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Covington Personal Injury Law Blog

Debate over regulations for trucking safety on the road

For many Kentucky drivers, the thought of an accident with a large tractor-trailer truck is one of the most frightening possibilities on the roadway. The mass and weight of these large trucks means that a crash involving them can be deadly or lead to severe personal injuries. As truck drivers spend lengthy shifts behind the wheel, often driving at highway speeds during late-night hours, the threat posed to highway safety due to drowsy drivers can be significant. Because of this danger, a number of ongoing debates concern the best way to regulate drivers' hours of work in order to protect people from dangerous truck crashes.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, or OOIDA, is seeking to change the rules implemented by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA. Specifically, the FMCSA mandates a 14-hour shift each day for truck drivers, including a mandatory 30-minute rest break to take place during their first 8 hours on the job. The regulations mandate that a shift runs for 14 hours straight; they do not allow a truck driver to "stop the clock" and return to finish their shift.

JAMA study shows rise in car crashes on April 20

Recreational marijuana use has been legalized in nine states and Washington, D.C. While the people of Kentucky may not have to worry as much about drivers operating under the influence of recreational marijuana, they need to know that marijuana-related crashes are apparently increasing in most U.S. states. This is especially true during the April 20 holiday that marijuana users have proclaimed and celebrated since the early '90s.

A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine has analyzed government crash data between 1992 and 2016, comparing fatal crash rates on every April 20 to those in the weeks preceding it and following it. Researchers concluded that there was a 12 percent increase in fatal car crashes on April 20, or 142 more deaths than in the surrounding weeks. Since researchers had little access to police data on drug testing, they could not link any crashes directly to marijuana use.

Brain trauma a serious threat to newborns

Kentucky parents should be aware of the dangers of brain trauma in babies. It is, unfortunately, one of the most common forms of birth injury as well as one of the most serious, with long-term cognitive and physical effects.

Babies can incur brain trauma before, during, or after delivery. Decreased oxygen intake and decreased blood flow can lead to trauma during delivery, though this is technically rare. It is more often than not the cause of medical negligence. Other times, complications like placental disorders can be the cause. Premature births are often complicated by oxygen deprivation, called hypoxia.

Open fracture may leave you closed off from your normal life

Though you may have always considered yourself a safe driver and believed that your cautious actions had helped prevent you from suffering harm, you may have recently found yourself involved in a serious accident. The accident was no fault of your own, but you still ended up with injuries that could have a considerable impact on your life. Now you may wonder how to seek compensation and justice for the injuries and other damages suffered.

Fortunately, legal options do exist for such scenarios. In particular, filing a personal injury claim against the driver or other parties considered responsible for the injury-causing accident could allow you to pursue financial restitution. Of course, you may also worry about the injuries you suffered and how they will be addressed, especially if you experienced a compound fracture.

Flesh-eating bacteria and flu misdiagnosis

During flu season in Kentucky, many people visit their doctors to report symptoms such as fever, aches, chills, coughing and congestion. In some cases, flu-like symptoms can signify the presence of flesh-eating bacteria, a condition known as necrotizing fasciitis. The condition destroys a person's skin and soft tissue and can require surgical removal of the affected parts of the body to save the patient's life.

Symptoms of the flesh-eating bacteria such as fever, chills, fatigue and vomiting mimic those of the flu and can lead to a misdiagnosis in some cases. A person with the condition may also experience pain in the infected area, and skin may become red or purplish.

Retained objects more common after surgery than you may expect

Because they are professionals, you and many other Kentucky patients undoubtedly want to trust your doctors and other medical staff to do what is best in terms of your care. While the majority of medical staff do adhere to these standards of care and try to maintain a thorough and conscious demeanor throughout any treatment or procedures you may need, mistakes can still happen.

When a medical mistake occurs, the resulting issues can vary from minor to deadly. Unfortunately, a serious problem could come about due to a seemingly minor oversight by a member of the medical staff. For instance, a nurse or other individual could miscount the number of medical tools present after surgery, and this miscount could result in an object being left in your body.

Surgical errors can lead to devastating consequences

When Kentucky patients go to a hospital for surgical treatment, they generally trust that they will emerge positively from the experience with improved health and a solution to an ongoing condition. However, when surgical errors or other medical mistakes take place, this may not be the case. Mistakes during surgery can lead to even greater medical problems for the patient and require long-term care, and it can be important for injured patients to seek compensation and accountability for the harm done to them.

While medical malpractice is a common term in television and billboard ads, it can be confusing about what kinds of actions actually constitute malpractice. Malpractice is more than just a mistake made by a doctor; people in all professions can be expected to make errors on the job. However, each case can be examined to determine whether the error constitutes a failure to provide the requisite standard of care.

Tips to prevent wrong-site surgery

The doctors and surgeons practicing throughout Kentucky are well-trained and bound by a duty of care for their patients. Despite that, these surgeons aren't infallible. According to a study undertaken by Johns Hopkins in 2016, as many as 250,000 deaths across the country were due to medical mistakes attributed to doctors or hospitals.

Although major malpractice cases are few and far between, one very real threat comes from so-called 'wrong-site surgery." This involves a doctor undertaking a surgical procedure on the incorrect body part or even the wrong patient. Since many surgeons perform several surgeries per day, the details for each patient can blur together. Luckily, there are some common sense tips for preventing wrong-site surgery.

Staying safe in the vicinity of large trucks

Drivers may not like the thought of sharing Kentucky highways or other roads with large trucks. However, it is important that drivers of passenger vehicles understand how to stay safe in their presence. For instance, it is never a good idea to speed up as a truck begins to change into a smaller vehicle's lane. This is because the truck may not be able to stop or move back into the other lane fast enough to avoid a collision.

It is also a good idea to provide more space alongside and behind a larger truck. Doing so may make it easier for trucks to make wide turns without putting others in danger. If a truck and passenger vehicle do collide, it could result in the car sliding underneath the truck. It is also possible for a truck that has rear-ended a passenger vehicle to ride on top of the vehicle.

Watch out for these issues to avoid hospital injuries

It's logical to assume that thousands of people will enter various hospitals throughout Kentucky during the new year. You might be one of them. Perhaps you have already scheduled some outpatient procedure or are preparing for a much more serious surgery that will require an extended hospital stay. Either way, whatever the reason you plan to seek treatment in a hospital, you want to stay as safe as possible so you don't come away in a worse condition than you were in when you entered.

The problem is there's often little to nothing you can do to control other people's behavior, and when that includes the actions of any doctor, nurse, practitioner, physician assistant or other medical staff member, your overall health and well-being is at risk of a care provider is negligent. In fact, beyond your immediate health condition, your very life may be in danger. Knowing ahead of time who can help if a problem arises can help you quickly access support when needed.

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