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Lawton Oklahoma Personal Injury Law Blog

Death of 7-month-old prompts medical malpractice claim

Parents in Oklahoma and other states would likely agree that losing a child is one of the worst experiences any parents can go through, made more traumatic if the child is only months old. The parents of a 7-month-old baby in another state recently filed a medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuit against a medical facility and some of its staff members. According to the complaint, the parents accuse the defendants of negligence.

The circumstances that gave rise to this lawsuit occurred on May 11, 2018. The parents took the baby to the emergency room, where medical staff allegedly gave him Tylenol and sent him home. However, within a few hours, the child's condition deteriorated, and the parents rushed him back to the same hospital, from where he was airlifted to another medical facility. Sadly, the child did not survive.

Auto accidents are 2nd leading brain injury cause

Statistics show that falls are the number one cause of open and closed head injuries in Oklahoma and across the country, closely followed by auto accidents. However, when it comes to brain injury-related deaths, car accidents are number one. Brain injuries can be fatal even without the skull being penetrated.

An open head injury in an auto accident could occur when a sharp object such as a piece of broken windshield penetrates the skull. Sometimes, fragments of glass have to be removed surgically after a crash. In a closed head injury, the whiplash motion of the head and neck upon the impact of a collision, or the head striking the dashboard, steering wheel or windshield, can cause the brain to smash into the inside of the skull.

New research on blood testing may benefit brain injury victims

When people in Oklahoma suffer injuries to their brains, this can unfortunately affect their lives on both a mental and emotional level. In some cases, brain injury patients bounce back quickly. However, in other cases, recovery requires a much longer period of time. The good news is that scientists recently revealed that blood testing may help physicians to better understand who might take longer to recover from brain injuries.

According to recent research in people who have had multiple concussions, a protein known as neurofilament light chain tends to be present in their bloodstreams. The protein is linked to the death or injury of nerve cells. It is also linked to depression as well as post-traumatic stress disorder in people who have had concussions.

Proving negligence in multi-vehicle car accidents

Multi-vehicle crashes have been occurring across the country for many years. Reportedly, one of these car accidents stretched over two miles, the longest crash on record, and involved 194 vehicles. Fortunately, no one lost their life. Recovering damages after such accidents are never easy. Oklahoma victims of such calamities will have to prove who was at fault if they want to prevail in civil lawsuits.

Filing insurance claims and navigating lawsuits are typically based upon proof of negligence, which is the legal theory by which liability is established. Most such chain accidents involve rear-end collisions, and the most common cause is the disregard of the rule that says drivers must maintain safe following distances. The idea is that drivers must leave enough space between their cars and those in front of them to allow them to come to a safe stop if the vehicle in front stops unexpectedly. When many drivers fail to follow at a safe distance, one rear-end accident could result in a chain of similar crashes.

Car vs. truck accidents often serious or even fatal

Motorists in Oklahoma who share the highways with commercial vehicles often risk their lives. A big rig or dump trucks weighs approximately 30 times more than a passenger vehicle and is an even more severe threat when hauling hazardous cargo. When these massive vehicles are loaded with industrial waste, gasoline or other flammable or dangerous cargo, ensuing truck accidents can have catastrophic consequences.

Whenever motorists are injured or killed in truck accidents, the victims or surviving family members are typically entitled to pursue civil lawsuits to pursue recovery of monetary damages. However, personal injury or wrongful death claims require the plaintiffs to prove negligence on the part of the truck driver or other parties linked to the commercial vehicle. This could prove to be complicated.

Road rage can cause catastrophic car accidents in an instant

While cellphones are typically regarded as the primary source of distractions for drivers in Oklahoma and other states, the distractions associated with acts of aggression and road rage are just as important. Many drivers with short tempers need no more than a traffic jam or someone cutting them off to explode into a road rage fit, often leading to car accidents and life-changing injuries. Aggressive driving causes a significant percentage of fatal crashes nationwide.

Recognizing telltale signs of aggressive drivers may be the best way to avoid becoming the victim of road rage. Staying calm is the best defense against aggressive drivers. They typically have little or no regard for other drivers and the law, and they show their aggression by excessive honking, cutting other drivers off, tailgating and making rude hand gestures.

Medical malpractice: Common medical mistakes

Patients in Oklahoma and elsewhere typically trust medical professionals like doctors and nurses to provide care that meets accepted standards. Although wrong limb operations and instruments left inside patients during surgery receive a lot of media attention, they do not happen as often as other less sensational medical errors. The majority of medical malpractice claims result from a few common mistakes made by medical professionals.

Reportedly, approximately one million hospital patients nationwide suffer falls each year. Are about one-third of those falls were likely preventable. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 50% of prescribed antibiotics are unnecessary or incorrect. Overall, preventable drug errors, such as incorrect dosages, happen in hospitals every day.

Do not underestimate the severity of mild traumatic brain injury

Many people in Oklahoma and across the country underestimate the consequences of concussions. They might not realize that a concussion is a brain injury that follows a blow to the head in a fall, car accident or on the sports field. Even if the person seems fine, a concussion can cause confusion, problems with vision, speech, memory and balance, and it could remain hidden for days or even weeks.

If left untreated, it can cause long-term health problems, especially in a person who suffers repeated concussions. Even without the head striking anything, the impact of a crash can cause the brain to bounce from side to side and smash into the hard inner walls of the skull. Depending on the severity of the impact, bruising, tearing, and bleeding on the brain could occur. The victim might be dizzy, confused and unable to remember what happened immediately after the incident, or in the following hours or days.

Truck accidents are more likely to be fatal

Tractor-trailers are known as the backbone of the United States economy. These massive vehicles are used to ship goods and merchandise across the country. The interstates and highways that cross the state of Oklahoma are heavily utilized by these big rigs. For those in passenger vehicles, traveling close to tractor-trailers can be very intimidating. Due to their massive size, truck accidents are more likely to be serious or fatal.

A tragic accident between a car and a tractor-trailer in Konawa resulted in the deaths of a woman and a young child. The crash happened at the intersection Highway 39 and County Road 3520. According to reports, a tractor-trailer was traveling north on County Road 3520 approaching the intersection. Police said the driver of the tractor-trailer failed to stop at the intersection and struck an eastbound sedan on Highway 39.

Car accidents often cause hidden whiplash injuries

Motorists in Oklahoma and across the nation face similar hazards whenever they take to the roads. Car accidents happen in the blink of an eye, and no one knows whether they will encounter drunk, distracted or speeding drivers. Getting a medical evaluation soon after a crash is essential, for not only those who intend to pursue claims to recover damages, but also to make sure they have no hidden injuries.

Whiplash injuries are often overlooked in the immediate aftermath of an accident. Without a medical examination, injuries can manifest over time, only to cause chronic pain, which might never be linked to the crash. The impact of a collision causes the rapid whipping motion of the head, potentially causing a variety of injuries that might not be immediately evident.

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