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Pottstown Pennsylvania Personal Injury Blog

Responsibilities that party hosts have during Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day is the final major holiday of summer and the perfect time for Pennsylvania residents to invite their friends and family over for a backyard barbecue. Unfortunately, it is also an infamous holiday often associated with several different types of injuries caused by people who take their celebrations too far.

Homeowners that plan on throwing a get-together at their place need to understand how crucial their role is as the party host. They have a duty to provide a safe environment and to make sure none of their guests are seriously injured during their stay. Here are some ways that they can prevent any chaos from emerging:

Drowsy driving, and the ways to combat it

Most Pennsylvanians will naturally feel drowsy following an extended period of wakefulness or after taking certain prescription or over-the-counter drugs. The important thing is to avoid getting behind the wheel during these times. Prescription sleep aids, for example, require one to sleep seven to eight hours before heading out. Unfortunately, many people ignore these directions and disregard the signs of drowsiness.

Motorists should follow a few tips to combat drowsy driving. First, drivers should ensure that they sleep seven or more hours per night. This is the CDC's recommendation for the average adult. Next, it's wise to see a doctor about any possible sleep disorders. With obstructive sleep apnea, one may wake up continually during the night and, as a result, get poor sleep even if they've been in bed for seven hours.

CVSA: Brake Safety Week takes place in September 2019

Every year, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance holds an inspection spree for brake safety alone. It is called Brake Safety Week, and it will take place in 2019 from September 15 to 21. Truckers and other commercial vehicle drivers in Pennsylvania and across the U.S. will want to prepare for this by ensuring that their brakes are up to federal standards. In fact, truckers have a duty to regularly maintain their truck components.

The inspections are conducted at random and can result in drivers being put out of service if they are discovered to have violated federal braking regulations. While all the components of a braking system are important, inspectors will pay strong attention to the brake hoses and tubing. To make a brake system efficient, these must not leak, be damaged, be attached in an improper manner or be inflexible.

Medical malpractice cases involving a misdiagnosis

A study conducted by researchers from the Mayo Clinic reveals that about 12 million people in Pennsylvania and around the country are misdiagnosed by their primary care physicians each year. Misdiagnosed patients do not receive the care they need and may suffer additional harm caused by the side effects of unnecessary treatment. However, proving that a doctor acted negligently can be challenging for misdiagnosed patients who choose to pursue legal remedies.

To establish doctor negligence and liability in a medical malpractice lawsuit, the plaintiff must show that the care they received failed to meet generally accepted health care standards. In a case involving misdiagnosis, this means convincing the jury that another doctor with the same background would have diagnosed the condition involved correctly given a similar set of facts. Once they have done this, the plaintiff must prove that they suffered injury, loss or damage as a direct result of the misdiagnosis.

Diagnostic errors a major element in malpractice claims

On July 11, the journal Diagnosis published a study saying that 34% of medical malpractice claims involving either serious injuries or death are related to a diagnostic error. Out of 55,377 closed malpractice claims that were filed from 2006 to 2015, 11,592 cited such errors. Pennsylvania residents should know that the three conditions most liable to a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis were cancer, vascular events and infection.

In fact, 74.1% of diagnosis-related claims involved one of the "Big Three," as authors called them, with the most commonly reported of these three conditions being lung cancer, stroke and sepsis, respectively. The rate of misdiagnosis differed based on the setting. For example, cancer was most frequently missed in outpatient clinics while vascular events were missed more in emergency departments. Tackling these specific issues may do much to reduce the rate of injuries and deaths.

This is why commercial trucks crash

There are 3.5 million truck drivers in the United States, and the majority of those drivers operate their vehicles in a safe manner. However, it is possible for even the safest of drivers in Pennsylvania and elsewhere to get into an accident. Poor weather conditions are among the most common reasons why commercial truck wrecks occur. When roads are wet or snowy, it can be harder to stop or take other actions to avoid other vehicles.

Distracted driving can be dangerous for both commercial drivers and those who drive passenger vehicles. Almost anything that takes a driver's eyes off of the road can be a distraction. Common distractions include daydreaming, reaching for a dropped item and sending text messages. Texting while driving is especially dangerous because it takes a driver's attention away from the road in multiple ways.

Do you properly use lane control when bicycling?

Bicycling with traffic can be intimidating for many people. This may be because bicyclists are more vulnerable than motorists are in a collision. Roughly 800 bicyclists died in traffic crashes in 2017 and many more were injured.

However, many traffic collisions involving bicyclists are preventable. Using proper lane control is one way you can help prevent being in a collision while bicycling.

Medical malpractice: American patients at risk

In Pennsylvania and across the United States, 33% of medical malpractice lawsuits related to permanent disabilities or death is due to a doctor's misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose. A recent Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine study showed that misdiagnosis is the main cause of grave mistakes. Many Americans die in hospitals every year because of misdiagnosis. Plus, approximately 12 million American patients experience diagnostic mistakes.

The study looked at thousands of medical malpractice lawsuits, revealing that nearly 75% of common diagnostic errors were related to serious medical conditions, including heart conditions, infections and various types of cancers. These three medical events are classified as "The Big Three." Strokes, sepsis infections and lung cancer conditions account for the top misdiagnosed illnesses. Some of these mistakes took place in ambulances. Other errors occurred in emergency rooms.

Feds could loosen trucking regulations amid rising accident rate

A report published by the Associated Press based on comments from a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration representative warned that federal regulators plan to relax the rules for commercial truck drivers. Although the public has yet to see the proposed changes, fewer restrictions on truck driver hours could reduce safety on the roads of Pennsylvania.

Even under the current regulations, the FMCSA found that accidents involving large trucks increased by 10% from 2016 to 2017. Data for 2017 showed that nearly 350,000 truck accidents caused injuries and another 4,237 accidents killed people. The overwhelming majority of fatal accidents, 83%, took place between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. Safety advocates interpret this statistic as a sign of truck driver fatigue and its deadly results.

July Fourth tops all US holidays in number of DUI fatalities

Drunk driving becomes prominent during the holidays, but some special days are more dangerous than others. Pennsylvania residents may have heard AAA call the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day "the 100 deadliest days of summer." In the middle of that is the Fourth of July, which is by far the worst holiday when it comes to drunk driving fatalities.

The data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration can speak for itself. NHTSA researchers have reported 1,192 DUI-related deaths on the Fourth of July between 2010 and 2017. In that same time frame, there were 1,105 deaths on Memorial Day, making this the second deadliest holiday. The DUI fatality rate comes to 42.4 per day for Independence Day and 39.5 for Memorial Day.

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Pottstown, PA 19464

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