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Upper Marlboro Personal Injury Law Blog

How to spot the signs of a traumatic brain injury

Whether you have been in a catastrophic collision or a minor fender bender, you may suffer from serious injuries as a result of a car accident. One of the most common accident injuries is traumatic brain damage. In fact, traumatic brain damage is involved in approximately 30 percent of all injury deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At least 153 people lose their lives to brain injuries every day. Motor vehicle accidents are the third leading cause of traffic accident fatalities in the United States. While some signs of brain injury are obvious, there are others that are not. Many people may not know that they have a brain injury until days, weeks or even months after the accident occurs.

It is crucial that you are able to spot the signs of traumatic brain injury, as immediate medical attention can greatly increase your chance of recovery. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association lists certain warning signs that may indicate you have a certain degree of brain damage. These include the following:

  • Persistent headaches, nausea and vomiting.
  • Dizziness, muscle tingling and seizures.
  • Difficulties concentrating or focusing.
  • Decrease in ability to hear, smell, see or communicate with others.
  • Agitation or changes in ability to sleep.

Young girl killed in a tractor trailer accident

When an innocent life is taken due to another driver’s negligence, families of the deceased victim often seek the maximum sentence for the perpetrator. It is difficult to have a loved one’s life cut short due to the poor actions of a motorist.

The family of a 21-year-old girl who died in a catastrophic tractor-trailer accident forgave the man responsible for killing their daughter. The 70-year-old man was operating a tractor-trailer and allegedly checking his side mirror to make a lane change when he struck the back of the girl’s car. The truck was going 59 mph at the time of impact and showed no signs of attempting to brake before the collision. Although the truck driver had no prior violations, this simple act of negligence cost the life of the young woman.

What injuries can be caused by epidurals?

Epidurals can be a great relief to mothers who are going through the painful birthing process. Injected by a long syringe into the lower area of the back, the anesthetic essentially numbs the lower part of the body. It is administered through a thin catheter, which allows the medication to flow continuously if needed. At Wilson & Parlett, we understand that although epidurals can be extremely helpful, they can also cause serious injuries if given incorrectly. In some cases, epidurals can cause long-term and potentially permanent injuries that could have a major impact on a person’s life.

There are both maternal and infant risks associated with epidurals. If the anesthesiologist administers too much medication or inserts the needle into the wrong area of back, there is the possibility that problems can occur. Furthermore, failure to give the medication during the right time of the birthing process or failure to properly monitor the mother or infant’s vitals is also dangerous.

Study: Nursing home abuse prevalent in the U.S.

Nursing home abuse is a serious problem in Maryland and across the country. Nearly 1. 6 million people live in more than 17,000 nursing homes throughout the nation. Feeble and defenseless residents often depend on nursing home staff to take care of them and ensure they are getting everything they need. In a surprising number of instances, however, elderly residents are neglected, mistreated, malnourished and abused.

The study, conducted by the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee, discovered that approximately 30 percent of nursing homes in the country were cited for abuse during a two-year period. This equates to 5,283 facilities and nearly reported 9,000 cases of abuse. The abuse led to serious harm or near death in 1,601 of the reported cases. The term ‘reported cases’ is highlighted, as many nursing home abuse cases are thought to go unreported.

How to identify the signs of a drunk driver

Drunk drivers present a significant risk to you and other motorists, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians on the road. In 2015 alone, approximately 290,000 people were injured and an additional 10,265 people were killed in accidents involving drunk drivers, according to Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. In Maryland, and in many other states across the nation, anyone who has a blood alcohol content level of 0.08 percent or higher is considered intoxicated and may be convicted of a DUI if pulled over by law enforcement. In order to protect you and your family members from these negligent drivers, you should be able to spot the signs of a drunk driver.

According to MADD, there are some specific signs that you should keep an eye out for when navigating along the roadways. These include drivers who are engaging in the following behaviors:

  •          Driving too closely, or tailgating.
  •          Quickly accelerating and then decelerating.
  •          Stopping for no reason or applying brakes haphazardly.
  •          Driving between lanes or swerving between lanes.
  •          Forgetting to turn the headlights on at night.
  •          Slow to respond to traffic lights or stopping for too long at a stop sign.

The risk of electrocution on the jobsite

Although new safety programs and procedures have been implemented at many construction worksites in Maryland and across the U.S., workers continue to get electrocuted while working on the job. Electrocution is the fourth leading cause of death in the construction industry. Statistics show that over a 12-year period, 1,715 workers were killed as a result of electrocution, according to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. While electricians were the most likely to be electrocuted, construction laborers, carpenters, non-electrical supervisors and roofers also lost their lives in these unfortunate accidents.

How are people dying from these electrical jolts? In most cases, workers came into direct contact with electrical wiring and other equipment that conducts powerful currents, including bare wiring, damaged wires, live parts or defective equipment. Overhead powerlines and other types of electrical machinery were also to blame for these catastrophic and preventable accidents. Finally, improper use of extension cords also lead to a host of electrocution accidents involving electrical shock, thermal contact burns or arc burns.

Increase in freight: How will this affect drivers

When Maryland drivers navigate the roadways each day, they may be familiar traveling alongside massive tractor trailers. While these gentle giants may seem safe, they can be extremely dangerous to motorists and other people on the road. Tractor trailers are a necessary component of the American economy, as they distribute essential goods to all parts of Maryland and throughout the country. While an increase in the amount of freight that needs to be distributed may mean good things for the economy, it could also lead to an increase in the number of people who are injured and killed in large truck accidents each year.

According to the American Trucking Associations, the amount of freight that needs to be distributed across the country is expected to grow 23.5 percent from 2013 to 2025. This gradual increase in freight may cause major problems in that there is currently a shortage of qualified truck drivers to operate the tractor trailers. This job requires people to spend long hours away from their family and many don’t feel as though they earn enough money to make that sacrifice.

Study: Medical errors result in patient death

Americans put a great amount of trust in the healthcare system. Nurses, physicians, pharmacists and other medical professionals are some of the most highly regarded occupations in the nation. Despite their extensive training, experience and knowledge, medical professionals are human and can make mistakes. When they make mistakes, however, the results can be disastrous, even deadly.

Medical errors could be their third leading cause of death in the U.S., according to a study conducted at Johns Hopkins and published in BMJ. After evaluating death rate information and other studies, researchers estimated the death toll to be approximately 251,454 every year. Some believe this number to be higher, as some cases of medical negligence go unreported or unfound.

How to avoid becoming involved in a truck accident

Although Americans depend on large trucks to deliver freight throughout the nation, these massive vehicles are a looming danger to motorists on the road. Tractor trailers kill a significant number of people in Maryland and across the nation each year. In 2014 alone, 3,744 people lost their lives in large truck accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Many of these accidents were avoidable. You may be able to avoid becoming a victim of a catastrophic truck collision by understanding how these large vehicles operate on the roads.

Try not to linger in a large truck’s blind spot, which occurs on all sides of the truck. The largest blind spots are on the right-hand side and in back of the truck. You should pass the truck quickly and on the left-hand side. Keep in mind that if you are traveling behind a big rig and you cannot see the truck’s side view mirror, the trucker cannot see you.

Occupational respiratory conditions and workers comp

Employers are responsible for ensuring the safety of their workers and their workplace environment. When people work in conditions where they are exposed to toxic fumes, harsh chemicals, dust or other irritants on a regular basis, they may acquire a long-term respiratory disease. At Wilson & Parlett, we understand that living with a respiratory condition can make it difficult for people to engage in everyday activities, work and enjoy hobbies, sports and other recreational activities. People who are diagnosed with occupational breathing conditions may be entitled to workers’ compensation in Maryland.

There are a number of respiratory conditions that may arise from exposure to workplace irritants. Asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, interstitial lung disease, pneumonia and lung cancer are common types of lung conditions that affect workers. Bacterial infections, such as tuberculosis, legionella and severe acute respiratory syndrome are also prevalent.

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