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Calhoun Legal Issues Blog

CVSA announces Brake Safety Week dates

Drivers in Georgia and around the country can expect to see more semi-tractor trailers undergoing roadside inspections in September during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's annual Brake Safety Week. The nonprofit group's yearly safety blitz will begin on Sept. 15 and end on Sept. 21. Vehicles with ineffective brakes are a threat to all road users, but worn brake lines or faulty master cylinders are especially dangerous when they are tasked with stopping commercial vehicles that can weigh as much as 40 tons.

During Brake Safety Week, inspectors will be paying particular attention to brake hoses and tubing. Tractor-trailers are fitted with sophisticated compressed air braking systems, and even small leaks can cause dangerous pressure drops. Commercial vehicles that fail roadside inspections will be ordered out of service until repairs have been made. Trucks that meet federal safety standards will be given a decal and allowed to continue their journeys.

Diagnosis errors among most common in malpractice cases

Two separate research papers released within weeks of each other both indicate that errors in diagnosis are a major source of medical malpractice claims. The first, released by insurance company Coverys, was focused on emergency departments in hospitals. It found that claims related to issues in diagnosis accounted for 47% of emergency department payouts and 33% of claims filed. Delayed or erroneous diagnoses were the most common single cause of medical malpractice claims against emergency departments throughout Georgia and the rest of the U.S.

The second paper, published by Diagnosis, found that delayed or erroneous diagnoses were involved in 34% of malpractice claims where the patient was seriously disabled or died. According to the study, claims related to diagnosis errors accounted for 28% of all medical malpractice payouts. The study included reviews of 55,377 closed claims that were filed between 2006 and 2015. Over 11,500 of the claims involved errors in diagnosis. The study was paid for by the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine. Of the claims made alleging diagnosis errors, almost 75% were connected to infections, cancer or vascular events like heart attacks or strokes.

Are you sure that settlement offer is in your best interest?

You suffered serious injuries in a motor vehicle accident. You had to spend some time in a hospital bed until you recovered enough to go home. Even though you are no longer in the hospital, you may need additional surgeries and other medical care, physical therapy and more.

As you contemplate your current circumstances and your future, you may begin to experience some anxiety about how you will pay for the care you need during your recovery. To make matters worse, you may not return to work for some time, so you will not have an income to support you and your family. Then an insurance adjuster offers you a check to settle your claim.

Diagnostic errors claim up to 80,000 lives each year

As many as 80,000 people die in the U.S. each year because doctors fail to diagnose a serious medical condition or diagnose it too late for treatment to be effective. Even more worrying for Georgia patients is that one in three of the 12 million Americans who are victims of diagnostic errors every year either die or suffer serious or permanent damage to their health. These were two of the findings made by researchers from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine after studying more than 55,000 medical malpractice lawsuits.

The problem is also serious for the health care sector as it has cost doctors, hospitals and their insurers about $1.8 billion in last decade alone. Since the consequences for patients are severe, the damages awarded in medical malpractice cases are high. Almost three in four of the victims of a missed or delayed diagnosis suffer from cancer, heart disease or a potentially deadly infection of some kind.

Study finds Fourth of July has most DUI fatalities

Georgia drivers might want to use extra caution when traveling area roadways over the Fourth of July holiday. According to a new study by Value Penguin, the drunk driving fatality rate is 23% higher on Independence Day than the average rate for six other U.S. holidays.

To reach their conclusions, researchers reviewed holiday car crash data from 2010 through 2017. They found that 1,192 people were killed in alcohol-related accidents during the Fourth of July holiday over that eight-year period. The next deadliest holiday was Memorial Day weekend, which accounted for 1,105 DUI-related deaths over the same period of time. They also determined that Americans were 57% more at risk for getting into a deadly DUI accident on July 4, 2017, than any other summer day that year.

Methods to diagnose cancer

There are a number of different approaches that may be used to diagnose cancer for patients in Georgia. These tests are necessary because many different symptoms might indicate cancer, but they could also indicate some other condition.

Diagnostic methods including biopsies of tumors, diagnostic imaging, lab tests and endoscopic exams. In a biopsy, a sample of cells or tissue is taken to be tested. This might be done on an outpatient basis, or it could require a hospital visit and sedation. Diagnostic imaging may include X-rays, mammograms, ultrasounds, bone scans or MRIs. Lab tests could include tumor markers, urinalyses or blood tests. Colonoscopies and cystoscopies are both types of endoscopic exams.

Teens should be vigilant while driving during the summer

Teenage drivers may be more likely to get into an accident between Memorial Day and Labor Day. This is because they will spend more time on Georgia roads and others in the United States during this period. As they tend to lack experience behind the wheel, it is a good idea for parents to talk about how to stay safe while driving. For instance, they should stress that it is never a good idea to drive while tired or intoxicated.

It may also be a good idea for teen drivers to stick to areas that they are familiar with and to limit their night driving. Furthermore, younger drivers should understand what to do if they enter a construction zone. Properly maintaining their vehicles can be another way to stay safe while on the road during the summer season.

What damages can you seek in a personal injury claim?

Did you suffer injuries in a car accident? Did you suffer physical, financial or emotional harm as a result of the actions of another Georgia driver? If so, you understand how difficult the aftermath of an accident can be, including all the ways your injuries or damage to your personal property can impact your life.

If your accident was not your fault, you could have valid grounds to pursue financial recovery through a personal injury claim. You will find it beneficial to learn about the types of damages that may be available to you and how you can pursue the amount you deserve for a full recovery. It helps to understand the various types of damages available and how you can move forward with the civil claims process.

The top three deadliest cars on the road

In today's world, Georgia motorists enjoy access to some of the safest vehicles ever made. While automakers are continuously improving their vehicles to eliminate risks, some cars are still traditionally safer than others. That's why consumers looking for used vehicles should still consider safety in addition to cost before making a purchase.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has provided a list for the deadliest vehicles that are still on the nation's roadways today. The list covered vehicles between the model years of 2013 to 2017. Topping the list is the Mitsubishi Mirage, which has a fatal accident rate of 10.2 cars per billion vehicle miles. No. 2 is the Chevrolet Corvette, which has a fatal accident rate of 9.8 cars per billion vehicle miles. Rounding out the top three is the Honda Fit, with a fatal accident rate of 7.7 cars per billion vehicle miles.

Does your teenager practice safe habits when walking?

When your child was young, you may have required him or her to hold your hand when crossing the street. Although your child may have grown beyond that need, there are still risks associated with crossing the street and walking near traffic. Teenagers typically have the capability to walk safely on their own, but they do not always make safe choices when walking.

Teenage pedestrians are prone to distractions and sometimes forget to look properly before crossing the road. They also may not recognize certain, high-risk situations. Your teenager may no longer need to hold your hand when walking, but he or she may benefit from periodic reminders about safe pedestrian behaviors.

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