How Effective and Safe is ER Medical Care

Jul 02

How Effective and Safe is ER Medical Care

Whenever a patient needs emergency attention, the top decision is to rush him or her to the nearest ER. A good and bad decision, actually. Good because the patient would receive medical attention; bad, on the other hand, because not all hospitals are the same. Some hospitals have been made famous by the quality care they provide to patients; some others have only become profit-oriented, caring more about how much they will earn for every medical service provided. These latter kind of hospitals may have the necessary medical devices, but where medical personnel is the issue, a lot of questions need to be answered.

Online posts of good and bad doctors, as well as of good and bad hospitals may provide very useful information to families of patients that need to know where they can and should rush their loved one during emergency situations. These posts are made by different non-profit organizations and individuals, who just want to provide service through useful information.

The usual basis for naming doctors and hospitals as either good or bad is quality of care which, in turn, is shown through correct diagnosis. The ability to correctly diagnose patients’ health complaints could only result to timely treatment and correct medication. Now, where else can a hospital’s real capability to provide patients with the best care be really tested if not in its emergency department?

Hospital emergency departments, or emergency rooms (ERs), are fast-paced and often chaotic environments due to the huge number patients, with all sorts of complaints, being rushed there. Sad to say, instead of providing correct initial diagnosis, many of those who have been rushed in ERs have suffered serious complications or never lived longer due to wrong diagnosis: this is why ERs are very frequent recipients of medical malpractice lawsuits – due to the thousands of errors committed there.

As pointed out by the law firm Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck, P.A., despite the situations that require immediate medical attention, many emergency rooms are understaffed. This sometimes lead to a number of critical mistakes from the staff; to patients, however, the effects can be delayed treatment or wrong treatment resulting in worsened conditions or even death.

To some, measuring the harm done to patients by ER staff only increases the suffering and pains that they feel. Not pursuing justice, however, may only result to the same mistakes getting committed again and by the same persons.

Find a medical malpractice lawyer, one that you feel you can trust. He or she will not be able to help you find justice, but help you cope with the pain you feel as well.

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Accidents Due to Car Defects

Mar 09

For motor vehicle owners, a vehicle recall would definitely be familiar, especially if the vehicle they own is one of those that is presently, or has been, part of a recall. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a vehicle recall becomes necessary if the same problem has been cited as the cause of accidents involving vehicles of the same make and model.

Specifically, a recall is made either by the manufacturer (voluntary recall) or through a court order that is instigated by the NHTSA if:

  1. The defective vehicle or vehicle part poses a risk to the safety of the driver, passengers or anyone on the road; and,
  2. The vehicle or any of its parts has failed to comply with the minimum performance requirement established by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). Minimum performance standards are aimed at ensuring the safe operation of a vehicle and the safety of all vehicle occupants (driver and passengers) from injury or death in the event of a crash; there are minimum standards for brakes, tires, lighting, air bags, safety belts, child restraints and other parts.

In September of 2014, Ford recalled more than 850,000 of its vehicles due to defective airbags and seat belts; on the month that followed, Chrysler discovered these same defects in about 184,215 of their SUVs worldwide, thus, prompting said manufacturer to recall their defective vehicles.

Vehicle recalls usually happen after consumers send their complaints to the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI), a department of the NHTSA. The most recent biggest auto-safety recall in the history of the car industry in the US, thus far, involves Takata-made airbags that are said to explode, shooting potentially fatal metal fragments inside the vehicle. These (driver-side) airbags have been linked to hundreds of injuries and five deaths.

Based on records from safercar.gov, about 19 million vehicles in the US have been installed with this defective airbag; around the world, the total number of vehicles affected and, thus, being recalled, is 53 million. Some of the vehicles affected are Honda, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Daihatsu, Nissan, Toyota, General Motors, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, BMW and Lexus.

The installation of airbags in vehicles was made a law by the NHTSA in 1984. This law mandated the installation of an automatic occupant protection device (such as an air bag or an automatic seat belt) in all passenger cars manufactured after April 1, 1989. Then, in 1991, the US Congress passed the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act, which required the installation of air bags on the driver (frontal) side and passenger side in all passenger cars and light trucks that are to be manufactured after September 1, 1997; the Act also mandated the installation of manual lap-shoulder belts on the said types of vehicles which will be manufactured after September 1, 1998.

Besides airbags, defective parts or defective vehicles have also been discovered in the past, resulting to millions of vehicle recalls, like the 22 million vehicles recalled by more than 10 car manufacturers (in 2013) due to malfunctioning parts, which included steering wheels, brake pads, tires, seat belts, child seats, wipers and engines which caused gas to leak.

According to the website of personal injury lawyers at the Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg law firm, automakers have the obligation to do everything to fix the defect as soon as they become aware of it. Fixing the defect, however, does not release them from being accountable for whatever accidents it has caused. To conceal, as much as possible, the details about the defect and the accidents, many car makers, continued the said firm, reach out to victims with attractive settlement offers.

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Defective Road Conditions

Oct 22

Road defects may be a nuisance that is can be avoided, and occasionally it can do some substantial damage to your car. If you have been a victim of road defects, generally, you rant and rave about it for a little while then decide to get over it and just pay the repair bill. But when highway defects become the basis for severe injuries that result in death and trauma, that’s a different matter completely. You may have to get the party liable to pay you for your substantial losses.

Once you have the applicable information, your next thing would be to record a notice of a possible injury lawsuit, which will give the agency the opportunity to react to the claim. If you are fortunate, the bureau will discover that your claim is valid and will get it settled for you then and there. But it’s more probable that your claim will be rejected. In either case, do not forget to pass it through your attorney.

The website of the Sampson Law Firm states that road flaws tend to be a product of negligence i.e. inadequate care. Keep in mind, however, that when you might have a lawsuit for highway defects, you’re taking on the government, which you should not do ill-advised. Furthermore, authorities have sovereign immunity, which limits their responsibilities to major highway defects i.e. want of reasonable care and maintenance.

You will be told all possible defendants on your specific case by the lawyer according to the circumstances of the accident. These will contain the when, where, what, why and how, so the lawyer can charge the responsible bureau. In Kentucky, the different agencies in charge of roadwork might be the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet if you’re on one of the bridges, the main roads, or the crossing of the express. The fault could also be on the county or city level, and even the contractors who are employed to ensure safe road conditions.

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Rollover – A Life-Threatening Accident

Jun 18

About 24,000 cases of serious injuries and 10,000 deaths, all due to rollover accidents, are reported to the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) every year.

A rollover accident, wherein a vehicle rolls onto its side or roof, can be life-threatening like head-on collisions. The effect can be worse if the driver were speeding prior to the accident, and still much worse if the vehicle’s roof collapses and crashes down on the driver’s and passengers’ head and spine, resulting to serious head and spinal injuries.

A vehicle, which is prone to oversteering, especially when making a sharp turn, or understeering (or turn less sharply), can rollover. More susceptible to rollover accidents, however, are pickups, passenger vans and SUVs which are vehicles designed with a high ground clearance or a high center of gravity but with a narrow track width as shown by the distance between their left and right wheels. Vehicles designed this way have lesser stability and reduced steering capacity, and these are further reduced if the weight of the passengers and cargo (whether these are placed inside or on top of the vehicle) are not equally distributed.

Analysis of data (on car accidents) made by the NHTSA show that speed (above 55mph) and alcohol intoxication are major contributory factors to rollover accidents. However, despite this statistical information, speed and alcohol may only be considered as secondary factors, the first being the vehicle’s faulty manufacturing design.

If a vehicle with a high ground clearance and narrow track width corners too sharply or drives down a steep slope, it can easily fail to remain upright or slide sideways and so, rollover, as a result. In addressing the problems of stability and steering control and help ensure driver safety in the process, giant car manufacturers introduced the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system, also known as electronic stability program (ESP) or dynamic stability control (DSC), a computerized safety device that helps improve vehicle stability by reducing chances of skidding or loss of traction. This safety device consists of sensors that are able to detect loss of vehicle control, automatically applying brakes on each wheel, if it does so, to enable the driver to steer the vehicle back on track. ESC also helps to keep the vehicle stable, especially during quick turns, improves traction and reduces chances of oversteering and understeering.

But while ESC may save a driver and other vehicle passengers from injuries or death in the event of a rollover, faulty manufacturing design will not. A rollover is a serious accident. Besides a threat to life, it also causes major damage to properties. It will definitely be in the best interest of rollover victims, therefore, if they contact a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer immediately to inquire about their legal rights and options in pursuing compensation for whatever damages they suffer.

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Selling Mineral Rights: A Much Wiser Decision?

Mar 18

The recent discovery of fresh shale gas regions at various locations in the US during the last 10 years may just very well be the solution to the depleting volume of natural gas produced from current shale regions in the US.

Shale gas refers to natural gas that is trapped within shale formations or fine-grained sedimentary rocks. Shale formations are rich sources of petroleum and natural gas and, based on the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s list, the top regions that lead in the production of natural gas for domestic use include: Southern Texas’ Eagle Ford shale; the Bakken shale region, an area that extends from North Dakota to Montana; Niobrara, the region that stretches across parts of Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Colorado; the Permian basin in West Texas; the Haynesville rock formation in southwestern Arkansas, northwest Louisiana, and East Texas; and, Marcellus shale, which lies 4,000 – 8,500 feet beneath the eastern half of Ohio, West Virginia, northern and western Pennsylvania and southern New York. This is also one of the most extensive shale regions in the nation and probably the world’s second largest.

The still widening drilling activities in shale gas regions, both in existing and new ones, have tossed big companies in a more intense search for mineral sites. Owners of properties near drilling sites or within declared shale regions are, likewise, cast in the air of excitement due to the possibility that their land holds rich, yet, untapped wells of oil or other minerals. And, to a lot of these land owners (who have never really decided yet), the questions are the same regarding their land and mineral rights: sell or lease?

While a decision to sell mineral rights can mean a possible huge, and readily available, lump sum from the buyer (regardless of whether the land will actually produce or not since this risk will already be on the company which will purchase the land or mineral rights), leasing, on the other hand, might also possibly enable the owner to, eventually, earn the same amount as the sale or may be even more, but only if the property is productive and will keep on producing for a long time.

While some owners never pass the opportunity of grabbing an offer that is very hard to refuse, others rather decide to just hold on to (and lease) their property, while others, still, decide to do both, that is, sell half their property or mineral rights and lease the other half.

Whatever decision may be arrived at, it is always advisable to first get the advice of legal professionals who will help the owner sort through all the documents that state the sale or lease of the property or rights. This is to save owners from deeply regrettable errors committed by some in the past who intended and believed that they were just leasing their mineral rights, only to discover afterwards that the documents they signed were actually closure of sale of their property or rights.

 

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