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Lake Charles Personal Injury Law Blog

What’s the best way to handle a cancer misdiagnosis?

No one wants to learn that they have cancer, which is why it's so easy to feel a sense of relief when you receive a diagnosis of a less serious illness.

Unfortunately, it's possible for your medical team to make a mistake, thus leading to a delayed cancer diagnosis.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

As many drivers in Louisiana are aware, distracted driving is increasingly becoming a problem across the country. Electronic devices are a major distraction for drivers, but they are by far not the only one. This month, drivers everywhere can benefit with a recap on distracted driving.

The National Safety Council has designated the month of April for people to refresh their understanding of distracted driving. Distracted Driving Awareness Month brings up many safety issues, including the high risk of crashes and fatalities when a driver’s attention is not focused on the road.

What can happen if you leave the hospital too early?

It is understandable to not enjoy being admitted to the hospital and want to get out as soon as possible. However, you and other Louisiana residents should understand the potential complications of being discharged before you are ready.

When your doctor says you are being released from the hospital, it is normal to trust his or her word that you have recovered enough to go home. U.S. News & World Report points out that many patients are discharged despite having one or more abnormalities in their vital signs, which can make it likely for a patient to be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days or even die.

Overconfident driving and fatal car crashes

All sorts of behaviors can make a deadly car crash more likely, whether a person gets in their car after drinking excessively or decides to ignore the speed limit because they need to get to work on time. However, some drivers are overconfident, and this can significantly increase the probability of a motor vehicle collision. For example, an inexperienced driver may think that their driving skills are better than they actually are, or someone could ignore issues they are dealing with (such as poor vision or fatigue) and think that their driving abilities will not be impacted in any way. Sadly, overconfidence can be deadly on the roadway.

In general, some people have an excessive amount of confidence. While this can be helpful in certain aspects of life, too much confidence behind the wheel can be incredibly dangerous, especially since there are so many hazards that even the most skilled drivers may encounter. It is always important to be careful and watch out for car crash risks while driving, and some drivers disregard this advice and place lives in danger by failing to watch out for hazards. For example, someone who has never driven during winter weather conditions may be too confident and drive too fast even though there is ice or snow on the road.

2 dead in Louisiana collision with log truck

There are many reasons that commercial trucks can pose a threat while on the road. One is the wide turning radius that they require, which can encroach into other traffic lanes and pose a danger to nearby vehicles. That appears to be what occurred very early on Saturday morning in Lettsville, Louisiana, when a car crashed into a truck transporting logs on LA Highway 1, which resulted in the deaths of both of the car's occupants: a man and a woman, ages 35 and 36, respectively.

The driver of the southbound log truck did not sustain any injury in the crash. Reportedly, he attempted to make a wide right turn into a gravel driveway, crossing the center line in the process for reasons that remain under investigation. The car was traveling northbound in the other lane when it crashed into the truck's rear axle. The car overturned and came to rest in a nearby canal after the force of the impact sent it along the right side of the highway and into a ditch. 

How to deal with aggressive drivers

If you have ever felt frustrated or lost your temper while trying to navigate through traffic, you are certainly not alone. Approximately 80 percent of American drivers confess that they have engaged in aggressive driving behaviors within the last year, according to AAA. Furthermore, male motorists are three times more likely than women motorists to be aggressive while behind the wheel. Not only does aggressive driving endanger the life of the motorist, but everyone else on the road as well. Nearly 56 percent of fatal motor vehicle accidents were caused by at least one form of aggressive driving. If you encounter someone with road rage, it is essential you understand how to handle the situation.

Common indicators of an aggressive motorist include the following:

  •          Speeding and/or racing other drivers
  •          Erratic lane changing and cutting off other drivers
  •          Using profanities or obscene hand gestures
  •          Constant horn honking
  •          Following too closely behind another vehicle or tailgating
  •          Failing to yield to other drivers’ right of way

Commercial truck drivers shouldn't text while working

Many people associate distracted driving with teenagers. However, age rarely factors into whether someone chooses to drive distracted. Adults are also capable of wanting to check text messages, social media and emails while at the wheel.

In fact, adults may even get on their smartphones while driving as part of their jobs. If the thought of teenagers texting and driving scares you, then the idea of commercial truck drivers texting at the wheel should terrify you.

Hospitals blame external factors for maternal deaths

Every year in the United States, 50,000 women sustain serious injuries related to childbirth, and 700 hundred women die as a result of perinatal complications. Studies suggest that better medical care could have reduced or prevented the childbirth harm that occurred in nearly half of those cases. However, instead of acknowledging the problem when presented with the evidence or taking steps to improve the medical care available, hospitals tend to cite external factors beyond the control of medical personnel, such as poverty, lifestyle, pre-existing conditions and patient noncompliance, dismissing the data as being the result of an unsound analysis. 

Hospitals are not required to disclose rates of childbirth complications, but a recent journalistic investigation identified 120 hospitals around the country with high rates of childbirth harm. The hospitals are large and small, rural and urban. Despite the assertions of the hospitals that financial matters limiting access to care are in large part to blame for the high rates, as well as the concerns of critics that there is a disparity in the care that mothers receive on the basis of race, the data shows that white mothers of sufficient means are as likely to suffer complications during childbirth at these facilities as mothers who are poor and/or black. 

Ruling changed by appeals court in wrongful death case

When most residents go to work, they do not expect to develop a deadly illness. According to Business Insurance, this is exactly what happened to a man who died of silicosis after working for 39 years for an iron and steel company. His wife attempted to sue his former employer, but the company filed for bankruptcy after a jury awarded her over $1 million for a negligent-failure-to-warn claim.

Because the company had already ceased operations in 1978, they only currently exist through insurance carries. The current insurance company attempted to reverse the decision by claiming that the policies they sold to the company did not provide coverage for the judgment. After the jury verdict, a Louisiana state court agreed and granted the judgment.

Warning: Hands-free cellphone usage is not risk-free

At Lee M. Schwalben. M.D.. J.D.. LLC. in Louisiana, we represent numerous clients who have received catastrophic injuries as the result of a motor vehicle crash. In many of these crashes, the other driver was engaged in distracted driving at the time. Usually this took the form of using his or her cellphone while driving.

According to the National Safety Council, upwards of 100 people die each day in a motor vehicle crash. Unfortunately, distracted driving, particularly cellphone usage, accounts for a major factor in these crashes. Nevertheless, many people persist in thinking that if they use hands-free equipment to talk or text on their cellphone while driving, they are not really driving distractedly. They are wrong. The cellphone conversation or text itself is what causes the distraction.


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