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Macon Personal Injury Law Blog

Learn about your financial recovery after a car accident

A car accident can leave you injured and overwhelmed by your physical needs, and it can leave you with financial losses that you cannot cover. Expensive medical treatment can wipe out years of savings and emergency funds in a matter of days, and your insurance may not cover as much as you think it will. In an instant, your financial future could be at stake.

If your accident was the result of the negligent or reckless actions of another person, it is appropriate to seek damages through a personal injury claim. However, the specific types of damages you may be able to get depend on the various factors unique to your situation. Before you move forward or accept a settlement, it may be helpful to learn more about the types of damages you can seek.

Pediatric brain cancer patients frequently misdiagnosed

Children with brain tumors in Georgia and around the country are being regularly misdiagnosed, according to a study published in October. The research found that traditional methods are leading to young patients receiving the wrong diagnosis and, as a result, the wrong treatments.

According to the study, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, pediatric brain tumors long thought to be a type called supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal cancer could actually be one of several different types of brain tumors. In fact, researchers found that 22 of 31 pediatric patients initially diagnosed with that type of cancer actually had tumors so different that they should not have qualified for the study. The discovery was made possible by using a new technology that analyzes the molecular structure of tumor cells.

Data shows young drivers can be dangerous

Georgia teen drivers who allow other teens in their vehicles may be creating hazardous situations for everyone. This is according to data from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. It found that the fatality rate for those in a vehicle containing all teenagers increased by 51 percent. When vehicles had older drivers, the fatality rates decreased for everyone in the vehicle.

When a car or truck was driven by a teen, it also enhanced the odds that others using the road could be killed in a crash. Specifically, the fatality rate for those in other vehicles increased 56 percent. For pedestrians, their risk increased by 17 percent if a vehicle was driven by a teen and had teenage passengers inside. Researchers said that parents of young drivers need to be aware that their sons or daughters need time to gain experience behind the wheel.

Addressing the rise in deaths caused by large trucks

Georgia residents who are concerned about safety when sharing the road with large trucks should be aware that there is no requirement for tractor-trailer and other large trucks to have crash-avoidance technology. This is true despite the fact that there are thousands of crashes involving large vehicles that occur every year and frequent calls for the technology to be a requirement.

According to federal data, over 4,300 people lost their lives in 2016 in accidents in which semis and other types of large trucks were involved. The number of deaths for that year was 28 percent more than what was reported for 2009.

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.