Archive for June, 2015

Do Seat Belts Really Save Lives?

June 25th, 2015 at 12:48 pm

seat belt safety, do seat belts really save lives, Westport Personal Injury AttorneyAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death for people between the ages of one and 54 in this country. Another 2 million people are injured in car accidents. However, study after study has proven that seat belts save lives.

When used correctly, seat belts cut down the number of car accident fatalities by 60 to 70 percent. Additionally, seat belts reduce how serious sustained injuries can be for car crash survivors.

Many injuries are caused when a person slams into parts of a vehicle’s interior during a crash, such as the steering wheel, dashboard, windshield, and doors upon crash impact. Moreover, fatal injuries can occur when victims are thrown from a vehicle in a crash because they were not wearing a seat belt. Wearing a seat belt, however, helps keep car occupants in place and may stop individuals from being ejected.

Yet, despite these studies, there are drivers and passengers who continue to refuse to buckle up. In 2012, more than half of the teenagers killed in crashes were not wearing seat belts.

The people most likely to not wear seat belts include the following:

  • Adult males between the ages of 18 and 34 — Males are 10 percent more likely not to wear a seat belt than females;
  • Adults who live in rural areas — Approximately 85 percent of adults who live in urban areas wear seat belts, compared to 78 percent of adults living in rural areas; and
  • States which have secondary or no enforcement laws — States which have primary enforcement laws have a higher rate of citizens who use seat belts than those which have secondary or no enforcement laws.

The state of Connecticut has a primary seat law—all drivers, front seat passengers, and back seat passengers between the ages of 4 and 16 must wear a seat belt. An adult, 18 years or older, who fails to buckle up can be fined $92.00 for a first offense. For drivers and passengers under the age of 18, the fine is $120.00.

Although it is important for all individuals to wear a seat belt while in a vehicle, unfortunately, seat belt use will not prevent all injuries from occurring. As long as there are negligent and unsafe drivers on the roads, vehicle occupants are all at risk. However, wearing a seat belt can make all the difference in whether or not a person survives a crash or becomes a statistic.

Speak with an Experienced Connecticut Car Accident Injury Attorney Today

If you or a loved one sustained serious injuries in a motor vehicle accident, please contact an experienced Westport personal injury attorney to see what legal compensation you may be entitled to for your pain and loss.

Traumatic Brain Injuries Often Trigger a Tsunami of Medical Bills

June 18th, 2015 at 11:01 am

traumatic brain injuries, Westport Personal Injury AttorneyOn June 7, 2014, actor and comedian Tracy Morgan was severely injured in a devastating accident while traveling with friends in a limousine bus along the New Jersey Turnpike. One man was killed and several other passengers were injured. Morgan suffered multiple injuries, with the most critical being a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Morgan sued for damages and recently settled his case.

Aside from being physically devastating, TBIs typically result in exorbitant medical bills, including extensive rehabilitation treatments. Moreover, in cases where people have been seriously injured, a financial payout is the only option available to best serve as a form of compensation for the injuries suffered.

Morgan’s case is just one high-profile example of an unfortunate and life altering accident and injury that can happen to anyone. Several types of accidents can result in head injuries, some severe enough to cause traumatic brain injury. Advances in medical technology have opened more doors for recovery, but this process comes with a hefty price tag that is not always covered by health insurance.

The costs are greatest with injuries that require long-term treatment and a rehabilitation period. Because more doctors are regarding the body and mind as fundamentally integrated, victims of TBI may require a large team of health care workers, including specialists. Specialized care can include physical, occupational, and recreational therapists, as well as speech pathologists, neurologists, psychiatrists, vocational counselors, and social workers.

For each specialist involved, the cost for care continues to rise. Depending on the severity, an individual could potentially spend one million dollars over the course of his or her rehabilitation. This amount comes in addition to medical costs for immediate treatment following an accident such as hospitalization and surgery.

If you or a family member has suffered a traumatic brain injury or other catastrophic injury, you may be entitled to compensation. Please contact Richard H. Raphael, Attorney at Law, an experienced Westport personal injury attorney, to discuss your case today.

Connecticut Patients Urged to Check Physician Malpractice Records

June 16th, 2015 at 7:00 am

physician malpractice records,  Westport Medical Malpractice AttorneyWhen engaging with the health care system and health care providers, it is important for patients to act as their own best advocates. In recent years, public advocacy groups have taken notice to the importance of Connecticut patients accessing available resources via the Connecticut Medical Board in regards to information concerning practicing physicians’ medical malpractice records.

The Connecticut Board of Medicine has long faced criticism that it is slow to revoke or even restrict medical licenses. In fact, Connecticut ranks in the bottom percentile of all 50 states and the District of Columbia when the effectiveness of the state medical board’s efforts in mandating disciplinary action against doctors is measured on a national scale.

A National Epidemic of Malpractice with Few Sanctions

A Public Citizens’ survey has found that nationally, on average, more than half of the doctors whose privileges were terminated or restricted by a hospital had failed to receive so much as a fine by the medical board in their practicing state. In terms of national rankings regarding state medical boards with the least number of restricted physicians due to medical practice per state, Connecticut ranked nearly last on the list.

Public Urged to Start Checking Their Physician’s Medical License

The Public Citizens group provides a national database for patients to access for determining what resources are available in their state for checking a physician’s medical malpractice record. Often, it is necessary for a patient to have a physician’s correct information because doctors can have similar names and misidentification can be an issue. Additionally, hospitals are known to change their names frequently. Also, physician data may be listed using a physician’s middle name, or it may be listed without it. All of these variables can result in patients receiving incorrect information—hence why it is essential for patients to check medical malpractice records.

Consult with an Experienced Connecticut Malpractice Attorney Today

If you or a family member has been the victim of medical malpractice in Connecticut, please contact an experienced Westport medical malpractice attorney today to review your case. We are proud to protect the rights of Connecticut patients and offer complimentary initial consultations. We look forward to speaking with you. Call and schedule your consultation today at 203-226-6168.

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