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Biloxi Personal Injury Law Blog

Why proper diagnosis of minor strokes is important

Strokes are the leading cause of serious, long-term disability and the third leading cause of death in this country. People who are fortunate enough to survive a stroke are often left paralyzed -- typically on one side of their body. Many stroke survivors' ability to speak is impaired.

The prognosis for recovery of motor skills and speech often depends on how long the brain was deprived of oxygenated blood after the stroke. Immediate diagnosis and medical care are vital to survival and recovery after a stroke.

What is 'informed consent?'

As patients, it's ultimately our responsibility to make the decision about whether or how a medical condition will be treated. However, we have to be able to give "informed consent." That's where the doctor's responsibility comes in.

Doctors are obligated to give their patients thorough and honest information about their condition as well as their treatment options, any potential risks that these treatments carry and the prognosis with and without treatment. They're required to provide this information in language that patients can understand.

Pedestrian safety tips to keep you safe around Biloxi casinos

People come from all over to enjoy the nightlife and gambling opportunities that Biloxi offers. Whether you are a local resident blowing off some steam at the casino or a tourist from out of state, it's important that you take steps to protect yourself from the potential accidents and injuries an entertainment district creates.

With popular attractions come increased traffic levels, plenty of alcohol flowing and the ongoing risk of pedestrian crashes caused by motor vehicles. Those who visit the Biloxi casinos often make the smart choice of not getting behind the wheel after drinking. Those same people may want to consider learning special pedestrian safety tips to reduce the risk of an accident.

Tips for dealing with anxiety about driving after a crash

If you were involved in a car accident, particularly if you or a loved one suffered injuries, you may be anxious about getting behind the wheel again. Even if the accident wasn't your fault, you may be fearful of driving.

If you are, you're not alone. Mental health professionals say that these feelings are normal. One psychologist notes that they usually subside within a month of the accident. However, getting behind the wheel again for the first time after your crash (particularly if you haven't driven for a weeks or months because of your injuries) can be a daunting thing to do.

You can lessen the chances of being hit by a wrong-way driver

It's every driver's worst nightmare: encountering a vehicle driving the wrong way towards you. Fortunately, wrong-way crashes aren't very common. They account for only about 3% of all accidents. However, they are more likely to be fatal than any other type of crash. They result in about 350 fatalities annually, according to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Wrong-way drivers are often under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Some are simply confused. They may not know an area well and accidentally get on a road that they don't realize is one-way a lane designated for traffic traveling in the opposite direction.

When can homeowners be held liable for Halloween injuries?

For some people, Halloween is a chance to go all out with decorations, costumes and scary pranks. When they get a little too caught up in making their home a Halloween adventure for trick-or-treaters, serious injuries can occur. Homeowners can also be held liable for them, no matter how well-meaning they might have been.

If a homeowner turns their porch light on Halloween night, they're typically assumed to be welcoming trick-or-treaters on to their property. Since these trick-or-treaters (and their parents or other escorts) are considered to be invited, the homeowner is responsible for taking reasonable care to prevent injury to them. Even without outside lights on, a homeowner might have a difficult time proving that kids walking across their front yard on Halloween were trespassing.

What do patients experience during 'anesthetic awareness?'

One of the many fears that patients have before surgery is that the anesthesia might wear off too soon, and they'll wake up during the procedure. The phenomenon of "anesthetic awareness" is relatively rare (although exact numbers vary widely depending on which study you look at). Not surprisingly, it's more common in surgeries where smaller amounts of anesthesia are used -- such as in emergency C-sections.

It's also not what people might expect -- that you wake up to the excruciating pain of feeling your body opened up. However, it can be highly traumatic -- and that trauma can remain with a person long after the event is over. Victims of anesthetic awareness report some combination of choking, hallucinations, pain, paralysis and even near-death experiences.

Things to watch for at the scene of a car crash

For many people, their immediate reaction after a motor vehicle collision is to inspect themselves and their passengers for obvious signs of injury. While this is typically an intelligent approach to take, assessing yourself for wounds or signs of trauma is not the only thing that you need to do.

You should also try to turn a skeptical eye on the other driver or drivers involved in the crash to determine if any of a number of common factors played a role in your crash. If you notice any of the following behaviors, you should absolutely try to document it, point out to other witnesses and discuss it with law enforcement officers when making an official report of the collision.

Why not having a name at birth can be dangerous in a hospital

Babies who are twins, triplets and quadruplets sometimes have to spend time in the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) because they are underweight or have other health issues. If they're born prematurely, their parents may not have chosen names for them yet. In some religions, such as Judaism, parents don't announce a child's name for a specific period after they're born.

A study conducted at six NICUs in New York, however, indicated that infants who are part of multiple births are more likely to receive medication, treatment or tests intended for another baby -- specifically, one of their siblings. The more siblings there were, the more likely they are to be the victim of what's known as a patient order error.

Lawsuit for fatal Mississippi charter bus crash moves forward

When people take a charter bus, whether on an extended tour or a day trip, they're placing their lives in the hands of a bus company and driver they may know little or nothing about. Unfortunately, one of those trips ended in tragedy last November here in Mississippi. The Teague VIP Express bus was taking a group to a Mississippi casino when it crashed on an icy section of Interstate 269 in Desoto County.

An attorney who is representing six survivors asserts that both the driver and the bus company are at fault. He says, "The driver was on her cellphone, was traveling at an excess speed for the conditions. The throttle was over 70% going through an icy bridge, and the pre-trip inspection did not reveal the tires were improperly inflated."

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Hornsby Watts, PLLC
1025 Howard Avenue
Biloxi, MS 39530

Telephone: 228-207-2990
Fax: 866-271-4393
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