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Pottstown Pennsylvania Personal Injury Blog

Negligent drivers can be held accountable for crashes

When people in Pennsylvania have a car accident, the concept of negligence could help accident victims to understand whether they can pursue a legal case against the other driver. In order for a driver to be considered negligent, they need to violate a duty for reasonable care that they owe to others on the road. In general, drivers are always expected to pay attention to the safety of others while driving their cars as a condition for using the roads. The injured party must be able to show that the driver did not exercise the reasonable care that was required in the circumstances.

This could include evidence of drunk driving, distracted driving or driving that violates the rules of the road. Video evidence, police information and eyewitness testimony could help to establish this. In addition, the victim must also show that the driver's negligent behavior led to their injuries. An accident victim may be able to show that something was wrong with the other driver's vehicle or their operation of it, but those problems must be the cause of the accident in order to be relevant.

Preventable medical errors still prevalent

A statement released by the federal Department of Health and Human Services indicates that preventable medical errors cause 200,000 or more deaths every year in Pennsylvania and across the country. The definition of a medical error has improved in recent years and has become more expansive. Generally speaking, medical errors can be divided into two categories.

The first type of medical error includes situations in which the health care provider's intent was good, but there was a problem with the execution. Examples would be leaving an implement in the patient's body following surgery or the occurrence of an infection that was preventable. The second type of medical error is one where the health care provider's intent was wrong. Making an incorrect diagnosis falls into this latter category.

Did a doctor leave a surgical object in your body?

If you recently had surgery, it is likely because you had some kind of injury, obstruction or other medical need. You may also have elected to have a surgical procedure for cosmetic purposes. Surgery is a controlled injury, so you can expect some pain and discomfort afterward while your body heals. The more radical your procedure, the longer you may feel its aftereffects.

After a reasonable period of recovery, you expect the pain to subside. In fact, your surgeon may have warned you that increasing pain is a sign of complications, including the danger of infection. However, you may never have expected that the complication you experienced was a surgical instrument left inside your body during your operation.

WHO report finds medical errors a top cause of patient deaths

Medical errors are a leading cause of death in Pennsylvania and worldwide, according to a new report from the World Health Organization. Worse, an overwhelming percentage of these mistakes are likely preventable.

The WHO report found that around 60% of cases involving patient harm around the world take place in hospitals. Meanwhile, around 40% occur in primary and outpatient settings. In addition, primary and outpatient medical mistakes account for around 6% of hospital bed days among patients from the 36 member countries of the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development, including the U.S. Nearly 80% of all patient harm cases are preventable.

Distracted driving persists despite education

In recent years, the danger of driving while distracted has been emphasized to drivers in Pennsylvania and across the country. One of the pushes behind the desire to educate people about the dangers of driving while distracted may be the number of injuries and fatalities associated with this practice. It's estimated that every single day, around nine people die and around 100 people are injured in accidents involving distracted driving.

The challenge for drivers could be the fact that there are so many distractions available to them. There are non-tech-related distractions such as eating, talking to passengers, getting distracted by scenery, rubbernecking, trying to discipline children, applying makeup or even driving while tired.

Tips for safe driving in the winter months

Pennsylvania winters can be a bad time for car accidents, what with ice and snow causing tires to lose traction and cars to spin out of control. Regardless of the weather, though, everyone is expected to practice safe driving. There are a few tips to stay safe on the road.

First, drivers should limit their excursions to work-related matters, shopping and other essentials. Once on the road, drivers should lower their speed. In some cases, they may need to put it below the posted speed limit. Then, drivers should stay far from the vehicle in front.

Car accidents may rise with changing of clocks

Safety advocates have warned that the changing of the clocks may make Pennsylvania roadways more dangerous. As Daylight Savings Time begins across the United States, the time change may introduce disruption in sleep patterns that could contribute to drowsy driving and other risks on the roads, warns the American Automobile Association. While the clock reset takes place at 2:00 a.m. on a Sunday to minimize disruption, the AAA said that the time change could disturb the sleep-wake cycle. At the same time, the clock change accompanies some of the other risks that come along with the winter season.

Fall means shorter days, darker nights, swirling leaves and higher levels of precipitation. Ice or frost can also develop on the road. Driving in the dark can contribute to greater feelings of drowsiness, especially if drivers find themselves suddenly going to and from work in the dark. They need to take greater care to avoid pedestrians and prevent car accidents. According to the National Sleep Foundation, drowsy driving is linked to crashes that cause at least 6,400 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year.

Decreasing fatalities from crashes for 2nd year in a row

Pennsylvania drivers will be interested in the slight decrease in fatalities from traffic accidents for the second year in a row. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatalities fell 2.4% in 2018, after significant increases in 2015 and 2016.

The NHTSA believes the decrease might be due in part to new vehicles with improved technology that helps prevents crashes. The previous increase was partially attributed to an improving economy and more cars on the road. The decrease seems to be continuing, as there was a 3.4% decrease in fatalities during the first half of 2019.

Are you showing signs of traumatic brain injury?

The day you were involved in a motor vehicle collision on a Pennsylvania highway might have started out like any other day. Perhaps, you were making your morning commute to work or were traveling to your favorite restaurant to meet some friends for lunch. You may have noticed signs of danger before a sudden impact occurred or never saw it coming when the other driver hit you.

The moments following a collision can be chaotic and highly stressful, especially if you suffer severe injuries. Then again, serious injuries are not always immediately apparent. In fact, symptoms might not surface for hours or days later. That's why it's important to closely observe your condition and to know the signs of complications such as traumatic brain injuries.

Study: Teens more likely to drive while distracted

Some Pennsylvania drivers are wary of sharing the road with teens, especially because they are inexperienced and may have a tendency to drive more erratically. Indeed, the higher car insurance rates paid by teens and their parents reflect their higher likelihood of involvement in a crash. However, inexperienced drivers like teens have to develop their skills by driving, and practicing behind the wheel is often the best way to build their skills. Part of that practice includes learning to observe safe driving practices while operating a vehicle, of course.

One of the most well-known dangers on the road today is distracted driving, when drivers' attention is pulled away to focus on a mobile phone, tablet or other device. According to a study released for Teen Driver Safety Week, researchers found that teens were more likely to drive while distracted than drivers in other demographics. Mobile phones and other electronic devices are a routine part of life for teens, but that does not make them safer behind the wheel. When eyes are pulled from the road to pay attention to a device, drivers can easily lose sight of emerging situations ahead, resulting in a serious car accident.

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Ches-Mont Personal Injury Law Center, LLC.
600 Creekside Drive, Suite 605
Pottstown, PA 19464

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