Archive for December, 2015

Serious Infections: Just a Surgical Risk or Medical Malpractice?

December 23rd, 2015 at 7:00 am

serious infections, medical malpractice, Westport Medical Malpractice LawyerOne of the most common complications to a surgery or other medical treatment is an infection. The news frequently broadcasts stories about new kinds of antibiotic resistant bacteria that pose a danger to patients.

If you have suffered a serious infection after being in the hospital or after a medical procedure, you need to understand your rights.

When an Infection May be More Than Just a Risk of a Procedure

Part of the standard “talk” doctors give their patients before performing a procedure or recommending surgery is a discussion of the risks involved. Every surgery and procedure carries different risks. However, one aspect that every surgery has in common, no matter how major or minor, is a risk of infection.

Generally, the law does not allow people to recover damages for injuries they received when they voluntarily accepted the risks. But, not every case of infection is just one of the risks of having surgery. Sometimes doctors or other medical professionals make mistakes and those mistakes may lead to infections.

Hospital Acquired Infections

Hospitals are increasingly the home to dangerous microbes, such as MRSA. These bacteria are tough to treat and can be devastating to patients trying to recover from a serious illness or surgery. These so-called superbugs are examples of hospital acquired infections and are infections you get because you were in the hospital.

Hospitals, clinics, and the medical professionals who work there have a duty to follow sterilization protocols and to protect patients from getting exposed unnecessarily to bacteria.

Time Limits and Having Your Case Evaluated

If you suffered from an infection, like MRSA, after a surgical or other medical procedure, you may have been the victim of medical malpractice. You will need to have your case carefully reviewed by a lawyer knowledgeable in medical malpractice. Your own medical records may have clues about why you were infected. Under Connecticut law, you may only have two years to bring a medical malpractice claim. Because these cases are complicated and take a lot of investigation and preparation, time is of the essence.

If you or your loved one has suffered a serious post-procedure infection, you need to speak with an experienced Westport medical malpractice lawyer right away. Call Richard H. Raphael, Attorney at Law, at 203-226-6168 to schedule a consultation today. You may only have a short period of time to protect your rights.


December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

December 16th, 2015 at 7:00 am

impaired driving prevention, Westport Wrongful Death Attorney, holiday drinkingThe month of December is known for holiday festivities. Families, friends, and even workplace parties fill up many of our weekends. With that in mind, the President has once again declared December as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. The annual designation began in 1981.

Despite the great strides that have been made in educating the public about drunk or drugged driving, the statistics reveal that it is still an epidemic. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), three out of every 10 people in this country will be involved in an alcohol-related crash during their lives. Tragically, approximately 11,000 of those people will be killed in those accidents.

The number of alcohol-rated fatal crashes almost doubles on weekends, compared to during the week. During the week, approximately 15 percent of all fatal car wrecks involve alcohol; however, on the weekends, that number spikes to 30 percent.

During this time of the year, December 22, December 23, December 24, and January 1 are the deadliest days for alcohol-related fatalities. During the summer months, July 3, July 4, August 3, August 4, September 1, and September 2 are the deadliest days.

The number of drivers involved in fatal crashes and who are found to be under the influence of drugs has also increased. These numbers include drivers under the influence of both illegal and prescription narcotics. Almost 20 percent of fatal crashes on weekend nights involved a drugged driver. The most common drugs were marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine.

The NHTSA offers crucial tips for people to follow if they have been celebrating the holidays, including:

  • If you have been drinking, or under the influence of any legal or illegal drug, never get behind the wheel of your vehicle;
  • If you are under the influence, take a taxi or Uber, call a family member or friend (who has not been drinking) to pick you up, or—if available—use mass transit; or
  • If you cannot get a ride, then stay where you are for the night. Sleep until you are sober.

For people who are hosting holiday events, make sure that your guests have a plan if they are going to be drinking, such as a designated driver. If someone has been drinking, do not let him or her leave your home. Take their keys away if you have to.

If you have lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident, please contact an experienced Westport wrongful death attorney to see what kind of legal recourse you may have against the driver responsible for your family’s pain and loss.


The Facts About Motorcycle Accidents and Injuries

December 9th, 2015 at 7:00 am

motorcycle accidents and injuries, Westport Motorcycle Accident AttorneyAccording to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, motorcycle riders are 26 times more likely to be killed in an accident than the occupants of a car. Motorcycle accidents injure and kill far too many people every year.

Common Types and Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

The most common type of motorcycle accident is a collision between the motorcycle and a car. Most of these accidents are head-on collisions. Factors such as poor visibility, inexperienced riders or drivers, excessive speed, and alcohol usually cause collisions. One common collision scenario is when cars are making a left turn and fail to see a motorcycle continuing straight.

Another common type of motorcycle accident cause is lane splitting. Often, cars do not see motorcycles riding between the lanes and then crash into the motorcycle when attempting to change lanes.

Motorcycle riders are also in more danger from road hazards than drivers in cars. Anything from a pothole to a dead animal can mean more than just a bump in the road for a motorcycle rider. Road hazards can mean loss of control and a crash.

Reasons Why Injuries Are More Severe in Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycles lack many of the safety features common in cars and other enclosed motor vehicles. There are no airbags or crumple zones on a motorcycle to absorb the energy from a crash. Motorcycle riders are not restrained by a seat belt and can be thrown into the roadway during a crash, therefore putting them at risk to being run over by other drivers.

Best Ways to Reduce Injuries and Prevent Accidents

Even though motorcycle riders are not any more likely than the drivers of cars to be at fault for an accident, it often falls on motorcycle riders to be the ones who work to reduce injuries and prevent accidents.

The easiest and most effective ways to prevent accidents is to be extra vigilant. Never assume another driver sees you. Allow yourself extra space when on the road. Obeying all traffic laws and regulations, especially avoiding excessive speed and any alcohol before riding, will also help keep you safe.

Study after study has shown that wearing a helmet is the best way to reduce injuries in a motorcycle accident. Because riders are so exposed, always wearing closed toe shoes, long pants, and a thick jacket also help to reduce the severity of injuries in motorcycle crashes.

If you or your loved one has been in a motorcycle accident, you need to speak with a knowledgeable Westport motorcycle accident attorney right away. Call Richard H. Raphael, Attorney at Law, at 203-226-6168 to schedule a consultation today. You may only have a short period of time to protect your rights.


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