How Can Older Drivers Take Steps to Be Safer on the Road?

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Americans are more health-conscious than ever. Thanks to this new attitude and advances in medical technology, we are living longer, more productive lives. As we age, however, we begin to lose our sharp vision and some fine motor control. As a result, older Americans are more likely to get into accidents on the road.

In 2012, motor vehicle crashes killed more than 5,500 adults and injured 214,000 more. Adults ages 85 and older are most vulnerable, though your risk of being in an accident increases exponentially after 70. Physical changes, vision changes, and a decline in cognitive functions are risk factors for age-related car accidents.

Driving is an important aspect of maintaining our independence as we age. Luckily, older Americans can take some simple steps to protect themselves when behind the wheel.

Wear Your Seatbelt

This is one of the simplest things anyone can do to decrease the risk of being injured in a car accident. Older Americans already participate in higher rates of seatbelt use than younger groups. Of those involved in fatal crashes, 75% were wearing seatbelts—compared with 66% of those ages 18 to 64. Buckling up is easy to remember and greatly decreases the risk of injury or fatality. In Texas, we wear our seatbelts more than the national average (at a rate of 94%, compared to 86% nationally). Keep up the good work, and buckle up for safety.

Drive When Conditions Are Optimal

Whenever you can, avoid inclement weather conditions. Older adults are already more likely to limit their driving during bad weather and at night. Overall, they tend to drive fewer miles than their younger counterparts. Driving during times of optimum visibility can decrease the likelihood of an accident. If you must drive after dark or in the rain, ask someone for help.

Do Not Drink and Drive

Older drivers are less likely to get behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated. Only 7% of drivers who were involved in fatal accidents had a blood alcohol content above the legal limit of .08. For comparison, nearly a quarter of drivers aged 18 to 64 involved in fatal accidents had a BAC of over .08.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances is never worth the risk. If you anticipate drinking some alcoholic beverages, arrange for alternate transportation. Designate a driver or call a cab.

Other Protective Measures

Older drivers can take other steps to ensure their safety on the road. Try some of these preventive measures to lessen your risk of injury in a car accident:

• Participate in regular low-impact exercise, such as walking or water aerobics, to keep your muscles strong. Muscle tone and flexibility are important aspects of driving—even if we do not necessarily think about it.

• Schedule an eye exam once per year. Our vision is one of the first things to diminish as we age, so regular exams are essential.

• Plan your route before getting into your car, avoiding highways and other busy roads whenever possible. Opt for back streets and well-lit areas if driving at night.

• Use alternatives if you find your ability to drive waning. Options include public transit and carpooling with a friend.

Safety is your utmost priority on the road. But if you have been involved in an accident, you need the services of an attorney. If you think you have the grounds for a personal injury claim due to an auto accident, contact a member at our experienced law firm for a free initial consultation. We will help you decide on an appropriate course of action, risk-free. Contact us today.

Posted by admin at 10:40 pm

See Every Texas Drunk Driving Crash in the Last 3 Years…in 10 Seconds

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Posted by admin at 1:47 pm

What Is Pharmaceutical Malpractice?

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The medical professionals who tend to your health have an obligation to serve you to the best of their abilities. When we think of malpractice, we most often refer to the doctors and nurses who provide you with health care, but what most people do not realize is that your pharmacist is also capable of committing malpractice.

Pharmaceutical Malpractice: A Primer

A pharmacist is a critical member of your health care team. When your doctor writes a prescription, it is his or her job to ensure the new medication doesn’t interfere with any other medications you take. When we refer to malpractice as a whole, we are talking about any action in which a professional fails to take appropriate cautions or provide “reasonable care.” A medical professional who doesn’t act reasonably under the circumstances has committed negligence. Most pharmaceutical malpractice lawsuits fall under one of the following four categories.

Defective Drug Recalls

The Food and Drug Administration regulates prescription medications. Before the organization clears a medicine for consumer use, the drug must undergo years of testing and clinical trials to ensure its efficacy and safety. Unfortunately, drug companies sometimes rush their medicines to the market without conducting appropriate testing. When this happens, patients bear the brunt of unforeseen side effects. The Food and Drug Administration issues recalls when it finds a prescription medication is inherently dangerous or can lead to serious side effects. Unfortunately, by the time the agency issues a recall, the damage has likely happened. If you have been hurt by taking a drug that is later recalled, you may be a candidate for a pharmaceutical malpractice case.

Side Effects of Prescription Drugs

You may also be a candidate for a pharmaceutical malpractice suit if you have been a victim of unforeseen side effects from a prescription drug, either in the short or long term. Drug companies perform clinical trials before their products hit the market, but a three-year clinical trial may not anticipate long-term side effects from taking a medication. Some of the more serious side effects may not be apparent until 10 years after beginning to take the medication. For example, recent research reveals that long-term use of proton pump inhibitors, such as Prilosec, can lead to kidney damage.

Prescription drugs can lead to many unforeseen short-term effects, as well. If a pharmacist dispenses a medication without properly consulting your history, drugs may negatively interact and lead to injury.

Pharmacist Errors

Even if a drug company has tested the medication rigorously and finds it completely safe, you can be at risk for injury due to human error. Pharmacists are trained health care providers and have a duty to exercise reasonable care. When another professional would have acted differently in the same circumstances, a pharmacist may be guilty of negligence. Common forms of pharmacist negligence include:

  • Drugs that are mislabeled and dispensed to a patient erroneously.
  • A pharmaceutical assistant may fill the wrong prescriptions—which can look similar but perform completely different functions—and cause an injury.
  • A pharmacist may dispense a medication that contains potential allergens to a patient with known allergies.
  • A pharmacist may fill the correct prescription, but at the wrong dose.

There are numerous ways a medical professional can commit pharmaceutical negligence. If you think a medication has injured you, an experienced attorney can help. Talk to a member of our compassionate legal team today by taking advantage of our free initial consultation. We will help you decide on your next steps and get recourse from the parties responsible for your injuries. Do not pay for someone else’s negligence—get in touch with us today. You only pay if we win.

Posted by admin at 10:10 pm

How Do You Prove that Another Driver’s Negligence Caused You to Do Something that Resulted in an Accident?

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Countless cases – whether they’re settled out of court or go before a jury – hinge on proving negligence. In some situations, even a driver who hit another vehicle may have done so only because of a third party’s neglect. For instance, a person driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol may indirectly cause an accident. That individual, however, may be found fully accountable for all subsequent damages.

As an example, you may be driving on a highway when a person using a cell phone cuts you off. You slam on the brakes, a car rear-ends you, and a pileup ensues. Who is responsible – you, the driver who hit you, or the person who cut you off? Obviously, things can get complicated in such incidents. Working with a qualified legal team to uncover any negligence that may have caused the collision is the first step in protecting your rights against this type of accident.

Proving Negligence in Texas

Negligence can affect any personal injury in Texas, not only those on our freeways. For instance, if you meet with a legal team to discuss a slip and fall, they will pore over any details you provide. Were the grounds well maintained? Was the business you were visiting open and well staffed? Were there any spills, and did the manager take a reasonable degree of action to fix the problem? Proving these details, potentially before a jury, takes countless hours of hard work and dedication. If you’re injured, do your best to keep track of the following details. This will help you prove neglect in Texas:

  • A detailed, consistent account of the accident. Documentation is critically important, but so is consistency. As soon as you get the chance, write down what happened so you can remember it in the future. Inconsistency may affect your credibility, especially if the defendant has his or her own evidence.
  • Pictures of the scene. Photographs will absolutely help your case. In the case of a slip and fall, a spill or crack in the sidewalk can be incriminating. This can streamline the entire process, so if you’re able, take pictures of the scene or have someone do it for you.
  • Witness information. Eyewitness accounts are also critical. As your attorney and insurance company (as well as the defendant’s) work to understand what happened, external perspectives may prove invaluable.
  • The physician’s diagnosis. Whether or not you’re injured, consider checking in with a doctor if you suspect neglect. This is even more important if you have any kind of pain or discomfort. These issues may develop over time, and you might need to rely on a professional’s diagnosis to link your pain and suffering to the incident.
  • All related expenses and damages. Keep your receipts, all medical bills, and any other documents (e.g., bank statements) connecting costs to the accident.

Don’t Overlook the Importance of Working with an Experienced Dallas Attorney

Your Texas attorney will explore the defendant’s legal obligations to provide a safe environment for the plaintiff, whether that duty was breached or not, and what caused the incident – which can be a direct or indirect action or no action at all. Finally, he or she will assess the damage, accounting for all long-term issues that may play into your settlement. This could include physical therapy costs, job rehabilitation programs, loss of consortium, and more.

There are hundreds of details that can be the difference between a fair amount that pays for all damages over the course of your life and an insulting settlement lets the responsible party off the hook. Don’t fall for the latter. Speak with an attorney at Aaron Herbert for more information, and trust your claim to us. We’ll explore every possible factor that may have contributed to your injury, and we won’t rest until a fair settlement is awarded.

Posted by admin at 10:55 pm

What are Common Problems Survivors of Catastrophic Accidents Experience?

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Negligence is a common factor that contributes to catastrophic accidents – whether a person drove while using a cell phone, drank on the job, or failed to maintain his or her property. When this happens, the party who caused the damage can be taken to court and sued for outstanding expenses. However, Texas law also accounts for extenuating circumstances, such as loss of companionship or the inability to continue pursuing a career.

The following is a brief overview of the common problems survivors of catastrophic accidents face. If you have more questions or concerns about an injury you have received, contact an experienced legal professional in your area for more information.

  • Long-term physical damage. Catastrophic accidents often lead to paralysis, loss of limbs, severe brain damage, and other complications. For example, internal injuries may require special equipment to keep a person alive or functioning.
  • Long-term recovery. Coupled with physical damage, these victims often must relearn motor skills, such as walking, balancing, or speaking. Additional equipment, such as walking apparatuses or speech assistance devices, is often required.
  • Ongoing medical bills. The initial emergency room bill and related surgeries are likely the steepest charges victims ever face. Sadly, that is just the beginning. Continuing doctor’s visits, physical therapists, and live-in care commonly follow catastrophic accidents – and these are not one-time payments.
  • Loss of consortium. The physical consequences of these actions are apparent, but they affect more than just the victim. A settlement should account for losing the intimate relationship you enjoyed with a spouse or the ability to interact with your child.
  • The inability to return to work. Devastating accidents often keep a person from returning to his or her line of work or pursuing a career goal. Athletes, for example, may never play sports professionally again. Courts account for these types of long-term damages, and it is important to work with an experienced attorney to ensure these areas are considered.
  • Home modifications. Hand controls, bathroom modifications, ramps, machines to facilitate access to a bed, and vehicle modifications may be required to return at least some independence to these victims’ lives.
  • Emotional and psychological consequences. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a frequent result of a debilitating accident. Depression, suicidal thoughts, and other mental and emotional consequences may accompany a catastrophe.

The Common Causes of Catastrophic Accidents

A person may encounter a variety of accidents, but most will not warrant a consultation with a lawyer. However, if you or a loved one is hurt in one of the following types of accidents, it is important to seek medical attention and schedule a consultation with a local law firm.

  • Trucking accidents. The trucking industry is tightly regulated, but thousands of fatal accidents still occur on our highways every year. Teamsters and the companies that employ them must diligently track their working hours, truck maintenance, miles traveled, and more. Overlooking or ignoring these details can lead to major damages.
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is markedly dangerous. If you are involved with a drunk-driver collision, seek physical and legal help as soon as possible.
  • Workplace accidents. Many workers’ compensation claims are for minor aches and pains, but professional accidents can also be fatal. This is especially true for those in the construction, oil, and logging industries.

Partner with the Right Attorney in Texas to Protect Your Long-Term Care

Catastrophic cases are legally complex by their nature. Several negligent parties may be responsible, from a shift manager to his or her employer, a product manufacturer, or the distributer. This is further complicated when several insurers enter the mix. Victims of major accidents are routinely offered settlements, but failing to scrutinize the terms of these agreements can leave victims with expensive bills that accrue over their lifetime – which the person or organization responsible for the damages does not pay.

Work with a Dallas, Texas, attorney specializing in personal injury law for more information. The team at Aaron Herbert is ready to represent your claim, so contact us for a consultation. We get to the bottom of who is at fault for harming our clients, and we tirelessly explore the full extent of how catastrophic accidents affect these victims over the course of their lives.

Posted by admin at 10:50 pm