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Chicago Personal Injury Blog

Barring serious injury, here are steps to take after a crash

If you have never been in a car crash, you might not know what to do if it should happen to you. Even minor collisions are everyday occurrences, though, so it helps to have a post-accident plan.

Once your nerves have settled down a bit, here are six steps to take in the aftermath of a vehicle accident.

Why can't drivers resist their cellphones?

Distracted driving is largely an issue of willpower. People do know that it is risky and dangerous. They know that it leads to accidents. They may even know people who have been seriously injured or killed. But they still look at the phone when it chirps and a new notification shows up on the screen. Why can't they resist it?

Surveys have exposed just how deep this problem runs. Most people do actively acknowledge the dangers. They honestly think they are more likely to get into an accident, and they know that a smartphone is hugely distracting in general. At the same time, they admit to texting and driving, going on social media, browsing the internet, responding to emails, taking pictures and many other things.

Intensive care unit misdiagnoses are preventable

Researchers from the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) wrote in the Annals of American Thoracic Society journal on Aug. 1 that identifying common intensive care unit (ICU) diagnostic errors and reducing them is critical.

The study's authors found that as much as 20 percent of all patient-doctor encounters result in diagnostic errors. They note that the risk of critically ill patients being misdiagnosed is significantly higher than it is for others also.

Pediatricians are sued for malpractice less than other doctors

A survey conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2015 showed that 20 percent of all pediatricians will be sued at some during their career. At least 10 percent of them end up getting sued during their residencies. These are just some of the many trends associated with medical malpractice cases filed against pediatricians.

Pediatricians age 39 or younger are only likely to be sued in less than 15 percent of all medical malpractice cases. The risk of being accused of negligence increases as a doctor ages. Between the ages of 40 and 49, a pediatrician's risk of being sued for climbs as high as 35 percent.

Facial nerve palsy is a birth injury that may never go away

While thousands of babies are born naturally each year without incident, there are cases in which moms and newborns suffer injuries. During childbirth, a baby can develop facial nerve palsy.

This condition can cause them to lose their ability to voluntarily control the muscles in their face. While some cases of this condition are temporary or can be fixed with surgery, some children with this condition may end up with paralyzed facial muscles.

Why have there been so many car recalls in the past few years?

During the past few years, car recalls have continued to increase in the United States. In fact, according to the automobile research firm Edmunds, during 2016, 927 vehicle recalls affecting over 53 million vehicles were announced that year. With such a staggering amount of recalls that occurred that year, it's bound to make consumers feel uncertain about whether any vehicle is safe.

According to Edmunds, whether your car is safe depends greatly on when it was manufactured and what its make and model are. Their research shows that most of the cars that ultimately get recalled aren't new ones, but instead older ones that are discovered to have new problems.

Help your loved one after an injury

Nothing is worse than watching a loved one suffer and wondering if there is anything you can do to help. If there is not an obvious solution you can provide, you might feel powerless and frustrated by your inability to alleviate his or her pain. This is what many people go through when their loved one is injured in a car accident, slip-and-fall or workplace incident. You do not have to helplessly watch, though.

There are many ways that you can help your loved one get help and recover from their injuries. Consider the following three tips for more information on assisting with treatment, recovery and every other part of the process. Your assistance could be the key to recovery for your loved one after an injury. 

What are strokes most commonly misdiagnosed as?

Of the many different medical conditions that doctors misdiagnose each year, strokes are one of those at the top of the list. One of the reasons that physicians often mistake the symptoms that a patient is experiencing from something other than a stroke is because many of them fail to ask probing questions that would allow them to understand what's truly going on.

Doctors often misdiagnose patients who are experiencing blurred or double vision or sudden loss of sight as something related to being tired or age. Oftentimes, it's a sign that a patient's blood vessel isn't getting enough oxygen because it's blocked, though. This is why any time you have a sudden-onset eye problem, you should advocate for yourself and ask a doctor if it may be the result of a stroke.

Sepsis causes intensive care unit patients' premature deaths

When many of us think about intensive care units (ICUs), we often imagine patients being monitored closely by cutting-edge technology or of them receiving more dedicated care at the hands of skilled medical providers. Few of us would think that it's one of the areas in the hospital with the highest rates of preventable injuries or deaths.

It happens to be one of the units in the hospital where sepsis is most likely to kill patients, though. In fact, this condition is reportedly the leading illness that kills ICU patients in noncoronary hospital units each year in the United States.

Midwives can be held liable for injuring patients

While using a midwife to deliver a baby used to be the norm, many women have relied upon the modern conveniences that a hospital offers to have their babies during the last few decades. Using midwives to deliver newborns has experienced a resurgence in popularity in recent years, though. This has led many women to wonder, what recourse that they have if the labor and delivery process goes wrong at their hands.

Most jurisdictions require that a midwife completes certain educational requirements, including serving as an apprentice to a seasoned professional, before they can become licensed to practice their profession in that state. Many jurisdictions require the midwives to carry malpractice insurance in order to remain in compliance with licensing authorities.

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