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Macon Personal Injury Law Blog

Proving an owner is responsible for a fall accident

Every year in Georgia and throughout the U.S., thousands of people are injured from slip-and-fall accidents. In many of these cases, it is the property owners who are to blame, but proving this can be a difficult matter. The following are just some of the factors that must be considered to prove fault in a slip-and-fall claim.

First, the victim must consider whether it was a preventable accident or not. Owners have a duty of care to entrants, and this includes the duty to maintain reasonably safe conditions. This must be balanced with the duty that entrants have to conduct themselves reasonably on the property -- no running, skipping, texting while walking and so on.

Dementia misdiagnoses can hurt patients' chances

Misdiagnosis can cause serious problems for people in Georgia who have Lewy body dementia. The disease is often misdiagnosed as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease because it can present with initial symptoms similar to either of these. If it is misdiagnosed as Alzheimer's, the patient may be prescribed certain medications that they'll respond poorly to, or the patient may not be prescribed medications that could work well.

LBD might initially present with a cognitive or memory disorder that looks like Alzheimer's disease to doctors. Over time, though, symptoms develop that distinguish LBD from Alzheimer's. For example, the patient might develop visual hallucinations, REM sleep behavior disorder, changes in movement or fluctuating levels of alertness, attention or cognitive ability.

Is your doctor's stethoscope making you sick?

You have enough to worry about if you end up hospitalized for an illness or injury. Nevertheless, it seems that if you want to avoid contracting one of several hospital-acquired infections, you must also be proactive when interacting with hospital staff. This may mean speaking up when your nurse fails to wash his or her hands or using your own disinfectant wipes on the side rails of your bed.

What about those stethoscopes? Doctors and nurses come in and out of your room with stethoscopes draped across their shoulders. They insert the ear tips into their ears and place the diaphragm against your skin. Do you know how many patients that stethoscope touched before you?

Drivers overestimate their skill behind the wheel

It's a quirk of the human mind, apparently, that people think they're better drivers than they are. Whether a person is driving on roads in Georgia or somewhere else in the country, chances are that they think they're an above-average driver. The first study to identify the phenomenon took place more than five decades ago.

Two researchers interviewed 50 people who had just been in car crashes, and the interviews were conducted while the people were still in the hospital. Most of the accidents were categorized as the driver hitting a fixed object at a rate of speed fast enough to cause the vehicle to overturn. Reports made by the police placed the blame on the hospitalized driver in greater than 66 percent of the cases. When asked to rate themselves on a scale from very poor to expert, the drivers gave themselves ratings closer to expert. A second group, made up of people with excellent driving records, rated themselves the same as the group of hospitalized drivers.

CVSA inspection blitz sidelines 11,897 commercial vehicles

Truckers in Georgia likely encountered safety inspectors this past June during a three-day inspection spree organized by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. The alliance puts together multiple inspection events across North America every year to catch unsafe commercial trucks and buses and educate operators about how to comply with trucking regulations. The International Roadcheck conducted 67,502 roadside inspections in June and took 11,897 vehicles out of service because of safety violations.

Level I inspections were applied to 45,400 of the vehicles, and 21.6 percent of those failed the check and were placed out of service. Brake problems accounted for the bulk of problems at 28.4 percent of citations. Wear and tear on tires and wheels caused 19.1 percent of trucks to fail inspection, and improperly adjusted brakes accounted for 16.3 percent of the failures.

Shock value examined in driver's education classes

Most Georgia parents and educators realize the incredibly high stakes when teens start exercising driving privileges. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States. In addition to inexperience, part of the reason behind the statistics is believed to be a relative lack of awareness regarding the risks and potential consequences of poor driving practices. A recent study examines the impact of shocking teens into awareness and safer driving habits.

Researchers at Baylor University began with statistics showing that adolescents are more likely to drive recklessly or while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs than the population as a whole. Traditional teaching methods have been unable to substantially diminish these trends, so a pilot driver education program took teens to visit intensive care units, emergency rooms and hospital morgues in an effort to raise the level of awareness and reduce risky driving behaviors. The program enrollees were students referred by courts and educators for disciplinary action. A questionnaire completed by participants in the program identified risky driving behaviors from the preceding 30 days. Two months after completion of the program, a follow-up questionnaire was given to evaluate the program's impact on actual driving behaviors.

Reminding drivers of school year safety tips

It's been a few weeks since school started back up here in Macon, and most families are probably falling into a routine by now. This also means that people may be starting to get complacent when it comes to driving around schoolchildren.

It probably wouldn't hurt to go through a few reminders that could keep your children and the other children in your area safe. Every year, the media carries stories regarding children who die or suffer serious injuries while waiting for the school bus or someone else to pick them up. Still, others are riding their bikes or walking to school when tragedy strikes.

Study finds rear automatic braking systems reduce crashes

Equipping all vehicles with rear automatic braking systems could save lives in Georgia and around the world, according to a recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Researchers say the technology is especially effective when combined with other advanced safety features.

IIHS researchers tested several new car models that came equipped with rear automatic braking systems, rear sensors and rearview cameras. They found that the rear automatic braking system reduced backup car accidents by 62 percent. When the technology was combined with rear sensors and rearview cameras, accidents were cut by 78 percent. Of the vehicles tested, the 2017 Cadillac XT5 SUV and the 2017 Subaru Outback earned the highest performance ratings for braking and avoiding backup collisions. Four other vehicles also received high marks, but one vehicle had trouble detecting a dummy car that was parked at an angle.

Roundabouts can save lives, reduce costs

Georgia drivers may have noticed that roundabouts are becoming more popular throughout the United States. This is because state and local municipalities have learned that the circular junctions, which are widely used in the United Kingdom, can reduce serious traffic injuries and save funds.

For instance, North Carolina developers are constructing roundabouts at the intersections of several rural highways in the state. One of the new roundabouts is located at a notorious intersection that has been the site of several serious car accidents, including a crash that killed a 21-year-old pregnant woman in February 2011. Engineers with the North Carolina Department of Transportation estimated that placing a roundabout at the intersection would reduce accident injuries by 89 percent and, therefore, save the state $2.5 million in injury-related costs each year.

Radiology mistakes can be deadly

When people in Georgia go in for a scan or other radiological assessment, it can be critical that they receive a correct diagnosis the first time. Incorrect diagnoses can be particularly dangerous when it comes to radiology. New statistics show that around 80 percent of malpractice claims related to radiology involve mistaken interpretations of test results and misdiagnoses. Furthermore, 80 percent of those claims are very severe and include permanent injury or death as the results of the medical mistake.

Insurance provider Coverys recently released these results as part of an annual study, saying that they are an important tool to improve patient safety. Radiological errors can have a severe effect on a patient's life, especially since tests are often used to identify serious, progressive and deadly diseases like cancer. The failure to diagnose cancer can lead to the growth and progression of the disease, often to a point where the illness is incurable or terminal. Because radiological tests are such a key facet of diagnosis, they can be one of the most common reasons for malpractice claims. Around 15 percent of all claims related to misdiagnosis involve radiology tests.