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Monthly Archives: May 2019

Whiplash Recovery: What You Can Expect After Your Injury

Whiplash Recovery: What You Can Expect After Your Injury

Based on rigorous testing, researchers have found that nearly 40% of all car crashes result in some kind of head trauma.

Including all of the neck, back, limb, and other physical injuries that occur, whiplash is the most common result of the head being thrown back in a crash. Whiplash recovery takes months, or else becomes a permanent part of your life if you’re in an unlucky position when an accident occurs.

Here is everything you need to know about whiplash, its symptoms, and what it takes to recover.

Causes of Whiplash

If you’re feeling whiplash, the first thing you’re probably trying to figure out is what caused it. Those strains in your neck muscles are occurring as a reaction to some event or incident.

Rapid back and forth movement or an extreme impact are what cause whiplash. The sudden movement puts pressure on your tendons and causes ligaments to stretch unnaturally. This can even cause them to tear, which is the result that leads to whiplash.

If you’ve been in a serious car accident or a bike accident, you will suffer whiplash. It also occurs from sports like football, horseback riding, or boxing.

Any kind of physical abuse or contact sports like karate which lead to being punched or shaken cause whiplash. Any kind of blow to the head or a severe fall results in symptoms related to or leading to whiplash.

To find out the severity of these incidents, it’s necessary to go to see a medical professional. Chiropractors and rheumatologists have the necessary training to tell you whether or not you’ve suffered whiplash. While surgery isn’t the solution, there are other clinical solutions that alleviate pain and suffering.

Getting To Know The Symptoms

The symptoms of whiplash can vary from dull to sharp pains, located all along the spine and in the muscular tissues from the head all the way down your back. Whiplash sometimes encompasses injuries that affect intervertebral joints along your spine. The discs, ligaments, muscles, and nerves along your back are part of the system sometimes impacted by whiplash.

Suffering a rear impact crash pushes your body forward and throws your head and neck backward. This leads to neck pain and stiffness most directly. The indirect impacts appear as headaches, dizziness, and, in the most extreme cases, memory loss.

Some people suffer insomnia from the pain, persistent fatigue, or even depression as a result.

Most whiplash incidents aren’t reported, leading to a vague concept of what the impacts are. However, because the muscular system of the neck and back are both complex and fragile, we know that headaches, neck aches, and backaches are often related. We also know now that serious injuries impact other parts of our brains, which is how we know that depression and insomnia are related to whiplash.

Delayed treatment leads to longer-term problems. Permanent injuries often occur as a result of these injuries because they’re so poorly documented.

Treating the Short-Term Impacts

Whiplash doesn’t often last for very long. Many of the body’s injuries like these are ones that are self-healing. If the pain lasts for more than six months, it’s considered chronic whiplash.

Otherwise, these problems will go away with most over the counter medication.

If whiplash persists for a few weeks, make sure to seek help from a medical professional. Your doctor is the only one with the power to prescribe painkillers and muscle relaxers. If you want your health insurance to cover it, ask for a prescription for physical therapy.

There are other types of treatment available as well. Some people try acupuncture and electronic nerve treatments. The best treatment will come from your chiropractor or rheumatologist.

They often recommend massages to help bring the muscles back to good health.

Understanding the Long-Term Impacts

If the impacts occur for longer than 6 months, this has become a serious and chronic issue that requires medical intervention. There are a few serious symptoms to look out for with long-term chronic whiplash.

While the pain and stiffness that impacts your neck and shoulders persist, look out for other symptoms. The pain may also spread to your upper or even lower back. When you start to suffer headaches, it’s time to seek out some help.

Watch out for pain in your jaw. This means that your skull has been upset and you might need your jaw re-set. You could even suffer tooth damage.

If you find yourself with moments of blurred vision, this is a sign that you have some interior damage from this impact. Dizziness and ringing in the ears that accompany these feelings indicate that the problem is serious.

There are even cognitive and psychological results to look out for. Memory or concentration issues mean that brain damage has occurred as a result of whiplash. If you have trouble sleeping or feel constantly irritable or anxious, you’re suffering serious consequences and need to seek out medical treatment as soon as possible.

What You Can Do Now

If you recently suffered an accident or haven’t decided whether or not you’re suffering whiplash, try some simple over the counter treatments. Since most doctor’s appointments will end with a prescription for aspirin or Acetominophin, save yourself a trip to the doctor. Start off by taking two and seeing how you feel.

If your pain persists, you may require prescription treatment or muscle relaxers if your muscles are spasming. However, prescription painkillers make you unable to do many everyday tasks and can be addictive. Prescription painkillers should be your last course of treatment.

For anyone who is already seeking physical therapy, don’t miss an appointment. Your continued attendance is crucial to the success of your recovery.

Try alternating ice and heat packs while at home. If you’re kicking your feet up and feeling pain after a long day at work, try applying ice for 15 minutes and heat for 15 minutes in alternating sequences.

Practice a few simple necks, back, and shoulder exercises every day. This helps to rebuild the flexibility in your neck.

Whenever you sit or stand, try to practice your best possible posture. When you’re at least, be sure that your neck muscles are also at rest and not straining. You may even try wearing a foam collar while you sit around at the end of a day.

If you’ve just suffered your injury, that’s the time to wear a collar. Only do so for a few hours at a time, as it can harm as much as it helps.

Start Putting Together a Case

As you call each medical facility and start receiving treatment, you need to keep documentation of every point of contact. If you’ve just gotten into an accident, had a fall, or were assaulted, seek out care as soon as possible. Waiting too long means that you’re risking your medical care and treatment falling outside of the window of coverage you could be claiming.

Start by visiting your general practitioner or primary care physician. Describe your symptoms and be sure that they’ve recorded everything. Since its hard to document every symptom with a scan or an x-ray, your written record of symptoms is an important piece of evidence.

Getting fair compensation, unfortunately, requires you to jump through some hoops. However, if you talk to a lawyer and present all of the relevant documentation, you should be able to get what you’re entitled to.

Don’t fret about cost when you’re first putting together your case. Most personal injury lawyers won’t charge you until they’ve talked things over with you and decided whether or not you have a case. If they do decide you have a case, they take most personal injury cases on a contingency, meaning that they only receive a payment if you do.

After your injury, expect to have to jump through a number of hoops just to put your case together. However, once you’ve spoken with a lawyer and provided all of the necessary paperwork for them to put together a case, you should be able to walk away. With the right tools on hand, a competent lawyer gets your medical bills covered and ensures that you don’t have to do any more work.

Whiplash Recovery Can Be An Endless Road

Unless you’re young, extremely healthy, and quite lucky, whiplash recovery is a long and tiring road following an accident or an event.

If whiplash follows you like a shadow for months or years after an incident, it could cost you hundreds of thousands.

With the right preparation and representation, you’ll spare yourself a continuous headache on your road to recovery.

If you’re suffering emotional distress as a result of the incident causing your whiplash, check out our guide for what to do.

Get Your FREE Injury "Cheat Sheet"

Inside, You'll Discover How To:

  • INCREASE Your Chance To WIN Your Injury Case!
  • How To ELIMINATE The Most Common Dirty Trick Insurance Companies Do!
  • Get EVERY DOLLAR The Law Allows!

Best of All,  You Can Download The Injury  "Cheat Sheet" RIGHT NOW and It's 100% Free and No Obligation

Testimonials

"Hiring Scott was one of the best moves I have made in my life.   Scott is a down to earth person and attorney.  Scott is a 5 star first class act who really knows his stuff.   The Judge said his presentation was one of if not the best he had ever seen.   Take my advice, hire Scott. I’m sure you’ll be 200% satisfied.  I was."

Richard Lange

Cab Driver, Fall Down                  See More >

Want The Injury "Cheat Sheet"?

Inside, You'll Discover How To:

  • INCREASE Your Chance To WIN Your Injury Case!
  • How To ELIMINATE The Most Common Dirty Trick Insurance Companies Do!
  • Get EVERY DOLLAR The Law Allows!

Best of All,  You Can Download The Injury  "Cheat Sheet" RIGHT NOW and It's 100% Free and No Obligation

Who’s Responsible? The 8 Steps To Take After A Workzone Injury

Who’s Responsible? The 8 Steps To Take After A Workzone Injury

As work zone crashes climb near the 100,000 mark, it’s vital to take work zones and their related injuries seriously. If you’re on the road in a workzone, driver negligence, limited visibility, and unpredictable traffic patterns create the perfect storm for injury and even death. If you were injured while at work, the next steps that you take are vital to your well being and your ability to be appropriately compensated.

Here are the eight most important steps to take following a workzone accident.

1. Don’t Let Anyone Leave

If you’re reading this before you’ve been injured in a work zone, the most important first step to take is to keep anyone from leaving. You never know who could provide vital information to authorities from what they’ve witnessed.

The people involved in the accident need to be given space away from the work zone. All work must cease and everyone’s attention must focus on the people who have been injured.

The person who was driving the vehicle involved in the injury must be pulled aside. If they’re distressed, they’re going to risk causing another accident by driving while stressed out. If they’re drunk or on medication, they must be kept off the road until it’s safe for them to operate a motor vehicle.

If witnesses have pulled aside, ask them to hang around while you wait for the authorities to arrive. Police and investigators will ask for their information to ensure that there is testimony to back up anything that’s occurred.

While everyone is feeling the high intensity of the moment, you need someone to take on the role of keeping everyone calm. Even if you’re the one that’s been injured, your calmness will trickle down to everyone else.

2. Call 911

Someone needs to call authorities and first responders ASAP. In most accidents and injury situations, time is of the essence. If you’re not on top of things, you could risk further injury.

Don’t move anyone’s body until medical staff arrives. If someone is stuck inside of a vehicle, you need medical staff to supervise any movement.

Police arriving on the scene have the tools and training to look at an accident and assess fault. They’ll find out if the driver was intoxicated or under the influence of drugs and alcohol. By taking a look at the conditions of the work zone, they’ll set into motion the next steps that need to be taken for everyone’s safety.

Calling 911 while at a work zone leaves you with several stressful minutes to deal with everyone. Talk to anyone involved with the accident and check that they’re okay. While the answer seems obviously a no, this checking in also checks the consciousness of anyone involved and the severity of any head or bodily injuries.

Calling 911 will send firefighters, an ambulance, and police as a standard response team. Make sure to tell the operator how many people were involved with the accident so that the adequate amount of ambulances are sent.

Most ambulances only house one injured person at a time, two at most. If you can’t tell, give your best estimate.

3. Contact Your Supervisor

While waiting for first responders to arrive, contact the site supervisor for the work zone. More often than not, they’re trained to respond to situations like this. They’ll have training dictating what reports to take, next steps, and how to proceed with work from here.

The site supervisor is the closest thing to an authority you have until police arrive. Until then, take your supervisor’s lead. They’ll have the training necessary to handle the situation.

Your supervisor may act as a mediator if tensions are high after the accident or incident. It’s infuriating to be injured as a result of someone else’s negligence and it’s natural to seek out someone to blame for an injury. However, that’s not always the best response to keep everyone calm while waiting for responders.

If your supervisor seems overwhelmed, respond by remaining as calm as possible.

4. Take Photos

Photos need to be taken at the scene of the accident. If you photos, use them as evidence in a future court case, to help guide the judgment of insurance companies, and to protect your assets. No matter what stake you hold in this work zone injury, photographic evidence is a great way to provide context and proof.

Get photos of vehicles and equipment involved in the accident. Take shots that are wide and close up. The wider shots provide context to the area of the incident and inform later conversations about how it happened.

On a highway work zone, the area changes quickly and dramatically from the time of an incident to when it ends up resolved. Over time, the important elements that contributed to the incident get paved over, removed, or reorganized. Just a few weeks later, it often looks like a totally different location.

Document with as much detail as possible what the location looks like at the time of the crash. If the incident occurs at night, be sure that you take as much flash photography as possible.

5. Get Contact Info

Everyone on the scene involved with the incident should exchange contact information. Motorists, workers, and supervisors should exchange insurance information, names, and addresses.

If there were witnesses, get their contact information before they leave. Any motorists who saw the incident can come in handy when it comes time to get reimbursed for medical fees, pain, or suffering. If someone saw the severity of the crash, they can tell a judge or litigators about what happened to back you up.

There is typically an investigation following work zone accidents. The more information that people can offer, the faster the situation gets resolved. With more information, a more accurate judgment gets made and everyone who needs help with their medical bills receives the right compensation.

6. Go To Your Doctor

As soon as possible, anyone injured in a work zone must seek out help from doctors and specialist. If you have a primary care physician, get them to take a look and recommend treatment.

Save any scans, test results, or treatment you receive and document them. That documentation becomes useful when an investigation is run. If someone claims that an injury was a pre-existing condition, those claims get disputed with test results.

Time is of the essence when it comes to getting checked out by a doctor. Waiting for more than 48 hours throws the results of those tests into question.

Some lawyers and insurance agencies have successfully claimed that injuries caused by someone else were ineligible to be covered when tests were run later. Tests run a week down the road leave themselves open to scrutiny. If tests aren’t run right away, lawyers and insurance adjusters attempt to claim that the injuries were a result of another incident that happened in the interim.

7. Contact Your Insurance Company

Contact your insurance company as soon as you’re fit to. Try to get ahold of them within 24-48 hours if possible. Your medical insurance company will prepare some questions and require some documentation once you tell them you were injured.

They’ll get in touch with the insurance company that your employer uses. If you were struck by someone else, your insurance company will contact their insurance company as well. This is when they begin their investigation.

Insurance adjusters from the other parties’ insurance companies will attempt to ask you questions without a lawyer present. These adjusters will try to make you an offer that is beneficial to them, settling your case without getting lawyers involved. They’ll claim that this is in your best interest.

Before you start taking offers, talk with your own attorney and protect yourself.

8. Talk To An Attorney

Contact an attorney as soon as possible following your work zone injury. Most lawyers will offer you a free consultation if you’re the one injured. In personal injury cases or workplace injuries, many lawyers will work on contingency, only getting paid if you get paid.

Trying to represent yourself is the worst choice to make when you’re the victim of a work zone injury. Work zone injuries will cause other parties’ insurance companies and lawyers to circle, trying to give you as little money as possible. Navigating the court system alone leaves you vulnerable to losing out on time and money.

Workzone Injuries are Serious Business

Whether you’re an injured worker, a site supervisor, or someone responsible for a workzone accident, the steps that are taken after the accident are important. No matter your position, the safety and security of everyone involved in the moments after are preserved by good decisionmaking. Taking these injuries seriously is the only way to ensure that their resolution is as good as it can be.

If you worry about whiplash or head trauma following a workzone accident, check out our latest guide.

Get Your FREE Injury "Cheat Sheet"

Inside, You'll Discover How To:

  • INCREASE Your Chance To WIN Your Injury Case!
  • How To ELIMINATE The Most Common Dirty Trick Insurance Companies Do!
  • Get EVERY DOLLAR The Law Allows!

Best of All,  You Can Download The Injury  "Cheat Sheet" RIGHT NOW and It's 100% Free and No Obligation

Testimonials

"Hiring Scott was one of the best moves I have made in my life.   Scott is a down to earth person and attorney.  Scott is a 5 star first class act who really knows his stuff.   The Judge said his presentation was one of if not the best he had ever seen.   Take my advice, hire Scott. I’m sure you’ll be 200% satisfied.  I was."

Richard Lange

Cab Driver, Fall Down                  See More >

Want The Injury "Cheat Sheet"?

Inside, You'll Discover How To:

  • INCREASE Your Chance To WIN Your Injury Case!
  • How To ELIMINATE The Most Common Dirty Trick Insurance Companies Do!
  • Get EVERY DOLLAR The Law Allows!

Best of All,  You Can Download The Injury  "Cheat Sheet" RIGHT NOW and It's 100% Free and No Obligation

A Breakdown of the Average Personal Injury Settlement Amounts

A Breakdown of the Average Personal Injury Settlement Amounts

So you’ve been in an accident and are looking for a personal injury settlement?

In this article, we’ll break down the average personal injury settlement amounts and what you can expect from your case.

Bear in mind that personal injury sums are calculated by a variety of factors. Therefore, just because someone else won $1 million in a settlement that seems similar to yours, it doesn’t mean you’ll be banking that amount.

Read on for not only the average personal injury settlement but also how personal injury sums are calculated and what you can expect when bringing your case forward.

Will My Case Result in a Settlement?

If you decide to bring your case forward, you’ll get a crash course on personal injury law as you do. You’ll learn some of the ins and outs of the system in a baptism by fire.

One thing many people wonder is whether their case will result in a settlement or go to a trial. After all, you often hear about personal injury settlements and not two sides duking it out in a courtroom.

Most personal injury cases result in a settlement. Only around 5% of them see the courtroom.

The only time your case will go to court is if you and the opposing party cannot agree on the proper amount to compensate you. However, as you can see via statistics, most parties do come to an agreement before you enter the court.

How Long Does It Take to Reach a Settlement?

Many people have the misconception that a settlement is quicker than going to trial. They may also believe that you can settle out of court in a matter of days or weeks.

Television often portrays settlements as quick events. One person states their amount, the other party talks them down and then they reach an agreement in just a few moments.

In real life, settlement proceedings can take several months to a few years. This is due to the fact that both parties must participate in “discovery,” where they investigate the claims of the event that occurred. Both parties also often hire an investigator to help them calculate the amount owed.

We’ll talk about some of that later on in the article.

Generally, however, don’t expect your settlement to mean you’ll be getting money deposited into your bank account immediately.

What are the Average Personal Injury Settlement Amounts?

This is difficult to say, partially because most personal injury cases are kept confidential. Once a settlement has been reached, it’s not necessarily on the books.

But, according to some revenue reporting, the average amount for a personal settlement in 2013 was around $24,000. Most of the claims were born out of automobile accidents.

However, you can’t automatically assume you’ll get $24,000. Instead, the process is a lot more complex than that. You could wind up getting a lot more, or a lot less depending on the circumstances of your personal injury.

Let’s take a look.

What Affects the Amount of Money One Receives?

There are two major factors at play when calculating personal injury settlements. One is how much the insurance company is willing to payout, and the other is the extent of your injuries.

If your injuries were not very extensive, you likely won’t receive much money from the payout. Additionally, if the insurance the company took out isn’t extensive, you won’t receive much money from that either.

In some cases, you can also claim for psychological stress associated with the accident. However, the payout will depend on a variety of factors, including the company’s insurance policy.

When Do You Receive the Settlement?

As stated previously, it can take several months to arrive at a settlement agreement. But settlement agreements don’t typically start until you’ve completed treatment for your injury or psychological illness that resulted from the accident.

This is so that you can only claim back things that are measurable. After your illness, you will likely have medical bills. Therefore, the courts and lawyers, as well as the insurance company, can see this.

If the treatment for your injury will be ongoing for the rest of your life, that may play into the amount you’ll receive. However, the settlement will most commonly cover the treatment that is already completed.

How Settlements Are Calculated: Loss of Time at Work

Another way settlements are calculated includes the wages you’ve lost at work from being unable to attend.

For example, if you work at a position where you receive $3,000 a month and can prove this from previous pay stubs, you’ll receive $3,000 if you had to miss one month of work.

This doesn’t guarantee you’ll receive $3,000 for the month you’ve lost, but it is a starting point for negotiations. It is likely your lawyer will demand that you receive that amount for your time lost.

Medical Bills

As stated above, medical bills that have already been rendered are included in your settlement. You may be able to accrue the medical bills and pay them later through the settlement money. Or, depending on where you were treated, you may have to pay out of pocket and then reimburse yourself through the settlement payout.

Often, if you receive surgery or have to receive onsite care, you will receive a much higher payout.

Factored into your medical bills will be how long you stayed in the hospital, the type of care you received, and how you had to be transported. If you had to be transported via ambulance or received onsite care, you may well receive more money than the average settlement.

Pain and Suffering

You may have heard of people receiving a payout for pain and suffering. You may have even rolled your eyes at the term.

However, pain and suffering is a legal definition that accounts for anxiety, pain and other things the individual has endured as a result of this accident.

It is difficult to calculate pain and suffering since it isn’t measurable like other types of claims. There is no bill you can submit to show how much you paid for pain and suffering.

Instead, a lawyer will often try and calculate the amount of money you should receive per day for your suffering, and multiply that for how long it will take you to recover.

For example, if your doctors estimate it will take you six months to fully recover, your lawyer can request $200 per day. If the six months was 184 days altogether, this means you can request $38,600 for your pain and suffering.

This sum is likely negotiable with the insurance company and other party’s lawyers.

You traditionally prove pain and suffering through a variety of means. This can be through photographs of your daily life after the injury, videos or witness statements. Doctors can also testify to the amount of pain a person would be in your situation to help prove the case.

Loss of Enjoyment

Loss of enjoyment can be even vaguer than pain and suffering, but it is one way that your personal injury settlement gets calculated.

Loss of enjoyment can include a variety of things, including being unable to participate in activities you used to participate in, being unable to bond with your family or being unable to celebrate special holidays.

This type of claim is often handled differently from state to state, so if you think you have a claim for it, you’ll need to speak to your lawyer about how to go about it. In some states, it is included in the overall personal injury fee. In others, you’ll have to go through a separate venue to collect the claim.

Often, a loss of enjoyment claim is for an injury that has debilitated you for the rest of your life and caused serious issues within.

For example, if you broke your ankle, your personal injury claim may include the days you spent off of work and your medical bill. But, because it healed in six weeks or so, you’re unlikely to claim a loss of enjoyment. While it did affect your life, it is doubtful it did so in a permanent way.

However, if you were in a car accident and suffered severe brain damage that has altered your life completely, this would likely qualify.

Ready to Make a Personal Injury Claim?

Average personal injury settlement amounts are difficult to measure, as each case is different. Your amount will not likely be the same as other people’s, specifically because of the variety of factors that must be taken into account.

Have you or a loved one been in an accident and want to look into making a personal injury claim? If so, contact us today to look into what we can offer.

Get Your FREE Injury "Cheat Sheet"

Inside, You'll Discover How To:

  • INCREASE Your Chance To WIN Your Injury Case!
  • How To ELIMINATE The Most Common Dirty Trick Insurance Companies Do!
  • Get EVERY DOLLAR The Law Allows!

Best of All,  You Can Download The Injury  "Cheat Sheet" RIGHT NOW and It's 100% Free and No Obligation

Testimonials

"Hiring Scott was one of the best moves I have made in my life.   Scott is a down to earth person and attorney.  Scott is a 5 star first class act who really knows his stuff.   The Judge said his presentation was one of if not the best he had ever seen.   Take my advice, hire Scott. I’m sure you’ll be 200% satisfied.  I was."

Richard Lange

Cab Driver, Fall Down                  See More >

Want The Injury "Cheat Sheet"?

Inside, You'll Discover How To:

  • INCREASE Your Chance To WIN Your Injury Case!
  • How To ELIMINATE The Most Common Dirty Trick Insurance Companies Do!
  • Get EVERY DOLLAR The Law Allows!

Best of All,  You Can Download The Injury  "Cheat Sheet" RIGHT NOW and It's 100% Free and No Obligation

The 3rd Leading Cause Of Death In The US Is Medical Error-Here’s Why It’s Happening

The 3rd Leading Cause Of Death In The US Is Medical Error-Here's Why It's Happening

You tell your doctor on two separate occasions that you are experiencing significant pain in your upper back. And both times, he sees nothing that could be causing your problem, so he sends you home with some pain medication.

The next day, though, your pain has worsened. On top of this, you start to develop weakness and numbness in your leg. You eventually lose feeling in your legs altogether.

Another doctor finally diagnoses you with what’s called a spinal epidural abscess. At that point, you undergo surgery to have the abscess removed.

The good news? The cause of your pain is gone.

The bad news? You’re now facing extensive physical therapy due to the first doctor’s medical error. And your life will forever be changed.

Unfortunately, you’re not the only person going through this.

Research shows that medical mistakes now constitute the third most common cause of death across the United States. That means they have surpassed diabetes, strokes and Alzheimer’s.

Medical errors may occur in just about any health care setting. These include the following:

  • Clinics
  • Hospitals
  • Medical offices
  • Pharmacies
  • Surgery centers
  • Nursing homes
  • Patients’ own homes.

Here’s a rundown on why medical errors are such major issues today.

Let’s get started!

Examples of Medical Errors

Medical errors can take many forms.

For instance, a doctor might diagnose you with an incorrect condition or illness. As a result, you might receive the wrong treatment, which may cause you even more problems.

In other situations, physicians tell patients they don’t have serious conditions, even though they actually do have major medical problems. In other words, they are failing to diagnose their patients’ conditions.

In these situations, the patients’ conditions can quickly worsen. This may lead to permanent health issues.

Unfortunately, medical errors can cause not only physical problems but also emotional and mental damages. For instance, if you become paralyzed due to a medical error, your mental health can quickly decline.

Let’s take a peek below at some of the most common causes of today’s medical errors — and what you can do about them.

Prescription-Related Errors

In many cases today, physicians don’t prescribe the correct medications or dosages. This is a training issue (more on that later).

In addition, sometimes their prescriptions are illegible, so nurses end up reading them incorrectly.

Another common prescription-related medical error? Pharmacies read prescriptions correctly but fill them incorrectly.

To combat the second abovementioned issue, more doctors are sending their prescriptions electronically versus writing them by hand.

To remedy the third issue mentioned above, robots may become increasingly useful for filling prescriptions. After all, they’re less prone to making mistakes.

Communication Issues

Communication breakdowns are yet another leading cause of errors in the medical field.

These breakdowns can occur in either written or verbal communication. Also, they can easily happen among doctors, nurses, health care team members and patients.

Human, Technical and Policy Issues

Human issues are also causing many of today’s medical errors.

When we say “human issues,” we’re talking about medical professionals’ failure to follow care standards, processes, procedures or policies efficiently or properly.

Examples of human issues are poor documentation or inadequate specimen labeling. Inadequate staffing can also be an issue, as overworked staff are more at risk of making dangerous medical mistakes.

In addition, doctors and other medical care providers may simply lack the knowledge they need to provide appropriate care in a given situation.

It’s critical that staff have the appropriate postsecondary training for their roles. But they also need to complete refresher courses and training sessions. That’s the only way they’ll stay current in their specialty areas.

If doctors wish to transition into another area of the medical field or do another kind of surgery, they absolutely must complete the appropriate training.

Along with human issues, technical issues can result in serious medical errors. For instance, medical devices, equipment, implants or grafts may fail or cause complications.

In some cases, the culprit is the lack of adequate policies and procedures altogether.

Organizational Knowledge-Transfer and Information-Flow Problems

A number of today’s medical errors additionally stem from a lack of training for temporary workers or new employees, too. Thus, it’s paramount that the knowledge of experienced staff is transferred to inexperienced staff before they start caring for patients.

Also, if patients are transferred from one facility to another, it’s paramount that their relevant information goes with them.

The proper flow of patient information is necessary in all health care settings, particularly within various service areas. If information doesn’t flow properly, three things can happen — none of them good.

First, doctors won’t have the information they need to make informed prescribing decisions.

Second, doctors won’t have the important test results needed to make decisions.

And finally, medication orders will be poorly coordinated when care responsibilities are being transferred from one party to another.

Patient-Related Problems, Including Poor Patient Supervision

Let’s say that your doctor inappropriately identifies or assesses you. These mistakes can quickly cause you serious medical issues or even death.

In addition, in many cases, patients who are placed in hospitals are not given the supervision they need. For instance, the facilities might have volunteers or students stand in for absent nurses.

When hospitals negligently fail to monitor their patients properly, their patients face a higher risk of suffering injuries.

Another commonly overlooked patient-related issue that results in medical errors is doctors’ failure to obtain patient consent.

Hospital staff and doctors must give their patients — or their families — information about the treatment procedures that the patients need. Only then can the patients and their loved ones understand the potential risks of the procedures.

If a procedure comes with high risks, a medical care provider must then obtain consent from the patient and the family before completing it.

If you as a patient go through a procedure that you did not consent to and it causes you harm, you can seek justice by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against your care provider.

Digging Deeper

Sometimes the cause of a medical error isn’t a doctor’s lack o f knowledge or their inability to communicate, for example. Instead, the problem might be the doctor’s inability to concentrate.

The grim reality is that doctors are oftentimes reluctant to pursue mental care for themselves for suicidal ideation and depression. After all, they may worry that this will keep them from being able to renew their licenses.

Licensing boards at the state level generally have good intentions when interviewing doctors. However, their questions may deter doctors from seeking care.

Such questions include the following:

  • Does the condition of your mental or physical health currently impair your ability to perform your job safely and skillfully?
  • Have you suffered from depression or received treatment from it in the past?

Rather than seeking care, some doctors suffer in silence. And as a result, their patients suffer along with them due to medical malpractice.

Other Medical Error Causes

Some other reasons behind today’s high number of medical errors include the following:

  • Insurance networks that are fragmented
  • Underuse or lack of medical safety nets
  • Variation across doctors’ practice patterns

Still other causes of health care errors are medication mix-ups and even computer breakdowns that aren’t resolved in a timely manner.

The Data Problem

Experts say that although we know that medical mistakes are a huge problem today, we don’t have data on these errors like we should. That’s because our current system for reporting on medical errors in the United States could be better.

The truth is, medical errors aren’t cited as one of the causes of patient death among the ICD codes.

As a result, medical errors aren’t mentioned on the CDC’s yearly list of the most frequent causes of patient death.

In turn, medical errors aren’t given the national research attention they need.

In today’s culture, more emphasis has been placed on pinpointing who to blame for problems instead of seeking solutions. Thus, it may come as no surprise that little has been done to investigate strategies for decreasing systemic medical mistakes and how they impact patient mortality.

Patients today must push for improvements in medical error-related data collection. The more they do this, the more improvement we may see in this area in the years to come.

How We Can Help

If you’ve been injured due to a negligent doctor’s error, it is within your rights to seek damages. And that’s something we can help with.

A medical malpractice case can be complicated, but our years of experience can help you to navigate the process. And with our help, you can increase your chances of being awarded damages.

Get in touch with us today to find out more about your legal rights if you have suffered harm as a result of a preventable medical error.

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7 Things That Can Ruin Your Car Accident Lawsuit

7 Things That Can Ruin Your Car Accident Lawsuit

Every year, an average of 6 million car accidents take place.

Were you recently involved in one? Have you filed a lawsuit to get compensation for the injuries you sustained or to get the money you need to fix your vehicle?

Whatever your reason for filing, it’s safe to assume that you want to win your case. In order to succeed and get the settlement you deserve, you need to make sure you’re avoiding some common mistakes.

Read on to learn about seven things can ruin your car accident lawsuit.

1. Underestimating Your Injuries

One of the biggest mistakes you can make after a car accident lawsuit is underestimating your injuries and neglecting to seek medical care.

Even if you feel okay in the hours or days following an accident, it’s still important to see a doctor as quickly as possible. Remember, sometimes, symptoms don’t show up for a few days after the event.

If you fail to seek treatment right after the accident, you’re sending a message that your injuries are minor or nonexistent. This, in turn, could make it harder for you to get receive compensation for your injuries.

2. Waiting Too Long to Take Action

Another mistake that can negatively affect your lawsuit and personal injury settlement is waiting too long to act after the accident.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed after such an event, but you still need to act quickly if want to win your case. 

Visit a doctor, call your insurance company (and/or the insurance company of the at-fault driver), and start gathering details about the accident right away.

Reach out to a lawyer, too, and start building your case as soon as you can. Otherwise, it will be harder for you to get what you deserve.

3. Giving the Insurance Company Too Much Information

When you’re talking to the insurance adjuster, it’s tempting to give them as many details as possible.

In reality, though, this can end up significantly shrinking the size of your settlement. Remember, it’s the insurance company’s job to save money and pay out as little as possible.

When you’re talking to the insurance company, avoid discussing your injuries, providing a recorded statement, or talking about who was at fault. Instead, just give them the basics.

Wait until you’ve hired a lawyer to go over specifics with the insurance company. He or she will communicate with them on your behalf and ensure you get what you deserve.

4. Neglecting to Gather Evidence

Start gathering evidence as soon as you can after the accident.

Ideally, this will happen immediately after the accident occurs. But, if you can’t do this — perhaps because you had to go to the hospital immediately after — just start as quickly as you can.

Some information you ought to gather regarding the accident includes:

  • Getting names and contact information of witnesses
  • Asking for witness statements
  • Taking pictures of the accident scene
  • Taking pictures of the damage your vehicle sustained and the damage to the other vehicle

Be sure to take a picture of the position of the vehicles when the crash occurred, too.

In addition to gathering this evidence, it’s also important to avoid throwing anything away after the accident. Hang on to prescriptions, medical bills, casts or braces, and even pill bottles. All of these items are evidence of your injuries.

5. Agreeing to a Quick Settlement

Some people feel tempted to agree to a quick settlement because they just want to wrap things up as soon as possible.

It’s true that a car accident lawsuit can be a long and arduous process. But, if you agree to a quick settlement, there’s a good chance you’re not going to get as much money as you deserve. 

If you let an attorney handle your car accident, there’s a good chance that you will get a lot more money than you would if you handled it yourself and agreed to the first settlement you were offered.

6. Signing Forms from the Insurance Company Without an Attorney Present

You know that you shouldn’t talk too much to the insurance company after the accident without an attorney present. But, you also shouldn’t sign any papers without letting your attorney read through them first. 

If you sign papers from the insurance company without having an attorney look over them, you could end up signing away certain legal rights.

Even the most seemingly innocuous documents can negatively affect your case.

For example, signing a medical authorization will give the insurance company the right to review your medical records. And, a financial release form releases the insurance company from additional financial responsibility. 

7. Talking About Your Case on Social Media

Many people also make the mistake of talking about their case on social media.  

This is incredibly risky and can seriously affect your case. There’s a good chance the insurance adjuster may check your social media profiles and try to use what you say against you.

For example, if someone asks how you’re feeling and you say, “fine,” that could be used as evidence to prove that your injuries aren’t that serious. 

It’s also important to be careful about the things you post on social media that aren’t directly related to your accident.

For example, if you post a picture of a vacation, the insurance adjuster could make a case that your life has not been negatively affected by the accident.

To be safe, consider de-activating your social media accounts altogether until everything with the lawsuit is wrapped up.

Need Help Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit?

You now know which mistakes to avoid following a car accident. But, that’s not all you need to know.

There’s still a lot more for you to learn. For example, do you know what you should be doing when filing a car accident lawsuit?

If you need more help with your lawsuit or are unsure of how to proceed, we’re here for you at the Law Office of Scott DeSalvo.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you win your case.

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Everything You Need to Know About the Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

Everything You Need to Know About the Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

In 2017, there were approximately 292,000 civil filings in US district courts.

That makes the US one of the most litigious countries in the world. And of all the lawsuits filed each year, personal injury is among the most common.  

If you’re planning on filing a personal injury lawsuit, you need to act quickly. That’s because meeting the personal injury statute of limitations is essential when you’re seeking compensation for an injury.

Not sure what the personal injury statute of limitations is or looking for a statute of limitations extension? Keep reading to find out more.

What is the Personal Injury Statute of Limitations? 

Every state has laws that pertain to the time limits placed on filing a personal injury lawsuit in court. The deadlines vary by state but, in every state, the specific timelines are strict.

If you don’t file your lawsuit within the given time period, it’s unlikely that you’ll be bringing your case to court. The statute of limitations can range anywhere from 1 to 6 years. In most cases, the statute begins the day of your accident.

Can You Extend the Personal Injury Statute of Limitations?

Generally speaking, the personal injury statute of limitations begins on the day you were injured. There are a few ways that you qualify for an extension.

The first extension occurs if the potential defendant left the state after the injury was sustained. In most (but not all) states, if a defendant leaves the state, the statute of limitations is on hold.

The statute remains on hold for as long as that person is out of the state. Say the statute of limitations is 2 years and the defendant left the state for 1 year. You receive a 1-year extension on the statute. But keep in mind that this may be very difficult to prove in court.

Another extension on the personal injury statute of limitations occurs when the plaintiff is under the age of 18, mentally ill, or disabled. Most states provide extensions for these cases.

Although the majority of states allow for exceptions in these types of situations, they’re still limited. If you’ve been injured and you’re seeking compensation, don’t wait to get started. Counting on an extension is a risk you don’t want to take.

Are There Exemptions on the Personal Injury Statute of Limitations?

The discovery rule is an exception to the personal injury statute of limitations. If the injured person didn’t know about the injury or the fact that the defendant’s actions could have caused the injury, they may qualify to file lawsuit well past the statute of limitations. Upheld in most states, these situations are actually quite common in personal injury law.

For example, say a construction employee was exposed to asbestos during the course of their employment (or even just a particular period of their employment). Then, 20 years later, that individual develops cancer that’s linked to asbestos exposure. This is considered a work injury.

Of course, 20 years is well past any state’s personal statute staute of limitations. But, according to the discovery rule, the statute of limitation for this case wouldn’t begin until the day the individual found out that their illness is related to asbestos. This is because that’s the day that you became aware of your injury and its cause. 

What to Do After a Personal Injury

If you’ve been involved in an accident or sustained an injury, the first thing you should do is ensure you’re okay. You should take whatever steps you need to look after your health and get proper treatment.

After taking care of yourself, there are some other important steps to take. Following each of these steps – in no particular order – gives you a better chance if you decide to file a lawsuit.

  • Collect evidence. This evidence should help you prove who caused the accident and how much damage was done. Take photographs when and where possible.
  • Write down all the details of the accidents as soon as possible. Write down road and weather conditions, dates and times, and any other details related to the accident. 
  • Keep all your documents. This includes medical bills, doctors notes, lost wages, etc.
  • Collect the name and contact information of witnesses. If you can, try to get yourself a copy of the police report. And if you walk to anybody else involved in the accident, write down any details of those conversations.
  • Inform any potential defendant that you may file a lawsuit for your injuries and damage.

In terms of the last step, ensure you’re aware of the statute of limitations in your state and don’t delay. Every state has a time limit in which you can notify that person and file a claim. Not only does this ensure you meet the personal injury statute of limitations, it gives you a better chance of resolving the claim quickly.

And keep in mind that you can notify the potential defendants even if you don’t plan on filing a lawsuit or you’re unsure. You’re not required to file a lawsuit after providing notification. 

Have You Been Injured?

If you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation for your injury and/or property damage. Getting those damages is a matter of filing a lawsuit – and this has to be done in a timely manner.

For that reason, most states have a personal injury statute of limitations. These statutes set deadlines on how long you have to file a suit following an injury.

Personal injury statute of limitations typically begins on the day the injury happened. But there are exceptions under the discovery rule as well as extensions in certain situations.

If you’re seeking compensation for your injuries, our experienced team can increase your chances of winning the case. Contact us to find out how we can help.

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"Hiring Scott was one of the best moves I have made in my life.   Scott is a down to earth person and attorney.  Scott is a 5 star first class act who really knows his stuff.   The Judge said his presentation was one of if not the best he had ever seen.   Take my advice, hire Scott. I’m sure you’ll be 200% satisfied.  I was."

Richard Lange

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These are the 7 Most Common Examples of Medical Malpractice

These are the 7 Most Common Examples of Medical Malpractice

You go to your doctor to heal. But with medical error as the third-leading cause of death in the United States, it can be hard to feel safe going to your appointments–especially if there’s something seriously wrong.

Your doctor has a responsibility to you as a patient. When they fail, you need help to deal with the consequences.

More than that, you deserve respect as a patient in need of help.

Here are some of the most common examples of medical malpractice and how you can protect yourself if you were a victim of a doctor’s negligence.

Most Common Examples of Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is a subset of common law under personal injury or tort law, designed to protect the plaintiff (you) from future harm and to compensate you for harm caused.

To be considered medical malpractice under the law, the claim must have the following characteristics:

  • A violation of a standard of care (your doctor had a responsibility to you as a patient which they failed to uphold)
  • An injury that was caused by negligence, which would not have occurred in the absence of negligence
  • The injury resulted in significant damages (otherwise, the cost of litigating the case may be greater than the damages and not worth pursuing)

With that in mind, here are the most common types of medical malpractice.

1. Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis, in personal injury cases, can cover a few different things.

Sometimes, your doctor diagnoses you with one condition, when in reality you have a different condition altogether. A common example of this is diagnosing a patient with the flu when in reality they have Lyme disease.

But misdiagnosis can also mean a failure to diagnose, resulting in inaccurate treatment (or no treatment at all).

This is more common than you would think–in fact, it’s more commonly seen in medical malpractice cases than surgical or drug errors.

Commonly misdiagnosed conditions include:

  • Heart attack
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Lyme disease
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Celiac disease

Sometimes, these conditions present in unusual ways that wouldn’t make sense unless the doctor was looking for them. Those aren’t cases of negligence.

It is negligence when a doctor fails to diagnose or misdiagnoses something that any doctor with their level of training and available information should have been able to figure out.

2. Delayed Diagnosis

Related to misdiagnosis is delayed diagnosis. In fact, the two often go hand-in-hand.

Delayed diagnosis may occur when a doctor misdiagnoses or fails to diagnose a condition, allowing the condition to progress further in the meantime. This can have a detrimental effect on the patient’s health, especially in severe illnesses like cancer.

In order to qualify as a case of negligence in delayed diagnosis, the doctor must have treated the patient less thoroughly than other doctors would have under the same circumstances. For example, the doctor may not have ordered a necessary test that would have made logical sense to pursue.

The trick with this type of personal injury case is proving that your condition would have been materially better if the doctor had begun treatment sooner.

In cancer cases, this can be difficult to prove, as there is a possibility that cancer would have progressed the same way regardless of when treatment started, especially in late-stage cancer treatment.

3. Childbirth Injuries

You spend months preparing for the newest addition to your family. You decorated a nursery, picked out names, and dreamed about what your child would accomplish in the years to come and the person they would grow up to be.

Then, your doctor made a mistake during birth or prenatal care, leading to an injury that will affect your baby for the rest of their life.

One of the most devastating medical malpractice cases for any young family to endure is childbirth injuries. Some of these injuries are minor and can be remedied with treatment, while others have a more severe impact.

Here are some of the most common medical problems associated with medical negligence and childbirth injuries:

  • Improper use of forceps during birth
  • Surgical errors during a Caesarian section
  • Placental abnormalities, such as placental abruption
  • Shoulder dystocia, brachial plexus injuries, or other nerve damage during birth
  • Oxygen deprivation to the baby
  • Hemorrhage of the mother during pregnancy or labor

These injuries place a heavy burden on the parents, both emotional and financial as they try to care for their child.

4. Surgical Errors

Surgical errors are perhaps the most infamous form of medical negligence, even if they aren’t the most common type.

After all, when you undergo extended surgery, you tend to expect that your surgeon is an experienced, capable professional. The prospect of your surgeon making a critical error while you’re on the table is an unfathomable and terrifying notion.

Surgical errors can include a wide variety of possible mistakes, but a few common ones include:

  • Using nonsterile surgical instruments
  • Failure to control bleeding
  • Failure to adequately monitor vital signs during surgery
  • Performing an incorrect procedure
  • Operating on the wrong body part or wrong patient altogether
  • Leaving medical equipment inside a patient
  • Damaging nerves, tissues, or organs during surgery
  • Unsafe procedures during surgery that result in serious harm to the patient
  • Improper care before or after surgery

These errors most often occur when a doctor incorrectly reads a patient chart, neglects to review medical instructions, or clears a patient for the wrong surgery.

Sometimes, these mistakes are minor. But sometimes, they can result in serious consequences for the patient, from lifelong disfigurement and disability to death.

5. Medication Errors

When you go to the doctor, you expect them to have the knowledge and experience necessary to prescribe you the right medication.

But medication errors are far more common than you might think. If any healthcare provider anywhere in the chain makes a mistake, a patient could be administered 100 times too much (or too little) medication…or the wrong medication entirely.

Medication errors can occur in:

  • Choosing a medication (irresponsible or inaccurate prescribing, under or overprescribing, etc.)
  • Writing the prescription (writing the wrong prescription or an illegible prescription)
  • Manufacturing the medication (wrong strength, wrong components, wrong packaging, etc.)
  • Dispensing the medication (wrong drug, wrong strength, wrong formulation, wrong label)
  • Taking the medication (wrong dose, wrong duration, wrong frequency, etc.)
  • Monitoring therapy on the medication

Medication errors can also include failure to consider a patient’s age or medical history when prescribing a medication or failure to account for allergies when prescribing medication.

This may come from any number of factors, from an irresponsible perception of risk to inadequate knowledge of the patient or the drug to poor communication.

Regardless of the type of error or why it was caused, you as a patient deserve to receive proper treatment by your doctor. If your doctor fails and medication causes you serious harm, you may have a malpractice case.

6. Anesthesia Errors

Surgery is a terrifying prospect for most people. What’s scarier, though, is the fact that dangerous mistakes can happen before you ever enter the operating room.

Anesthesia is a risky part of any surgical operation, which is why your surgeon doesn’t administer the anesthetic. Instead, anesthesia is administered by a doctor specifically trained in how to safely administer and monitor anesthesia.

Prior to a procedure requiring anesthesia, an anesthesiologist will review your medical history, medical record, prior medications, allergies, and requirements for the operation, such as time and the procedure in question.

Anesthesia errors can occur at any point in the process, from negligent preparation to failure to inform the patient of safety procedures before an operation to failure to properly monitor the anesthesia during the operation.

In some ways, anesthesia errors can be more dangerous than surgical errors, as it’s far easier for an anesthesia error to cause serious brain damage. And surgery is risky enough without anesthesia errors.

7. Hospital Infections

A hospital is the safest place to be if you’re seriously injured or dangerously ill. It has the equipment and medical staff at hand to handle almost any medical emergency.

But because of this, hospitals are also full of pathogens, from ordinary people moving throughout the facility to harmful pathogens brought in by ill or injured patients. It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that intensive care units are among the most common places for patients to acquire hospital-associated infections.

In order to qualify as a hospital infection, the infection must occur:

  • Up to 48 hours after hospital admission
  • Up to three days after discharge
  • Up to 30 days after a surgery
  • In a medical facility which the patient was admitted to for reasons other than the infection

Hospital infections can be caused by bacterial, viral, or fungal pathogens, all of which come together on a regular basis in a hospital. Common types of hospital infections include:

Hospital infections can also include things like gastrointestinal infections, soft-tissue infections, lower respiratory tract infections, cardiovascular infections, and infections of the central nervous system.

Are You a Victim of Medical Malpractice?

If you read these examples of medical malpractice and found that one of them applied to you or a loved one, don’t wait. Your family deserves to be treated with care and respect, and when your doctor fails, we’re here to fight for your rights.

We’re Chicago medical malpractice attorneys, and we won’t stop until your family gets justice.

If you need to speak with an attorney about your case, click here to get in touch.

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Richard Lange

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Here’s What You Should Immediately Do If You’ve Received a Dog Bite Wound

Here’s What You Should Immediately Do If You’ve Received a Dog Bite Wound

What do you do if you’ve been bitten by a dog? Step one: don’t panic. Step two: follow the steps in this guide.

Here, we’ve written you a comprehensive list of all the legal and medical steps you need to take after receiving a dog bite wound. We’ve listed the immediate steps first, then the follow-up actions for legal recourse.

Don’t wait to take action. Follow this guide on what to do after a dog bite.

First Steps For Taking Legal Action

Medical attention is obviously a priority in an injury case. But it’s also less likely to be overlooked than steps taken to ensure legal recourse. And seeing as we’re a personal injury legal site, we’ve listed the legal steps first so you won’t overlook them.

Exchange Information

In the hustle and bustle immediately following a dog-bite incident, emotions are high and you may be in a great amount of pain. It can easily slip your mind to exchange information. But it’s vital you do so, for legal and medical reasons.

If you were the victim of a hit-and-run and were still conscious, you’d try your best to memorize the license plate of the car fleeing the scene, wouldn’t you? Though your injury case may be very different than a hit-and-run, collecting contact information from the dog’s owner is just as important. You’ll need an easy way to contact them later if you wish to take any legal action.

If you require medical attention, you will also need this information for the hospital’s reference. They’ll need to contact the owner to obtain the dog’s vaccination records or other information related to your injury. Before going to the hospital, make sure you or someone with you collects contact information.

Collect Witnesses

Witnesses of any crime have a legal responsibility to appear in court if called upon. So, as with car accidents, contact information must also be collected from witnesses of the dog bite incident.

Eyewitness accounts are a huge help to your case if this does end up in court. And if it doesn’t, there’s still no harm done.

Document the Event

Document as many details of the event as you can, as soon as you can, to the best of your ability. This is just like photographing evidence of a car accident for insurance claims.

Take pictures of the wound from several angles. Write down or record a verbal account of the injury and any symptoms associated with it.

Describe what it looks like, pain levels, and anything affected by it. That is, note if it impairs your ability to perform specific functions. Record specifically what those functions are and how they will affect your daily life.

Also, describe how the event happened. Be as detailed as you can.

It’s best to record this detailed account of the entire event while it’s still fresh in your memory. The easiest way is to use your smartphone to record it on video or as an audio file.

If you are unable to do this because of your injury, ask someone with you or a witness to do it.

Call Animal Control on Stray Dogs

Stray dogs biting people is a huge health hazard to your community and must be stopped. If the dog that bit you has no collar and/or no owner present, call animal control immediately. The sooner you relay its location, the more likely they are to capture it.

In addition to civic duty, this is also important for your health. Once the animal is captured, it can be determined if it has any diseases that may have been transmitted through the bite.

By capturing the animal, it may also be discovered that it does have an owner. The owner may put up lost dog photos in the area or contact animal control searching for it.

If this happens, you have the opportunity for legal recourse. But, unfortunately, if no owner is discovered, you’re unlikely to prove anyone was legally responsible.

Medical Attention for Dog Bite Wounds

Once you have the dog owner’s information, you need to have the wound looked at by a medical professional right away. Even if the wound doesn’t seem serious, it’s best to receive professional health care to prevent dangerous infections. 

Head to the ER where doctors can diagnose the seriousness of the wound and apply antibiotics. Have a friend or ambulance transport you if you are unable to drive because of your injury.

Immediate, professional medical attention is also important for legal reasons. This way, the injury will be well documented in the hospital’s records.

Now, here are some steps you can take to treat the wound before arriving at the hospital.

Superficial Wounds

If the wound hasn’t broken the skin and there’s no lasting pain, you probably don’t need medical attention. But you still may want to seek a professional diagnosis for your records.

For this, you’ll want to go to urgent care rather than the emergency room. And you definitely still need to exchange information with the dog’s owner. 

These steps will make it easier to take legal action if the wound starts acting up later.

Minor Scratches or Gashes

You also may not think much of a small gash or scratch. But since dog bite wounds are easily infected, there’s nothing minor about them.

Before professional medical care, treat the wound as you would any normal scratch or gash. Wash it right away and apply antibiotic ointment and a bandage.

Then, seek professional medical attention.

Puncture Wounds

These can be frightening as they tend to bleed quite a bit. And the sight of losing one’s own blood often induces panic. 

Your instinctual response will probably be to stop the bleeding as quickly as possible. But, in fact, it’s better to let it bleed for a few minutes.

Initially, the bleeding actually helps to clean out the wound to prevent infection. Unless the blood is coming out very forcefully, or in large amounts very quickly, allow it to bleed freely for about five minutes.

After that, try to stop the bleeding with a clean cloth or gauze. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, alert emergency medical help and inform them of the situation. 

If it does stop, carefully wash the wound in water with gentle soap. Cover the wound with sterile gauze or cloth.

Do not use harsh medical products, like alcohol, iodine, and hydrogen peroxide. These can hinder the healing process for puncture wounds.

By this point, you should be at the hospital, awaiting or receiving care. 

Bite From an Unknown Dog

If the dog is a stray or the owner can’t be found, inform animal control as mentioned above. Treat the wound as you would according to the above steps. Since there’s an increased chance of disease from stray dog bites, it’s especially important to let puncture wounds bleed for five minutes.

If the wound has broken the skin, call 911. Diseases can spread fast and it’s important for you to receive the necessary vaccinations right away.

What to Expect at the ER

The first thing the ER will do is evaluate the urgency of your situation. Seeing that it’s an animal bite, you should receive care somewhat quickly.

They will also ask you questions to get a detailed account of how the injury happened. They’ll want to know the dog’s vaccination history, too. This information makes it easier to provide proper treatment.

When a doctor becomes available to treat you, he/she will thoroughly cleanse the wound and apply any necessary antibiotics or vaccinations. You may also receive stitches for deep or extensive gashes.

It’s also common to receive a booster shot after animal bites, especially if you’re overdue for your tetanus shot. You may receive several additional vaccinations, including rabies, if the dog that bit you was a stray.

Afterward, the doctor will probably prescribe oral or topical antibiotics to continue fighting infection. 

Follow-Up Steps For Taking Legal Action

Beyond the first steps described above, here’s how to follow up for legal recourse.

Continue Documenting 

Continue documenting the effects of the injury. Keep all records and documentation related to the event and collect as much proof as you can to support your case.

Keep records, receipts, and a tally of all medical expenses. Add to this any additional expenses resulting from the injury. This includes lost pay from time off work, cab fares for being unable to drive, etc.

These documents are easily verifiable proof in support of your case. They also make it easy to determine the exact amount of compensation you’re entitled to.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney

Dog bite lawsuits are very common. As such, it shouldn’t be difficult to find an attorney with experience with these cases.

As soon as you even consider taking legal action, contact a personal injury attorney. Most lawyers offer a free consultation to victims of injury.

Even if it ends up as an insurance settlement rather than a personal lawsuit, a personal injury attorney is key. They will know how best to deal with the other party’s insurance company to get the compensation you deserve.

Take These Steps After a Dog Bite

Don’t suffer needlessly. Don’t deny yourself the justice you deserve. You’ve been wronged; take action.

If you’re the victim of a dog bite wound, follow these legal and medical steps.

Next, read these eight steps to take after a workzone injury.

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The 10 Most Common Construction Injuries You Should Know About

The 10 Most Common Construction Injuries You Should Know About

In 2017, there were 971 construction worker fatalities.

Falls, being struck by an object, electrocutions, and being caught in between or under equipment accounted for the “Fatal Four” of that year.

Despite these harrowing incidents, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has made great strides in creating safer environments for workers. In 1970, the fatality rate for all worker deaths was 38 per day compared to 14 per day in 2017.

Even still, many, if not all, construction worker deaths could be avoided. Stricter rules, regulations, and technology all aid in minimizing injuries and fatalities.

So how can we learn from others so that we don’t make the same mistakes ourselves?

Read on to find out what the 10 most common injuries are so that you can learn to avoid them on the job.

 1. Slip and Fall Injuries

Objects and potential debris laying around, combined with the many different movements required of a construction worker, make slip and falls a common occurrence on construction sites.

A slip and fall that causes a worker to hit the ground or the floor they’re working on is typically less serious of an injury than a slip and fall that results in a worker falling either down a level or even down multiple floors. 

Injuries from falls can cause anything from a bruise to serious head drama, and sometimes even death.

Wearing proper footwear, removing potential fall hazards, and establishing a no-running policy are just 3 of the many precautions that should be taken to avoid falls on a work site.

If you have suffered from a slip and fall, you might want to check out our guide to slip and fall settlement amounts.

2. Struck by an Object

Construction workers who were hit by an object accounted for 804 construction worker deaths from 2011-2015.

Power line installers, highway workers, loading machine operators were among those making up the majority of the fatalities. Over half of them were vehicle accidents. That being said, workers may be struck by swinging, falling, flying, or rolling objects.

When it comes to heavy equipment, workers should always be aware of the location of all equipment at any given time on the construction site. Hard hats should be checked regularly for any signs of deterioration and should be replaced accordingly.

3. Electrocutions

Some of the most common construction injuries are due to electrocution. In fact, 61% of all work-relatedelectrocution fatalities were construction workers.

In order to avoid electrocution, electrical wires and units should be properly insulated. Furthermore, the equipment, environment, and work practices should be OSHA compliant.

In addition, there should be extensive health, safety, and hazard prevention training. Electrical power installers, repairers, and earth drillers are the most responsible for the electrical shock of construction workers.

Electrocution often happens for something as simple as improper use of an extension cord.

4. Caught in or Between

Getting caught in or under or in between equipment or machinery can result in one’s body or body part being pinched, compressed, or squeezed. A construction worker injured in this fashion can result in the most awful type of injury.

Death or disfiguration is often a result of a worker getting caught in or between something. It is essential to take certain precautions to avoid such an awful injury.

Some of the precautions you can take to avoid any potential for pain are:

  • Be familiar with the equipment
  • Have an escape route planned
  • Shut equipment down before repairs
  • Always remain visible
  • Only work when more than 1 supporting device is in place

Want to be prepared if you witness or sustain an injury? Find out exactly what steps to take immediately after an injury.

5. Eye Injuries

Eye injuries are one of the most common construction injuries. And construction has a higher eye injury rate than any other industry, causing workers to miss work, and sometimes lose their eyesight.

If your eye is punctured, DO NOT try to wash out or remove the object. If your eye is irritated from fumes or chemicals, immediately and gently rinse it out with water.

Some of the components that could damage your eye on a construction site are:

  • Dirt
  • Sawdust
  • Wood chips
  • Chemical strippers
  • Metal fillings
  • Glass shards

It takes a mere 2 seconds to wear safety goggles and protect your eyes. Some construction sites have a “rinse aid” which may also be used to flush out your eyes.

6. Burns

Construction workers can be in danger of steam burns, electrical burns, chemical burns, fire, and explosions.

Any worker who deals with certain chemicals should go through hazard training. Employers have to provide a safe workspace for their employees.

Know your rights so you can better keep both yourself and your coworkers safe while on the job. From 1st-degree to 4th-degree burns, burns can and should be avoided on the construction site.

Common burn injuries are caused by live electrical wires, unsafe wielding, and defective fuel lines or tanks.

7. Ladder Accidents

Ladders get their own category entirely because of the high construction worker accident rate for ladder falls.

Every year, more than 4,000 construction workers are injured because of ladder falls. Of those 4,000, 70 construction workers die. Of the 3,930 who are injured, ALL have to miss work because the injury was bad enough to interfere with work.

A ladder should be inspected before EACH use. Ladder safety is essential, and no one should even begin to climb a ladder without a coworker holding it steady.

Materials should never be carried up a ladder. They should be hoisted, or sent up on an elevator, or pulled up with a rope.

When working on or near power lines, a ladder should always be positioned at least 10 feet from any power line. Opt for a fiberglass ladder when working near power lines as aluminum ladders are natural electricity conductors.

8. Loss of Hearing

Noise-induced hearing loss can have a major effect on someone’s life. Unfortunately, construction workers aren’t always aware of their rights to safety. Employers are required to provide ear protection to their employees.

Wearing earplugs can make all the difference. Or standing an arm’s length away from a coworker who is using a loud machine such as a jackhammer, a chain saw, or a hammer drill.

Hearing damage from noise can happen gradually. It doesn’t necessarily cause pain or anguish when it’s happening. Often times, once the individual has realized their hearing is compromised, the damage has already been done.

If you’ve experienced hearing loss, some of the symptoms you may encounter are:

  • A hard time hearing on the phone
  • Ringing or noise in your ears
  • Regular speech begins to rumble
  • Speech sometimes sounds muffled
  • You might have to ask people to repeat themselves

If you have experienced any of these symptoms, you may have either temporary or permanent hearing damage.

9. Stress Injuries

Many construction workers perform the same movements day in and day out. Standing or sitting for hours on end can cause major back injuries.

Other movements such as repetitive motions while working on a line or repeated actions that are performed each day can cause a worker’s body to stress out.

Often minor to start, these stress injuries can develop into life-changing conditions quickly. Tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome are two of the more common injuries that occur due to repetitive motion. These common injuries can be so painful that workers are not able to continue performing their jobs.

Not being able to work because of a work-related stress injury can then lead to financial stress and strain.

10. Head Trauma

Traumatic brain injuries counted for one-fourth of construction fatalities during an 8 year test period. Most of these were a result of falls from ladders, roofs, and scaffolding.

Hemorrhages, penetrating wounds, and concussions can all happen from objects hitting or falling on the head, or from a worker falling onto something.

Wearing a hard hat, using a safety harness, and staying aware can all help dramatically lower the potential for head trauma.

Vehicle accidents, falls, assaults and violent acts, and contact with objects or equipment are all causes of traumatic brain injuries.

All Construction Injuries Are a Big Deal

Although construction injuries have been decreasing over time, there is still a lot that can be done to avoid these injuries and fatalities.

Be aware of potential accidents and know good safety practices to make sure they don’t happen to you. Construction injuries not only impact construction workers but their loved ones and families as well.

If you are injured on the job, it’s important to call your doctor right away. After that, contact us so that you have a lawyer you can trust.

If you’re still suffering from an injury you sustained in the past, and you’re wondering what your personal injurystatute of limitations are, click here to find out.

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Testimonials

"Hiring Scott was one of the best moves I have made in my life.   Scott is a down to earth person and attorney.  Scott is a 5 star first class act who really knows his stuff.   The Judge said his presentation was one of if not the best he had ever seen.   Take my advice, hire Scott. I’m sure you’ll be 200% satisfied.  I was."

Richard Lange

Cab Driver, Fall Down                  

See More >

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