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Lawton Oklahoma Personal Injury Law Blog

Mother takes action after her daughter suffers a brain injury

The brain is one of the most important organs in the human body. Any kind of head trauma is a big deal, even if the injury seems insignificant at first. A brain injury can disable a person for the rest of his or her life. In Oklahoma and across the United States, nearly three million people suffer brain injuries every year. A school district in another state is facing a lawsuit after coaches at a high school allegedly failed to report a head injury.

The lawsuit was filed by the mother of a girl who was a cheerleader at the school. According to the lawsuit, the girl was attempting a maneuver when she fell and hit her head on the floor. The lawsuit alleged that the girl's coaches didn't seek medical care for the girl, but instead waited 45 minutes to call the girl's parents to pick her up.

Car accidents can happen without warning

Many Oklahoma residents are well aware that roadways across the state are becoming more and more crowded. With so many vehicles sharing the road, car accidents are nearly unavoidable. Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye without warning. Fortunately, most traffic accidents are nothing more than minor inconveniences. However, a growing number of crashes are proving to be serious and life-altering.

A recent crash involving three vehicles near Tulsa resulted in the death of one man and injuries to a mother and her young child. The accident happened along the westbound lanes of Interstate 244 shortly after 11 a.m. According to reports, the driver of a pickup truck was driving east in the westbound lanes and collided head-on with a westbound SUV.

Daylight saving timing increases car crash risk

Daylight saving time could increase the risk of car crashes for drivers in Oklahoma and elsewhere according to a new study. The study, which was published in Current Biology, is the most comprehensive research ever conducted on the link between traffic accidents and the annual "spring forward" time change.

To reach their conclusions, researchers at the University of Colorado in Boulder analyzed nearly 733,000 accidents on U.S. roads between 1996 and 2017. They found that crashes increased by 6% in the week following the change to daylight saving time each year, adding an extra 28 traffic deaths to the annual U.S. tally. They also found that people living in western areas of their time zones were more likely to become involved in a fatal crash than those living in eastern areas. Researchers further noticed that most accidents took place in the morning.

New bill may allow CMV drivers under 21 to travel interstate

Oklahoma residents should know that currently, truck drivers under the age of 21 cannot travel interstate. This may change if a certain bill, called the Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy Act, is passed. Also known as the DRIVE-Safe Act, it was introduced in February 2019 and aims to create an apprenticeship program for the training of truckers under 21.

The program would require these truckers to undergo a probationary period where they must complete 400 hours of driving, at least 240 hours of which would be with a trucker 21 or older in the passenger seat. Several groups oppose the bill, including the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and the Truck Safety Coalition.

Avoiding adverse drug events with five steps

Four out of five adults in Oklahoma and across the U.S. take prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs or supplements at least once a week. Moreover, around one-third of all adults simultaneously take five or more medications. One can easily see how this can create a risk for injuries as drugs combine in adverse ways. The following five tips, though, can help patients avoid medication errors and adverse events.

It starts with the correct use of those medications one is taking. For example, one should not chew non-chewable pills or cut pills without a doctor's prior approval. One should use a measuring spoon or, as the case may be, syringe for accurate dosages rather than ordinary silverware.

ERs are overcrowded, increasing patient risk

For a long time, hospitals and ERs in Oklahoma and across the U.S. have had to struggle with overcrowding, and this continues to put patients at risk. As early as 2007, the Institute of Medicine noted that overcrowding can lead to life-threatening delays in treatment. It is also linked to delays in the administration of medication and to various medical errors, especially diagnostic errors.

The year 2016 saw a total of 143.6 million ER visits in the U.S. with 12.6 million of these leading to hospital admission. Yet ERs do not accommodate only those with an unforeseen health condition; many people are there waiting for a scheduled procedure. Holding such patients until a hospital bed is available is a practice known as boarding, and this, more than anything else, causes overcrowding.

Report gives 10 cities where car accidents happen the most

A report from the nonprofit Go Safe Labs has ranked the top 10 worst cities for auto accidents. Researchers based their list on accident numbers in 2019, a year in which 953,630 car crashes took place. Oklahoma residents may be displeased to hear that Oklahoma City ranked seventh with 12,476 crashes occurring there in 2019.

At the top of the list was Houston with 22,188 accidents. This was followed by Charlotte, North Carolina, with 21,818, Los Angeles with 19,660 and two more cities in Texas: Austin with 16,635 and Dallas with 14,685. Raleigh was number six with 12,846 accidents, yet this was still 25.5% less than the city's crash number in 2018. The list ended with Baton Rouge, Nashville and Phoenix.

Finding out who was responsible for a multi-car crash

Drivers in Oklahoma may be wondering how they can establish fault after a multi-vehicle crash. While this may largely be the work of investigators, it is still beneficial to know the basics about it. First of all, it requires all kinds of evidence, including physical finding at the crash site, such as vehicle debris and skid marks; the findings that the police put down in their report; and eyewitness testimony.

Since most multi-vehicle crashes are a series of rear-end collisions, it may help to consider a these hypothetically. Driver A, at the front, is driving safely but has to brake suddenly to avoid a danger. Driver B, who is speeding or following too closely, hits Driver A through his or her own fault. Then Driver C, who may also have been negligent, hits Driver B, causing more damage to Driver A's car as a result.

The CVSA inspection blitz has a new date for 2020

Oklahoma truck drivers likely want to know that the annual International Roadcheck inspection blitz performed by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has been announced. The inspection is usually held during the first week in June. However, this year it is scheduled for May 5-7.

This 72-hour event was moved up to allow some jurisdictions to enjoy better weather. Inspectors look at both driver qualifications and trucks. When inspecting trucks, they conduct the North American Standard Level I inspection that includes a full 37 points. Law enforcement will look at brake systems, exhaust systems, fuel systems, cargo securement, suspension, tires, driveline components, lights, and steering.

Avoid these driving distractions and stay safe

Drivers in Oklahoma who occasionally glance down at their cell phones may want to take notice of the startling statistics of distracted driving. In 2018, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation crash statistics found that 8,752 accidents across the state were caused by a distracted driver. Unfortunately, 35 people lost their lives in these accidents and thousands of others were severely injured.

Though cell phones get the majority of the blame for distracted driving, there are other surprising ways that drivers don't pay attention. Those who drive while they are sad or angry are 10 times more likely to crash. While driving to calm music may help improve focus in some drivers, turning up a favorite song loudly and singing along increases the risk of causing an accident.

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