Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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Too  little sleep could increase a person’s risk of suffering not just auto accident – related personal injuries, but also personal injuries from slip and fall accidents  as well as personal injuries during sports.

In a new study, researchers focused on 3 different types of personal injuries, including injuries caused in sports, during slip and fall accidents as well as injuries caused when a person is involved in an auto accident, and their link to sleep deprivation.  They found that  lack of sufficient sleep affected the  risk of preventable personal injuries.

The researchers looked at three different categories of sleep – very little sleep which is sleep below 4 hours in duration,  short sleep which is sleep of between 5 and 6 hours in duration,  healthy  sleep which is  sleep of between 7 and 8 hours and long sleep which is sleep of greater than 9 hours. They also divided sleep quality into three categories, including the ability to fall and stay asleep, feel refreshed and rested while waking up, and medication use.

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Statistics  from last year show that Labor Day was the second deadliest holiday in the United States in 2022, and this year,  with the incidence of drunk driving on the rise,  the risk of alcohol – related car accidents has never been higher.

Last year, one study by a car insurance app found that the Labor Day Holiday weekend ranked second only to the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in the number of fatal car accidents recorded.  The  study  analyzed data between 2011 and 2020, and found that the Labor Day holiday was the second most dangerous holiday in the country. Over the study  period, the data showed  that more than 4000 people were killed in car accidents over Labor Day, many of them caused by drunk drivers. Approximately, 25% of deaths involved   teens   and young people in their mid 20s.  About  70% of this category of drivers were male.  The  second most at- risk category of drivers during the Labor Day holiday were drivers between the age of 26 and 35.

Drunk driving is likely fueling this increase in car accident deaths. Recent  data shows that driving under the influence of alcohol is actually on the increase across the country. Between 2020 and 2021, there was an increase of approximately 14% in fatal alcohol – related car accidents. Overall, there was an increase of approximately 10% in car accident deaths during the same period of time.  Clearly,  the role of alcohol in causing car accidents is increasing, and this is a cause of concern.

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Car seats for young children are an extremely important safety device. Every parent recalls having to deal with situation of installing a car seat for the first time or when they get a new car. Unfortunately, far too many car seats are improperly installed,  exposing children in the seats to the risk of potential life – threatening personal injuries in car accidents.

Securing a child in a car seat is an absolute must before any journey.  Most  parents, fortunately, in Georgia, are aware of the need to restrain children in car seats.  Car  seats should not only be used every time for young children, but also must be appropriate to the age and weight of the child.  Many  car seats have been designed to be easy to use,  in order to make it easy for parents to install these seats.  Unfortunately,  even with these easy –to use designs, parents still make errors  in the installation of these car seats.

According  to a new study,   too many seats are being improperly installed, exposing the children in the seats to the risk of potentially catastrophic or even life- threatening  personal injuries in the event of an auto accident.  The researchers looked at seat check data from  between 2015 and 2019, and found that approximately 70% or an overwhelming majority of all the errors involved car seats installed with seat belts. Other errors involved recline angles. About half of the errors involved top tether on forward – facing car seats.  The  tether is an important component of the car seat and is meant to be attached to the vehicle, and according to the study, many parents either fail to secure it or secure it incorrectly.

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Children, the elderly and -surprisingly enough – young adults seem to be at the highest risk of being involved in slip and fall accidents on stairs. Among young adults, women seem to be at a higher risk of personal injuries in such accidents.

These findings come from a new study, and while the fact that young children and the elderly are at a greater risk of falling should not come as a surprise, the inclusion of young adults in their twenties definitely raises  eyebrows. According to the researchers, children below the age of 3 and elderly people above the age of 85 have the highest risk of suffering personal injuries in a fall on stairs.  However, young adults in their twenties also have a significantly higher risk of being involved in slip and fall accidents.

Among young adults in their twenties, young women seem to have a higher slip and fall risk compared to males.  The  researchers  analyzed  the results of the study to understand the reasons for the higher fall risks involving females.  They  believe that inappropriate footwear could probably be a reason why young women are more likely to fall down stairs compared to males. The researchers specifically identify  flip flops, sandals and heels as being inappropriate footwear that  increase the  risks of a fall down the stairs. They also believe that women are more likely to be walking with someone which means they are more likely to be talking and, therefore, distracted.

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A vast percentage of seniors who have age-related cognitive declines continue to operate motor vehicles, seriously increasing their risks of being involved in an auto accident. Senior are especially susceptible to serious personal injuries when involved in a car accident which makes preventing these accidents a high priority.

According to a new study, far too many seniors who have impaired cognitive abilities or thinking declines as per a cognitive assessment score continue to operate motor vehicles without hesitation.  The  study found that more than 600 adults in a particular county suffered from thinking declines as per the cognitive assessment test,  and that more than 61% of these persons who suffered cognitive declines continued to drive.

Suffering a cognitive decline does  not automatically mean that a person may be unable to drive.  In  fact, not all of the caregivers who were involved in the study believed that  the senior drivers in the  study had their driving skills   affected by their  cognitive difficulties.  About   one -third of the  caregivers  admitted to having concerns about  the driver’s ability to safely operate a car. However, there are  safety issues involved when a person with cognitive issues takes to the road.

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Persons who have suffered a traumatic brain injury due to an auto accident or any other type of accident may suffer from long term consequences that are very similar to the symptoms suffered by persons living with a chronic condition.

Those  conclusions came from a new study recently published in the Neurology journal.    The  researchers analyzed data on more than 900 patients who had suffered mild traumatic brain injury like concussions  as well as 200 patients with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury, and compared these patients to a group of  150 patients with no history of a traumatic brain injury.  Brain injuries are frequently suffered by persons involved in car accidents, slip and fall accidents and even due to medical malpractice. As  part of the research, the persons were asked about physical symptoms like headache and  fatigue.   They were also asked about their thinking abilities, especially  the ability to  perform daily and routine tasks,  as well as their overall mental health and memory.

They  found in their analysis that 21% of the persons with a mild brain injury suffered declines overall, compared to 26% of the persons with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury.  Among  the  persons with no brain injury, the decline was just 15%.

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Summer  is when there is an increase in dog bite attacks across Georgia,  possibly due to the fact that more people are out during this time and in contact with   dogs.  However, the  weather may   play a much bigger role in the increase in dog bites  during the summer months than earlier believed. Unfortunately, dog bites often result in serious personal injuries.

According  to the results of a new study that was published recently, hot weather may cause aggression in dogs just the same way as it does in humans.  When temperatures are higher, human beings are likely to become  irritable and aggressive. They may suffer from disturbed sleep during hot days which causes increased irritability  and discomfort.  Incidents of road rage, for instance, are likely to peak during summer months. Several  studies have underlined this fact.  However,  there have not been enough studies done to understand the impact of higher temperatures on animals like dogs.

The  researchers focused on 8 metropolitan American cities, and extracted data on dog bite attacks that occurred in these cities over  a 10 – year period.  They found  more than 69,000 bites occurred in these cities over the time period.   When the researchers  drilled down further into the data, they found that dog bites were more likely to occur not only when temperatures were   higher, but also when there were higher  UV levels.  In  short, they found a link between higher temperatures, ozone and higher levels of air pollution and increased attacks by dogs.

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Researchers  have known for a while that a brain injury can result in depression, but the kind of depression that a traumatic brain injury causes is different from other forms of depression. Traumatic brain injuries often arise out of car accidents, motorcycle accidents, trucking accidents, or any other event that causes a significant impact to the head.

A  new study finds that the kind of depression that results after a brain injury may be different from   regular  depression with some unique symptoms.  In  fact, the researchers believe that  brain injury -related depression could possibly be its own distinct condition.  These  are important findings because they shed new light on the kind of consequences that a brain injury patient can suffer.

For years now, researchers have known that  depression can set in after a person has suffered a brain injury,  but there have been questions about whether the depression is a result of the injury itself or because of the trauma related to the car accident or incident that caused the personal injury.  The general consensus, however, is that the depression is caused by the personal injury.

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Spinal cord injuries are serious personal injuries that can be caused after an auto accident.  New  research finds that these injuries, in addition to permanently impacting a person’s day to day functioning, can significantly damage a person’s  immunity,  exposing the patient to the risk of life-threatening    infections.

A spinal cord injury can result from any kind of blow or serous impact to the spine.  The  impact does not have to include a fracture.  A spinal cord injury can also be caused by crushing injuries or dislocation of the spine. For example, when a person is thrown about the inside of a car during an auto accident, she or he could suffer serious personal injuries to the spine.  A  motorcycle rider who is thrown off a motorcycle  could land on the ground with force that is significant enough to  fracture his spine. In fact, spine injuries are common in motorcycle accidents when a person is separated from the motorcycle.

The risk of paralysis is very serious after a  spinal cord injury.  These  consequences of a spinal injury can also  have a long term impact on a person’s health.    A new study finds that a spinal injury may also trigger immunodeficiency syndrome.  This  condition can result in a loss of immunity, thereby exposing the person to the risk of infections. The study was conducted by researchers on 111 patients who had suffered spinal cord injury.  They found that soon after a spinal cord injury, the number of antibodies in the body dropped.  There  was also a deactivation of the monocytes or white blood cells that are responsible for staving off infections.

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People  who suffer from epilepsy may be able to drive safely provided they take all safety precautions, including taking any necessary medications, and stick to the limitations placed on them under the law.  A new study, in fact, finds that an early diagnosis of epilepsy may significantly reduce car accident risks.

According  to the study, as many as 5% of patients  who suffer from epilepsy had suffered a seizure while driving before their diagnosis. The researchers, who include members of the American Academy of Neurology, were specifically looking at how long a person drives before he or she received an epilepsy diagnosis.  They  believe that it is important to push for earlier diagnosis of epilepsy in order to reduce car accident risks among these  persons.

As part of the study, the researchers focused on 447 persons who suffered from focal epilepsy which is marked by recurrent seizures.  They  found that   23 of these people had suffered a seizure while driving. About 26% suffered their  first seizure while driving while around 30% had suffered more than one seizure while driving. In all, these seizures resulted in 19 auto accidents with 11 of these car accidents requiring hospitalization.

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