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Schenectady Personal Injury Law Blog

How many truck collisions which cause injuries happen per year?

When a large truck collision occurs, it may leave victims with a wide range of hardships. If you are hit by a large truck, you may sustain a serious injury or face financial problems afterwards. Worse, some people lose their lives in these wrecks, which can be particularly threatening due to a truck's massive size and the length of time it often takes truckers to slow down. In New York, and all over the country, many of these accidents happen on an annual basis and leave victims with a wide range of injuries.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 60,000 bus or large truck collisions which caused injuries took place during 2009. Between 2009 and 2015, the number of these accidents increased by 62 percent. In 2015, there were 87,000 crashes involving a bus or a large truck which resulted in an injury. Furthermore, the FMCSA reports that more than 4,000 bus and large truck wrecks resulted in the loss of life.

What if a surgeon leaves something behind?

After your surgery, you may expect to spend a certain amount of time recovering, and then get back to your life in New York in a healthier, happier condition. For many, this is the reality. However, for some people, an unexpected complication arises because of a surgical error that should never happen: The operating team misses something that should never be left in the body.

According to the National Institutes of Health, this serious medical oversight is more likely to affect you if you are having some form of abdominal surgery, and the objects most frequently left behind are sponges. These and other items are known as retained surgical bodies. 

Amputations could occur in a car crash

As everyone knows, car accidents can lead to some very serious injuries. One horrific trauma that might occur is an amputation. This happens when a part of the body is severed from the rest of the body.

When an amputation does occur, it is imperative that bystanders try to help the person to remain calm. This is an injury that can cause shock, so keeping an eye on the victim is crucial. Here are some points that you should know about amputations.

Large truck technology may improve safety

Like self-driving passenger vehicles, large trucks in New York will soon be driven more by technology than the person in the driver’s seat. According to CNBC, that day may come in the very near future, as one company tests its truck platooning system on roads across America.

Truck platooning has the potential to lower shipping costs considerably through the conservation of fuel. A single semitrailer creates a significant amount of wind resistance, but as the air flows around it, the position immediately behind can capitalize on the reduced drag. To take advantage of this at highway speeds, a second truck would have to be as close as 50 to 80 feet—a much shorter distance than the recommended and safe 160 to 240 feet.

A surprising source of traumatic brain injury amnesia

Not all brain injuries reported in New York are permanently debilitating, but even minor brain injuries can have a frightening impact on a person's life. While brain injuries are often associated with a physical blow to the head, doctors have discovered that such injuries can also be the result of drug abuse.

As described by The Brain Clinic, most brain injuries that occur in the United States each year are considered mild traumatic brain injuries. While the characteristics of a mild TBI have not been clearly defined within medical literature, researchers now believe that post-traumatic amnesia is a strong indication of the presence of a brain injury. Doctors define post-traumatic amnesia as, "the period of time from the last memory before the trauma until the return of normal continuous memory when the individual is consistently oriented and can demonstrate consistent recall." The length of this time, when a person has difficulty forming new memories and may float in and out of a complete awareness of their situation, is believed to indicate the severity of a brain injury. The longer the PTA, the more severe the injury. Post-traumatic amnesia is not permanent, and most people eventually recover fully from mild traumatic brain injuries.

Holding companies responsible for defective products

A product with a design flaw or manufacturing defect could cause an injury that changes a New Yorker's life forever. According to Take Justice Back, the result of such an event may be a recall issued by the company that announces the newly identified danger. However, the hazard is not always a previously unknown threat, as companies may have weighed the risk of harm against the potential for profits and introduced the defective product to the marketplace anyway.

The American Association for Justice explains that one of the primary functions of the civil justice system is to prevent more events like this from happening. By taking the company to court over the injury, one person may be able to keep many others from being harmed. The resulting awareness of the danger and the possible damage to the company’s reputation may both be deterrents to other consumers’ use of the dangerous product. Not only that, when one person files a products liability lawsuit, others who have suffered the same issues from that product may also step forward, raising the stakes for the company.

How dangerous is it to walk or cycle in New York?

Despite the numerous health benefits associated with walking and cycling, these activities put people at risk for serious injury or even death if they are hit by a car. The national statistics, as well as those for New York, are very concerning.

According to the Pedestrian & Bicycle Information Center, nationwide deaths and injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists resulting from car accidents increased alarmingly between 2006 and 2015. Pedestrian fatalities were up by 12.1 percent: 3,795 killed in 2006 and 5,376 killed in 2015. Estimated pedestrian injuries increased by 14.8 percent: 61,000 in 2006 compared to 70,000 in 2015. For bicyclists, fatalities were up by 6 percent: 772 cyclists killed in 2006 and 818 killed in 2015. Estimated cyclist injuries increased by 2.3 percent: 44,000 in 2006 compared to 45,000 in 2015.

Is a mild brain injury really mild?

The term "mild traumatic brain injury," or mild TBI, is often dangerously misleading both to those who suffer from them and to their family, community and colleagues. Although it is true that mild TBIs are not as life-threatening as more severe brain injuries, they still present very real dangers that require prompt, comprehensive medical treatment.

Unfortunately, when it comes to mild TBIs, many people have difficulty understanding the seriousness of the injury. While a brain injury is not as visible as a broken arm or some other more tangible injury, the brain is the control center of all of your bodily functions and the seat of your personhood. Any injury to the brain can cause problems in literally every area of your body and even affect your personality and cognitive functions.

Scientists working on remedies for severe brain injuries

Any interruption in brain function signifies damage. For some people in New York, a traumatic brain injury causes them to permanently lose the ability to remember, think and process information, effectively destroying their way of life. According to NBC News, scientists are searching for ways to reverse brain damage, even in the most serious cases. In fact, one company plans to conduct experiments on people who are brain dead in the hopes that they can develop methods of regenerating new brain cells.

Those who are considered brain dead may have other body processes sustained by medical devices, but have no brain function at all. Because brain cells do not regenerate, once they have died, the damage is permanent. However, scientists believe they may be able to stimulate new brain cell growth through the use of stem cells. While critics question the ethics of performing research on human subjects, many believe that stem cell research could produce results for those with more limited damage from TBIs or stroke.

The reality of distracted driving

Distracted driving has been a long-debated issue, but is one worth staying aware of. While many New York residents consider cellphones to be the main source of distractions, there are multiple other factors that lead to negligent driving. Keeping these factors in mind can make one a more responsible driver, and can potentially save lives on the road. 

There is no way of avoiding the fact that distracted driving can be deadly. Many might assume drunk driving is the major cause of wrecks, but distractions also play a large part. Federal statistics provided by AAA point out that 16 percent of all fatal crashes are due to distracted driving, resulting in around 5,000 deaths each year. The AAA strives to raise awareness of these estimates to help eliminate the number of accidents - and deaths - caused by distractions.

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