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Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Motor vehicle injury and fatalities down slightly

The National Safety Council (NSC) recently posted findings for motor vehicle-related injuries in 2018. The total fatalities were 40,000, which is an overall decrease by one percent from revised 2017 estimates. This estimate is down two percent from 2016. That measures to 12.19 deaths per 100,000 people and 1.24 deaths per million miles travelled.

The finding also measured the number of medically consulted injures in the United States. The total number of injuries from crashes in 2018 was 4,560,000. This also represents a one percent drop from 2017. The ratio of injury to death was 114 to 1.

What is a traumatic brain injury and what are the symptoms?

A traumatic brain injury can impact a victim for the rest of their life. This is a difficult situation to handle because there is likely nothing that could have prepared them for this. Many people don't realize exactly what constitutes a TBI, so finding out some important points is imperative for anyone who is interested in learning.

Around 153 people die daily from this type of injury. People who don't die from it can have impacts that span days to years, depending on the location, severity and type of injury. Because of the nature of these injuries, it is imperative that anyone who is in an accident receive medical care if they begin to show signs of a TBI.

3 types of distractions drivers might face

Distracted driving is a serious problem that puts innocent people in danger of suffering serious injuries or death. These accidents are all preventable. Drivers need to pay attention to what is going on so they can make decisions based on safety.

There are many ways that distractions can keep a driver from being able to focus on driving. Some activities can involve all three forms of distraction.

New safety initiatives for trucking

With an eye towards eliminating or reducing the number of injured, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released a new set of initiatives for reducing injuries in the short term called the 2019-2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements. Some of these measures are also the focus of the National Safety Council, which has a broader mission to improve safety in all segments of our lives.

The list

Assumption of risk on the slopes

Snowboarding and skiing are relatively dangerous sports with potential dangers that can cause injury or death. While skiers and riders are encouraged to enjoy the sports while remaining in control, one occasional premise for injury is boarders or skiers losing control and crashing into each other. Those who enjoy these sports understand that there is risk, but sometimes there is still potential for a personal injury lawsuit.

Gwyneth Paltrow's $3.1 million suit

It's the season for slip and fall injuries

Slip and fall injuries can happen any time of year. However, walking seems to get more treacherous every winter as fewer people shovel their sidewalks and temperature shifts mean snow melts and then freezes into ice patches. Even handrails can ice over leaving those on foot to struggle with the very real fear that they could break a hip, injure their spin or become concussed if they hit their head when they fall.

Common examples of winter falls

New non-invasive equipment tests for concussions

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently cleared a new medical device called the EyeBox for detecting concussions. The relatively modest-sized piece of equipment (as opposed to a CT scan) designed by a neurosurgeon tracks the movements of the eye to detect signs of concussion. This clearance is based on years of testing and can be used on patients ages 5 to 67 years old.

The machine works by tracking a patient's eye movements as it watches a 4-minute video that bounces around a large screen. It has already been determined that different deviations in eye movement indicate different injuries. The EyeBox, however, is different from other equipment because it does not need a previous baseline reading. Its only use at this point is for determining a concussion, but the analysis of eye movement will help better define other injuries through their identifying eye tracking deviation.

Woman injured on escalator awarded $3 million settlement

The average person rides an escalator thousands of times during their lifetime. We think nothing of it, and rarely consider the dangers involved. However, these seemingly innocuous transports can cause serious bodily injury. One example is a woman who had her toe shredded when she was Christmas shopping in 2013 at a mall in Little Rock, Arkansas. A jury recently awarded her $3 million.

According to local media, the medical student was riding down the escalator with her parents when her booted foot got caught in a gap caused by a malfunction. Her big toe was shredded and crushed before the lift turned off. She subsequently filed a suit against both the mall owner and the escalator manufacturer, who both admitted fault before the case went to trial. A three-day trial was then conducted in 2018 and a nine-person majority of the jury (which is the minimum for personal injury settlements) awarded her $3 million for past and present medical expenses, lost wages, pain and disfigurement. The jury deliberated for about two hours.

Stores use robots to decrease accidents and injury

It is commonplace for shoppers to see staff stocking shelves and keeping stores clean and safe. A new sight in the coming year, however, will be the appearance of Marty - a wheeled robot that patrols aisles to alert human staff when there is a spill or inventory that fell off the shelf. The robot will signal an off-site operator who will then notify store staff. Once the notice is acknowledged, Marty returns to the site of the broken jar of mayonnaise, sprig of basil or fallen box of containing a Nerf toy and waits. The staff then presses a button on Marty acknowledging a cleanup.

A new phase in store safety

Study finds drowsy driving as dangerous as drinking and driving

There is no disputing the fact that driving while drowsy is extremely dangerous. Now the American Automobile Association has found that one third of all drivers surveyed admitted that they had driven at least once in the previous month while they were so tired that they had difficulty keeping their eyes open. This is confirmed by another study that found that 27 percent of all Americans have trouble falling asleep or remaining asleep.

Sleep aids also partially to blame

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