Indiana Injury Lawyer Blog

tired driving picDrowsy driving is one of the most underestimated safety risks in the United States, and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, has contributed to more than 7,000 deaths in accidents over the past decade alone.

Contrary to popular expectations, it’s not just people who have not had enough sleep who may be at risk of a drowsy driving accident. There are lifestyle factors that can increase your risk of drowsiness, and therefore make you susceptible to an accident.

For instance, consumption of alcohol is likely  to magnify the effect of lack of sleep, increasing the risk of drowsiness, and causing you to possibly doze off at the wheel. If you have not slept well over the past few days, avoid drinking before you drive. The combination of alcohol and lack of sleep can be deadly.

Several rough sports, like football, have a bad reputation when it comes to brain injury. However, the most brain injury-prone sport, may be something else altogether. According to a recent study by the journal Neurological Focus, the sport that causes the highest number of brain injuries every year is not even a contact sport.

horse ridingSurprisingly, the sport of greatest concern is horse riding. According to the study which focused on brain injuries documented in a database, the sport that caused the highest number of brain injuries was horseback riding, contributing to approximately 45% of brain injuries involving adults. Horse riding, in fact was the single leading cause of brain injury, with the second leading cause of brain injury involving contact sports like football and soccer. However, these two sports accounted for just about 20% of all brain injuries that occurred while playing sports.

That’s not the only study that points to the dangers of riding a horse. Another study that focused on children and adults found that horse riding was the third leading cause of brain injuries. In fact, horseback riding is actually much more closely linked to injuries that result in hospital admissions, than other types of high-risk activities, including motorcycling.

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On the face of it, it appears that flying is much safer than it used to be. There are statistics to back that up. Over the past few decades, American airlines have managed to fly for years without a single major incident. However, a number of recent fatal accidents show how dangerous it would be for us to become complacent about aviation safety.

The fact is that there are newer risks that are emerging on the horizon, even as the industry battles with older, better-known threats. One of those new threats has to do with the increasing dependence of American carriers on maintenance companies. Many airlines now outsource their maintenance activities to offshore companies, and that has raised the specter of substandard work and ill-maintained aircraft, posing a safety threat.

Another serious issue has to do with the rapidly aging planes in several large fleets. Many carriers continue to maintain older aircraft that may be well past their prime. Older aircraft may not be equipped with safety technology that can possibly divert a safety threat. This is a particularly serious problem among low-budget, so-called discount airlines.

anesthesia bottle 2The frightening phenomenon of anesthesia awareness is a nightmarish one that is fortunately much more rare than you would think. In this phenomenon, a person under anesthesia is able to recall the events surrounding his surgery, while under sedation. Simply put, anesthesia awareness occurs when the medication that is given to the patient to sedate him before the surgery, fails to have the intended effect. In such cases, the patient is not completely sedated, and is actually aware of his surroundings.

In some very rare cases, the person directly feels pressure and pain. These are obviously some of the most severe cases of anesthesia awareness, and can lead to long-term anguish and trauma for the patient. In some of the most severe scenarios, the combination of medications that is given to the patient fail in varying degrees. For instance, medications that regulate sleep and pain control in the patient may fail, while paralytic drugs do not. This means that the patient may actually be awake throughout the surgery, and may even feel pain, but may be paralyzed and unable to explain or articulate this to the surgical team.

Anesthesia awareness is rare, but there are cases of less severe forms of anesthesia awareness that do occur. Medical estimates hold that approximately one patient in every 1,000 experiences some form of anesthesia awareness. In most cases, this is just a fleeting sense of awareness.

hospital hallwaysWhen medical negligence results in a patient’s death, survivors of the deceased may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Questions of which family members or survivors are eligible to file a claim to recover wrongful death damages after a person’s death, or the parties that can be named in your wrongful death claim, are challenging to resolve. It is important to speak with an Indiana medical malpractice attorney if you are considering filing a claim for damages after the death of a loved one.

Often, the hospital, clinic or physician’s office, as well as the doctor or nurses may be named in a claim for wrongful death damages. Of course, this will depend on the exact details of the case and the kind of negligence that occurred. Filing a wrongful death claim for medical malpractice is very different from filing other types of wrongful death claims involving personal injury. When medical malpractice is involved, the law makes it more difficult for plaintiffs to claim damages against a healthcare provider.

Your claim will be subjected to a screening before it is filed. The screening will probe the merits of your case. Medical experts will be called in to determine whether negligence did indeed occur in your loved one’s case. In order to prove that the healthcare provider in your loved one’s case was negligent, you will also need an expert who will be able to establish that the doctor did indeed deviate from the acceptable reasonable standards of care for that particular condition, and in that particular situation.

stair slip and fallA brain injury occurs when the head suffers a certain trauma. The trauma may come in the form of a jolt, blow, bump or even a penetrating head injury. Traumatic brain injuries can range all the way from mild brain injuries like concussions, which account for a majority of traumatic brain injuries recorded in the United States each year, to more severe brain injuries that can leave a person in a vegetative state.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury. The agency estimates that between 2006 and 2010, fall accidents accounted for approximately 40% of all brain injuries that were recorded in the United States.

What makes a fall even more dangerous is that young people, as well as seniors are equally susceptible to falls. Unlike other brain injury causes like motor vehicle accidents that are much more likely to affect young male motorists, fall accidents can also impact young children. It is reported that 55% of brain injuries among children between the ages of 1 and 14 were caused by fall accidents. In addition, more than 81% of the injuries caused in seniors above the age of 65 were caused by falls.

surgical lights shining brightUndergoing surgery is a traumatic experience for all. No matter the type of surgery or how minor the surgery might be, patients often feel some trepidation before being wheeled into the operating room. Everyone enters an operating room expecting that they will be healthier when they leave. That isn’t necessarily how it turns out, however. In too many instances, patients suffer injuries as a result of serious surgical errors that are made in the operating room.

It may seem surreal that errors should occur in an operating room, where there are fairly large numbers of staff members, all working together in seemingly perfect coordination. After all, a surgical room is one location where protocols and procedures should be followed strictly with each and every procedure. Unfortunately, that is always not the case. Miscommunication between staff members, failure to adhere to protocols and checklists, failure to follow basic medical guidelines, and other failures place patients at risk of injuries due to surgical errors.

Surgical errors can occur due to a number of causes. Lack of adequate planning for the surgery is just one of the causes of medical errors. In addition, there are basic simple steps that should be followed with each surgical procedure. As one example, surgical staff must mark the part of the body to operate on before the surgery.  When these steps are not taken, there is an increased risk to patient safety.

surgical suite med malFar from becoming safer for patients, hospitals in Indiana are actually recording higher numbers of medical errors. New data from the Indiana State Department Of Health reveals that 2014 was a record year for medical error reporting. The statistics are contained in the ninth annual report released by the Indiana Medical Error Reporting System. All the incidents recorded in 2014 occurred in hospitals, or ambulatory surgical centers.

The highest numbers of errors were reported by the Lutheran Health Network Facilities and Indiana University Health Systems; reporting nine errors each in 2014.

According to the Department Of Health, in 2014, hospitals and healthcare facilities across the state recorded a total 114 preventable errors. The previous high was back in 2013, with a total of 111 errors reported.In 2014, the Department Of Health recorded 44 cases of pressure ulcers, and 27 adverse events involving foreign objects left behind in patients’ bodies during surgery. Approximately 21 cases involved surgeries that were performed on the wrong body part, while 10 were fall accidents.

slip and fall cautionWith its location in one of the colder regions of the country, Indiana often sees heavy snowfall and ice accumulation during winter. Public places that see such collections of snow and ice may be magnets for falls and when an accident does occur, complex issues of liability may arise.

When a fall accident involves snow or ice around a public place in Indiana, the issue of who is liable for your injuries is not always clear-cut. Should you sustain injuries as a result of a fall outside a local grocery store, you may have the right to go ahead and file a claim against the owner of the grocery store or supermarket, but it’s important to discuss the matter with an attorney who will help evaluate all the issues of liability and whether the store owner is accountable for your injuries.

Issues of accumulation, timing of snowfall and ice buildup, the path you choose to take across the property, and conditions all factor into a possible claim. Overall, your case will depend on your ability to prove that the property owner was aware of the hazard on his property, and failed to remove it in a timely manner or warn consumers about it appropriately.

pink bandsAny type of cancer misdiagnosis is not just a traumatic experience for a patient, but also results higher treatment and hospitalization costs. And according to a new report, such cases cost the American healthcare system more than ever imagined.

According to the research, the costs of misdiagnosis of breast cancer are much higher than earlier believed. The study, which was published by the journal Health Affairs recently, found that false-positive mammograms cost the American economy $4 billion in healthcare costs every year. Apart from false-positive mammograms, cases involving over-diagnosed breast cancer also contributed to these huge expenses.

The findings of the report are interesting and very important, because they come at a time when there is concern over the perceived overuse of mammograms.These statistics are also important in light of the fact that breast cancer is the second biggest cause of cancer-related fatalities among American women. Women who get mammograms are able to catch the disease in its early stages, and may have a much higher chance of recovery.