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Lake Charles Personal Injury Law Blog

Alarming facts about truck accidents

Large truck accidents account for a major portion of highway deaths in Louisiana and across the nation. Per the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s most recent statistics, in 2015, 11 percent of highway deaths involved a truck. Of the 3,852 people who died, passenger car occupants made up 69 percent, 16 percent were in the trucks themselves and 15 percent were bicyclists, motorcyclists or pedestrians.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration adds that 4,311 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes in 2015, an 8 percent increase from the previous year. In terms of the trucks themselves, 75 percent were tractor-trailers and the remaining 25 percent were single-unit trucks.

Stressful work conditions may lead to truck accidents

It is a well-known fact that large trucks are involved in many accidents across the country every year. Fast highway speeds and the immense size of commercial trucks can create a deadly combination. Truck drivers in Louisiana and elsewhere may also work in stressful and unhealthy situations, further increasing their risk of causing an accident.

Smart Trucking points out that stress is highly prevalent among long-distance truckers. Truck drivers must deal with numerous factors that add to their stress or fatigue, including the following:

  • Long hours on the road and tight deadlines, leading to insufficient sleep and drowsy driving
  • Extended time away from their family and loved ones, which can cause loneliness, isolation and depression
  • A poor “convenience station” diet and little time for exercise, leading to such health issues as heart disease, diabetes and obesity

Keloid and hypertrophic scars

Louisiana residents who suffer from injuries due to a car accident may end up dealing with particularly sturdy or visible scars. Among those are keloid scars, which can be extremely noticeable and may cause a lot of pain.

WebMD states that keloid scars are the result of overly-aggressive healing, or a healing process that has had interference. Obstructions to the healing process like infections or injuries that aren't properly stitched can cause these scars. Keloid scars are considered aggressive as well, because they'll extend beyond the range of the original site of injury. They can continue to grow after the injury itself has healed, and may become large enough to cause a person to have difficulty with mobility. This is especially true if the scar is near an area that sees a lot of movement, like joints.

Is there a difference between road rage and aggressive driving?

You may think that some Louisiana drivers have road rage because of the way they drive. However, there is a difference between road rage and aggressive driving.

While you may think that actions such as tailgating or failing to signal constitute road rage, this is not the case. The American Automobile Association says that road rage includes sideswiping other cars and making rude hand motions. Running cars off the road, throwing things and ramming other vehicles are also considered road rage. These actions are more common than you may realize. Estimates about traffic safety demonstrate that while three percent of drivers intentionally bump other cars, about 33 percent use rude gestures behind the wheel.

What are the hidden costs of an accident?

Louisiana residents who suffer from debilitating injuries due to a car accident may be wondering what their options are, or what step they should take next. At Lee M Schwalben MD JD LLC, we provide you with answers to these pressing questions and help you get back to living your life.

First of all, your expenses most likely won't end after the initial hospital stay or having to deal with car repairs. However, this step is still important. Both healthcare and car damage can be massively expensive, especially if you have a long or intense hospital stay or if your car is totaled or requires pricy replacements. This is where initial battles with insurance companies can begin.

Should you file a claim even if you don't think you're hurt?

Louisiana residents who get injured in car accidents will unfortunately have a limited window of time in which they'll be able to file a claim. As injuries fade and damage from the car is fixed, you have an increasingly lowered chance of getting compensation, so you need to work quickly. At Lee M Schwalben MD JD LLC, we strive to help you understand your timeline.

But what if you don't think your injury is severe enough to seek medical attention, or you don't think you have any injuries at all? This is why medical attention should be sought immediately after an accident, even if you don't "feel" like you've been hurt. There are plenty of obvious injuries that can come from crashes, but some may also be invisible to the naked eye. Others may take a while to show themselves, and there are even certain types of injury that may start out seemingly benign but get worse rapidly. These categories can include:

  • Whiplash
  • Damage to the spine
  • Head traumas
  • Fractured bones

Physician liability in the opioid epidemic

Physicians with knowledge of the dangers of opioids could be liable to their Louisiana patients if they fail to adequately warn them. The recent lawsuit by the Louisiana Department of Health against several manufacturers of opioids argues that businesses should be liable for damages flowing from fraud in their marketing of opioids. And, at the heart of these lawsuits are allegations regarding the way manufacturers “led prescribers to believe that opioids were not addictive” and told them that greater dosages could be safely prescribed to patients who were already addicted. However, the liability of businesses also gives rise to concerns regarding the extent to which physicians have failed to warn, or have misinformed, patients with respect to these drugs.

Some argue that opioid addiction is worse because of doctors. As reported by Quartz, the epidemic is thought to be “doctor-driven” and can be “reversed in part” by doctors who choose alternative methods of treatment. In 2013, over 1 million adults were addicted to opioids and that number has been tied to rising numbers of heroin addicts. In just 15 years, over 150,000 people died from opioids. When these drugs are taken at high doses, even if authorized by doctors, a person’s breathing can be slowed down or even stopped.

What are some statistics for pharmaceutical malpractice?

To Louisiana residents like you, the images of doctors, nurses and hospitals may come to mind when you think of medical malpractice. However, this type of wrongdoing can occur at any level of the medical field, all the way from the people who write and recommend prescriptions down to the ones who get those prescriptions filled.

According to U.S. News, between 1 and 5 percent of all prescriptions filled in America have some sort of prescription error. This can include potential mistakes like:

  • Putting the wrong pill into the wrong bottle
  • Prescribing the wrong dosage
  • Prescription labels that don't have correct instructions
  • Missing bad interactions between prescriptions

Distracted drivers put school children at risk

Louisiana children have recently headed back to school, and a new study has some wondering how safe they are. Recent reports show that school zones are some of the most dangerous when it comes to distracted driving, putting children at risk.

As CBS News reports, a new study found that one in three drivers is unsafe in a school zone. This is putting students at risk for an accident, and those in more urban counties are at a higher risk: schools in Dallas, San Francisco, Manhattan, and Houston were the top five most dangerous in the country. The study was conducted by Zendrive, which researched the areas around 75,000 schools across the nation. Their findings show that one in 11 public schools is near a major road or highway, which have pedestrian accidents six times as often. With 88 percent of drivers using their phones behind the wheel, researchers found this increases the likelihood of a crash 20 times. Afternoons are the most dangerous time on the roads surrounding a school, so children are most at risk during afterschool pick-up.

Toxic exposure in the workplace: A real problem

Depending on your profession, you may realize that you work in close proximity to toxins on a regular basis. Of course, you take the proper safety precautions in an attempt to avoid injury or illness.

Unfortunately, there are times when workers receive exposure to toxins and hazardous chemicals. In some cases these people are aware of the exposure. There are also situations in which a person doesn't learn about the exposure until later on.

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