DRUNK DRIVING DOWN, WHILE DRUGGED DRIVING RATES INCREASE

As drugged driving rates across the country increase, the federal administration finds itself facing new safety challenges. While people have begun to realize and understand very well the dangers of drunk driving, they do not seem to be taking so seriously the dangers of driving while stoned, or even after taking prescription drugs.

The growing prevalence of lifestyle diseases like diabetes, or heart disease means that a number of Americans are now on medications for several conditions. Elderly persons may be on more than one medication. Medications like antidepressants, anti-hypertension drugs and even over-the-counter medications for cough and cold can increase your risk of drugged driving.

Many common medications can cause drivers to become dangerously drowsy. Vicodin, Demerol, Dolophine, and Oxycontin are particularly likely to impair your driving skills. These drugs can slow thought processes, reflexes, and reaction times, so driving or operating machinery while using them should always be avoided. Never, ever combine legal prescription drugs with illicit street drugs or alcohol. Always thoroughly read the warning labels on any medication you take. If you drive while under the influence of any drug that impairs your driving skills, you not only risk injury to yourself and others and becoming the target of a personal injury suit, but you could also be charged with DUI. Especially if someone is injured, you’ll be fined and face the possibility of going to jail. Even over-the-counter medications can have deadly consequences if you take them and get behind the wheel.

Driving under the influence of marijuana is another serious threat facing today’s motorists. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that the number of drivers driving with alcohol in their system has dropped by nearly 1/3rd since 2007, and by 75 percent since 1973. This is a significant decline. However, over the same period of time, there has been a significant increase in the number of motorists driving under the influence of marijuana or other drugs. In 2004, for instance, as many as one in four motorists in accidents were found with traces of drugs in their system. In all these cases, the drugs were those that could affect a person’s ability to drive safely on the streets.

Can I File an Accident Claim Based on the Other Motorist’s Drugged Driving?

Proving that the other motorist in your accident was under the influence of marijuana at the time, could be more challenging than proving that he was under the influence of alcohol, but it is not impossible. This is because testing for marijuana is still tricky, partly due to the fact that marijuana can continue to remain in the system for days after the drug is ingested

Speak to a Palm Beach car accident attorney about your legal options for compensation after an accident with a drugged driver, even if that driver was just taking legal prescription medications. An attorney will help you identify liable parties in your claim. Call a Palm Beach car accident attorney today to discuss how you can begin filing a claim.

WHAT YOU NEED TO CONSIDER WHEN FILING BRAIN INJURY CLAIM

The long-term consequences of traumatic brain injury can severely impair a person’s ability to live a normal life. For instance, a person who has suffered even a moderate brain injury, may suffer from loss of concentration, lowered cognitive abilities, and memory loss that can make it difficult for him to go back to work and earn a living.

That is especially true if the person was working in a job that required a certain level of mental faculty, or cognitive skills. Even if the person was working in a blue-collar job that required him to perform manual work, a brain injury can impair his ability to take safety precautions, or coordinate his body movements.

All of that means substantial financial expense in the years after a traumatic brain injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, traumatic brain injury is also linked to the development of epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other conditions. Other studies have linked brain injury to a much higher risk of suicide, and higher criminal tendencies. Brain functioning is significantly impacted when it suffers trauma, and that impaired functioning can continue to affect the person for years after the person has seemingly recovered from a brain injury.

All of these factors are the reason why you must be very careful when you outline all the expenses in your claim. Your Palm Beach personal injury lawyer must include not just your immediate medical expenses like hospitalization costs, physical therapy and rehabilitation expenses but also long-term medical costs as a result of your injury. You may require additional surgery in the future, or rehabilitation that takes years. You may never be able to return to the job that you had before, leading to a significant loss in your income. All of these financial expenses must be included in your claim to prevent financial disaster years down the line. If you have suffered a brain injury, speak to a Palm Beach personal injury lawyer about filing a claim that includes all damages.

Brain Injuries at Birth

If your child suffered an injury during the birthing process, and if you believe or know that negligence was the cause of that injury, speak at once to a good medical malpractice lawyer. The day of your child’s birth should be the most joyful day in any parent’s life, and it usually is. But when complications lead to injuries, a joyful day can quickly turn tragic. Birth injuries are often permanent and frequently disabling. When a birth injury is the result of medical malpractice because of negligence, parents have a legal right to be compensated for the ongoing care and treatment of their child. In south Florida, parents can exercise that right by filing a malpractice claim with the help of an experienced Palm Beach medical malpractice attorney.

A malpractice claim in a birth injury case will only prevail if you and your lawyer can prove that someone’s negligence led directly to the birth injury. When a healthcare professional performs below the minimal standard of care established by the medical community, and an injury is the direct result, that’s malpractice. In birth injury cases, medical negligence can include but is not limited to:

  • Taking too long to order a Caesarian section
  • Improper vacuum use
  • Improper forceps use
  • Hypoxia (when the child’s brain is not receiving sufficient oxygen)
  • Improper use of the labor-inducing drug Pitocin
  • Insufficient pre-natal testing

Most brain injuries that occur at birth could are preventable; malpractice or negligence is almost always the cause. Brain injury cases can be complicated and difficult; they often require a number of thorough medical examinations and a lengthy trial. In south Florida, hiring an experienced Palm Beach medical malpractice attorney is the wisest way to win justice and the compensation that your family and child deserve; nothing is more important than our children.

In the standard birthing process, a fetal heart monitor measures the mother’s and child’s heart rates. It informs the doctor and those assisting if the child is experiencing oxygen deprivation, and it allows them to take appropriate measures. If the doctor and those assisting fail to heed the heart monitor’s warnings signals, brain injury is probable. When a newborn baby sustains a brain injury at birth due to the negligence of a medical professional, the injury can be serious, permanent, and emotionally devastating. Insufficient oxygen at any stage in the birthing process is the leading cause of these disastrous brain injuries. Inadequate oxygen during birth leads to hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), a condition that may damage the lungs, heart, and kidneys. HIE can also lead to seizures and metabolic acidosis. The most extreme cases are fatalities, but HIE more commonly causes cerebral palsy, a central motor dysfunction that can permanently impair posture, muscle coordination, and movement.

If your child has been injured at birth, speak as quickly as possible to a good medical malpractice lawyer who will work with neurological and insurance experts to assure that your child’s medical expenses are covered now and in the future. A good medical malpractice attorney will also outline your legal alternatives and guide you through the process of winning justice and compensation for your injured child and your family. Your child deserves the very best. In south Florida, if you are the parent of a child injured at birth – currently or in the future – speak at once with an experienced Palm Beach personal injury attorney.

It’s More Than Physical

When someone suffers a physical injury because another person was negligent – a drunk driver or a malpracticing doctor, for example – the injured victim is legally entitled to recover compensation for his or her medical treatment, time lost from work, and other injury-related expenses. Anxieties and fears – and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – are also considered injuries, and a physically injured victim can often recover damages for these emotional injuries too. But when you are in an accident and your only injuries are psychological and emotional, it can be much more difficult for your personal injury claim to succeed. That’s why, if you’re suffering emotionally after an accident in south Florida, it’s imperative to seek legal counsel immediately from an experienced Palm Beach personal injury attorney.

SAFE COMMUNITIES AND YOU

The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that some 28 million accidental injuries occur across the country every year. The high number of accidents and the preventable nature of many of these accidents led the National Safety Council to create the Safe Communities America program. More than 70 percent of all fatalities caused by accidental injuries in the United States, according to the NSC, happen in our homes and communities. This means that they often happen under circumstances that we can influence and in scenarios that we may be able to help prevent. In south Florida, if you are injured in your home, community, or anywhere else by the negligence of another person, you may be able to obtain compensation for medical treatment and related expenses by filing a personal injury claim with the help of an experienced West Palm Beach personal injury attorney. The leading causes of accidental deaths in homes and communities include:

  • poisonings (including medication-related injuries)
  • falls
  • choking
  • drowning
  • fire and smoke

The Safe Communities America program works with local communities to prevent these kinds of tragic accidents by providing communities with the experience, technical support, and infrastructure needed to develop prevention strategies. How does it work? The NSC analyzes data to identify the leading causes of injuries and death in the community and then formulates a plan to prevent them from occurring again. After the plan is put in place, the NSC will monitor its success and make adjustments along the way as needed. Communities with the NSC’s Safe Communities Program find that residents come together and form strong relationships as they bond over their desire to create a safer place to live.

The NSC even provides funding. Local fire departments and law enforcement agencies are involved as well as private business owners and the people who live and work in these areas. So far, only 23 NSC-certified “Safe Communities” are operating in the United States, and none are in south Florida. One Midwestern community that participated in this program was able to reduce prescription drug overdoses that had been plaguing the area. The program also educated residents about the dangers of prescription drug use and led to 4.5 tons of unused medications being collected in drop boxes for disposal. This is just one example of many that shows how effective the Safe Communities America program can truly be.

Nevertheless, south Florida communities can be safer if everyone simply pulls his or her fair share. Obey the rules for safe driving and have your tires, lights, and brakes routinely maintained. If you see a dangerous situation in a public location, report it to the appropriate authority. Sometimes a community has to organize for safety – to have a stop sign installed or a lifeguard hired. If you’re able to take a leadership role in community safety – even if it’s just on your block or in your apartment building, do it. And if you’re injured – despite your safety efforts – by someone else’s negligence, contact an experienced West Palm Beach personal injury attorney at once.