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Pottsville PA Personal Injury Law Blog

Invasion of privacy may rise to level of medical malpractice

When one thinks of a medical malpractice case, incidents such as surgical errors, failures to diagnose an illness, or secondary infections may come to mind. In Pennsylvania, as elsewhere, medical professionals are not only supposed to do their jobs correctly, they are also held to a higher standard of conduct. As it turns out, falling below such standards may constitute also medical malpractice.

A recently-filed case illuminates how patient dignity is something that should also be protected during a health care experience. And violating such dignity can land medical professionals in hot water. A former employee of a Pennsylvania hospital underwent surgery at the facility where she had worked. Before the procedure, the patient participated - with other employees - in a practical joke on the surgeon.

Pennsylvania text ban does not protect against distracted drivers

Our state bans texting while driving. But, it fails to account for the many other kinds of distracted driving that can cause a car accident. This means that motorists cannot rely on law enforcement to keep distracted drivers off the road. Instead, they must drive defensively and if an accident does occur, seek a legal remedy.

The state's texting ban is really no more than that: it is illegal to use an electronic device to write, read or send a text, instant message or email while operating a vehicle. But, it is not illegal to look up a phone contact, dial a number, stare at GPS or engage in any of the many other activities. The law is also difficult for law officers to enforce because a driver who was writing a text could simply say they were dialing the phone. Furthermore, the law does not require a driver to show an officer their phone.

Sometimes a lawyer is 'just what the doctor ordered'

In Pennsylvania, when you visit a hospital or doctor's office, or move a loved one into a care facility, you expect to be treated with the utmost care and professionalism. And in the vast majority of cases, you receive the care you expect. Unfortunately, however, mistakes happen, as do negligent or deliberate acts that result in harm or in some instances, death. At such times, you need the help of a seasoned medical negligence attorney.

Healthcare errors come in many forms. For example, surgical implements can be left inside a patient or you could experience a secondary infection from a hospital visit. During a stay in a hospital or other care facility, it's possible that prescription medications can be mixed up. Medications may also be given or prescribed in the wrong dosage - or in a harmful combination with other medications.

Holiday drunk driving can have devastating consequences

As in any other state, drunk drivers continue to pose a huge risk to other motorists in Pennsylvania. The holiday season, between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, and its attendant revelry, usually means that there are more intoxicated motorists on the road. Unfortunately, the results can be deadly.

For example, just before Christmas, a drunk driver -- who was also driving without a license -- killed another motorist. A passenger in the victim's car was injured. Three passengers, including two children, who were riding with the drunk driver were also injured. Criminal charges were filed in the case, but that does not change the consequences of the driver's actions.

What's the time limit for a medical negligence-caused death case?

A recent opinion from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court clarified the statute of limitations - the time limit for filing a lawsuit - in cases where a person dies because of medical negligence. Justice Sallie Mundy wrote the opinion in the case of Dubose v. Quinlan. Although the two-year statute of limitations remains the same, when it begins to run was the crux of the opinion. It now begins to run from the time of death.

Previously, in fatal cases of medical malpractice, the limitations period began to run at the time of the injury that caused the death. This is the norm in personal injury cases. The court found that applying this standard to medical negligence death cases was inappropriate.

Truck accidents underscore potential for serious injuries

Commercial trucks can cause serious injuries when they are involved in accidents. Their sheer size and weight may result in catastrophic damage to smaller vehicles, which in turn compromises the smaller vehicle's ability to protect its occupants. The damage can be even more extensive when a negligent driver is involved.

The danger of truck accidents was underscored in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, when two tractor-trailers were involved in a crash with two smaller vehicles. The midday crash occurred in Dickinson Township. It stopped traffic and closed Interstate 81 for two hours. Occupants of the smaller vehicles were both injured, one critically. Meanwhile, the drivers of the tractor trailers were unharmed. Later the same day, a fatal accident occurred on the same stretch of road.

Health care warranties: compensation for medical negligence?

When medical professionals are negligent or make mistakes, patients and insurers are usually the ones who have to foot the bill. This is different from most other industries where a provider is expected to make good on a faulty service or product. If a person paid a plumber to fix a leaky pipe that continued to leak, that person wouldn't expect to pay the plumber again to fix what was already supposed to have been repaired. Not so in the health care sector.

Patients who leave the hospital with an infection and return, or who must have multiple procedures to fix a botched operation or to replace a faulty implant, are expected to pay their out-of-pocket contributions each time. With few exceptions, medical professionals do not offer warranties on their work. Central Pennsylvania's Geisinger Health System started offering warranties on certain procedures in 2006, but Geisinger is a rarity among health care providers.

What are hours of service requirements for truck drivers?

Road trips can be fun adventures for Pottsville residents who enjoy the open road and time behind the wheels of their vehicles. When they take off they may be fueled by the energy and excitement of a new journey. However, when they get tired their excitement may wane and they may decide to pull over for the night to catch some sleep and prepare for the next leg of their excursions.

Leisure drivers have the advantage of being able to set their own driving paces. Truck drivers, on the other hand, may be expected to keep to tight delivery schedules so that the products they haul make it to their destinations in time. For this reason some truck drivers make poor choices and operate their rigs long after they should have stopped and gotten some rest so that their driving is safe and under control.

Know your rights after suffering a vehicle accident

Thanksgiving and a slew of winter holidays are just around the corner. Pennsylvanians have arrived at the holiday season and along with more time off to enjoy celebrations with friends and family, many people will take to the roads to reach their loved ones for holiday get-togethers and vacations. While road trips may vary from across town to across several states, all individuals who travel by personal vehicle will experience the challenges that come from road travel during the late fall and winter.

Aside from potential hazards that the variable Pennsylvania weather may put in their paths, individuals may also encounter a slew of hazards created by the other motorists with whom they must share the roads. Drivers who speed, follow to closely, drive too aggressively or who otherwise fail to exercise reasonable care can cause dangerous accidents for individuals who simply want to reach their relatives before the holidays.

Fatalities from drunk driving accidents are unfortunately common

Drunk driving is a preventable evil that claims lives all across the country. Pennsylvanians carry the heavy burdens of suffering from these tragic traffic incidents as hundreds of individuals die on area roads each year due to the reckless conduct of intoxicated motorists. This post will discuss several sobering statistics about drunk driving in the state and the dangerous prevalence of drunk drivers on Pennsylvania roads.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4,663 people died in drunk driving vehicle accidents in Pennsylvania between 2003 and 2012. This works out to more than 460 people dying from drunk driving accidents each of the ten years in this figure, which is an average of more than one person every single day for ten straight years.

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