Articles Tagged with personal injury

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Walking your dog or taking a stroll after dinner should not be a death sentence. Yet, more and more frequently, walking is becoming hazardous, and deadly, in America.

A recent report by the Governors Highway Safety Association has revealed that pedestrian deaths last year reached their highest level since 1990. In fact, an estimated 6,227 pedestrians died in 2018, 35% more than were killed just a decade ago. And these rates are rising even as overall traffic deaths have declined over the last ten years. So, why is this happening?

Experts have pointed to several factors that seem to be contributing to this increase:

semi-trailers-534577_1920-300x225Fatal truck wrecks across the United States are increasing at a rate almost three times that of deadly crashes overall. Among the most dangerous and deadly are rear-end truck crashes. While big trucks collide with cars in a variety of ways, experts say these types of wrecks are among the most devastating and yet perhaps the easiest to prevent with technology. Unfortunately, semi-trucks across the country are not equipped with the latest, and best, crash prevention technology.

In 2016 alone, more than 4,300 people were killed in collisions with semis and other large trucks. That represents a 28 percent increase over 2009, according to the federal government. To put this in perspective, this is equal to a 737 airplane crashing twice a month, killing everyone on board. In Illinois there was a 26% increase in fatal crashes involving large trucks, like semi-trucks, in 2016. So far, in 2019, 15% of all fatal crashes involved a semi or other large truck.

One of the major reasons why deadly truck crashes continue to increase, is the lack of crash avoidance technology being using in trucks. While crash avoidance systems are becoming common in new cars, they are rarely, if ever, used in big trucks.  The auto industry has promised that this safety equipment will be standard on all new passenger vehicles sold in the United States by the year 2020, but makers of heavy trucks have not made a similar commitment. The result is that only a small fraction of semis on the road today have collision avoidance technology.

brain-1845962_1920-300x227A traumatic brain injury or TBI can be caused by a blow or bump to the head. We are familiar with concussions from watching football, but traumatic brain injuries can also be caused by falls, car accidents or other violence. Similarly, many combat veterans have experienced traumatic brain injury from explosive blasts.

Every 23 seconds, on average, someone in the United States suffers a traumatic brain injury. Using 2013 data, the most comprehensive data available, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported approximately 2.5 million people were taken to the emergency room with a traumatic brain injury and 282,000 people were hospitalized with TBIs. Further, the CDC estimates that 30% of all injury related deaths are the result of traumatic brain injury.

The difficulty with a traumatic brain injury is that it is an invisible injury. Often, TBI signs do not show up on traditional CT scanning or MRI. It is common for those suffering from a TBI to “pass” commonly used testing like the Glasgow Coma Scale test, and to be misdiagnosed.

Many accidents on the road involve more than one car, especially accidents that occur in hazardous winter conditions or on the highway.  Multi-car accidents often involve more serious injuries and bigger liability than two car crashes. In addition, autobahn-837643_1920-300x199once the accident has happened, the danger has not necessarily passed. Moreover, liability—or who is responsible—can be especially difficult to determine. So, how can you figure out who is at fault, and what should you do if you have been involved in a multi-car accident?

Consider Your Safety First

If you have been in a multi-car crash, your first priority should be staying safe. Stay in your car with your seat belt fastened until the police or EMTs tell you it is safe to exit. The biggest risk at this point is getting hit by another car after leaving your vehicle.

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A few years back one of my daughters got her finger seriously mangled in a slammed door. The nail was loose and her finger was bleeding profusely. So, my wife rushed her to the immediate care center near our house. After waiting for a half hour, they were ushered in to see a doctor who wrapped our daughter’s finger in a gauze bandage and told my wife to call an orthopedic doctor. That was it.

The next day, fortunately, they were able to squeeze in to an orthopedic doctor’s schedule, who stitched our daughter’s nail back on, took an x-ray (the finger was fractured), and wrapped her finger up in gauze and vet tape. Not only was the visit to the urgent care clinic a waste of time and money, but it delayed any actual treatment for our very anxious daughter.

Now, I’m not suggesting that this is what always happens at urgent care clinics, but it does raise the question: what should you do if your child gets injured in an accident this summer, the most busy trauma season of the year?

FireworksFourth of July typically means barbecues, picnics, parades and fireworks, but every year amateur fireworks do more than just entertain. According to the National Fire Protection Association, they cause thousands of serious injuries and fires every year. In fact, in recent years, fireworks have been one of the leading causes of injuries serious enough to require a trip to the hospital, resulting in 12,900 emergency room visits in 2017 alone.

Fireworks can result in severe burns, fractures, scars, loss of vision, disfigurement and even death. In addition, fireworks related fires are responsible for an average of $43,000,000 in property loss annually, with many of these fires involving bottle rockets or other fireworks rockets. Even sparklers can reach temperatures of 1000 degrees or more.

Unfortunately, our personal injury attorneys at The Collins Law Firm see the results of the careless use of fireworks. We recently settled a case for a woman who suffered burns and a serious head injury when she was hit by a neighbor’s bottle rocket, an accident which could easily have been avoided.

Darcy at football game 1.jpgCheerleading has long been a popular sport for girls, with football games and cheerleading being a Friday night staple in this country. Recently, a lot of focus has been put on the dangers of concussions in football, but very little attention has been paid to the concussion dangers involved with cheerleading. And that may be putting our children in danger.

Today’s cheerleading is very different from that traditional image of sideline cheering on a Friday night under the lights. As competitive cheer grows in popularity, it is changing the face of the sport. More and more, cheerleading is becoming a serious athletic sport, combining expert level gymnastics, dance, high-flying jumps and technically difficult stunting and basket tosses. And that is making cheerleading more dangerous.

Just how Dangerous is Cheerleading?

supermarket-949913_1920.jpgSlip and fall accidents in stores or restaurants can be more than just embarrassing, they can lead to very serious injuries. These falls can be caused by uneven surfaces, dangerous flooring materials or spills on the floor. Stores and restaurants have an obligation to keep you safe from dangerous conditions on their property. Many times, the restaurant or store knew about the dangerous condition that caused your fall but did nothing to keep you safe.

If you slip and fall in a store or restaurant, here is what you should do to make sure that you are protected:

Call an Ambulance or Seek Medical Attention

An investigation by the USA Today Network and Kaiser Health News has uncovered evidence that more than 260 patients have died since 2013 after outpatient procedures at surgery centers across the country. Dozens of people – including children as young as two – have died after routine operations, such as colonoscopies and tonsillectomies.

The investigation revealed:surgery-79584_1920.jpg

· Surgery centers have dramatically expanded their business by taking on increasingly risky surgeries. The results have been tragic. Investigators found that at least 14 patients have died after having spinal surgeries that were typically reserved for the best hospitals and surgeons.

building-2560843_1920.jpgApparently, once a medical device gets approved by the FDA to go on the market, it is almost impossible to take it back off, even if the device has proven to be dangerous or even deadly, according to Michael Carome from the public watchdog group Public Citizen. In fact, the FDA has only withdrawn a total of two products from the market, ever.

This incomprehensible situation is proving injurious and even fatal for some women. One group of these women, known as E-Sisters, are women who have been implanted with the permanent contraceptive device called Essure. In 2017 alone, the FDA received 12,000 reports of adverse effects from women with Essure, ranging from bleeding, bloating, and pelvic pain to rashes, tooth loss, joint pain and fatigue associated with an allergic or autoimmune reaction. Madris Tomes, a former FDA analyst, tracked more than 26,000 total adverse reports about Essure, including eight deaths. In addition, there may be as many as 32,000 more complaints made to the manufacturer of Essure that were never officially reported to the FDA.

Shortly after Essure went on the market, independent research began challenging the safety and efficacy of the device. One study found that women who had Essure needed follow-up surgery ten times as often as women who had their tubes tied. And the surgery to fix the problem is not a simple one. In fact most surgeons recommend a hysterectomy as the best way to remove Essure.

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