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Who’s an aggressive driver? The answer might surprise you

Published on Apr 17, 2017 at 9:19 pm in Car Accidents.

As you made your way to work this morning, chances are good that you noticed the usual assortment of questionable driving practices from those more interested in their phones than surrounding traffic to those who simply failed to notice the posted traffic signs.

You may have even encountered drivers whose behavior stopped short of road rage, but could easily be classified as dangerously assertive or perhaps even aggressive. As obnoxious as this type of behavior is, it can also be incredibly dangerous with statistics showing that aggressive driving is behind an alarming number of serious and even fatal car accidents.

Study: Over 20 percent of patients with serious conditions misdiagnosed

Published on Apr 10, 2017 at 9:19 pm in Medical Malpractice.

Two years ago, the National Academy of Medicine published a groundbreaking report indicating that not only will the majority of people receive an incorrect or delayed diagnosis at least once during their lifetime, but that roughly 12 million people — or close to 5 percent of adults seeking outpatient care — are misdiagnosed every year.

Furthermore, previous research has found that diagnostic errors are behind 6-17 percent of adverse hospital events, 10 percent of hospital deaths, and present in 10-20 percent of all cases.

As enlightening — and frightening — as these numbers are, the study authors cautioned that additional study was needed to identify the scope of the problem.

GHSA report projects 11 percent spike in pedestrian deaths in 2016

Published on Apr 3, 2017 at 9:20 pm in Pedestrian Accidents.

When the Governors Highway Safety Association published its annual findings on the number of pedestrian fatalities here in the U.S. last year, there was no shortage of shock and outrage. Indeed, it was hoped that the revelation that the number of pedestrian fatalities had increased by more than 9 percent from 2014 to 2015 would serve as something of a wakeup call to motorists, pedestrians and lawmakers.

Fast forward to the present and, in an unsettling turn of events, it appears as if this wakeup call has gone largely unanswered.

After examining preliminary data from the highway safety offices of all 50 states and the District of Columbia, GHSA researchers have determined that there were 2,660 pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. during the first six months of 2016 as compared with 2,486 during the same timeframe in 2015.

Was your hospital fall listed as a “never event?”

Published on Mar 28, 2017 at 9:06 pm in Medical Malpractice.

Even though hospitals have signs in strategic locations warning about the possibility of a patient taking a fall, this kind of accident happens on a daily basis. Patients may fall because they felt woozy getting out of bed or because the freshly mopped floor was slippery.

Some patiens survive such falls without harm. But if they suffered a lasting injury it may be classed as a medical error, and they may be entitled to compensation from the medical facility.

Slip-and-fall accidents and outdoor conditions — II

Published on Mar 27, 2017 at 9:07 pm in General Blogs.

Last week, our blog began discussing how it’s important for people to understand that negligent property owners can be held accountable for slip-and-fall accidents that occur outside provided the site of the incident is part of the owner’s premises, and the owner either 1) failed to rectify the condition that caused the accident or 2) take the necessary precautions.

By way of illustration, we examined slip-and-fall accidents occurring in the snow or on the ice surrounding buildings. We’ll continue this discussion in today’s post, exploring two surfaces types many of us traverse on a daily basis.

Slip-and-fall accidents and outdoor conditions

Published on Mar 20, 2017 at 9:10 pm in General Blogs.

For the most part, liability for slip-and-fall accidents likely brings to mind images of people filing lawsuits after suffering serious injuries in tumbles inside shopping malls, big box retailers, movie theaters, office buildings and apartment complexes.

While this is certainly an accurate depiction, it’s also somewhat limited in scope. That’s because slip-and-fall accidents and the resulting liability on the part of property owners can also extend to outdoor areas.

In general, the law dictates that liability exists if the outside area where a person suffered some manner of injury in a slip-and-fall accident is part of the property owner’s premises, and it can be shown that they failed to either 1) correct an issue that caused the accident or 2) take the necessary precautions.

Should first-year MDs go back to 24-hour shifts?

Published on Mar 13, 2017 at 9:12 pm in Medical Malpractice.

If you were to ask your longtime physician about their time as a resident, they would more than likely look back with some ambivalence, perhaps describing a 12-month period highlighted by significant learning, but also very long shifts and sleepless nights.

While the life of the first-year doctor-in-training was indeed long characterized by 24-plus hour shifts, this changed back in 2011 when the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, citing concerns about both patient and physician safety, changed the maximum number of hours a resident could work to 16.

Interestingly enough, the ACGME, which establishes work rules for medical school graduates here in the U.S., recently announcedthat it this shift limit would be extended to 24 hours starting July 1.

A flying toaster hit my windshield. Do I have a case?

Published on Mar 9, 2017 at 9:13 pm in Car Accidents.

At one time or another, every motorist must try to avoid flying debris or an unexpected obstacle in the roadway. The item could be anything from a chunk of concrete to a mattress to a toaster that falls out of the loaded bed of the pickup in front of you.

You may incur a cracked windshield or dented grill, resulting in a property damage claim with your insurance company. You might also end up crashing your car because you swerved and lost control of your vehicle. In that case, you might find yourself in another category altogether, if you or your passengers suffered injuries.

Will work comp benefits for firefighters ignite a legal battle?

Published on Mar 6, 2017 at 9:15 pm in Workers Compensation.

There is no question that firefighting ranks as one of the single most dangerous occupations that a person can have. Indeed, this danger comes from the fact that firefighters are not only at a near-constant risk of suffering serious burn injuries or bodily harm while tending to fires and accidents, but also constantly exposed to dangerous chemicals and toxic fumes — many of which are carcinogenic.

In recognition of this latter reality, Maryland, along with the majority of the states, has long provided firefighters diagnosed with certain types of cancer with special legal presumptions when it comes to workers’ compensation benefits.

Common fibromyalgia misdiagnosis

Published on Feb 17, 2017 at 9:00 pm in Medical Malpractice.

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.

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