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Covington Personal Injury Law Blog

Trade group lobbys for broader truck ELD regulations

Large truck accidents in Kentucky and around the country claimed 4,761 lives in 2017, and the 415,000 collisions involving large commercial vehicles killed 600 truck drivers and injured a further 148,000. The Washington, DC-based Alliance for Driver Safety & Security is working to reduce these numbers, and the trade group, which includes some of the nation's largest trucking companies, recently submitted a list of proposals to lawmakers on the House Transportation Subcommittee on Highways and Transit.

In its proposals, the ADSS, which is usually referred to as the Trucking Alliance, implores Congress to place public safety above industry and operator concerns, and they cite regulations dealing with Electronic Logging Devices as an example of why this needs to be done. The safety benefits of ELDs are well established, but exemptions granted to trucks hauling agricultural products and vehicles that are part of a small fleet would allow 90% of the nation's trucks to operate without them.

The challenge of linking medical malpractice with injuries

Medical malpractice is all too common with everything from surgical errors to diagnostic and medication errors being committed in Kentucky and across the U.S. When malpractice, or the failure of a doctor to live up to accepted standards of conduct, leads to an injury, it may form the basis for a claim. Yet linking malpractice with some injuries can be difficult.

For example, the negligence of a surgeon may not necessarily be behind an injury if the risk for such an injury was accepted beforehand. Some surgical procedures may result in complications without the doctor being complicit in them.

Complications that may arise in truck accidents

Any kind of motor vehicle accident can have serious consequences, but truck accidents may lead to some additional complexities. One reason is that the size of the truck simply means that more damage is likely. This size also means an accident takes up more space on the roadway, raising the likelihood of additional accidents.

It can also be difficult to determine who is actually at fault in an accident that was caused by a truck driver. Some drivers own their trucks, but others may be driving a truck that belongs to a company. Who the load belongs to may also be relevant. Trucking regulations can introduce further complications. For example, it may be necessary to determine whether the driver exceeded the maximum number of hours of driving in a day. This could determine whether the driver is at fault. Some trucks also carry black boxes that record data that could be helpful in determining the accident's cause. However, it can make the accident investigation more difficult if it contradicts other information.

How Kentucky residents can help prevent car accidents

Kentucky motorists who are concerned about road safety should be aware of several safety tips that may help prevent car accidents. After all, traffic collisions are the leading cause of death for people between 2 and 34 years of age.

Perhaps the best way to prevent getting into a car crash is to adhere to traffic laws. The leading cause of accidents is negligent driving, such as speeding and failure to consider road conditions such as black ice or rain. All drivers should take care to complete full stops at stop signs, yield when necessary and exercise caution at intersections.

Commercial vehicle crashes can occur under a variety of scenarios

As you travel along Kentucky roads, you may encounter a variety of commercial vehicles nearly every day. While the inherent increases in the size and weight of these vehicles can help them carry heavy loads over extended periods, unfortunately, it also makes them far more difficult to maneuver.

The sizable structure of commercial vehicles also poses additional risks as well, as other vehicles stand virtually no chance of holding their own should a collision occur. Should a commercial vehicle hit your car, there is a chance you might suffer serious or potentially life-altering injuries in the process.

Most health IT-related issues go unresolved

A new study has found that health care organizations in Kentucky and elsewhere are failing to resolve most patient safety events involving information technology. The study, which was published in the Journal of Patient Safety and Risk Management, was conducted by researchers from MedStar Health's National Center for Human Factors in Health and the Georgetown School of Medicine.

To come to their conclusions, researchers examined 1.7 million patient safety events and flagged the ones that involved health care IT. They then divided each organization's response to the event into categories, including no resolution, training and education, policy and IT-oriented solutions. They found that 64% of events were never resolved. Of the events that did get resolved, 55% were resolved with training and education, 45% were resolved with an IT-oriented solution and 6% were resolved with multiple solutions.

CVSA schedules Operation Safe Driver Week for July 14

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance understands that increasing traffic law enforcement is one way of reducing car crashes in Kentucky and across the U.S. For this reason, the CVSA designates one week out of every year as Operation Safe Driver Week; during this period, law enforcement personnel track for unsafe driving behaviors and issue warnings and citations.

2019's Operation Safe Driver Week has been scheduled for July 14 to 20. As with previous events, it will encompass both passenger vehicle and CMV drivers. This year, the special focus will be on speeding. Speeding, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, accounts for more than one-fourth of all the car crash deaths that have arisen since 2008.

Schizophrenia patients can be frequently misdiagnosed

When it comes to treating mental illness, diagnostic accuracy is important. When people in Kentucky receive medications for the wrong illness, the results can be harmful, especially when the treatments have serious side effects. While those side effects may be worthwhile to treat a severe mental illness, they can be completely unacceptable when rendered without benefit to the patient. According to one study, at least half of the people diagnosed with schizophrenia at one clinic were misdiagnosed and instead suffered from anxiety. The treatment protocols for both disorders vary significantly, and a treatment for one disorder is likely to be ineffective for the other.

The study noted that many patients are diagnosed with severe mental illness by a general practice physician rather than a psychiatrist or other specialist. These physicians tend to rely on five symptoms to diagnose schizophrenia, including delusions, disorganized behavior, disorganized speech, hallucinations and negative symptoms. Auditory hallucinations, or "hearing voices," are some of the best-known symptoms of schizophrenia. However, this can also be a common cause of misdiagnosis. People may hear voices intermittently as a symptom of a number of conditions. Sometimes, it is a phenomenon that stops shortly thereafter. At other times, the patient is looking for a way to describe a more general feeling of discomfort.

Electronic records could lead to pediatric dangers

When people take their children to the doctor or the hospital in Kentucky, they may be worried about their kids' health or even the treatment they will receive. Most parents do not pay much attention to how their children's medical records are kept. However, some of the complications associated with electronic health records, or EHRs, can lead to significant problems and dangers for pediatric patients in particular. Many physicians and other medical staff are relatively new to the use of EHRs, and the software can be clunky and inefficient. As a result, doctors often complain that their own effectiveness is driven down by some of the complications of the software.

One report says that poorly designed EHRs could prove a danger to patients, especially children. Researchers noted that federal requirements for this type of software do not distinguish between the care provided to children and adults. One of the most significant problems that can arise from EHR-related confusion is an incorrect dosage for children. Dosages of specific medications are often adjusted for children based on their age as well as their weight. EHRs that do not include material on these adjustments may lead, in part, to children receiving overdoses or other medication errors.

Survey looks into distracted driving habits

Distracted driving is a significant concern to those who took a survey conducted by Root Insurance. Of those who responded to the survey, 47 percent said that it was their top concern. In many cases, distracted driving is caused by smartphone use, and this occurs on roads in Kentucky and throughout the country. For many drivers, using a phone while their vehicle is moving is something that they do without thinking about it.

Of those who responded to the Root Insurance survey, 38 percent said they don't put their phones down even when they see a police officer. On average, respondents said that they spent an average of 91 minutes on their phones while driving. Almost all drivers used their phones to watch videos, peruse social media or to respond to group or other text messages. While most admit to driving while using a phone, many disapprove of others doing it themselves.

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