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Upper Marlboro Personal Injury Law Blog

New app promotes distracted driving

As the holiday season is in full swing, residents in Maryland may well be concerned about drunk drivers being on the road. That is a legitimate concern as people frequently consume alcohol at holiday celebrations and then drive home. However, drunk driving is not the only danger people need to think about anymore. 

Distracted driving is now said to be a factor in as many as one out of every four vehicle accidents. To make matters worse, a major domestic auto manufacturer is preparing to launch a new app that would essentially only encourage distracted driving. Named Marketplace, the app would be built into vehicles and would allow drivers to shop and purchase goods, food and beverages while they are actively driving.

A surgeon's error, but a patient's medical bill

Doctors are professionals people can trust -- or, that is ideally the case. Nevertheless, countless patients in Maryland are devastated to find that a surgeon made an error during a procedure. Many would like to think these incidents only occur in bizarre situations, but the reality is that they can happen anywhere. What options do patients have in these situations, and how can they go about mending the mental, physical and financial damage done?

CBS News focused on this unsettling topic last year, noting a survey that showed the number of surgeons who followed strict hospital guidelines, as well as ones who cut corners. According to the survey published in JAMA Surgery, most of the surgeons admitted to following five out of eight hospital disclosure practices when it came to admitting fault. The surgeons claimed they carried out practices of explaining why an error occurred, disclosing the issue in a timely manner and taking steps to prevent further complications. Yet despite these positive habits, 45 percent of the surgeons surveyed admitted that they did not typically apologize for errors, and did not bring to the patient's attention that the error made was preventable.

The new distraction of auto industry touch-screens

The fact that distracted driving in Maryland is a high-risk activity is not new information. Typically, one thinks of people talking or texting on their smartphones when issues of distracted driving arise.

However, there are a multitude of ways in which one may become distracted while driving.

Warning signs of a bad doctor

Doctors in Maryland have a tremendous responsibility to their patients to provide safe and effective care. However, since not all healthcare professionals take their responsibility seriously enough, it is important for you to be on the lookout for warning signs of a negligent or incompetent doctor. Here at Wilson & Parlett Injury Lawyers, we understand how important your health is, and we work to protect our clients who have suffered from medical neglect or malpractice.

MD Magazine identifies some behaviors which should raise red flags about a doctor's competency. First, you should gauge your doctor's interaction with you. If he or she portrays an air of indifference or lack of interest, you may want to look elsewhere for your medical care. Your doctor should show attentiveness when you communicate your health concerns, and he or she should also be willing to ask follow up questions in order to understand your condition more fully. Your doctor should be confident and knowledgeable enough to make recommendations for your care, but he or she should also respect your wishes.

Common office injuries

Office workers in Maryland are susceptible to several types of injuries if the workplace is not organized properly. According to the University of Michigan, extended hours spent at a desk each day could cause more than simply strain upon the neck and back. In fact, some office employees experience hearing problems as a result of this environment. Regular exposure to loud equipment, or even phones, could cause varying degrees of damage. This type of work could also result in impaired vision and difficulty focusing. Combined with the risk of carpal tunnel and related repetitive stress injuries, in addition to slip-and-fall accidents, these problems can turn the office into a hazardous work environment.

Some office injuries may be avoided by taking preventative measures. First, the office should have proper lighting. Having work lights at each station may reduce eye strain. Each workstation should also be adjusted for the individual employee. Computer screens should be at eye level in order to promote good posture. The workplace should provide for ergonomic chairs, as well as keyboards, if possible. Installing carpet and noise-reducing dividers may help mitigate noise-related injuries.

Hospital visit reveals horrific signs of nursing home neglect

It is often said that patient care (particularly care for the elderly) should be a collaborative effort between patients, family members and caregivers. Those who entrust their loved ones to the care of nursing homes may be prepared to work with the staffs of such facilities to ensure residents remain in good health. Stories of residents being combative or refusing food, medicine or other attention may not be uncommon. Yet the only way caregivers can involve a resident's family in overcoming such issues is to share that information. When that does not happen, claims made in defense on such non-disclosures may certainly be met with skepticism. 

Even law enforcement officials were reported to be shocked and disturbed at the condition a Tennessee nursing home resident was found in. His daughter noticed him to be running a fever. First responders say they found him sitting in feces when they arrived to transport him to the hospital. At the hospital, several other signs of neglect were immediately identified. The man had several open wounds, severely dry skin and bruising. Maggots were also seen accumulating in amputation wounds in his lower extremities. 

Looking at other distractions that cause crashes

Many drivers realize that car accidents can take place when someone is under the influence of alcohol, fails to stop at a sign, goes over the speed limit, or becomes distracted because they are using their cell phone. However, many drivers do not realize that there are all sorts of other distractions that can cause a car accident. For example, if a spider lands on a driver who has a fear of spiders, they may lose control of their vehicle. Moreover, there are other unique distractions that can play a role in an accident.

To some people, the thought of a driver veering off the road due to a spider might seem humorous. However, this matter must be taken seriously, since this distraction could lead to the loss of life or devastating injuries. For some people, a spider or another type of bug that scares them could cause them to become so alarmed that they stop looking at the road or veer into oncoming traffic when they first notice the bug. If you are scared of spiders or are worried that a similar incident could happen to you, it is important to do your best to remain calm and avoid any dangerous actions while behind the wheel.

PTSD and traffic collisions

Those who are hurt in a traffic collision could have a long road to recovery for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes, victims are left with deep physical pain and injuries that will last for the rest of their lives, such as a permanent disability that leaves them unable to continue their job. Moreover, people also pass away in car accidents. However, these wrecks can have additional consequences that may not be immediately clear in the aftermath of a collision, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental challenges.

If you are suffering from PTSD after a car crash, there are many potential ways the disorder could have turned your life upside down. For example, the stress you are trying to work through could interfere with your ability to perform your job properly. Or, you could be suffering from flashbacks, losing sleep, or experiencing other mental hardships. Moreover, you may find that you are too traumatized to drive, which can interfere with your life in many ways. For example, you may not be able to transport your child to his or her school, drive to work, or participate in hobbies that you used to enjoy.

How much time does your doctor actually spend with you?

Like most people in Upper Marlboro, you likely understand that diagnostic medicine may always involve some degree of uncertainty. Despite the many technological tools available to doctors today, they often cannot visualize exact what is wrong with you. Rather, they rely on such tools, as well as their experience, expertise and the information that you give them to come to a diagnosis. Yet you may be right to question how such elements can be adequately employed in treating you when it seems as though a doctor rarely sits down to communicate with you face-to-face. 

An average visit to the doctor typically involves a quick review of your vital signs and statistics (typically taken by a nurse or medical assistant), an explanation of your symptoms (again, recorded by a nurse), and then brief interaction with the doctor him or herself. That may be followed by imaging studies or lab work (once again, done by a someone other than the doctor), after which the doctor may come in and quickly speak to you before you are discharged or sent elsewhere. Out of all that, how much time do you actually get with the doctor? Information shared by Becker's Hospital Review estimates that to be an average of 13-16 minutes. 

Regulation waiver encourages veterans to get their CDL

Current and former military personnel who are transitioning to a civilian career in Maryland may want to consider becoming a commercial truck driver. A waiver to the current commercial driver's license regulations is designed to assist veterans.  

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, drivers who want to operate tractor-trailer or other heavy trucks must obtain their CDL in order to meet federal and state standards. This increases safety on the road and cuts down on the number of vehicular accidents. Along with residency and medical requirements, getting a CDL also involves skills and knowledge requirements, which differ based on the type of vehicle one will be operating. The skills test is made up of three parts: 

  • Road test
  • Basic controls test
  • Vehicle inspection test

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