Best Car Seats For Toddlers And Babies

Car seats reduce the risk of death for infants 71% and reduce the risk of death by 54% for children ages 1-4, this according the National SAFE KIDS Campaign and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Also, using the incorrect child seat is against the law. This showcases the vital need for all babies and toddlers to be safely restrained in a car seat when riding in a car. The car seat options listed below are some of the safest on the market today. You can feel good knowing that choosing any of them will ensure your baby or toddler is as safe as possible in a vehicle.

Infant Seats: Rear-Facing

This type of seat is designed for babies. They always face the back, so their weight limit will not always accommodate larger babies or toddlers. The benefit of this type of seat is its portable design. These seats are created in two separate pieces. The base stays installed in the car, while the infant seat itself can be unlocked and removed from the car. This allows parents to transport sleeping babies from the vehicle without waking them. It also provides parents a safe, secure place for their baby to sit when away from home.


Britax B-Safe 35

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This sleek little seat is aptly named, as it offers many features geared towards making it as safe as possible for your little one. The weight/height capacity is anywhere from 4-35lbs and up to 32” tall. It comes with SafeCell Technology, which was created for impact absorption in the event of a crash. It also has easy-to-read level indicators to help parents know they have installed the seat properly.  Other neat features include an extra large canopy that keeps baby’s face from getting too much sun and a carrying handle that locks into any position during travel. It is also noted for being especially good for small babies, like preemies.


Chicco Keyfit 30 Magic:

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Known as the easiest infant seat to install, the Chicco Keyfit 30 Magic seat has also been voted the best infant seat by “Good House Keeping.” The weight/height limitations on this seat are from 4-30lbs and up to 30” tall. This seat has a unique feature, its center-pull lower LATCH anchor adjustment and tightening capabilities. You can also adjust the five-point harness on this seat with one hand. This is a welcome feature for parents who rarely have an extra hand to spare.

Safety 1st Onboard 35 Air:

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This is another aptly name car seat, thanks to its many safety features. One such feature is its “air protect” technology that provides enhanced protection for side-impact accidents. The weight/height limitations are 4-35lbs and up to 32” tall. This is another seat that is especially noted for its ability to safely fit small infants, such as preemies. However, it is also one of the taller infant seats on the market, meaning babies can use the seat for longer than most other similar seats. It’s also made is the USA.

Convertible or All-in-One Car Seats

This type of seat is the typical next step for parents after the infant seat. This seat can be installed to face the back for smaller babies or turned to face forward for toddlers. Many of the models will even fit full term newborns, which leads some parents to forgo an infant seat altogether and instead opt for this type of seat, which grows with their baby.

Britax Boulevard ClickTight

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This convertible seat by Britax has a weight limitation of 5-40lbs when rear-facing and 20-65lbs when forward-facing. It features the ClickTight installation system, which is in essence a built-in lockoff device for the seatbelt. The seat also contains EPP foam, has an energy-absorbing headrest and HUGS harness pads, which are also energy absorbing, along with non-twits harness straps and an impact-absorbing anti-slip base. It has seven recline positions and comes complete with an optional newborn insert.

Chicco NextFit Zip Convertible Car Seat:

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Voted the 2015 winner for the “Best Convertible Car Seat of The Year” by “Moms’ Picks” on babycenter, this convertible car seat by Chicco offers a little bit of everything. Its weight limitations are 5-40lbs when rear-facing and 22-65lbs when forward-facing. The NextFit Zip has the SuperCinch LATCH tightener for easy installation, along with a bubble level indicator that allows parents to know the correct seat angle. It also features nine reclining positions and six headrest options, along with an infant insert for babies. What likely makes this is a mom favorite; however, is the fact that the seat pad unzips, allowing parents to run it through the washing machine.

When you have a new baby, you want to do everything within your power to keep that precious life safe. Consequently, you will want to choose the safest and best car seat on the market. To make this choice, you need to know which seats are the best when it comes to keeping your baby and toddler safe. We hope this list has helped make this all important decision easier for you.

Posted in Car Accident Information

Kentucky Car Seat Laws

Child SeatThere is an undeniable link between traffic safety and child car seat laws. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) emphasizes the importance of child safety requirements and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is on board with them as well.

That is why we have car seat laws affecting all passengers under the age of eight years old or under 57 inches tall. Most recently, Governor Beshear signed House Bill 315 and enacted a booster seat requirement for children raising the height standard from the previous 50 inches. This is consistent with recent data from the NHTSA and proposed federal regulations. The law is expected to reduce car accident injuries in children.

However, laws affecting child restraint systems are only effective if adults who transport children in their private vehicles are aware of them. Here is a review of the car and booster seat laws in Kentucky so you can be prepared and help your young passengers travel safer.

Car Seat Law Requirements

Car seat laws are codified under KRS 189.125.  “Child restraint system” includes any device designed to transport children in motor vehicles that meets all federal regulation requirements. Systems include car seats and booster seats. While car seats are more encompassing, the booster seat elevates a passenger so the lap and shoulder belt system fits him or her correctly.

Children under 40 inches tall require car seats that are rear or front facing, depending on age. Normally, children can start using a booster seat at 40 inches, as long as the seat belt crosses the lap and shoulders correctly. Fit should sit low on the hips or high on the thighs and the shoulder strap needs to cross the collarbone. Until you are able to accomplish this fit with a booster seat, you will need to use an infant or child car seat. Once a child outgrows a car seat, it will no longer offer the same protection.

If you are pulled over and carrying child passengers, police officers will check for required safety systems and will see if seat belts fit children correctly. It is a good idea to check how car seats and seat belts fit as your children grow since you will need to upgrade once a child outgrows a car seat. Once children hit 57 inches, the regular seat belt laws apply.

Your Responsibilities

Booster SeatUnder the new car seat laws, failure to use a booster seat for a child who still needs it will result in a $30 fine. You can avoid paying the fine if you show proof that you since purchased a booster seat.  Once your child reaches his or her ninth birthday and is over 57 inches tall, you no longer need a booster seat but you will need to follow seat belt usage laws or risk those fines.

The new law, though, does not assign civil liability to drivers who fail to use restraint systems. Contributory negligence is a defense strategy that states the plaintiff had a role in his or her injuries or those sustained by passengers. While this can be relevant if you were also driving recklessly, it is not admissible evidence if children are not in restraint systems. You can face the fine and other penalties, but you will not be considered responsible for injuries just because you did not use a car or booster seat.

However, the benefits to using a child restraint system are very clear. According the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, infant safety seats are 71 percent effective at reducing traffic fatalities, 67 percent effective in reducing hospital visits, and 54 percent effective in reducing fatalities for children between the ages of one and four. When it comes to booster seats, 90 percent of children between the ages of four and eight sustain serious injuries in car accidents when drivers do not use one.  With liability not being an issue for drivers, avoiding the trouble of booster or car seats almost seems worth avoiding the extra trouble. The reality is, these devices save lives and reduce serious injury. Even if the law was not enacted, the effort is still worth it as it will preserve a child’s quality of life.

If you suffer a car accident, Meinhart, Smith & Manning, PLLC offers skilled representation to help you collect compensation from negligent drivers. Contact us today to set up a free case review and consultation.

Posted in Car Accident Information

Abilify May Lead to Compulsive Gambling

What is Abilify?

abilifyAbilify is a prescription medication manufactured by Bristol- Meyers Squibb that has helped many people who struggle with various medical conditions including Tourette’s Syndrome, Autism, Depression, Schizophrenia, and Bi-Polar disorder. It works by adjusting the levels of both serotonin and dopamine, and can relieve irritability and nervousness. Abilify’s own information page lists many potential side effects including increased risk of stroke, increased blood sugar, weight gain and more. One thing is doesn’t list is the potential for the drug to prompt impulsive behavior, most commonly compulsive gambling. Gambling is of special concern because it can have a serious financial impact on a person, and put a strain on their entire family.

Abilify Connected to Addiction Issues

According to various studies, several medications that alter dopamine levels have been found to bring about various impulsive behaviors. Gambling has been reported most often, however other behaviors such as compulsive shopping and binge eating have also been a problem for some people taking the medication. One French study looked at eight patients who were being treated for a gambling addiction with Abilify, and seven of those patients suffered a serious backslide in their program, which was corrected when they stopped taking Abilify.

Abilify is considered to be an anti-psychotic. While it can help several different mental health and other conditions, the fact that Bristol-Meyers Squibb has failed to properly warn patients against impulsivity side effects is more than concerning. The absence of sufficient warning has led to some patients taking this drug to have increased medical problems and suffer greatly socially, emotionally, and financially.

Paying the Price

Any substance that encourages a behavior such as impulsive gambling is far too costly. Those who have sought compensation due to their own suffering of these problems, as well as those of family members who have died while on Abilify are seeking help with medical bills, gambling debts, loss of wages, and treatment costs.

At Meinhart, Smith, and Manning in Louisville, Kentucky our firm works hard to stay on top of dangerous drugs and medication. Most pharmaceutical lawsuits center around a company’s failure to properly warn patients of potential dangers, and with Abilify it seems that many doctors were not given the information they needed in order to properly inform their patients of the risks involved in taking the medication.

Other Health Risks With Pathological Gambling

When a person suffers from pathological gambling, it is more than just their pocketbook that is at risk. They are more likely to develop conditions such as sleep deprivation, hypertension, peptic ulcers, and cardio-vascular problems that are commonly brought on in part by excess stress. Mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression are also likely to increase when gambling problems become severe. This may result in a person’s loss of productivity, cause legal problems, relationship problems, and may put them at a greater risk of suicide.

Evidence has shown that for those who are compulsive gamblers the actual brain changes in a way that is very similar to those who suffer from substance abuse. Another medical side effect comes from the actual gambling environment, which is often a casino that allows cigarette smoking. For non-smokers second hand smoke can be another problem.

Creating new drugs to help better people’s lives is not an easy task, but is also not a task that we can afford to rush. When pharmaceutical companies push for drugs to be approved before they are truly ready they put both individuals and society at risk. This is especially true when it comes to medications that affect the mind.

Our Attorneys Can Help

If you or a loved one have taken Abilify and found that you experienced an increased amount of impulsive behaviors, and those behaviors had a negative impact on your life, or if a loved one lost their life due to the side effects of compulsive gambling brought on by the use of Abilify, we at Meinhart, Smith and Manning want to hear your story. No one who is seeking help for a medical disorder should be dragged into an even bigger problem just as they are trying to get the help they need. To set up a FREE consultation to discuss your case, contact us today.

Posted in Dangerous Drug Information

Product Recall Roundup 2015

Most people want to believe that the products they use on a daily basis are safe. But the fact is, some defective and even dangerous products make their way into the marketplace. As a result, private citizens can be injured, sickened or even killed.

A number of federal laws aim to protect American consumers from defective and dangerous products. When defective products are discovered, they often are subject to recall — either on a mandatory basis as ordered by government regulators or on a voluntary basis initiated by the manufacturer. In 2015, a number of products were recalled. If you have suffered harm from any of these products, contact our qualified product liability attorneys to discuss your legal options.

GoGo squeeZ Applesauce Pouches

gogo-squeez-recall

The maker of popular applesauce pouches, GoGo squeeZ, voluntarily recalled some of its products after discovering mold developing in some pouches due to a problem with production. The company asserted that the mold is a type that forms on fruit and is not a risk to people’s health. However, the company’s CEO also acknowledged that mold is “gross and unpleasant to look at or taste.”

Products subject to the recall include individual cartons and pouches made in the United States with best-before dates of 6/30/2016 and 7/26/2016. Consumers should check all of the company’s products carefully before consuming them, however. The company did not disclose how many pouches were included in the recall.

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese

Kraft Macaroni RecallIn March 2015, Kraft voluntarily implemented a recall of more than 240,000 cases of its Macaroni & Cheese dinner because some might contain small shards of metal. The recalled products include 7.25-ounce boxes of original-flavor mac and cheese; the best-by dates are in September and October 2015, and the code “C2” appears just under the date on each box.

The recalled dinners were sold in these configurations:

  • Original flavor, single 7.25-ounce box.
  • Five pack of shrink-wrapped 7.25-ounce boxes in the original flavor.
  • Four-pack of shrink-wrapped 7.25-ounce boxes in the original flavor.
  • Three pack of 7.25-ounce boxes in original flavor.

Consumers may receive a refund or exchange of recalled products in stores. No injuries due to the recalled products have been reported so far.

Takata Air Bags

Takata Airbag RecallA massive recall of air bags supplied by the Japanese company Takata has affected millions of U.S. vehicles from almost two dozen different brands. The recall relates to defective inflators and propellent devices that could send metal fragments flying into car occupants in a crash. As many as 34 million vehicles in the United States potentially are affected, and an additional 7 million air bags have been subject to the recall globally.

When the recall was announced in 2013 it applied to only six auto makers, but Takata’s acknowledgement that it did not know what cars included the defective inflators — along with a recall by Toyota — spurred more car manufacturers to issue their own recalls. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also ordered more recalls in areas with high humidity, including Hawaii, Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Although Toyota reported that the recalled products have caused no injuries or deaths in its vehicles, the New York Times noted late in 2015 that at least 139 injuries involving all auto makers had been reported. At least two deaths and 30 injuries have occurred in Honda vehicles.

Sabra Hummus

Sabra Hummus recallIn April 2015, Sabra Dipping Co., based in Virginia, issued a national recall for 30,000 cases of its Classic Hummus due to the presence of listeria bacteria — which can be deadly — in some samples. Michigan inspectors found the possible listeria contamination during routine inspections in March at a Port Huron Kroger store.

After the state tested samples, Michigan officials alerted Virginia inspectors and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The recall affects only certain SKU numbers of the Classic Hummus. Listeria can sicken healthy individuals with symptoms like severe headaches, nausea, abdominal pain and high fevers. In young children and in frail or elderly people, however, the bacteria can cause fatal infections, and it can result in miscarriages and stillbirths in pregnant women.

Nylabone Puppy Treats

Nylabone-Puppy-Starter-Kit-recallThe FDA recalled Nylabone Puppy Starter Kits due to possible salmonella contamination after the company’s routine testing found salmonella in one kit. Salmonella can inflict cats, dogs and humans with serious symptoms. In puppies, signs of salmonella infection can include lethargy, dehydration, vomiting and diarrhea, fever and shock.

The recalled Nylabones are in 1.69-ounce packages made specifically for puppies and were distributed around the country as well as in Canada. Recalled packages have an expiration date of 3/22/18; if you have a recalled package, return it to the store where you bought it for a refund.

If You’ve Been Harmed by a Defective Product, You Have Options

Have you become sick or been injured by a defective product? If so, you need advice from an experienced product liability attorney to ensure that you receive the compensation to which you’re entitled. For a free consultation, contact the attorneys at Meinhart, Smith & Manning, PLLC.

Posted in Personal Injury Cases

Viagra May Put You at Risk of Melanoma

Viagra Risk of MelanomaMen who use the erectile dysfunction drug sildenafil, commercially known as Viagra, have a significantly higher chance of developing deadly skin cancer than men who don’t use the drug, according to a recent study.

The study, published in 2014 in JAMA Internal Medicine, found an 84-percent greater chance of developing melanoma over a 10-year period among men who take Viagra. The connection between the drug and melanoma warrants further investigation of the issue, experts note. In the meantime, men who use Viagra should exercise caution when spending time outdoors. Men who have developed melanoma should ensure that they fully understand the latest research and get the best possible treatment.

What Did the Study Find?

The study began in 2000, when almost 26,000 men joined the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study through the Harvard School of Public Health. At that time, researchers conducted interviews with the men about their sexual health, including their use of Viagra. They also questioned participants about time spent in the sun and any genetic risk for skin cancer, including a history of moles along with eye and hair color.

Researchers tracked the men for the next decade to record any occurrences of skin cancer, including squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma and melanoma. In all, researchers noted 580 cases of squamous cell carcinoma, 3,030 cases of basal cell carcinoma and 142 cases of melanoma. The men who reported using Viagra had a risk factor nearly double for developing melanoma. The drug did not appear to be linked to the other two types of skin cancers that were monitored, and researchers didn’t find evidence that erectile dysfunction on its own increased the risk of developing melanoma.

Researchers say the study only shows a correlation between melanoma and Viagra and doesn’t prove that the drug causes the disease. To understand causality, more research is needed, they note.

Researchers did not suggest that Viagra is a dangerous drug or that men stop taking it for treatment of erectile problems, noted Dr. Abrar Qureshi, a study co-author. But he advised that men who take the medication and are at high risk for melanoma consult with their doctors before continuing the medication.

Does Viagra Increase Risk of Melanoma?

Viagra impacts the same genetic pathway that provides a means by which skin cancer can become more invasive, Qureshi said, adding that the men who took Viagra did not show a higher risk of the less-dangerous forms of skin cancer.

The researchers also noted that the risk of melanoma that correlates with taking Viagra is small, and many factors play a role in a man’s risk of developing melanoma. Age and total exposure to ultraviolet radiation are among the most predictive factors in development of the disease.

Should men who take Viagra be worried? Researchers say there is no definitive answer without further investigation, because the connection between melanoma and Viagra could be a simple coincidence. Replication of the study results is necessary before health professionals would begin warning men.

Protect Yourself from Melanoma

Melanoma is less common than other types of skin cancer but is more serious. It appears as a flat mole with an uneven shape; the mole can be brown, black or several colors. Melanoma typically appears as a new growth on the skin, but it also can form in an existing mark or mole. The disease can impact the skin exclusively or can spread to bones and organs.

To reduce the risk of melanoma, experts advise protecting skin against excessive sun exposure by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen liberally during outdoors time, staying in the shade, avoiding indoor tanning and wearing a hat, sunglasses and clothing that covers arms and legs. In addition, anyone at risk should see a health care professional for regular skin examinations to catch any signs of melanoma or other skin cancers early, when they can still respond to treatment.

Older men have a higher chance of developing melanoma and of dying from the disease. In 2014, experts estimated that 76,000 U.S. residents would develop melanoma, and 10,000 would die because of it.

Consult with an Experienced Dangerous Medicines Attorney

If you have suffered from health problems that you believe are the result of a dangerous medicine, you should consult with our qualified attorneys. You may be entitled to compensation, including the costs of your medical treatment, time lost from work, and pain and suffering. For a free personal consultation, contact Meinhart Smith & Manning PLLC at (877) 776-1219.

Posted in Dangerous Drug Information

Tech company Aims to Fight Distracted Driving Accidents

Text NinjaA start-up company thinks it has a solution to one of the worst problems we face on the road today — accidents caused by distracted drivers. This brand new, five-person Chicago company, called TextNinja, has created an app that combines technology, psychology, and gaming rewards to stop people from texting while they drive.

A Computer Game That Can Save Lives

It might sound unlikely that a computer game could save lives on the road, but there is a compelling idea behind the TextNinja app.  The app is based on the idea that many drivers know full well they shouldn’t text while driving, and these drivers intend to do the right thing, but then they get tempted by their phones.  Despite all their best intentions, they just can’t resist reaching for their phones when they hear the signal that a text has come in.

The problem is extremely serious.  In Kentucky, an astonishing 30 percent of road accidents where people were injured were caused by distracted drivers. Surprisingly, that’s even more than the number of injury-producing accidents that were caused by alcohol.  In 2014, distracted driving contributed to 20 deaths and more than 9,000 injuries on the road in Kentucky alone.

TextNinja uses a multi-pronged approach to shore up users’ willpower. First, the app removes the temptation to look at texts by turning off the sound of incoming texts. Users can also optionally have an automatic reply sent out saying they can’t answer the text at that moment because they are driving.  The gaming aspect of the app rewards users with levels and “ninja belts” that increase the more that users stay off their phones while driving.  People can also choose to compete for rewards with their friends.

The beauty of this system is that it is aimed at people who are already aware they shouldn’t be using their phones while driving. It doesn’t require lecturing people about things they already know. Instead, it gets at the psychological factors that underlie much of the unsafe driving behavior that has become so common.

Risky Behavior Caused by Fear of Missing Out

TextNinja says that what drives people to pick up their phones when they know they shouldn’t is the fear of missing out.  This malady is so common, not only in driving but in life, in general, especially among young people, that it now has its own popular acronym, FOMO.  What if the text that has just come in, a FOMO sufferer may wonder, is a life changing opportunity that must be grasped immediately before it slips away.

Logic doesn’t help.  In reality, most texts are not very important and don’t need to be dealt with right away.  But the fear that puts the “F” into FOMO can override logic and common sense.  It can compel people to do things they know they shouldn’t.  As a result, they may invent excuses, telling themselves it can’t hurt to just glance at the phone for a second.  Before they know it, they may have gotten absorbed in the text messge and be at risk of causing an accident.

By providing psychological rewards in the form of gaming points, the app turns the addictive power of smartphones on its head and uses it for a good cause.  The FOMO-driven smartphone addiction — the inability to resist looking at or responding to a text even when people promise themselves they won’t — is what causes so much distracted driving in the first place, and the app counteracts that bad behavior with what will hopefully be equally addictive game rewards. In time, the repeated good behavior will become a habit — and a safer driver will be born.

The TextNinja app has just been launched, so it’s too early to say whether it will have a significant effect in saving lives.  The idea sounds like a good one, and anything that might help reduce distracted driving accidents will be very welcome on our roads.  For now, though, distracted driving accidents are unfortunately all too common. If you have been injured in a vehicle accident, and you need an experienced accident lawyer to help you get all the compensation you deserve, the attorneys at Meinhart, Smith & Manning would be glad to set up a free consultation to discuss your options.

Posted in Car Accident Information

2015 Meinhart Smith & Manning PLLC Scholarship Winner Inspired by Past Personal Tragedies

Alex TurnerOften, past events have a profound impact on future plans, even when those events don’t necessarily seem all that tragic at the time. So is the case with this year’s winner of the Meinhart Smith & Manning PLLC Scholarship, Alexander Turner, who is determined to turn the misfortune of family members into a driving force to pursue legal justice for all.

Motivated by Tragedy

Turner, who hails from Africa but has deep family roots in Brazil, experienced his first brush with personal injury as a high schooler when his cousin was accidentally electrocuted. His cousin, who resided in Brazil, was playing soccer when he touched a live, exposed electrical wire. It was later learned that the wire has been tampered with by neighbors who were using it to steal electricity. Later, tragedy struck again when his elderly Brazilian grandmother was struck by a motorcycle. Though she survived, she had a difficult and long recovery and was compensated only for the loss of her glasses which had been destroyed during the accident.

These events ignited a fire in Turner who became determined to fight for those who have been personally injured by negligence, especially those who cannot afford to seek legal counsel. This desire to assist those in need was further reinforced when he visited New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. As he helped to rebuild houses and clean up the streets, Turner noticed the drastic difference between socioeconomic levels in the New Orleans area. You see, nearly all of the areas that were destroyed were of lower economic status. Those with higher incomes had built homes that were out of harm’s way or of better construction. Thus, they were relatively unaffected by the storm or flooding.  A Gallup poll conducted six weeks following Katrina’s devastation provides proof that the poor and African-American residents of New Orleans were more likely o suffer from the effects of hurricane Katrina than those in other economic or racial groups. That is when Turner began to understand the plight of marginalized people, those who are too poor to seek recompense for the wrongs done against them.

Turner graduated as the valedictorian of East High School in Iowa before heading to college and earning a degree Political Science. He has received numerous distinguished honors for his academic and extracurricular efforts. Some of these honors include participating in the Fox Leadership Program in Rodin College House and acting as the news director for UTV 13 at the University of Pennsylvania, which is the oldest college TV station in the world.

Turner will begin his legal studies at Drake University Law School in Des Moines with a commitment to their public interest and poverty law internships and programs. He is determined to become a successful public interest attorney by utilizing every learning opportunity available to him. In addition, he has a strong interest in learning about trial law and the civil justice system. Following graduation in 2018, Turner hopes to begin work as either a public defender, a prosecutor or in legal aid. He will have abundant job opportunities available to him once obtaining his Juris Doctor, given that the demand for lawyers is expected to rise by 10 percent by the year 2022.

The $1,000 Meinhart Smith & Manning PLLC Scholarship was created to help offset the cost of pursuing a legal degree for students who have been personally affected by past personal injury cases. These events include misfortunes such as medical malpractice, automobile accidents, and other personal injury accidents. It is the belief of Meinhart Smith & Manning that these deep personal experiences fuel a passion for seeking justice in the personal injury field, and the firm wants to support qualified students in their pursuit of justice for others.

Congratulations Alex and Good Luck!

Posted in Firm News

Louisville vs. Lexington: Which Is Safer for Drivers, Bikers, Pedestrians?

which city is safer

Only about an hour apart, Louisville and Lexington share a community that includes many commuters and people who travel between them to take advantage of all that each city has to offer.

So how should your sense of safety change when traveling between the two? Which city is really safer?

There’s no easy answer to that question, but a hard look at the numbers helps. That’s why we’ve pulled out the latest statistics from each city in the comparison below. By understanding the relative risk factors, you can better guard yourself against the biggest threats to your safety in either place.

A Note on Population Size

At the outset, it is important to note that Louisville and Lexington are cities of different sizes. In terms of population, Louisville is home to about 600,000 people, while Lexington boasts a population of around 300,000. In making our comparisons, then, we’ll rely on population-adjusted rates in addition to the raw numbers.

Auto Accidents in Louisville vs. Lexington

Earlier this summer, we reported that auto accidents in Louisville are on the rise. While that’s true, Lexington still has the higher crash rate, at least when the data is limited to major roads.

According to a report by the Kentucky Transportation Center at the University of Kentucky College of Engineering, between 2008 and 2012 (using the latest year-to-year data available), the accident numbers on major roads were as follows:

Louisville — 26,863 accidents (or 397 crashes per 100 million vehicle-miles)

Lexington — 10,039 accidents (or 532 crashes per 100 million vehicle-miles)

When we open the data up to all roads, though, and look at them relative to population size, the numbers move into a tie:

Louisville — 121,494 accidents (or 41 crashes for every 1,000 people)

Lexington — 60,540 accidents (or 41 crashes for every 1,000 people)

So what’s the takeaway? Given that Louisville is the larger city, we’d expect a larger number of total accidents there. When adjusted for vehicle-miles and/or population size, though, Lexington ties or pulls ahead.

Clearly, auto accidents are a major problem in both cities, with Lexington arguably posing an even bigger concern for its relatively smaller population size. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in one of these incidents, the auto accident attorneys here at Meinhart, Smith & Manning can help.

Bicycle Accidents in Louisville vs. Lexington

Bicycle accidents almost always cause serious injuries. Sadly, dozens and sometimes hundreds of bicyclists are injured or killed throughout Central Kentucky every year. As the number of cyclist and pedestrian deaths rises nationwide, it is paramount that we act now to curb this alarming trend.

Here’s how the data shapes up for Kentucky’s two largest cities:

Louisville — 601 bicycle accidents (or 2 crashes for every 10,000 people)

Lexington — 305 bicycle accidents (or 2.1 crashes for every 10,000 people)

Here again, it’s clear that bicycle accidents are an urgent problem in both cities, with Lexington seeing just slightly higher per-capita numbers. We should note, though, that more recent data suggests that the Louisville bicycle accidents situation is improving considerably.

Pedestrian Accidents in Louisville vs. Lexington

The pedestrian accident numbers are clearer and easier to read, with Louisville easily outranking Lexington as one of the most dangerous places in Kentucky for pedestrians.

Louisville — 1,362 pedestrian accidents (or 4.6 accidents for every 10,000 people)

Lexington — 504 pedestrian accidents (or 3.4 crashes for every 10,000 people)

Fortunately, as we reported earlier this year, there are some early signs that the pedestrian accident numbers might be modestly improving in Louisville. Future data will paint a clearer picture.

Injured? Talk with Experienced Louisville Auto Accident Attorneys at No Charge.

Statewide crash data can be hard to read, even when you break it down city by city. While comparing Louisville and Lexington can be interesting, the most important thing is for residents in both cities to realize that their lives are potentially in danger when they use the roads.

Most auto accidents happen because of simple driver negligence. While our law firm can help victims fight for comprehensive financial compensation after an accident, there is no way to undo the terrible heartache and suffering a car or pedestrian accident can cause. It is our goal, then, to hold negligent drivers accountable and do our part to reduce the rate of auto accidents and serious injuries in our state.

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a motor vehicle accident in Louisville — whether as a driver, passenger, pedestrian, or cyclist — the experienced Louisville injury attorneys at Meinhart, Smith & Manning can help.

Please know that our services are available to residents of both Louisville and Lexington, as well as the rest of the Bluegrass State.

Contact us for a free consultation today.

Posted in Personal Injury Cases

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.

 

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Posted in Car Accident Information

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 Cases

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