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Ann Arbor Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Marijuana may increase risk of motor vehicle accident

Michigan recently legalized the recreational use of marijuana, which is inline with the decriminalization that is occurring across the nation pertaining to marijuana-related offenses. Although the drug is becoming more widely acceptable in society, many have concerns about how marijuana use will affect those who are under its influence when they climb behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Many Michigan residents are well aware of the dangers of drunk driving, but drugged driving, including driving under the influence of marijuana, can be just as dangerous.

Marijuana can have a significant affect on an individual's driving capacities. To start, marijuana use slows reaction time. This may mean that a motorist is unable to slow in time to prevent a collision with a pedestrian at a crosswalk or halt for slowed or stopped traffic. In conjunction with this, studies have shown that driving while under the influence of marijuana can decrease a motorist's ability to concentrate and perceive distance and time.

Vehicle crashes are a major cause of spinal cord injuries

You may know someone with a spinal cord disability. There are several forms, including Multiple Sclerosis, Poliomyelitis and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS.

What you may not know is that many spinal cord injuries result from vehicle crashes, which cause victims to experience changes to the normal functioning of this important part of the human body.

Studies: diagnostic errors common cause of medical malpractice

It happens to just about all of us. We start experiencing some sort of symptom, whether its pain in a certain area of the body, dizziness, confusion or merely a sore throat and a runny nose; however, we hesitate to go to the doctor. Sure, some Michigan residents are concerned about the cost of medical care, but others are afraid of the diagnosis they may receive. Those who find the courage to consult with their doctor may find that their condition is something that is minor and easily treatable. Others may find that their illness is more severe, but a quick diagnosis can lead to effective treatment. In far too many of these instances, though, medical professionals either fail to diagnose a medical condition or provide the wrong diagnosis.

In fact, a few recent studies show just how prevalent diagnostic errors are in the medical field. One of those studies found that more than one-third of all medical malpractice claims that arose after suffering serious disability or death were related to errors in diagnosis. Amongst those claims, nearly two-thirds of victims died or were left permanently disabled. Another study found that diagnostic errors were the most common causes of medical malpractice claims against emergencies rooms.

Teen drivers cause many nighttime car accidents

Parents of teenagers know that teaching them to drive can be a scary experience. These young drivers are given the heavy responsibility of operating a motor vehicle in a safe fashion with no experience. Although parents and driver education programs do their part to ensure these motorists are skilled and knowledgeable before being released on to the roadways, the truth of the matter is that it can take a significant amount of time for some of them to develop the experience and skills necessary to be safe drivers.

One particularly hazardous condition that confronts young drivers is the nighttime. Of course, it's more difficult to see things in during the night, so accident rates are increased for all motorists. Teenagers, however, especially those between the ages of 16 and 17, have triple the risk of being involved in a fatal accident. These accidents aren't solely attributable to late hours, either. In fact, statistics show that more of these fatal accidents occur between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. than between 9:00 p.m. and midnight.

Michigan doctor allegedly reused disposal medical devices

Many Michigan residents are anxiety-ridden when they have to go to the doctor. Their fear is often based on reports of extreme medical neglect and lack of control, both of which are very real concerns. Yet, most of the time, news stories covering incidences of medical malpractice take place far away, giving some a false sense of security. Now one of those reports pertains to a doctor in our backyard.

A Kalamazoo doctor is under fire after it was discovered that he reused certain medical devices, which were intended to be discarded after each use. A former employee even claims that one of these sensors, which are inserted into the body, was used 100 times prior to being discarded. These devices were used to test for medical conditions like constipation and incontinence. Reports also indicate that these devices were only cleaned occasionally between uses. Now, the doctor's patients are being encouraged to receive testing for HIV and hepatitis.

Truck accidents continue to plague our roadways

Semi-truck accidents remain a problem across America. In fact, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that in 2017, approximately 450,000 accidents involving big trucks were reported. More than 4,000 of these crashes were fatal in nature, and more than 300,000 of them resulted in injuries. The vast majority of these injuries and deaths are suffered by individuals in other vehicles, as well. This is likely because large trucks can cause significantly more damage to passenger vehicles than passenger vehicles can cause to semi-trucks.

There are a number of reasons why truck accidents continue to occur at a regular rate. Speeding truckers account for a significant number of accidents, but there are still a large number of truckers who are drunk or high behind the wheel. This intoxication can impair their ability to multitask, remain appropriately aware of their surroundings and accurately judge traffic conditions and stopping distances.

Common ways a negligent surgeon can hurt you

Getting surgery is scary. Whether it is a minor hernia surgery or major brain operation, it is always a bit unnerving. Several things can go wrong during these procedures. While there is always some risk of complications, surgery errors can be dangerous. Most surgeons are professional and reliable, but some are negligent.

Some surgeons can make harmful errors out of carelessness, forgetfulness or confusion. A surgeon who is not competent, careful or sober may hurt you instead of simply addressing your medical issue. The following list explains some common surgical mistakes that can hurt you.

Wrongful death damages are open to legal argument

The sudden and unexpected loss of a loved one is nothing short of tragic. The heartache can be much deeper, though, when the death in question could have been prevented. Sadly, this is an all too real situation faced by many Michigan families. Surviving family members often struggle to find a way to cope with knowing that the negligence of another caused the death of their loved one. They may feel anger, sadness and stress over their future. Fortunately, help is available to these families.

One of the best ways to seek accountability and financial relief is to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the individual who caused a loved one's death. This may be a negligent driver or an errant medical professional. Yet, even if liability can be imposed, a surviving family is still stuck with having to prove the extent of the damages suffered. Neglecting to adequately address this matter could mean that a family is left without the financial resources it needs to get by.

Our firm aggressively advocates for medical malpractice victims

As scary as it may sound, no one is immune to the dangers posed by medical malpractice. Newborn babies can be subjected to traumatic birth injuries that cause brain damage and resulting medical conditions like cerebral palsy, while doctors can fail to diagnose catastrophic diseases, as adults grow older. Surgical errors can leave organs nicked and permanently damaged, and improper medical procedures can result in deadly infections. This isn't meant to deter you from seeking medical attention when you need it, but if you're reading this blog, then you or someone you know has probably already been harmed at the hands of a medical professional.

What can you do to find accountability? Usually the best way is to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit. By doing so, you might be able to impose liability and recover compensation for the damages inflicted upon you. This process is about much more than recovering monetary awards, though. It can deter medical professionals from acting negligently in the future, thereby protecting other patients, and it can give you the sense of closure you need to move on with your life.

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Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC
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Ann Arbor, MI 48103

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