Belsky Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC A Personal Injury & Workers’ Compensation Law Firm

Baltimore Personal Injury Blog

Study finds disruptive docs in the OR aren't just distracting, but dangerous

While the reality of having to undergo surgery is enough to make even the most stoic patient experience considerable unease, things can become that much more difficult when they are have to deal with a surgeon who is rude, dismissive or otherwise disrespectful. In fact, the experience might be so bad that it forces the patient or their family members to complain to hospital administration.

Interestingly enough, a recent study by researchers from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and six other academic health systems reveals that hospital administrators might want to be a bit more proactive about these types of complaints.

Can ignition interlocks save lives?

NOAH'S LAW AIMS TO PREVENT REPEAT DUIs

The passage of "Noah's Law" in 2016 signaled that Maryland is serious about saving lifes. Rather than simply punishing DUI, it aims to prevent drunk driving accidents by testing a driver's breath before they drive.

Noah's Law requires anyone convicted of driving under the influence to have an ignition interlock device -- similiar to a "breathalyzer" -- installed on their vehicle. The legislation was passed in honor of police officer Noah Leotta, who was killed on duty by a DUI repeat offender.

Will ignition interlock will keep our roads safe? Are Maryland's DUI laws too harsh? 

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Are millennial drivers behind the recent spike in fatal crashes?

According to recent reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. roads and highways have become decidedly more dangerous in recent years. In fact, agency statistics show that there were 35,092 traffic fatalities in 2015 alone. To put this in perspective, consider that this was a 7 percent increase from 2014 and the single largest year-to-year increase in traffic fatalities in 50 years.

This naturally raises the question as to what exactly is behind this alarming phenomenon. Fascinatingly, a recently released study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has identified at least one possible culprit: millennial drivers.

Common fibromyalgia misdiagnosis

Maryland residents should be aware that fibromyalgia is a commonly misdiagnosed medical condition. Fibromyalgia is non-specific and widespread pain that is associated with overactive nerves. Since widespread pain and fatigue can be caused by a wide variety of conditions, fibromyalgia can be difficult to diagnose accurately.

According to a medical expert, a diagnosis of fibromyalgia should only be given after the physician has exhausted other likely causes of the pain and fatigue. Three broad categories of diseases have symptoms very similar to true fibromyalgia. These are non-fibromyalgia medical conditions, musculoskeletal conditions and metabolic disorders. A doctor may need to run a wide variety of tests to rule out these other conditions as the cause of symptoms.

Just how effective are Maryland's highway safety laws?

Last week, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, a vehicle safety group whose stated mission is the "adoption of federal and state laws, policies and programs that prevent motor vehicle crashes," released a rather eye-opening report grading the 50 states and the District of Columbia on the efficacy of their highway safety laws.

Specifically, the report gave those states with the highest number of vehicle safety laws a green rating, states with important vehicle safety laws on the books, but room for improvement, a yellow rating, and states dangerously behind on their adoption of vehicle safety laws a red rating.

When a patient falls, is it medical malpractice?

WAS THERE A KNOWN FALL RISK? WHAT CAUSED OR PRECEDED THE FALL? 

Patients who are elderly or recovering from surgery or illness are prone to falls. Their frail health or weakened condition increases not only the likelihood of falling but the severity of injuries.

Depending on the circumstances, a fall in a hospital or nursing home may be grounds for a medical malpractice or negligence lawsuit. If a loved one is badly injured in a falling accident -- or has unexplained bruises or fractures -- consult an attorney who can explore legal action.

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Preventing workplace falls is in everyone's interests

DISABLING INJURIES COST U.S. EMPLOYERS $1 BILLION A WEEK

Falling accidents are among the most costly for employers in terms of missed work. It is probably no coincidence that three of the top OSHA violations involve ladders, scaffolds and fall protection equipment.

Everyone wins when management and employees adhere to safety regulations. Liberty Mutual Insurance has ranked the Top 10 worst work injuries. Are your working conditions putting you at risk of a disabling workplace accident?

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Could hackers turn our cars and trucks into remote-controlled "toys"?

COMMERCIAL VEHICLES ARE THE MOST VULNERABLE. YIKES.

It's one of those science fiction scenarios that is not so far-fetched. Everything on modern vehicles is run by computer. Many of those different parts and devices are wirelessly connected. And those connections are not always secure.

Experts worry that hackers - from terrorists to teenagers - could essentially hijack a moving motor vehicle, turning it into a giant remote-controlled toy. A big truck could be a powerful agent of destruction, and trucks may be most vulnerable to hacking because they are more extensively networked.

Industry experts and government regulators are attuned to the potential safety issues, especially at the dawn of self-driving vehicles. Hopefully, they are engineering security systems and failsafes to prevent access by outside parties.

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What exactly are temporary partial disability benefits?

If a worker suffers any sort of serious work-related injury that will keep them sidelined for any amount of time, they naturally have very pressing concerns about how they will make up for the time away. After all, the bank won't stop seeking to collect the mortgage payment, the power company won't just keep the power on for free and the food in the cupboards won't magically replenish itself.

The good news for people in this situation is that the Maryland Workers' Compensation Act indicates that qualifying injured workers are entitled to several different types of work comp benefits depending upon their circumstances.

Truckers face serious consequences for distracted driving

From fines to lawsuits to loss of employment, truck drivers risk serious consequences if they are found guilty of distracted driving. Regulations enacted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration prohibit over-the-road truckers from using handheld mobile phones while driving, including texting. Texting while driving is against the law in the state of Maryland.

Truckers who ignore the law may one day find that the few seconds in which their attention wanders are enough to cause a horrific accident. Hopefully, law enforcement or the employer intervenes before such a tragedy occurs, even it means that the truck driver loses his or her livelihood.

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