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Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Law Blog

School bus driver dead in truck accident

The morning commute can be a headache for some in Pennsylvania. But, residents usually reach their schools and workplaces without much incident. Yet, it only takes one wrong move by an impatient driver to cause a devastating collision. This was the case recently as a school bus driver was killed.

One person is dead, another has suffered serious injuries and a teenager is lucky to be alive after a tri-axle truck rear-ended a school bus. The incident took place in Derry Township on Route 22.

Commercial drivers held to higher drunk driving standard

Many people in Pennsylvania already know that the legal limit for driving under the influence of alcohol is a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent. However, drivers of commercial vehicles and school buses are held to an even higher standard because the lives of so many others are at stake, if these individuals are driving under the influence and cause an accident.

Under Pennsylvania law, a person is not allowed to be in physical control of a commercial vehicle, such as a semi-truck if that person's blood alcohol content is 0.04 percent or above, within two hours of having operated the commercial vehicle. After all, semi-trucks often carry heavy loads or hazardous materials, meaning that a crash involving one of them has the propensity to have catastrophic effects.

Not all motorcycle accidents are caused by other drivers

When a person in Pennsylvania thinks of an accident involving a motorcycle, they may think that motorcycle unawareness on the part of another motorist is the sole reason for these accidents. While many motorcycle accidents are due to motorists not paying attention, just like automobiles, defective motorcycles see their fair share of accidents on the roadways.

Just like automobile recalls, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) can issue a recall of a defective motorcycle or the manufacturer of the motorcycle itself can voluntarily recall the defective vehicle.

Medical malpractice claims trending downward, study says

When a person in Pennsylvania is sick or injured, they may be concerned about getting healthy. They want to get back to their normal, day-to-day lives. Having one's life disrupted by an injury or illness is discouraging, but things can be made even worse when a person's physician makes a mistake, causing the patient to suffer a worsened condition. When this happens, the victim may wish to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. But, one study has found that the number of medical malpractice claims may be on the decline.

A study by Bringham and Women's Hospital unearthed some interesting information about medical malpractice lawsuits. According to the study, from 1992 to 2014, the number of medical malpractice claims paid by physicians went down by about 56 percent. Pediatricians saw the highest drop in medical malpractice claims, with these claims decreasing by approximately 76 percent. Cardiologists saw the lowest drop in medical malpractice claims, with these claims decreasing by approximately 13.5 percent.

4 things to know about hour limits for truckers

Truckers are bound by specific regulations that govern various aspects of their job duties. One area in which truckers have a lot of regulations is how long they are allowed to drive per shift. The Hours of Service regulations are one of the big factors that have an impact on when truckers can drive. These regulations are meant to help prevent trucker fatigue. Trucker fatigue can lead to crashes that can cause serious injuries to innocent parties. If you were injured in a semitruck crash, you should understand some points about the hourly limits for truckers. These points could help as you plan your claim for compensation.

#1: The type of cargo matters

New technology could detect severe brain injuries within seconds

Car accidents, sporting injuries and falls all have the potential to cause someone in Pennsylvania to injure their brain. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 30 percent of fatalities due to injuries in our nation feature traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).

Severe TBIs involve intracranial bleeding, that is, bleeding in the person's brain. To treat such bleeding, the person's skull must be opened up surgically as soon as possible and to relieve the pressure on the person's brain and get rid of any blood clots. In fact, if such a procedure does not occur within four hours of the injury, a person's chance of survival goes from 70 percent down to 10 percent.

Rest stops prevent truck driver fatigue, but they are dying out

Peppering highways and interstates running throughout Pennsylvania are rest stops. Not only were they pleasant place for drivers to have a picnic, use the restroom and check out a map, but also these rest stops were a beacon to weary truck drivers. Even the simplest ones still provided truck drivers with a safe place to stop and catch some sleep. After all, a drowsy truck driver is a dangerous truck driver. But, these rest stops are starting to disappear across the nation.

One reason these rest stops are closing is due to a lack of funding for state transportation agencies, who are unable to maintain and renovate rest stops that are not seeing enough traffic. Another reason is that many people choose to stop at service plazas and commercial strips that sell food and fuel.

Too much technology may lead to medication errors

In years past, patients' medical records were stored in color-coded paper filing systems and charts. Prescriptions were handed out on a piece of paper, scrawled with the doctor's often-untidy signature, to be handed to the clerk at the pharmacy counter who would then dispense the drug. These days, however, doctors, hospitals and pharmacies in Pennsylvania have turned to electronic means to keep track of patient records. Everything, from a medical exam to the administration of medications is recorded electronically, and prescriptions are sent to the pharmacy straight from the physician's computer. While it may seem that upgrades in technology would lead to upgrades in patient care, this is not always the case.

According to recent data, computer prescriber order entry (CPOE) systems are the biggest factor with regards to medication mistakes in Pennsylvania. Health care facilities in Pennsylvania reported almost 890 incidents of medication mistakes in the first six months of 2016, in which health care information technology was a factor. Most errors were regarding not including dosages or giving the wrong dosages, through an overdose or providing a patient with extra doses.

Are C-section deliveries really safer than vaginal?

When a Pennsylvania pregnant woman anticipates giving birth, she may assume that she will deliver the "old-fashioned" or natural way -- vaginally. After all, Cesarean sections (C-section) are reserved only for emergencies, right? Actually, not always.

These days, almost 32 percent of all deliveries in the United States are C-section deliveries. Back in 1996, only 20.7 were C-section deliveries. As such, C-sections are becoming routine. However, unless a risk condition is in place, C-sections may be less safe for women than a vaginal delivery.

Motorcycle accident victims can seek compensation

Whether one buys into the groundhog's prediction about an early or late spring, by this point in the year, residents of Pennsylvania are anxiously looking forward to warmer temperatures. They want to grill, go to ballgames, picnic in the park and for some adventurous residents, dust-off their motorcycles and hit the road.

Unfortunately, no matter how safe and experienced a motorcyclist is, motorcycling can be dangerous. This is because other drivers on the road often do not pay attention to motorcycles in their vicinity, causing devastating accidents that injure or kill the motorcyclist. Motorcycle accidents are often fatal as a motorcycle does not offer riders the structural protection automobiles possess and automobiles weigh significantly more than motorcycles. And, even if a person survives a motorcycle accident, they often face a difficult road to recovery.

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