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Schenectady Personal Injury Law Blog

Nursing home maintenance is critical to resident safety

In all the media discussions about nursing home abuse in New York and elsewhere in the United States, the conversation generally focuses on staff and how individuals treat the residents. However, the environment of the facility involves more than the ambience.

According to The New York Times, facility maintenance is an issue that a family member of a potential resident should investigate before choosing a home. This topic recently moved into the spotlight because of a failed air conditioning system that may have cost some residents of a Florida nursing home their lives. That facility had received citations in the past after two separate annual inspections revealed that emergency generators were not maintained properly.

Common delayed car accident injuries

Like many people, you may feel lucky to walk away from that crash on a New York highway without a scratch. The insurance company of the at-fault driver may want you to settle your claim quickly. However, at Bendall & Mednick, we often see clients who do not suffer from health issues until the days and weeks after their accident.

In a crash, your head and neck may have moved forward and then backward again so rapidly that you did not really even feel it. The airbag catches and cushions this typically violent motion, minimizing its impact, and if you had x-rays taken, they may not have revealed any problems with your spine. As FindLaw points out, though, you could still have a soft-tissue injury that causes severe pain to develop in your neck, shoulders and back. 

The cost and effects of spinal cord injuries are significant

Spinal cord injuries are devastating for many reasons, including the physical limitations and monetary costs. These impacts are directly related to the location and type of injury you suffer.

Whether you or a loved one is the victim of this injury, finding out what you can about the effects is often helpful. Here are a few points that are important:

Why do truckers stay on the road too long?

You have probably heard on the news about truck driver fatigue, and the long days many New York truckers put in. The law says they are allowed to drive for 11 hours of their maximum 14-hour days, and that seems like enough to exhaust anyone. Many stay out on the road longer, though, and do what they can to make it appear they are within the law. Why?

According to the long-haul commercial truck drivers who responded to The New York Times, the main issue is how they are paid. If you are paid hourly wages, you receive compensation for each hour on the job. Truckers typically are paid by the mile. That traffic jam that made you late getting home cost the trucker in the lane next to you a portion of the day's check. 

Hand hygiene can save lives

When people think of medical malpractice, they may imagine a doctor in a New York hospital ordering the wrong treatment, or a nurse giving a patient the wrong dose of medication. However, according to the American Journal of Critical Care, hospital-acquired infections are also preventable threats to patients in hospitals, particularly in intensive care units. 

An HAI may be caused by many substandard practices by hospital workers who come into contact with patients, and these infections are not rare. Data indicates that there are roughly 2.5 million annual cases in the U.S., with 90,000 of these resulting in fatalities. Neglecting proper hand-washing techniques may be among the top causes. 

Concussion detection may soon be possible with a smartphone

A person may sustain a blow to the head without realizing it is serious when there is no loss of consciousness or other signs of a traumatic brain injury. However, after the brain collides with the skull, damage could begin with bruising or bleeding that do not cause symptoms at first. Swelling and pressure create new issues that may show up days or even weeks later, though. How does someone know if they have a concussion or more severe TBI?

Right now, it is difficult to know if there is a problem without professional medical attention. Doctors can shine a light into the eye of a person who may have a TBI and gauge from the response of the pupils whether the injury is severe. Some hospitals have a pupillometer, which performs the same test with greater accuracy. Soon, the pupillary light reflex may be measurable by anyone with a smartphone.

Liability for an injury caused by medication

At Bendall & Mednick, we understand that when you want to make a major purchase such as a vehicle, you probably read reviews and looked at ratings to make sure it will keep you and your passengers safe. If you are like most people, when you take a medication, you probably trust your doctor to have done that research for you. However, even the best-informed doctors and pharmacists cannot tell you that the drug is defective if the manufacturer has not told them.

FindLaw points out that even though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has provided standards for testing pharmaceutical products, the agency does not actually perform the tests. Instead, manufacturers are responsible for this process, and for providing all the safety information that the tests reveal. A company may discover that a drug may produce certain side effects at certain doses, or when combined with other medications. In that case, it has a duty to warn the public about the potential for harm. Your doctor should use this information to weigh the risks and benefits in your particular health circumstances. 

Case study: How a child's injury changes a family's life

When you're injured and you decide to seek compensation, you may be looking mostly at the direct costs. You missed work. You had to go to the hospital. You needed treatment and medication.

As the bills come in, you realize what you have to pay. The need for compensation, and the numbers, are clear.

How many injuries do car wrecks cause?

When going over car accidents, many people understand the serious consequences of a crash, such as death and severe injuries. However, some may not be aware of just how common auto accident injuries are in New York, and all across the country. Even when a car crash victim has the fortune to survive a crash, they may struggle with other hardships, such as financial complications, mental trauma, or a disability that keeps them from working, to name a few problems. For everyone who gets behind the wheel, it could be beneficial to go over just how many auto accident injuries occur per year.

According to material published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 200,000 people needed hospitalization due to motor vehicle crash injuries during 2012. Furthermore, upwards of 2.5 million people across the U.S. had to visit an emergency room following a traffic crash. Not only do these wrecks often make daily life difficult for victims, but they can also create problems for employers and loved ones. The CDC says that injuries sustained in traffic accidents throughout 2012 will lead to $33 billion lost in work over the course of peoples' lives, according to estimates.

Patients should not face fall risks in hospitals

A person can slip or trip and fall anywhere in New York, but many have this type of accident in the very place where their health should be improving: the hospital. According to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, not only are falls among the most serious and common adverse events in hospitals, they are also preventable. Due to the huge impact these injuries have, much research has gone into developing procedures for avoiding them.

How big is the problem? The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality states that 700,000 to 1 million people fall in U.S. hospitals annually. While not every fall results in an injury, they often cause cuts, broken bones or internal bleeding, and patients frequently have to stay in the hospital longer to recover from the fall.

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