essential items in your car at all times – a winter survival kit.

What are 10 items you should definitely have in your winter survival kit?

1)      Blanket. If you are stuck in a stranded car, you will want a warm blanket, or several warm blankets, to retain your body heat.

2)      Snow shovel. Keep a short-handled shovel in the trunk in case you need to remove snow from around the wheels of your vehicle. Plastic ones may work, but a metal one may be preferred in case you need to chip away some ice or compacted snow.

3)      Flashlights. Always have at least two water-proof flashlights with fresh batteries in case you breakdown or have an accident at night.

4)      Bottle of water. The human body can last days without food. However, serious organ damage or even death can result if you are without water for more than 12 hours. Water can also be used to clean wounds, and to fill your radiator if your car overheats.

5)      Food. Packaged nuts and seeds are good choices, as are protein bars – these items can withstand temperature changes without becoming spoiled. Packaged dried fruits or dehydrated foods designed for camping also work well for car emergency kits. They can provide fats, protein, and essential nutrients your body needs to help you get through a roadside emergency.

6)      Spare cell phone charger. Having an extra charger in your car could mean the difference between you having to walk for help or being able to call for assistance.

7)      Flares. Flares should be placed behind your vehicle if you break down or are pulled off to the side of the road so other vehicles can see you at night or in inclement winter weather. Be sure to include several books of matches or a couple of lighters, so you will be able to light the flares if necessary.

8)      Jumper cables. Cold weather has a way of sapping your battery’s charge, potentially leaving you stranded on a frigid winter night. If all you need to get back on the road is a jump start, it pays to have your own set, instead of hoping the person nice enough to stop and help you has a set.

9)      Hot packs/hand warmers. Available at camping stores, all you have to do is smash these bags and the chemical reaction inside creates warmth for up to 14 hours.

10)   Basic first aid kit. Antiseptic wipes, adhesive bandages, pain relievers, and cold compresses should all be placed in your emergency kit. Any of these items may come in handy if you are ever in an accident or trapped in your car.

Once you have assembled your winter survival kit, be sure to check it throughout the winter to make sure nothing is broken or expired.

While having a winter survival kit can’t prevent emergencies from happening, it can make sure you get through the experience as comfortably as possible. Be prepared and be safe this winter.

Elk & Elk partners with hunger center, radio host to battle hunger

Everyday across the country, millions of Americans battle hunger. It’s a battle no one should have to fight. That’s why the Ohio attorneys at Elk & Elk are privileged to be able to help some Cleveland-area residents win that battle.

On Wednesday, Nov. 21, members of the Elk & Elk family will be loading up a trailer full of turkeys and food and traveling to the St. Augustine Hunger Center in Tremont.

This is the eighth consecutive year Elk & Elk has partnered with Cleveland sports radio host Mark “Munch” Bishop to help stock the hunger center for the year to come. Bishop, who started the annual food drive in 1990, will be broadcasting live from the center to help raise awareness of the food drive.

From 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Nov. 21, the hunger center will be accepting food and monetary donations at its Tremont home – donations that will keep the center feeding three meals a day for the next year.

“The help that we get each year is so important for us to keep this hunger center going. Without it, I could not do it,” said Sister Corita Ambro, director of the hunger center.

“We take each dollar that comes in and stretch it as far as we can so that we can provide meals for these people every single day,” said Sister Corita. “If you give us $10, we can feed at least 100 people with that.” She said that the center serves up to 250 people at each meal.

This year, every dollar you donate to the hunger during the food drive will go even further. Elk & Elk will match every dollar donated up to $12,000.

“Without the support of the Cleveland community, we wouldn’t be where we are today. It’s important for us to give back to the community and take care of the less fortunate members of our community,” said Elk & Elk managing partner Arthur Elk.

Hunger center volunteers cook and carve 50 turkeys a day from Oct. 1 through Thanksgiving day to prepare the thousands of turkeys that will be used on Thanksgiving day.

On Thanksgiving day, more than 17,000 poor and homeless residents of the Greater Cleveland area will be fed by food from the hunger center. Sister Corita says she shares the turkeys with 17 soup kitchens and pantries across the area.

To learn more about how you can help the St. Augustine Hunger Center fulfill its mission to feed Cleveland’s hungry, visit its website at www.staugustine-west14.org or call the parish at 216-781-5530.

The center is located in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood at 2486 W. 14th St.