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Ocala Personal Injury Blog

When having a baby becomes a high-risk situation

If you're one of many Florida women who are currently expecting a baby or have recently given birth, you have every right to be proud of yourself for making it through roughly nine months of pregnancy. Whether this is your first child or you have gone through similar experiences many times in the past, it's definitely true that no two pregnancies are the same. What is problematic for one woman may be a non-issue in your case, such as fluid retention or weight gain.

However, there are certain issues that are signs of maternal or fetal distress that the average doctor who is well versed in obstetrics is able to recognize and, if noticed, should prompt him or her to take immediate steps to rectify the situation to keep you and your child as safe as possible. If your doctor fails to do so, yours or baby's life may be at risk. If a birth injury occurs due to medical negligence, Florida law allows you to seek justice in a civil court.

Which days of the week are most dangerous for Florida travelers?

When you get behind the wheel to drive to work, to the store or to take your kids to school, how much thought do you give to the day of the week in relation to your risk for collision? If you answered, "None at all," you are likely not alone in your opinion. Most people don't realize that many researchers believe there are certain times when it is more dangerous to drive than others, for various reasons.

Regardless what time of the day, week or year it is, if another driver hits you and you suffer injury, you'll want to seek immediate medical attention. During your recovery, you may also want to learn more about how to file a personal injury claim, especially if the person who hit you was negligent, reckless or impaired in some way.

"Never events" can devastate patient health

"Never event" is a term that is used to describe medical errors so shocking that they should never occur to Florida patients. It was originally coined to describe events like surgery on the wrong location, but has since been expanded to involve harmful medical events that are unambiguous, serious and typically preventable. In most cases, these are clearly identifiable mistakes that result in serious disabilities or even death. There are 29 different types of never events officially classified in seven categories.

These include surgery on the wrong body part or patient, leaving a foreign object inside a patient, death or injury caused by contaminated items, serious aftereffects of a patient disappearance, severe medication errors or blood transfusion mistakes, health care ordered by someone impersonating a doctor and sexual assault of a patient. Most of these serious incidents are quite rare. In one study conducted in 2006, hospitals were found to have a wrong-site surgery performed once every five to 10 years. However, when these incidents do occur, they are catastrophic; 71 percent of never events reported over the last 12 years were fatal. And while they are uncommon at any given health care facility, the numbers add up. One study estimated that 4,000 surgical never events happen every year in the United States.

Woman's death on subway stairs highlights inaccessibility issue

Florida parents who have struggled on stairways with strollers may have heard about a mother who died after falling down the stairs in a New York City subway station. She was attempting to take her stroller down the stairs in a station without an elevator. The child was found conscious.

The woman's death highlighted an accessibility problem in New York City's subway system. Only about 25 percent of the 472 subway stations throughout the city have elevators, and of those that do, they are often not in service. This causes difficulties not just for parents and people in wheelchairs or with walkers but for also for people with luggage or simply those who may be unsteady on their feet.

Study finds drivers texting, emailing more

Drivers in Florida and across the U.S. are using their cell phones to text and send emails more frequently than they did a few years ago, according to a new study. The study, which was released on Jan. 24, was conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

In order to obtain the findings, IIHS researchers compared observational surveys conducted in 2014 and 2018. The surveys monitored the cell phone activities of drivers stopped at red lights in four different cities in Northern Virginia. The researchers found that drivers who were observed in the 2018 survey were 57 percent more likely to use their cell phones to text, email or complete other activities that required manipulating their device than drivers who were observed in 2014. However, the 2018 drivers were less likely than their 2014 counterparts to use their cell phones to make a call. The study didn't find evidence that distracted driving incidents increased between the 2014 and 2018 surveys.

How to avoid driving while not fully awake

For some Florida residents, it may be impossible to avoid driving while drowsy. However, there are steps that people can take to avoid operating a motor vehicle while tired. If there is a passenger in the vehicle, that person could take over driving duties while the original driver takes a nap. A passenger may also be able to tell a driver if he or she is displaying symptoms of drowsy driving.

This can be ideal because drivers often don't notice that they are started to get tired. However, many commuters don't get the chance to ride with a passenger. Those who are driving on their own can pull over to the shoulder or find a rest stop to take a quick nap. Naps should be no longer than 20 minutes, and it can take a few minutes to become fully alert after waking up. On long road trips, individuals should plan to stop and rest every two hours.

Hurt in grocery store? You have options

When you go to the grocery store, you are probably not thinking about the various risks involved with that simple errand. You expect to come home with what you need to make dinner, and not necessarily an injury from an unexpected accident. In reality, however, people suffer injuries in grocery store accidents all the time. 

If you got more than you planned for when you visited a Florida grocery store, you have options. It is possible that you are a victim of preventable hazards, and you could have a case. Like victims of other types of premise liability cases, victims of grocery store accidents may have grounds to move forward in pursuit of financial compensation through a civil claim.

How doctors can reduce the risk for medication errors

Doctors in Florida, especially those who frequently prescribe painkillers and antibiotics, should know that medication errors are a common hazard. According to FDA estimates, 1.3 million people in the U.S. are injured every year as a result of medication errors. These mistakes can arise in the prescription, dispensing or administration stage, or they can be errors in the administration records.

There are some basic protocols to limiting liability. For instance, specialists who can prescribe painkillers (such as oral surgeons and podiatrists) should beware of patients obtaining drugs from multiple sources. The state has an online database tracking all controlled substance prescriptions; doctors can refer to this.

Surgeons under stress make more mistakes

Even brief periods of stress over trivial matters can have an effect on a Florida surgeon's performance in the operating room. The findings of a new Columbia University study show the negative effects that stress can have on doctors during surgery. Researchers found that when surgeons are under stress, they are much more likely to make mistakes.

The study was conducted by having a surgeon wear a "smart shirt," a high-tech device that monitors heart rate and electrical impulses from the heart. This shirt was worn under the scrubs of a doctor while he performed 25 different operations, most of which were gastric bypass surgeries. By monitoring the length between heartbeats, the researchers determined when the surgeon was experiencing periods of increased stress.

Contract workers face electrocution risks in construction

Florida construction workers may be worried about their safety on the job, especially if they work as contractors rather than employees of the construction firm leading the project. This is particularly true for workers dealing with electricity. One study by the National Fire Protection Association found that 13 percent of all deaths by electrocution were suffered by contract workers. Contract workers are employed by another firm but brought in to participate in a project as subcontractors, or they operate as self-employed independent contractors. Contract workers have always been a part of the construction industry, but their employment in this area has become more common in recent years.

The study found that 8 percent of all contract workers killed in workplace accidents lost their lives to electrocution. Of them, 68 percent were involved in the construction or extraction injuries. Thirty percent of these deaths took place on a construction site, but construction workers were also injured elsewhere. Construction trade workers comprised 57 percent of the fatalities with electricians at 31 percent, construction laborers at 11 percent and roofers and supervisors each at 5 percent.

  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Florida Justice Association
  • The Florida Bar 1950
  • Florida Workers' Advocates
  • Florida Trends Florida Legal Elite
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Musleh Law Firm
907 SE 3rd Avenue
Ocala, FL 34471

Phone: 352-484-0134
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