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Biloxi Personal Injury Law Blog

Advice for safely and legally maneuvering a roundabout

Until fairly recently, most Americans hadn't encountered a roundabout unless they traveled abroad. For most people, the first experience at a roundabout doesn't go as badly as it did for Clark Griswold in the movie National Lampoon's European Vacation when he circled a London roundabout for hours -- unable to figure out how to get out. However, it can be a confusing and even frightening experience -- in any country.

Roundabouts are becoming more common in the U.S. They can be found throughout the country -- and Mississippi has a number of them. Since they keep traffic flowing continuously, they reduce the need for stopping, which minimizes gasoline use and the number of traffic lights and signs. According to an official with the Mississippi Department of Transportation, "Studies have shown that roundabouts can reduce overall collisions by 37 percent and can reduce fatality collisions by 90 percent."

What common medication errors still need to be remedied?

Medication errors can be harmful and even deadly. Hospitals and other health care facilities have safeguards to help prevent them. So do pharmacies. However, people are human. They get rushed or tired and sometimes don't pay as much attention to the medications they're dispensing or administering as they should.

A highly publicized case just over a dozen years ago provides an example of how easily deadly errors can occur. It involved the twin newborn babies of actor Dennis Quaid and his wife. Not long after the babies were born, they developed staph infections. Because they were receiving antibiotics intravenously, the nurse at the hospital gave them heparin to help prevent blood clots.

Seeking justice for a murdered loved one in a wrongful death suit

People often think of wrongful death lawsuits as legal actions against people or entities whose negligence or reckless actions caused the death of a loved one. Maybe a doctor's malpractice or a faulty amusement park ride caused someone's fatal injury, for example. Drunk drivers are often taken to civil court for wrongful death claims as well.

However, wrongful death lawsuits can also be brought by family members against someone whom they believe murdered a loved one. Although the alleged killer would likely be charged and tried in criminal court, criminal trials don't always provide the outcome and justice sought by families. They sometimes turn to civil lawsuits to seek some sense of justice -- even if it means only being able to make the defendant pay monetarily.

Building your claim after a commercial truck accident

Commercial truck accidents can cause massive damage and injuries, making them some of the most dangerous accidents that commonly occur. If you recently experienced a truck accident, you may have serious injuries and significant property losses and may need to build a legal claim to protect your rights and seek fair compensation for your losses.

Building a claim after a truck accident is not always a simple process. In many cases, it is not clear which party caused the accident, even if you are not at fault. Commercial trucks involve many parties, including the driver, the owner of the truck, the party preparing and securing the truck's cargo, and potentially others. To build a strong claim that keeps you secure, it is important to gather as much evidence as you can as quickly as possible, to help determine who holds liability for your losses.

Was your child injured by an 'attractive nuisance?'

Kids don't necessarily understand or respect property boundaries -- particularly if there's something within that boundary that is tempting or interesting. In premises liability law, that's called an "attractive nuisance."

Whether something is considered an attractive nuisance by the courts is important if a child (or even a teen) is injured on property where they were technically trespassing. When a property owner has what's considered an attractive nuisance, they have a responsibility to take steps to protect people from becoming injured by it.

Staying safe on the road when you hit sun glare

For many drivers, the worst times of day to be behind the wheel are when the sun is rising and setting. Having the sun in your eyeline can be blinding, even with sunglasses. In fact, when the sun is too low for the visor to block it out, a driver may experience temporary blindness. They may be unable to see vehicles around them or signals, signs and intersections ahead of them.

It's not known precisely how many crashes are caused by sun glare here in the U.S. However, the Automobile Association (AA) in the United Kingdom estimates that more than 2,900 crashes every year on their roads are caused by glare.

How will a new law aimed at the VA help protect other patients?

In a rare show of bipartisanship, the U.S. Senate voted unanimously to pass the Department of Veterans Affairs Provider Accountability Act. The proposed law would prohibit the VA from "enter[ing] into a settlement agreement relating to an adverse action" that would "conceal a serious medical error or a lapse in generally-accepted standards of clinical practice." It would also require the department to report these disciplinary actions to state licensing boards as well as the National Practitioner Data Bank.

The bill's passage comes two years after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that VA officials often delayed investigations into complaints about employees at its medical facilities -- or failed to investigate them at all. According to the GAO's report, these officials wouldn't report instances in which they disciplined a doctor or even revoked their privileges to the appropriate state and federal entities. Doctors could resign from a VA facility to avoid what's called an "adverse privileging action" and go on to practice at a non-VA hospital where they were placing other patients in danger.

When can you sue a plastic surgeon for malpractice?

Many people choose to have cosmetic surgery over the holidays when they can take a couple of weeks off to heal. The rate of noninvasive cosmetic procedures also rises over the holidays because people want to look their best at gatherings of family and friends who haven't seen them for a while.

Not everyone is pleased with the results of their surgery. Some patients realize afterward that in trying not to look like they'd had "work done," they were too conservative in their requests. For others, the results may be too stark.

Multiple medications increase the chances of harmful interactions

One reason people are living longer than ever is that medications are available to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and a host of other conditions that killed many of our ancestors before they reached what we now consider the "senior years."

That's the good news. The bad news is that by taking multiple prescription meds, the chances of an adverse and possibly dangerous interaction increase. About a third of all adults take at least five medications.

The surprising similarity between drunk and distracted drivers

For decades, law enforcement organizations and civilian groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving worked tirelessly to educate the public about the risks of driving while under the influence of alcohol. These efforts were quite successful at ensuring that people know the risks involved with impaired driving.

In the last decade, that push for awareness related to crashes has focused more on distracted driving than on drunk driving. Specifically, lawmakers, police organizations and even citizens' groups have wanted to draw public attention to the serious, statistically relevant risks associated with texting and driving simultaneously.

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