Back-to-School Safety

A brand-new backpack stuffed with notebooks, pencils, and folders signals the inevitable end to summer for many parents and kids.

Drivers will encounter students heading to and from school on foot, on bikes, and by bus and they will need to adhere to certain safety standards to ensure that everyone arrives at their destinations unharmed.

Drivers and Walkers

Many students walk to school without an accompanying adult, and since children are unpredictable, drivers need to be aware of ways to avoid unsafe situations. Children will be directed by authority figures to use crosswalks at intersections. Vehicles should not block any portion of the crosswalk, which could cause students to veer toward moving traffic.Regardless of the presence of a marked crosswalk, drivers must allow pedestrians to cross when flashers are activated in a school zone and they are required to stop when directed by a sign or crossing guard.

Driving with Bicyclists

Drivers need to be cautious when navigating roadways shared by young bicyclists. Though people riding bikes are expected to follow the same rules as those behind the wheel, young riders tend to be particularly vulnerable to injury. They are often overlooked in traffic and they may lack the ability to properly gauge the safety of road conditions. Drivers can reduce the opportunity for danger by maintaining a distance of three feet from bicyclists when passing them, using proper turn signals, and allowing riders to cross the intersection before making turns that place the vehicle in the biker’s path. Children may not always practice proper signaling and they should be watched for sudden entry into traffic from driveways or behind parked vehicles.

School Bus Protocol

School buses provide the safest option for children to get to school, particularly when drivers follow the expected cautionary measures implemented to keep children from ending up in harm’s way. Drivers need to pay attention to signals indicating that the bus is about to stop for children and may not legally pass a bus actively loading or unloading students. In fact, all traffic on undivided roadways or vehicles approaching from behind a school bus must effectively stop during this process. The immediate perimeter around the school bus poses a substantial risk to children, and an appropriate clearance of ten feet should be given by surrounding vehicles.

Use Caution

Drivers can take a proactive role in reducing danger and promoting safe road conditions for children as they transition back to school. Despite being expected to behave responsibly as they walk, ride bikes, or take buses to school, children tend to be impulsive, distracted, and careless at unpredictable moments. That’s why it is the responsibility of the drivers to become familiar with local laws regarding proper driving procedures in school zones, residential neighborhoods, and areas where children are likely to be present. Drivers do have an obligation to be cautious, observant motorists around pedestrians, which overrides any right-of-way situations on the road. Ultimately, respecting standard driving procedures and exercising extreme care will prioritize a common goal: keeping school children safe.

Contact Us

The attorneys at Carey, Danis & Lowe are available to help if your child is injured due to an accident while traveling to or from school. If you find yourself in a situation where injuries have been caused by the negligence of another, we encourage you to call our office today. We will listen to you and then give you the facts and options you need to move on with your life. Do not wait, but call us today so we can give you the professional advice you need during this time.

How to Avoid Medication Errors

While medications are prescribed to patients every day in an effort to relieve symptoms and cure illnesses, prescription drug errors sometimes cause more harm than good. As a patient, it is crucial that you aid your healthcare team in preventing medication errors by being informed and aware.

Inform Your Physicians

The best way to prevent negative interactions between the medications you take is to ensure that your doctors are aware of all the prescriptions. Make a list of each medication, the dosage, and the frequency you take it. Take a copy of this list with you to each doctor’s appointment and ask the doctor to place it in your file. Include over-the-counter medications and supplements like herbs and vitamins, as they can become the culprits responsible for medication complications.

Many doctors request that patients bring their medications with them to appointments. Even if your doctor does not ask you to do this, bring them along anyway to enable your doctor to assess your medication regimen.

Allergic reactions account for numerous medication errors. Always inform each doctor of your any allergies. Your doctor can then act as the gatekeeper who protects you from unnecessary allergic reactions. Provide your pharmacy with the same information so they can act as a backup and catch any errors that make it past your doctor.

Use One Pharmacy

To ensure that your pharmacist is able to catch potential drug interactions, have each prescription filled at the same pharmacy. This increases the odds that your pharmacist will quickly be alerted to any problems. When you have prescriptions filled at more than one store, it is impossible for the pharmacy to know about all of the drugs you are taking.

Educate Yourself

When your doctor prescribes medications for you, ensure that you understand the purpose of each medication. Ask questions and read the papers your doctor gives you when you leave the office. Read all the inserts that come with your prescriptions as well. While many people toss these papers in the trash, smart patients read the inserts to become informed about the proper way to take the medication and learn about possible side effects.

Measure Your Dose

Many medication errors occur due to improper dosing, particularly when it comes to liquid medicine. Teaspoons that we use at home for meals measure differently than marked teaspoons used for medication. Anytime you receive liquid medication, ask your pharmacy to provide you with the proper measuring implement. Never split pills in half without first checking with your pharmacist. While some pills can be divided safely, others cannot.

Watch Expiration Dates

Both prescription and over-the-counter medications contain expiration dates after which you should discard the medication. Some medications increase in strength as they age, while others lose potency. To prevent potential problems, watch the dates and dispose of medication that is past its expiration date.

While your medicine is intended to help you heal, medication errors can cause serious or fatal harm. By taking the proper precautions, you can increase the odds that medication errors never happen to you.

Contact Us

The attorneys at Carey, Danis & Lowe stand ready to help you deal with medication errors that occur because of someone’s negligence. This could be a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider. Call Carey, Danis & Lowe today to learn more about your options.

Free Report: Topamax Litigation: Understanding Your Rights

Topamax Litigation: Understanding Your Rights

Topamax is a medication marketed for the prevention of migraine headaches and for the treatment of the seizure disorder epilepsy.  Topamax is manufactured by a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary called Janssen Pharmaceuticals and it is one of the most commonly prescribed anticonvulsant medications on the market.

Topics covered in this report include:

  1. Topamax Litigation: Your Right to Compensation
  2. Topamax Litigation

Click here to read the whole article or download the PDF.

Free Report: St. Louis Pharmaceutical Liability: Even Over-The Counter Medications Present Risks

St. Louis Pharmaceutical Liability: Even Over-The Counter Medications Present Risks


Despite regulations intended to protect patients from dangerous medications, drugs with unexpected and serious side effects frequently come onto the marketplace.

Topics covered in this report include:

  1. Over-The-Counter Medications and Treatments can be Dangerous
  2. Manufacturer Obligations in Defective Product cases

Click here to read the whole article or download the PDF.

Free Report: Pharmaceutical Liability in St. Louis: Off Label Drugs Endanger Patients

Pharmaceutical Liability in St. Louis: Off Label Drugs Endanger Patients

Medications in the United States must be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The purpose of requiring approval is to ensure that the drugs are tested for safety. Drugs are tested for a specific purpose among a specific population of individuals and are then approved for the medical condition for which they were tested.

Topics covered in this report include:

  1. The Risks of off-Label Medications

Click here to read the whole article or download the PDF.

Understanding FDA Recall Categories

The FDA may initiate a recall or a manufacturer may initiate a voluntary recall if it learns that a product has unexpected risks.
Learn more about FDA recall categories in this presentation.


Mass Torts in Defective Drug Cases

Victims of defective drug side effects or illnesses can also make a claim based on negligence or failure to warn them of risk.
Learn more about Drug Cases in this presentation.



Are Trucking Companies Regulated by the Federal Government?

Trucking companies throughout the United States are subject to strict regulations in order to ensure that they do not endanger the public as a result of negligent behavior or careless operation. Trucking companies are regulated by both state and local governments as well as by the federal government of the United States of America.

Trucking Companies and Federal Regulations

Trucking companies are required to comply with all federal regulations. The regulations that affect the trucking industry are generally set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which regulates not just commercial trucks but also other commercial vehicles that transport passengers, such as tour buses. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has set a number of different rules and regulations for trucking companies that must be followed. These regulations include:

  • Limits on the number of hours that a driver can operate his truck for without a rest break. These are called hours-of-service limits and they apply to both long and short haul truck drivers.
  • Rules regarding licensing and training for truck drivers of commercial motor vehicles.
  • Requirements related to vehicle maintenance and inspection in order to ensure that all vehicles are regularly maintained and that there are no dangerous problems with the brakes or other truck components that could result in an accident occurring.
  • Regulations on the operation of commercial trucking companies including rules on when penalties can be imposed on companies who fail to follow safety rules and regulations.

These are just a sampling of the many different rules that the federal government has set for the trucking industry. When individual states set their own rules and requirements for commercial trucking companies, they may impose stricter requirements on companies operating within their

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states but they may not pass laws or rules that contradict those that have been set on the federal level. If the federal law imposes a requirement on a trucking company, that requirement must be followed.

The Importance of Federal Trucking Regulations

The federal regulations on trucking companies establish uniform rules that apply throughout the whole of the United States, which is very important as many trucks transport goods across state lines. The rules apply everywhere and are enforced to ensure that the truckers and the public are safe. If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident and federal rules of safety were broken, this breach of the federal rules can be considered clear evidence that the trucker and/or trucking company was negligent and is thus liable for losses caused by the negligence. An experienced truck accident lawyer can help you to determine if any federal laws were broken by the trucker or trucking company that caused your wreck to occur.

Topamax Birth Defect Award Upheld

In November of last year, a Topamax plaintiff was awarded $11 million in compensation.    The case, Gurley v. Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceutical, occurred in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Topamax appealed the decision, but Judge George W. Overton recently denied the defendant’s motion for a new trial and upheld the verdict.  The defendant who appealed was Johnson & Johnson, as Janssen Pharmaceuticals is the company’s subsidiary. medication pills

The fact that the verdict was upheld is good news for the family who was affected by serious complications from the anticonvulsant medication Topamax.  It is also good news for other plaintiffs who have pending claims against Johnson & Johnson for problems that the drug allegedly caused them.  While every case is different, drug companies are often more likely to settle claims after large plaintiff’s verdicts and large verdicts mean that juries may view Topamax birth defect cases favorably.

If your child was born with a birth defect after exposure to Topamax during fetal development, it is important that you understand your legal rights. Carey, Danis & Lowe can help you to pursue a claim for compensation from the drug company for your damages and losses resulting from a Topamax birth defect. Call today to speak with a member of our legal team and learn more.

Topamax Case Results in Large Verdict for Plaintiff

The case in which the jury awarded $11 million involved a child who was born with a severe cleft palate after exposure to Topamax during fetal development.  The FDA and numerous medical studies have acknowledged that Topamax significantly increases the risk of this birth defect.

The child has already undergone multiple surgeries because of the severe cleft palate. Unfortunately, ongoing consultations with a plastic surgeon are necessary and the child faces additional procedures including dental and oral surgery. Speech therapy and auditory evaluations will be necessary and the child may require a rhinoplasty as well as psychological counseling because of the multiple procedures as well as the emotional challenges that the cleft palate presents.

Even with the surgeries, it is unlikely that the cleft palate will ever be fully corrected. As a result, the judge noted that the child is likely to experience ongoing difficulties in communication. Speech difficulties are also likely to become worse as a result of residual scarring following the multiple surgical procedures.

The lasting damage, coupled with accusations that the company knew of the risks of cleft palates as far back as 1997, mean that the damage award was justified and that it should stand. Drug companies must pay to fully compensate victims if their medications cause unexpected harm, and Johnson & Johnson is responsible here for the damage their product caused to the child and family.

Carey, Danis & Lowe can represent others who have been affected by dangerous drugs and defective medications including Topamax. Call today if your child suffered a cleft palate or other birth defects and learn more about how a St. Louis defective drug lawyer can help you.

Off-Label Drugs Endanger Patients

Off-label medications can be dangerous to patients because they can result in a patient suffering an adverse reaction or unexpected side effect.  A defective drug lawyer in the St. Louis, Missouri area should be consulted if you or a loved one is prescribed a medication and become sick as a result of the drug.  Carey, Danis & Lowe can represent you in a claim against the drug manufacturer so you can recover compensation for damages. Off-Label Drugs

The Dangers of Off-Label Drugs

Before a drug is approved and sold, it must be tested by the manufacturer and it must obtain clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Drugs are tested for a specific purpose. For example, a medication may be intended to treat diabetes and will be tested to determine if it has a positive impact on the health of diabetes patients.

Once a drug is approved, doctors may prescribe the medication for any purpose that they believe will be beneficial to the patient. If the doctor thinks that a drug approved for one medical condition could help a patient with a different medical problem, the doctor can prescribe that drug to the patient. This is called off-label prescribing. According to WebMD, as many as one out of every five prescriptions written by doctors on an outpatient basis my be for off-label drugs.

While doctors are allowed to prescribe off-label drugs, drug companies are not allowed to market their medications for a purpose other than what the drug has been approved for.  Unfortunately, pharmaceutical companies sometimes break these rules. For example, a powerful narcotic painkiller called Subsys was approved by the FDA in 2012 but it was intended to be used by patients who were already taking painkillers virtually all the time, like cancer patients who were in serious pain.

According to a New York Times  article, the drug has now become a $100 million business.  Unfortunately, oncologists are also prescribing the medication in about one percent of cases and less than half of the prescriptions for the drug are written by pain management specialists. The remainder of the prescriptions are being written by general practice doctors and others who are not specialists in pain management including podiatrists and dentists. This means a powerful narcotic is frequently being prescribed to patients who may not need such a strong drug, even at a time when there are growing concerns about prescription pain killer abuse.

The New York Times indicates that several former sales-reps for the company have asserted that they were encouraged to market the medication for off-label use and that they were rewarded with higher commissions if they sold higher doses.

While there are no known reports of harm from these actions yet, it is clear that off-label drugs can have serious consequences.  As The Star recently reported, off-label prescribing of an anti-nausea drug to pregnant patients has resulted in babies being born with severe birth defects impacting the kidneys and the heart. At least two infants have been killed.

Getting Legal Help for Off-Label Drugs

If a drug manufacturer encourages off-label drugs to be prescribed, the pharmaceutical company could be liable for the consequences.  A defective drug lawyer at Carey, Danis & Lowe can help victims harmed by defective drugs and off-label drugs to pursue a claim for compensation. Call today or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.