Eighty Percent of MS Patients Given Incorrect Initial Diagnosis

December 1st, 2015 at 10:56 am

ms patients, misdiagnosis, Westport Medical Malpractice AttorneyMultiple sclerosis (MS) is classified as an autoimmune disease—one’s immune system attacks the central nervous system. Basically, when a person has MS, it is difficult for the individual’s brain to transmit messages to the rest of his or her body.

The disease typically appears for the first time in young adults between the ages of 15 and 45. The effects of the disease can be mild, with victims suffering from weakness or numbness in limbs, to severe, leaving victims paralyzed and/or blind. Although there are theories on what causes MS, there are currently no known causes or cures.

According to current statistics, there are more than 400,000 people in the U.S. who suffer with MS. Worldwide, that number is 2.5 million people. Each week, at least 200 people are diagnosed with the disease, just in the United States.

However, a recent study concluded that more than 80 percent of MS victims are initially diagnosed incorrectly. And for 40 percent of misdiagnosed victims, it typically takes more than a year before they are finally diagnosed correctly.

The study was conducted by the Multiple Sclerosis Society. The organization surveyed 1,515 sufferers of MS. Forty-three percent of those questioned initially presented with altered sensations and numbness in different parts of their bodies, 47 percent presented with vision difficulties, and 41 percent had difficulty walking.

Almost 30 percent of those incorrectly diagnosed are told they are only suffering from a pinched nerve. Another 15 percent are told they are suffering from anxiety, depression or stress. Ten percent are told their symptoms are a result of a stroke.

Twenty-five percent of patients made an average of four visits to their primary care physician complaining of symptoms before they were finally referred to a neurologist in order to investigate these symptoms further.

Typical early symptoms include fatigue, lack of co-ordination, limb weakness, loss of sight, numbness and tingling. Early diagnosis can be crucial in order to implement medical treatment and other lifestyle changes which can help hold off the sometimes devastating effect the disease can have on its victims.

If you were given a delayed diagnosis of MS, or other chronic disease, please contact an experienced Westport medical malpractice attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have for your pain and loss.






How Dangerous is Black Friday?

November 25th, 2015 at 7:00 am

black friday, Westport Personal Injury AttorneyOver the past 15 years or so, the day after Thanksgiving has been the traditional holiday shopping day kickoff. Retailers typically offer significant sales—particularly on high-end ticket items—attracting millions of shoppers to take to the malls. Last year, over 90 million shoppers hit retail establishments on Black Friday.

Historically, venturing out into the retail world the day after Thanksgiving meant dealing with thousands of other shoppers in search of finding the biggest bargains. With Black Friday just days away, it looks like this year will be no different. Although most people associate holiday gift giving with goodwill and peace, Black Friday has created dozens of incidents of dangerous—and sometimes fatal—situations for people who were only looking to save money on gifts.

One study determined just how dangerous Black Friday is by examining the number of reported fatalities and injuries which have occurred since 2006. According to the study, there have been at least seven people killed and 98 others injured in incidents which occurred at retail establishments on Black Friday. The most “dangerous” place to be on Black Friday was at the large discount retailer Walmart, since this is where the most number of Black Friday injuries have taken place.

One of the most well-known scenes that many people associate with Black Friday is of a retail establishment unlocking their doors and a tidal wave of shoppers comes crashing through those doors. However, those tidal waves have caused dozens of injuries to people, including the death of one man.

Although many incidents of injuries involve people getting pushed or trampled, there have been several cases where a weapon was used on a victim. The number one weapon used is pepper spray, which has caused injuries to at least 41 people.

The incidents do not only occur in the stores—there have also been numerous events in parking lots where the demand of spaces far exceeds the supply. In 2012, two people were shot in a Florida Walmart parking lot over a parking space dispute.

If a person is injured while shopping on Black Friday—or any other day—just how liable is that store for the injuries?

People may be responsible for their own actions; however, the stores where you shop may also have a responsibility to their customers to provide a safe environment. In fact, even the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has provided a safety checklist for retailers to follow in order to keep both workers and customers safe during this annual shopping event. This checklist was developed in response to the crowd trampling to death of a Walmart employee.

Retailers do have a duty of care to their customers that falls under the premises liability theory. They are required to keep the store safe and clear of dangers and hazards. Not only does this include making sure that customers are not exposed to areas in the store where they could fall or have something fall on them, but it also applies to safety and security of customers. Knowing that certain events in the store may create chaos and mayhem if not run under controlled circumstances, but failing to hire security to facilitate that controlled environment, could cause a retailer to be liable for injuries a person receives in that chaos.

If you have sustained injuries because of the act of another person, please contact an experienced Westport personal injury attorney to discuss your case and to find out what legal recourse you may have for your pain and loss.





http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/26/opin ion/cevallos-black-friday/

Distracted Driving in Connecticut

November 18th, 2015 at 7:00 am

distracted driving, Westport Personal Injury LawyerEvery year, thousands of people are seriously hurt in car accidents caused by distracted drivers. Connecticut has passed laws to try and make the roads safer by punishing drivers for not paying attention. One of the most common distractions is the use of cell phones by drivers.

Connecticut’s Distracted Driving Laws

It is against the law in Connecticut to do anything while operating a motor vehicle that distracts the driver from his or her duties. This can include anything from a car radio to a cell phone.

Connecticut has passed special laws to deal with the problems of cell phones. Connecticut drivers cannot use a handheld cellphone while driving to talk or to text. For most drivers it is okay to use a hands free device such as a Bluetooth headset.

Novice drivers cannot use a cell phone in any way while driving, except to make an emergency call. This ban includes hands-free devices. Bus drivers are also prohibited from using a cell phone, even with a hands free device, while driving a bus.

Keeping Yourself Safe

Studies have shown that driving takes a lot of mental focus. Cell phones have been shown to reduce a driver’s ability to focus by more than 30 percent. There is some evidence showing that even when using hands free devices, a driver’s focus is still compromised.

Distracted drivers are more likely to be involved in serious accidents where they are injured.

The best way to keep yourself and your family safe while on the road is to hang up the cell phone. Even if you are allowed to use a hands free device, talking while driving may still be putting you and everyone else on the road at greater risk.

When you are on the road, do not do anything that will take your focus away from the safe operation of your car.

Distracted Driver Liability

It is increasingly common for cell phone records to be examined in car accident cases. If you are involved in an accident and your records indicate you were on the phone at the time of the accident, even if you were on a hands free device, you may be found to be at least partially responsible for the accident.

If you or someone you love has been hurt in a car accident, consult with a seasoned Westport personal injury 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.



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