HABERKORN & Associates

Redwood City California Personal Injury Law Blog

Issues in communication often lead to medical errors

When you think about medical errors, you might find yourself wondering how and why they occur so often. The medical facilities and health care workers in the Redwood City are some of the best in the country. However, it is not uncommon to hear about medical malpractice claims from patients. Medical mistakes claim more than 250,000 lives every year, states John Hopkins Medicine. 

One of the many reasons why medical errors occur is because of communication challenges. There must be a clear line of communication between every worker in the health care field. Doctors rely on nurses and nurses rely on nursing assistants, registration staff and other hospital workers. When there is a breakdown in any of those areas, patients often suffer the consequences. According to a study on medical malpractice claims from 2009 to 2013 in StatNews, if there were no problems with communication between health care workers, at least 2,000 people would still be alive. 

It really happens: surgical equipment left inside the body

Sometimes it’s hard to tell fact from fiction. A lot of stories, of course, are based on real life. It’s what makes a scary story so chilling.

Pretty much everyone has heard a horror story about surgeons leaving tools inside a patient. It seems so unreasonable that it makes a common joke in cartoons. It’s no laughing matter for hundreds, if not thousands, of Americans each year.

Why are plane inspections so important?

Before you get on a plane in California, there are many things going on behind the scenes to ensure you have a safe flight. One of those things is an inspection. According to Prime Industries Inc., plane inspections are an essential task to ensure the plane is safe and without any defects or issues that could possibly lead to an accident. Inspections are also done after a plane is built to ensure there are no manufacturing issues.

Manufacturers then create maintenance and inspection guidelines. These are to be followed by anyone who uses the aircraft. Before every flight, an inspection must be done. The rate at which maintenance is required is generally based on flight hours. The more a plane flies, the more often it must be maintenanced and inspected. 

California cyclist killed in violent collision, driver charged

When California motorists are driving in an area that is also used by pedestrians and bicyclists, it is imperative that they use extra caution and vigilance to prevent unnecessary tragedies. However, there are times when the inevitable happens and a bicyclist is injured because a driver has failed to pay attention or is driving recklessly without regard for the safety of others. In these situations, the often life-altering injuries sustained by the cyclist are excruciatingly devastating considering the circumstances could have been completely avoided.

This is exactly what happened in a recent incident where a cyclist was killed in a violent collision in Indio Hills. The cyclist was part of a large group of people participating in the Tour de Palm Springs. Witness reports told of the driver moving at an excessive rate of speed and slamming into a group of bicycle riders. Investigations into the accident revealed that the driver was traveling well over the speed limit. The posted speed in the area is 55 mph, but the driver was going an estimated 100 mph and had passed another vehicle right before the deadly collision. He was booked into jail on vehicular manslaughter charges, but later was released after posting bail. Court records show that the defendant was operating his vehicle on a suspended license following prior traffic violations. 

How can you help a child who has suffered a brain injury?

For many California parents, there is little as disconcerting as hearing that your child has been involved in an accident. Because children are especially vulnerable, it can be difficult to assess how to best help them cope with a significant injury. Brain injuries for example, can require extensive time and resources to correct and heal and often have long-lasting effects on a child's personality, ability to do certain things and overall well-being. Fortunately, there are things you can do to provide support and encouragement and give your child the best chance at an effective recovery.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, your role as a parent or caregiver is critical in helping your child overcome the effects of his or her brain injury. Some of the things you can do include the following:

  • Understand that your child may face difficulties and challenges at school and in other activities that were previously not an issue. Be patient in working through these hurdles and helping your child realize his or her potential and ability to accomplish his or her goals. 
  • Make sure your child is following a consistent schedule and receiving plenty of rest, especially on busier days.
  • Provide full disclosure about your child's injury with anyone who may benefit from knowing. This includes your child's school teacher, babysitters, family members and sports coaches among other people.
  • Monitor high-risk activities that your child wishes to be involved in to prevent worsening conditions that could be easily avoided. 

Many pregnant women infected with Zika may have been missed

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recently released a report showing an uptick in Zika activity. Worse yet, many pregnant women infected with the Zika virus may not have known it. They are warning that a number of pregnant women were not effectively tested for the virus by their healthcare provider.

The Zika virus can be contracted while travelling and sexually transmitted. This is especially true for people who are in sexual contact with travelers from Venezuela, where the virus is originally transmitted by mosquitoes. The virus can harm unborn children, whose mothers unknowingly carry the virus through pregnancy.

Do medical malpractice fears lead to more C-sections?

For most women, when it comes to giving birth in California, they want to do it as naturally as possible. Medical intervention raises risks, and you probably do not want to add to the risks of childbirth. However, you may get into a situation where the doctor recommends a C-section instead of a vaginal birth. Doctors do this for many reasons, but there is a new concern that they may be doing so to avoid medical malpractice claims.

According to Stat News, the U.S has higher C-section rates than many other countries. With one in three births being done via C-section, there is a concern because this is more than is medically necessary. So, what is leading to these high numbers? There are three general reasons that have been found to drive the rate of C-sections that are not medically necessary.

The dangers of teens in the driver’s seat and how to avoid them

Many people in the Redwood City area are not aware of the impact age and experience can have on driving skills and abilities. Teenagers are not the most experienced or knowledgeable drivers. Their age and lack of experience often cause car accidents that result in injuries and death. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute, adolescents who are between the ages of 16 and 19 have the highest crash rate amongst teenage drivers. 

It takes years of driving experience for people to fine tune their driving skills and develop an appropriate level of comfort behind the steering wheel. They are better capable of anticipating and avoiding near-accident situations and identifying hazards that put them at risk for car accidents. When there are multiple teenagers in cars, the risk of crashing increases substantially. Also, teens are more likely to take risks when they are behind the wheel. They do not realize the seriousness of their actions until it is too late. 

Proximate cause explained

When people in Redwood City hear of product liability lawsuits, they may quickly dismiss them as being the vindictive actions of unhappy consumers. However, the law does not simply allow an unsatisfied customer to summarily pin a problem on a manufacturer. Cause must first be established before one can have any hope of making a liability claim hold up to scrutiny. 

The law recognizes two different types of causes that are related to liability: actual and proximate. Actual cause is fairly straightforward; it is the cause in fact, or the directly relatable reason as to why an accident or injury occurred. Proximate cause, however, can be somewhat trickier. The Cornell Law School defines it as the cause that is sufficient to support a claim of liability. It need not be the only cause, but rather the one viewed as being the primary reason a product injury occurred.

2 common causes of car accidents involving pedestrians

Driving is a luxury many people in the Redwood City area enjoy. As convenient as driving is, not everyone does it. Many people still travel by foot and bicycle. At any given time, it is not unusual to see pedestrians on the streets. Though there are laws and safety rules in place to protect them from harm, they are not always effective. According to TrafficSafetyStore.com, annually, car accidents kill “more than 4,000” pedestrians and injure at least 70,000. 

Motorists must maintain control of their vehicles. When they do not, the likelihood of them crashing into and injuring pedestrians increases. Here are two causes of car accidents involving pedestrians. 

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Haberkorn & Associates
2055 Woodside Rd., Suite 155 Redwood City, CA 94061
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