A Look at Louisville’s Latest (and Surprising) Traffic Crash Stats

When it comes to auto accidents, good news rarely arrives without bad news tailing behind. Indeed, Louisville’s latest crash statistics are a mixed bag, with a few uplifting strides overshadowed by an overall increase in accidents and injuries.

Car crashes remain a leading cause of serious injury and death in our state, so we see our fair share of heartbreaking headlines. Especially frustrating is the fact that so many of these accidents are entirely preventable.

Driver negligence is responsible for more accidents in Kentucky than any other contributing factor. Stated differently, the overwhelming majority of car crashes would not happen if drivers behaved more responsibly. That’s a tragedy.

How do we fix it? Understanding the problem is the first step. Fortunately, Louisville has an impressive field of city-specific data available, which empowers us to design solutions at a local level while the state tries to address its own statewide car crash problem.

We take a look at the latest Louisville figures below.

Fewer Bicycle Accidents in Louisville

Louisville Bike Crashes

Let’s start with some good news! The number of Louisville bicycle accidents declined significantly this year, dropping from 189 in 2013 to 168 in 2014. (As data takes a while to compile, 2014 is the most recent year on record and its results were only recently released.)

Just as importantly, fewer bike accidents resulted in injury (down from 132 to 112). The fatality rate, meanwhile, remained constant at one death per year. That’s still entirely too many, though city leaders would likely point out that those numbers are dramatically better than many other cities of our size. This is quite surprising considering Kentucky was recently ranked second to last for bike safety

With Pedestrian Accidents in Louisville, There’s More Than Meets the Eye

As for pedestrian accidents, the numbers are a bit harder to read. Overall, the number of accidents increased, but only by three — from 386 to 389.

That sounds bad and, without question, any increase at all is less than ideal. But when we take a closer look, there’s some cause for optimism. Even with an increase in the total number of pedestrian accidents in Louisville, the number of injuries declined by six (from 318 to 312, meaning that the decline in injuries was double the increase in total pedestrian collisions). Fatalities also fell by one, from 15 to 14.

For those inclined to glaze over numbers (we understand!), the takeaway is this: Louisville’s pedestrian situation may actually be getting modestly better. While there’s been a small uptick in accidents, a meaningfully smaller portion of those resulted in serious injury or death.

Of course, any pedestrian death is heartbreaking, and the majority could have been avoided with a combination of careful driving, street-smart pedestrian safety, and state/municipal efforts to crack down on pedestrian-endangering behaviors.

Auto Accidents Go Up; Deaths and Drunk Driving Go Down

Car Accidents Louisville

The auto accident picture is a somewhat grimmer one, but the trends are still a bit of a jumble.

Overall, auto accidents increased, from 25,353 to 25,713. Injuries fell, though. (From 4,729 to 4,651.) Deaths did too. (From 80 to 69.)

Pedestrian Accidents Louisville

It’s surprising to see a single city experience hundreds more accidents in a given year but also more than a hundred fewer injuries and fatalities. Drunk driving might have something to do with it. DUI collisions fell from 859 to 835. We know that drunk-driving accidents are among the deadliest and most catastrophic. With fewer drunk drivers comes diminished calamity.

A Trend of Safer Streets?

So what do we make of the numbers as a whole? The probable answer, unfortunately, is that it’s too early to tell. Two years do not a trend make, and the recent improvements would likely need to continue before they can support any inference of a real pattern of change.

This much remains crystal clear: auto accidents are a very serious, often-deadly danger in Louisville and throughout the entire state of Kentucky.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash in Louisville — whether as a driver, passenger, pedestrian, or cyclist — the attorneys at Meinhart, Smith & Manning can help. Contact us for a free consultation today.

 

Related Information

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Posted in Motor Vehicle Accidents

Five Famous Medical Malpractice Cases

While there are a lot of things individuals can do to take care of their own health, at one time or another most people find themselves in situations where they are relying on medical professionals to treat some sort of ailment. When a person is being treated, they are forced to relinquish control, and trust that the professionals are applying their knowledge and expertise in order to give their patient the best chance for healing.

At times, doctors, nurses, and other staff truly do everything they know how to help a patient, and even their best results in death or worsening of an illness or injury. But there are also many times when the details of medical protocol fall through the cracks, and a serious medical situation results. Too often the mistake that is made is hidden in hopes that they can fix what they did wrong without the patient or their family being any wiser. But just like children who try and glue a vase back together after they have knocked it over, hoping their parents don’t notice, a little patchwork is not enough to erase the mistake. With medical malpractice, however, the situation is far worse, because there is much more at stake.

Medical malpractice hits people in every socio-economical group, from “regular people” to famous celebrities. Here are five cases of medical malpractice that had a huge impact on the victims and their families.

Dennis Quaid’s Newborn Twins

Dennis QuaidIn November, 2007 Dennis Quaid and his wife Kimberly welcomed their their twins Zoe Grace and Thomas Boone into the world. When the babies were just two weeks old, they developed staff infections. The infections were difficult, but treatment was relatively standard and included administering an appropriate sized dose of Heparin, a blood thinning medication. Unfortunately, the wrong dosage was given to the Quaid infants — by 1000 times. The pharmacy technicians had delivered adult concentrations of the drug to the pediatric unit.

The babies were administered two doses of the drug eight hours apart. When the Quaids called the hospital to check on their condition, they were told that the babies were “fine.” even though the hospital was treating them for the overdose, which left the babies vulnerable to extreme bleeding.

The Quaid’s were not made aware until they showed up at the hospital early the next morning, greeted by the “risk management” department and were finally told that their children were in critical condition. In addition to making the error, and attempting to cover it up, the hospital also mismanaged media relations. Fortunately, after 11 days in intensive care the twins made a full recovery, and eventually they settled the case with the hospital for $750,000, and the hospital was another $25,000 by the California Department of Public Health.

Julie Andrews Throat Operation

Julie AndrewsFew would argue that the voice of Julie Andrews was among the most revered of the century. In 1997, she had developed nodules on her vocal chords which were causing minor problems. She was told surgery and a six week rest would correct things, but the operation permanently damaged her voice, leaving her unable to continue singing. Her malpractice suit was settled in a New York court.

Rhode Island Hospital Brain Surgery

When neurosurgeons undergo an operation on a person’s brain, double checking all the details is important — after all, it is brain surgery. However, in 2007 Rhode Island Hospital’s surgeons started operating on the wrong side of the brain three different times. Twice, they were able to correct their own mistake, by closing the holes and proceeding with the correct operation. The third patient was not as fortunate, and died three weeks after the botched surgery, The surgeon received a two month suspension of his license before returning to work.

Sherman Sizemore Anesthetic Awareness

When Sherman Sizemore underwent surgery in 2006. two types of anesthesia were required for the operation, paralytic agents, to prevent him from moving or speaking during the operation, and inhalation anesthesia which would make him lose consciousness and prevent him from feeling the pain of the surgery. The first was administered correctly, but the second was not.

Sixteen minutes into the surgery the medical team realized that he was still awake. The inhalational anesthesia, along with another drug intended to induce amnesia were given at that point, but Mr. Sizemore experienced nearly a half hour of surgery, complete with pain, while fully conscious. He was never told what happened. But although he was unable to point to a concrete memory of the incident, something was clearly wrong. With no prior history of psychiatric or psychological conditions, Sizemore was suddenly panicked. He thought that people were trying to bury him alive, and suffered from insomnia and nightmares. He committed suicide just weeks after the surgery, but his family didn’t fully make the connection between the surgery and his psychological struggles until a doctor mentioned the possibility while offering his condolences, prompting a closer look at his medical records.

Jesica Santilian Heart and Lung Transplant

In 2003, 17 year old Jesica Santilian came to the United States from Mexico to receive treatment for a severe heart condition, and it must have been a great relief to hear that she would receive the heart and lung transplant she needed. When doctors transplanted the organs, Jesica experienced severe brain damage, and her body was shutting down. At that point, medical staff realized that that the donor of the new organs did not have the same blood type as Jesica. While the physician attempted to rectify the error by finding compatible organs, and performing a second surgery, the damage had been done. Jessica did not survive the operation. The doctor took responsibility for the error, and the hospital implemented a new system to double check transplants in order to prevent similar errors from occurring.

Medical malpractice is not always as dramatic as it was in these instances, but the mistakes of medical professionals can result in a range of problems from inconvenience, to a more difficult recovery, to death. Hospitals and medical professionals often do not admit that they made a mistake, and attempt to cover their tracks leaving the patient and/or their family with little more than a gut feeling regarding the mishap. While there is no guarantee that such a feeling will lead to a successful lawsuit, it is still important for those in Kentucky to investigate and confirm the possibility as soon as possible. Most malpractice related lawsuits in the state fall under a one year statute of limitations, so it is important to act right away.as not to miss an opportunity.

A Johns Hopkins Malpractice Study revealed that medical errors contribute to over 4,000 deaths each year, but 97% of valid claims are never pursued. Filing a malpractice suit is about more than money, it’s about accountability. By drawing attention to preventable mistakes, hospitals and medical professionals are forced to take a second look at their approach to medical care and make improvements that can help others. At Meinhart, Smith, and Manning in Louisville, we have handled multiple medical malpractice lawsuits, and we’re ready to look at the specifics of your case, and help you decide if filing a medical malpractice suit is the right move for you. Contact our office today for a free consultation with our experienced attorneys.

Posted in Medical Malpractice

Understanding PIP Insurance in KY

Kentucky motorist are required to maintain specific levels of automobile insurance. Many drivers are confused about the “no fault’ or PIP insurance policies followed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We will attempt to clear up some of the confusion.

What is PIP?

Personal injury protection or “no fault” insurance means if you are involved in an accident regardless of fault your claim will be filed with your own insurance company. The at fault driver is not required to pay anything out of pocket to the victims of an accident if those victims have PIP coverage.

Is PIP mandatory?

While it is not mandatory in order to waive this insurance, you have to file specific documents with the Department of Insurance.  This document must be filed with the Kentucky Department of Insurance and provides motorists the option to refuse to accept only the limited compensation allowed when using this coverage. Otherwise, claims for injuries are limited by the policy and will pay only $10,000 in medical bills and lost wages.

In addition, PIP coverage does not apply if the other vehicle in an accident is uninsured, it’s an accident is related to employment activities or if the accident involved a motorcyclist who has not purchased PIP coverage. When you are involved with an accident with a motorcycle, it is important to know if they have elected special PIP coverage.

Does PIP rejection include all family members?

In most cases all family members are rejecting the coverage.  However one notable exception is that your spouse must sign the  rejection form themselves to be excluded. If your spouse does not sign the PIP rejection form and you are both involved in the same accident, they would be limited to PIP reimbursement.

What about deductibles on PIP Policies?

Some policies do include deductibles which can be problematic for drivers. For example if you have two family members injured each would pay an equal portion of the required detectable. therefore, if you are deductible amount is $1000, each person would have to sustain $500 in monetary losses. This means that injuries would have to exceed this amount before any reimbursement for medical costs is available to victims.

Does PIP include lost wage  benefits?

Well there is some coverage for lost wages, the maximum amount you can collect is $200. In addition, you can only collect 85 percent of your lost wages. For someone earning only $200 a week, the maximum amount that can be collected is $185. In addition, if a person is collecting Worker’s Compensation benefits at the same time, their total PIP payout may be further reduced.

What if my injuries exceed PIP?

PIP will cover injury expenses up to $10,000 and will only cover your expenses that are at least $1000. Only in specific situations may you pursue additional compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.

If you have rejected personal injury protection coverage for your medical costs and lost wages are in excess of 10,000 dollars, it is a good idea to speak with an attorney to help determine your options. Since the personal injury protection rules are very complicated and exclusions may apply to bicycle riders, pedestrians and motorcycle operators it is important to speak with an attorney who can explain your rights.

If you have been involved in an accident and you have rejected PIP coverage and the other driver has PIP coverage there may be additional options for getting compensation for your injuries. Additionally, even if you have PIP coverage, if your claims are rejected by your insurance company, you may need an attorney to assist you with getting the reimbursement that you are entitled to under the policy.

Any time you have suffered an injury because of someone’s negligence or inaction, it is important that you have someone working to protect your rights.  In addition to the injuries you have suffered, you should not have to suffer financially because of an accident.  Whether you are injured in a construction accident, a car accident or a motorcycle accident, you have the right to ensure that you understand how the personal injury laws can work for you and an attorney who understands these laws can serve as your advocate. Contact our attorneys for a free consultation today to talk about your legal rights.

Posted in Motor Vehicle Accidents

Failure to Communicate Change in Condition

Nurses failure to communicateOne of the skills people most like to highlight in their resume is “good communication skills.” This is something that is almost always sought after because when a person truly has these skills it can make a big difference when it comes to the quality of work they will be able to do, their ability to limit and manage stressful situations, and even improve the dynamic of relationships.

Communication Between Medical Professionals

Failing to communicate important information, especially when it comes to a medical condition can have very bad consequences. Failing to communicate a change in a patient’s condition is just one scenario that can result in a gap in care that could potentially cause irreparable damage or even death in a medical setting. As one patient is treated for a single ailment, the responsibility for that person’s care is shared by several people. Maintaining good communication about that person’s condition is vital. How a patient responds to various treatment options can make a big difference when it comes to deciding what the next step should be.

Nurses and mid-level professional, such as Physicians Assistants and Nurse Practitioners are highly involved in a patient’s care, but their ability to follow directions, and to only treat patients to the extent that they are licensed to do so  makes them vulnerable to being named in a medical malpractice suit. A shared study conducted by the Nurses Service Organization (NSO) and CNA, explored a malpractice case where the errors of a nurse played a large role in the treatment of a patient in the hospital. Malpractice of nurses accounts for approximately $87 million in damages. In the cited case, a 28 year old woman came into the hospital because she was in labor and about to have her first child. There had been no problems with the pregnancy, and her labor began just a week before her due date. However, after she had been at the hospital for two hours, she was forced to undergo a c-section due to fetal distress.

The OBGYN delivered the baby, and there were no obvious adverse effects to the mother. Still, the doctor left instructions that accounted for possible red flags, and asked that he be notified if these became apparent. He especially stressed that he should be contacted if her oxygen levels dropped below 95%. The woman experienced the drop in oxygen, and several other uncomfortable symptoms, including uterine cramping, excess discharge, weakness, nausea, and unstable vital signs. The doctor was not notified of complications for four hours. During that time, the nurse also administered the drug Xanax, despite the risk it carried considered the woman’s unstable vitals.

When the doctor arrived, the patient’s blood pressure was extremely low, and an emergency hysterectomy was needed. The surgery resulted in even more complications, including the loss of blood. She was also experienced seizures, and cardiac arrest, which was temporarily remedied with CPR. She had congestive heart failure, fluid in her lungs, brain damage, pneumonia, and respiratory distress syndrome. After 12 days in the ICU, the woman died.

Communication with a Patient and Family

In addition to staying on the “same page” regarding a patient with fellow medical professionals, it is important to properly communicate with patients and their families as well. The reality of a medical situation can be hard to handle, but it is information that patients have a right to know. This knowledge is often beneficial because it can allow families to nurture their connections with one another.

Any time a patient is treated for a particular ailment, they may be seen by several practitioners in multiple settings. including primary care, specialized out patient, emergency care, surgical care, and rehabilitation. Within a single facility, there is also an average of three handoff communications involving a single patient. This communication needs to be accurate, but sometimes it is not. Gaps in communication compromise the continuity of care, and essential information can get lost, putting the patient at risk or medical complications up to and including death.

The Joint Commission in the U.S.A. reported the breakdown in communication was the number one factor in unexpected serious injury and/or death. In Australia, a study was done tracking issues with transferring patients between health care providers. When adverse issues arose, 11% of the time they involved communication issues. Inadequate skills only contributed to 6% of incidents.

Communication problems are not only responsible for causing missed opportunities for quality care, but can also result in providing unneeded care. One woman received a more complex procedure than what was  needed for her irregular menstrual bleeding, Performing the wrong procedure meant that the woman would not be able to get pregnant in the future. If communication issues led you or a loved one to receive subpar care that resulted in injury or death, contact Meinhart, Smith and Manning for a consultation.

Posted in Medical Malpractice

Herniated Discs – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

People are born with 33 vertebrae, but by the time they reach adulthood, some of the ones in the lower back fuse together, leaving only 24. Between each disc there is a cushion reminiscent of a jelly doughnut with a hard outside and a soft, squishy jelly like material on the inside of the doughnut. Healthy and normally functioning discs hold the spine together and also act as “shock absorbers” which allows the spine to have some flexibility.

What is a Herniated Disc

When the cushion gets a crack in it, some of the jelly-like substance oozes out and irritates nearby nerves which may cause pain. The condition is referred to by several names. Herniated disc is the most common term, but ruptured disc, bulging disc and slipped disc are terms that are also used to refer to the condition.  Most herniated discs are found in the lumbar spine with the second most common area being the neck.

Herniated Disc Symptoms

Some people have a herniated disc and do not even know it. Others suffer debilitating and excruciating pain to a degree that they are unable to even participate in daily life activities. Some common symptoms include:

  • Leg or arm pain. The oozing gel-like substance may irritate the nerves to the legs or arms which causes pain. If the herniated disc is in the lumbar region, there may be leg pain. If it is in the neck, the pain may radiate down the arm. Often, the pain is increased when a person coughs, sneezes, laughs or moves into certain positions.
  • Numbness or tingling in the arm or leg, depending on which disc is herniated.
  • Weakness in muscles that are affected by the irritated nerves become weak making it difficult to hold an item if the arms are affected. If legs are affected a person may stumble and have balance issues.
  • Stabbing pains that radiate down the leg.
  • Difficulty in urinating or defecating.

Causes of Causes

The most common causes of herniated discs are:

  • The aging process which results in the deterioration of the discs which crack and cause the gel to ooze into the nerves
  • Lifting heavy objects using the back muscles instead of the leg muscles
  • Repetitive movements that cause strain to the back. This is often the result of sports activities
  • Sudden twisting or bending motion
  • Car accidents

Diagnosis

In many cases, diagnosis is made based on a person’s physical symptoms, medical history and responses to neurological testing such as testing reflexes, walking ability and response to pin pricks of the extremities. If the medical professional suspects the pain may be caused by something other than a herniated disc, other tests will be done to rule out other causes and confirm the diagnosis of herniated disc. These include imaging tests such as X-rays, MRIs, CT scans or a myelogram. Nerve tests may also be conducted.

Herniated Disc Treatment

Treatment ranges from simple home remedies, like alternating heat and cold to the affected area, to surgery.  Some rest is recommended, but too much rest is not good. Other possible treatments, depending on the severity of the pain, include:

  • Medications ranging from over-the-counter pain relievers to narcotics. Specific nerve pain medications may be required and, for severe pain, cortisone injections directly into the nerve area may provide pain relief
  • Physical therapy
  • Bracing the area of the affected disc
  • Ultrasound
  • Nerve stimulation
  • Surgery, which is usually a last resort when all other treatments have been tried and been ineffective in relieving pain, or when severe symptoms arise, such as problems with urinating and defecating or inability to stand or walk

How an Attorney Can Help

If you suffer from herniated disc pain that arose following an accident, particularly a car accident, you may have a claim for damages against a person who negligently caused your injury. These are complex cases and the opposing party’s insurer often argues that your herniated disc was not caused by the accident. A lot depends on the nature of the impact, where you were sitting in the vehicle at the time of the impact and other issues that may be discovered during the investigatory process. Our experienced attorneys will review the facts of your case with you and help you decide how to proceed. Contact our offices today for a free consultation of your legal options

Posted in Personal Injury

Retinal Detachment Symptoms and Treatment

retinal detachmentAlthough many people express themselves by rolling their eyes, ultimately, eyes are supposed to stay properly attached and in place, but those who suffer from retinal detachment experience some trouble with this. The retina is an important layer of tissue that is on the back of the eye and is supplied with the oxygen it needs for proper function through the attached blood vessel. When that connection is compromised, the eye loses oxygen, and if the condition is not quickly treated, vision is lost as well. The longer the wait, the worse it gets. Receiving an early diagnosis and treatment can save vision.

Symptoms of Retinal Detachment

One of the main things that indicate the possibility of retinal detachment is when a person sees “floaters” in their line of sight. These look like specks of debris, hair or spots that seem to be floating in air.  If the detachment is happening in a specific eye, that eye may notice flashes of light. It can also seem that a curtain has begun to close on the visual field of an affected eye. There may also be some shrinking of vitreous, the gel-like material that fills the eye. Seeing spots of floaters for a few seconds does not necessarily warrant a diagnosis of a detached retina. If floater persist, treatment is likely needed.

How and Why Does Retina Detachment Happen?

The retina connection becomes more fragile as people get older, especially for those over 40.  Those most at risk are very nearsighted people, due to stretching of the eyeball. Those who have experienced an inflammatory eye disorder, advanced diabetes, or have sustained an injury to the eye may experience retina thinning, which leads to tears and fluid leakage. Family history can also play a role.

Getting Treatment

In most cases, retinal detachment can be repaired, but the extent to which vision is restored depends largely on how quickly a person gets treatment. Whenever possible, a person who experiences symptoms should see an eye specialist immediately. For many, this means going to an emergency department that has an opthamologist  available. At the very least, they should be able to provide an appropriate referral.

In some cases, retinal detachment is minor enough that it will heal on its own, in other cases, surgery, laser therapy, or other treatments will be required as well as professional observation to assure that healing is properly progressing. In some cases, it will take months to recover from retinal detachment, and the recovery period often requires that activities be restricted in order to prevent recurrence.

Sometimes, when retinal detachment happens it is something that should have been preventable. It may have been triggered by a physical injury that happened during a car accident, falls, or exposure to chemicals. At times, symptoms are reported to a person’s regular doctor or an emergency room doctor, and those reports are not taken seriously, allowing the condition to worsen. The opthomologist may also fail to diagnose or mismanage the condition.

Ophthalmologists have a low rate of malpractice claims brought against them compared with health care professionals in other disciplines, however, when claims are made, failure to diagnose retinal detachment is the second most common reason, after glaucoma related issues. Mismanaging the disease is also a possible reason for a claim, although it happens much less often.

At times, retinal detachment is not immediately detected through the initial eye exam, but in nearly two percent of cases, a retinal tear will be present within six weeks. Ophthalmologists should be diligent in educating their staff as to what constitutes an urgent case and what isn’t. keeping patients as well informed about their own condition as possible, and charting these interactions on the patient’s chart.

Proper vision is key to a person’s ability to maintain their sense of control of their world, and independence. A drastic deterioration can greatly reduce the quality of a person’s life and may even contribute to conditions such as depression and anxiety disorders.

If you experienced retinal detachment, and are facing additional obstacles in your life because of it, it is important to consider why. If it happened because of a physical injury, or if became worse due to your being denied timely diagnosis or case, the attorneys at Meinhart, Smith, and Manning, PLLC may be able to help.

As important as it is to receive timely treatment for retinal detachment, as well as other injuries, it is just as important to act right away on any pertinent personal injury or malpractice case. The state of Kentucky imposes a statute of limitations on the length of time a person can file  a case. Pursuing action right away, also keeps details more fresh and evidence more reliable.

Contact us to set up a consultation to discuss your situation and we’ll help you decide which course of action is best for you.

Posted in Personal Injury

Texting and Driving Statistics in KY

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that in 2013, 10 percent of all fatal crashes, 18 percent of injury crashes, and 16 percent of all motor vehicle crashes were distraction-affected crashes.

That said, vehicle crashes that involve distracted drivers are on the decline. In 2013, there were 3,154 fatalities caused by distracted drivers. This is a decrease of nearly 7 percent when compared to the fatalities recorded in 2012. However, there was a slight increase (0.7 percent) in the number of people injured due to distracted drivers.

In 2014, the state of Kentucky experienced more than 53,500 crashes, which resulted in 169 fatalities and in excess of 14,000 injuries. All of these crashes occurred due to distracted driving.

Texting While Driving Is Especially Dangerous

Although every kind of distraction can be dangerous to the driver and those around him or her, texting involves all three distraction categories, which makes texting and driving extremely dangerous. NHTSA states that when an individual texts while driving, he or she looks away from the roadway for approximately five seconds. Traveling at 55 mph, the distance traveled in that time totals the length of a football field.

On April 15, 2010, Kentucky House Bill 415 became a law. This law bans drivers from texting while the vehicle is in motion.

Drivers Under the Age of 18

Drivers who are under the age of 18 are not permitted to use any kind of personal communication device while the automobile is moving. Although using a global positioning system is permitted, information can only be entered manually into the GPS when the vehicle stops.

Drivers 18 and Older

Drivers who are 18 and older are permitted to use a GPS as well as read, select or enter a name or telephone number to make a call.

Texting and Driving Statistics

Carnegie Mellon University states that driving while using a mobile phone substantially reduces the brain activity associated with driving. Studies indicate this decrease is nearly 40 percent.

According to the University of Utah, the use of a handheld or hands-free cell phone while driving changes a driver’s reaction time. This reaction time change is equal to the decrease seen in an individual with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent.

The 2011 survey Mobile Device Use While Driving — United States and Seven European Countries states that 31 percent of the U.S. drivers surveyed between the ages of 18 and 64 reported that within the 30 days prior to completing the survey, they had sent or read text messages or emails while driving.

If you were involved in a car crash and sustained injuries, you may be able to seek compensation. Please contact our office to schedule your free initial consultation today.

Posted in Motor Vehicle Accidents

Ovarian Cancer Lawsuits Related to the Use of Talcum Powder

talcum-powder-lawsuitsIf you are one of the 20,000 women diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, you may be wondering, “did I do something wrong?” The answer to this question could be yes, specifically if you are a regular user of talcum powder for feminine hygiene.

Talc, in it’s purest form, has been the target of lawsuits filed against Johnson and Johnson, manufacturer’s of baby powder and Shower to Shower. Most of the lawsuits against Johnson and Johnson relating to talcum powder ovarian cancer have been based in New Jersey, the state of the company’s headquarters. The lawsuit contends that talc is a dangerous substance responsible for causing cancer, and that talc needs to be replaced with corn starch to remove this health danger.

Signs of Ovarian Cancer

If you suffer from pain during intercourse, abdominal swelling, constipation, fatigue, or inexplicable weight loss, these may be signs that you have ovarian cancer. Changes with your menstrual cycle can also be an indicator of this disease.

The manufacturing of powder using talc continues to go unchecked, and Johnson and Johnson hasn’t done anything about these findings from 1971 for the last 40 years. A follow up study done in 1992 speculated that the use of talc containing products for feminine hygiene increases the risk of getting ovarian cancer threefold. By 2010, Harvard University researchers concluded that talc is in fact carcinogenic to humans.

Despite the lack of information provided by the FDA and Johnson and Johnson regarding the use of talc, the first lawsuit claiming talc was responsible for ovarian cancer was won in 2013. The lawsuit was filed in 2006, after the woman suffering from ovarian cancer reported using Shower to Shower talcum powder for the previous 30 years. This lawsuit has set the stage for future lawsuits of women who are suffering from ovarian cancer and were using talcum based products in their personal hygiene routine.

It is easy for the manufacturers of talcum based products to change their formula to a corn starch based formula, but despite proof that talc was toxic to human beings, Johnson and Johnson continued to make Shower to Shower and baby powders using talc. There is no excuse for this behavior.

If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and you frequently used Johnson and Johnson products as part of your daily routine, you are not alone. If you believe that you are a victim of chronic talc use, it is time to contact our law office to discuss your potential for a personal injury lawsuit. We know how hard it is to fight ovarian cancer, and the time is now to talk with a professional attorney about your case.

Talc is toxic, and both the government and Johnson and Johnson have known this fact for years. With an ovarian cancer diagnosis and frequent powder use, you have a viable lawsuit on your hands.

 

Related Information

 

Posted in Dangerous Drugs

Whiplash Injury Symptoms and Treatment

whiplash injuryWhen something causes a rapid and forceful back-and-forth movement of the neck, whiplash can occur. This motion has the ability to injure the disks, bones, muscles, ligaments, and tissues of the neck. Although the majority of people suffering from a whiplash injury will recover within a few months, about 25 percent will not. These individuals suffer disability and have long-term pain that can last years.

According to scientists at Northwestern University, within the first two weeks of a whiplash injury, special Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) allows the scientists to determine which patients will develop chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and disability. Unusual muscular changes involving large amounts of fat infiltrating the neck muscles indicate a rapid onset of atrophy. The presence of this fat is not related to an individual’s shape or body size. Lead investigator James Elliott is an assistant professor of physical therapy and human movement sciences at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He states that these findings show that patients suffering with whiplash have different symptoms and clinical signs. Nearly 4 million Americans suffer a whiplash-associated disorder due to automobile accidents every year.

Symptoms generally develop within 24 hours of the incident.

Whiplash Symptoms

  • Headaches that usually begin at the base of the skull
  • Neck pain that frequently worsens with movement
  • Stiffness
  • Pain or tenderness in the upper back, shoulder, and/or arms
  • Fatigue
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of range of movement in the neck

Some people experience:

  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Memory problems

Pain Management

By knowing whiplash symptoms and treatments, you will recognize when you need to visit a physician. Visiting your physician allows you to receive an accurate diagnosis and begin the healing process right away.

Whiplash Injury Treament

Rest

For the first 24 hours following your injury, rest may help relieve some of your pain; after that, prolonged rest could delay your recovery.

Ice and Heat

During the initial 72 hours following your injury, you can only use ice. Ice brings the swelling down. At this point, the heat is not helpful because it causes blood to rush to the area, which actually increases inflammation. You can apply ice to the area for 15 minutes at a time every few hours. Make sure that your skin has time to return to its normal temperature before you reapply the ice. Additionally, never apply ice directly to your skin; always wrap it in a towel.

After the initial 72 hours, you can begin to use heat and ice interchangeably every few hours. At this point, inflammation will have subsided and the heat will bring oxygenated blood to the area, helping it heal faster. Professionals recommend 15-minute treatments several times a day.

Prescription medications

If you are suffering with severe pain, your physician may decide to give you a prescription pain medication.

You may also be given a prescription muscle relaxer to control your pain and help you sleep better.

Over-the-counter-pain medications

If you have mild or moderate neck pain, you may be able to take acetaminophen and/or ibuprofen for your pain.

Injections

Some physicians offer their patients an injection of a numbing agent, like lidocaine, into the painful areas of the neck.

Exercise

Your physician will probably prescribe a series of exercises designed to help you regain your range of motion.

Exercises may include:

  • Tilting the head from one side to the other
  • Rotating the neck left and right
  • Rolling your shoulders
  • Bending the neck down toward the chest

Physical therapy

Your physician may order physical therapy if you are experiencing chronic pain or need assistance performing your range-of-motion exercises. You may also learn additional exercises designed to strengthen your muscles, restore normal movement, and improve your posture.

Cervical collar

You may receive a foam cervical collar to wear. This collar keeps your neck and head stable. It is usually worn while you experience an increased level of pain. Generally, the collar is only used within the first week of the injury.

Contact an Attorney

If you suffered a whiplash injury in an auto accident or due to the neglect of a person or business, you may be able to sue that person for compensation of lost wages or medical bills. Contact our attorneys today for a free consultation of your legal options.

Posted in Motor Vehicle Accidents

Statute of Limitations

KY Statute of LimitationsThe statute of limitations refers to a law that sets the maximum amount of time an individual can wait before filing a lawsuit. That length of time varies depending on the type of claim or case being filed and which of the states it is filed in. If an individual neglects to file his or her claim or lawsuit within the statutory deadline, the right to make a claim or to sue has passed. That said, in a few instances, the statute of limitations may be extended.

Statute of Limitations in Kentucky

KRS Chapter 413: Limitation of Actions

In Kentucky, a statute of limitations extension is possible if the plaintiff was under a disability or a minor at the time the incident occurred; however, once the plaintiff reaches the age of 18 years, the suit must be filed within the appropriate statute of limitations time frame (see KRS 413.170(1)). Another exception that can extend the period of a limitation is if the defendant was previously a resident of Kentucky and left the state or remained hidden until the limitation date passed to avoid a lawsuit. Once this individual returns to the state or is found, the statute of limitations period will begin again (see KRS 413.190).

Actions That Must be Filed Within One Year

Personal Injury

KRS 413.140(1)(a) – Action for injury to the plaintiff or his or her spouse, ward, child, servant or apprentice. This statute includes car accident cases.

KRS 413.140(1)(b) – Action for a personal injury by a company other than a hospital. This statute includes premises liability cases.

Professional Malpractice

KRS 413.245 – Action to recover damages for a medical professional’s failure to render services for a medical issue that should have been discovered.

Medical Negligence/Malpractice

KRS 413.140(1)(e) – Action against a licensed surgeon, dentist, physician or hospital. Medical negligence/malpractice lawsuits include birth injury and wrongful death.

Home Inspector

KRS 413.246(1) – Action against a licensed home inspector to recover damages for injuries and damages caused by the inspector’s negligence.

Two Years

Personal Injury Due to Car Crash

KRS 304.39-230(6) – Action must be filed within two years of the death, injury or final basic or added reparation payment the obligor makes, whichever of these occurs last.

Five Years

Product Liability

KRS 411.310(1) – There is an assumption that, until rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence, a product was not defective if the death, injury or property damage occurred more than five years after the purchase date of the first consumer or more than eight years past the manufacture date.

Personal Injury – Home Construction

KRS 413.120(14) – Action for injuries suffered against a builder or home improvement professional. Statute of limitations begins from the time an individual occupies the home or from the time the improvements were completed.

Seven Years

Deficient Construction

KRS 413.135(1) – Action for recovering damages arising from a deficient design, negligent planning, construction component, supervision, inspection or real property improvements. This statute of limitations includes wrongful death as well as personal injury.

Ten Years

No Specific Statutes

KRS 413.160 – All actions that do not have a specific statute fall into this category.

15 Years

Enforcement of a Judgment

KRS 413.090(1) – An action upon a decree or judgment of any Kentucky court, other than federal or state.

The statute of limitations in Kentucky varies depending on the type of incident and the parties accused (hospital, physician, manufacturing company, etc.). If you or someone you love sustained injuries due to the negligence of another, contact our office today.

Posted in Personal Injury

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