Drunk Driving Accidents: Getting Ahead of the Dangers through Prevention

Drunk driving is among the leading causes of car accidents in the United States. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that drunk driving accidents led to 9,967 fatalities in 2014. This accounted for 31 percent of all car accident deaths reported in that year. Knowing all this, it’s apparent why both the federal government and individual state governments are particularly committed to the prevention of drunk driving accidents. It’s because of this dedication that there has been stricter implementation of traffic regulations against drunk driving.

Among the many policies facing stricter reinforcement is the establishment of traffic checkpoints in numerous states all over the country. In these checkpoints, law enforcement is able to pull over vehicles to check for a driver’s sobriety through the use of breathalyzers and other quick tests. Through these field tests, they can see if any driver has a blood alcohol concentration or BAC level that’s above the legal limit of 0.08 for private individuals and 0.04 for individuals operating commercial vehicles.

The penalties for drunk driving could include several thousands of dollars in fines, imprisonment or probation, as well as license suspension. Still, all these penalties remain inconsequential compared to the possible long-term consequences that victims of drunk driving accidents end up facing cannot compare to those suffered by drunk driving accident victims. According to the Madison car accident lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, victims of such accidents often require significant medical treatment and they could also end up with financial burdens caused by their inability to come immediately back to work.

If you, or anyone you know, have been injured in a drunk driving accident, be reminded that you are entitled to receive just compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Consult with an experienced lawyer working in your area to learn more about your legal options.

Rollover Accidents: A Result of Defective Vehicle Design

Every year, thousands of rollover accidents resulting to as many as 10,000 deaths and 24,000 serious injuries are reported to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A rollover accident is a deadly type of vehicular accident; it is characterized by the tipping over of a vehicle onto its side or roof. While any type of vehicle can rollover, the ones most prone to this type of accident are pickup trucks, vans and, SUVs.

Rollover accidents are usually caused by unsafe roadways, worn out tires (due to loss of traction), or a great tendency of the vehicle to oversteer (turn farther than it was meant to), or understeer (turn lesser that intended). However, the major cause of rollover accidents, as pointed out in the Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, website, is a vehicle’s defective design, specifically, its center of gravity being higher from the ground.

The consequences of rollover accidents are almost always serious, like head injury, spinal cord injury, dislocated bones, amputated limb, or death. Due to the great risk of severe injuries passengers are exposed to in this type of accident, the NHTSA has released safety measures, which drivers should observe for them to avoid a rollover from happening. Besides making sure that a vehicle is never loaded with very heavy cargo, drivers, especially of SUVs and vans, should also make sure that the vehicle maintains its balance by keeping the weight of passengers and cargo equally distributed inside the vehicle.

Requiring that vehicle manufacturers install a safety device, called the Electronic Stability Control (ESC), in vehicles is another major move adopted by the NHTSA. This safety device consists of sensors which are capable of immediately detecting loss of vehicle control. As loss of control is detected, the ESC automatically applies brakes on the affected wheel to allow the driver to regain control of the vehicle. The ESC also helps ensure stability during quick turns, improves control of vehicle on gravel patches and road shoulders, increases traction on slippery and ice-covered roads, and eliminates the likelihood of oversteering and understeering.

It mentioned above, however, that rollover accidents are primarily due to a defect in vehicle design, enough reason why accidents should be blamed on manufacturers. It is, therefore, important for the family of a victim in a rollover accident to contact a personal injury lawyer immediately for the possible legal action they may pursue against the liable party.

Surgical/Anesthesia/Prescription Error

A study released in October 2015 showed that medication mistakes have occurred in 124 out of 277 surgical operations that were conducted in the United States last year alone, with almost 50% of all surgeries involving at least one medication error or adverse drug event, or 193 medication errors occurring in the 3,675 medications administered.

The study is “the first large-scale look at medication errors in the time immediately before, during, and directly after surgery,” said Dr. Karen Nanji, Harvard Medical School’s assistant professor of anesthesia, which was confirmed by Yale University Prevention Research Center director Dr. David Katz.

Other findings showed that two-thirds of the medication errors were categorized as “serious” and 2% were deemed “life-threatening”.

The study identified the following as the most common types of medication error during a surgery: incorrect dosing; drug documentation mistakes; failure on the part of physicians and nurses to monitor and address the changes to a patient’s vital signs; and drug labeling mistakes.

Attorneys at the Abel Law Firm say some wrong actions that a physician performing a surgery might do include leaving a foreign object –such as a towel, a sponge, or a surgical apparatus – inside a patient’s body; making errors in performing the procedure itself; and performing the procedure on the wrong body part.

Medical malpractice cases are very problematic in the sense that there is complexity when it comes to proving that the doctors, nurses, or the medical institutions are accountable for one’s worsened medical condition. For one, they can make the patient lost in all the medical jargon thrown at them by the medical practitioners claiming innocence. For another, such institutions find it easy to hire the best and the brightest minds in the legal profession to come to their rescue in instances when a mishap is made.

Birth-Related Injuries

The chances of a child suffering from health complications can appear during pregnancy or on labor and delivery. These complications can bring about cerebral palsy, which was first thought to be caused solely by a combination of asphyxia and a complicated birth. However, this is only among the many reasons for cerebral palsy, and that factors such as problems during the fetal development stage can also lead to cerebral palsy. One way to help determine the health of the newborn child, they are tested and will be designated an APGAR score. APGAR (which stands for Appearance, Pulse, Grimace Response, Activity, and Respiration) is a scoring method used to promptly summarize the baby’s health as determined through their muscle tone, respiration, heart, reflexes, and color. The result will help determine the child’s risk to cerebral palsy, with the evaluation taking place at one and five minutes after birth, and at successive intervals after that, if needed. Although there are a number of risk factors that can lead a child to have cerebral palsy, having the presence of one or more risk factor does not equate to the child having cerebral palsy. Based on various studies, majority of cerebral palsy cases are due to factors that can be prevented.

One of these preventable risk factors is medical errors. Medical errors such as the incorrect use forceps and vacuum extractors can lead to traumatic brain injuries and eventually, cerebral palsy. According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier, S.C.®, doctors or medical practitioners who have made the medical error that resulted to serious injuries can be held accountable that the child and the parents have suffered. Since such errors can be preventable, they can account as negligence on the part of the medical staff if they indeed commit medical mistakes and caused serious and irreversible damage to the child. However, there are also non-medical causes of cerebral palsy.

Healthy young children whose brains are still in the developmental stages can still develop cerebral palsy when they suffer from any type of traumatic brain injury. A direct injury to the cerebrum can significantly affect the motor skills development of the child, as well as their cognitive abilities. Car accidents, drowning, or serious physical abuse are things that can lead to a child developing cerebral palsy. And those how have been victims of such negligent or reckless actions can file a personal injury claim to get financial compensation for the damages the victim and their families will have to go through.

Criminal Convictions can Affect Child Custody

The reasons for divorce play an important role in the child custody, child support, and visitation rights for both parents. If both parents have mutual consent to the divorce and have little to no conflicts, the proceedings can go smoothly and the custody, visitation and child support can be settled without delay and complications. Child custody is, in theory, concluded according to the best interest of the child. This means that each parents’ background will be checked and anything relevant that could affect the determination will be seriously considered by the court.

When a parent has been criminally convicted or simply charged, it may be a significant factor that the family court judge will look into in order to determine child custody, support and visitation rights. There are certain factors that the judge will examine so as to effectively weigh the situation. Among the things the family court judge will check is the victim and the type of the offense made. The website of the Law Offices of Baden V. Mansfield states that if the crime involved the domestic abuse towards the mother and child or children the court can them grant limited custody and visitation rights, while serious charges such as sexual abuse, battery, and other violent crimes can possibly terminate any parental rights.

Dangerous behaviors are what court judges are looking for when deciding on divorce and child custody. Any criminal offenses that can be considered as an isolated event can greatly reduce chances of a withdrawn custody or visitation rights, but recent convictions can demonstrate reckless or dangerous behavior that can be a risk to the welfare of the child. Likewise, the recurrence and nature of the sentences will also be considered; the parent’s capacity to follow the law can be challenged when there is a continuous string of convictions and can considerably lower chances of custody and visitation. Since family courts assess each divorce and child custody cases according to their specific circumstances, the website of Truslow & Truslow, Attorneys at Law states that a criminal conviction or convictions can be a considerable determinant that could impact the family court’s decision.

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