Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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Persons who have suffered a brain injury in an auto accident may be at a higher risk of developing brain cancer later in life. This the shocking finding of a new study which could have a significant impact on personal injury claims.

A  new study that was conducted on military vets finds that a brain injury significantly increases the risk of brain cancer. The study focused on more than 1.9 million vets, and the results are disturbing.   Brain  cancer is a relatively rare cancer, and only one percent of the general population has the risk of suffering from this disease.  However, among  veterans  who have suffered a brain injury, the risk  of developing malignant cancer is as much as 90% higher than in the general population.  Additionally,  in those cases in which the injury has resulted in penetration of the skull, victims  were found to have a three times higher risk of suffering brain cancer.

The researchers take pains to point out that while the study has been conducted on veterans, and  that while the exact same results may not be seen in the  civilian population, more severe or penetrative brain injury is likely to lead to a higher risk of brain cancer among civilians as well.

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Emory University will kick off a study later this year that will focus on the rates of seatbelt use as well as distracted driving rates among motorists in Georgia. The study is extremely important because the failure use a seatbelt and distracted driving account for a significant number of the personal injuries and wrongful deaths suffered in car accidents.

The  study is courtesy state funding for the  Injury Prevention Research Center at Emory. The Georgia Governor’s Office of  Highway Safety  has announced a grant of more than $296,000 for the division.  The  money will be used to better understand the kind of factors that affect driving behaviors among motorists in Georgia. The  Injury Prevention Research Center plans to send trained observers to more than 400 sites across the state, and study factors like gender and age group that affect rash driving behaviors.

The  Emory researchers will specifically focus on seatbelt usage rates across Georgia.   This is a particular area of concern for Georgia transportation authorities. Seatbelt usage rates across the state have been on a steady decline over the last couple of years. Georgia transportation authorities recorded seatbelt usage rates of 89.3% in 2022,  and these rates had dropped  to 87.6% last year.

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Older drivers may be at a high risk of being involved in car accidents, and those risks are simply exacerbated if they also suffer from migraines.

Migraines  are a common condition, especially among older people, but they may be dangerous for senior drivers.  According  to the results of a new study, older drivers who suffer   from migraines are as much as three times more likely to be involved in a car accident.   The results of the study were published  recently in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society. According to the researchers, migraines are already a common concern among older drivers with as many as 7% of senior drivers already diagnosed with migraines.   The  researchers believe that many   migraines  are undiagnosed  which means we probably have an increasing population of older drivers on our roads who have their driving abilities impacted by their severe headaches and remain unaware of this. The researchers found a threefold  increase in car accident risks for senior drivers in the 12 months after a diagnosis.  Medications  taken to control migraines do not seem to have any impact on car accident risks.

The researchers recommend that senior drivers who have recently been diagnosed with migraines discuss  the effects of the condition on their driving abilities with their doctor.  Be  especially careful about the kind of medications that you take to control the pain while you drive. Also understand the dangers of introducing alcohol to the mix when you are already on medications to treat your migraines.  Senior  drivers already face a number of safety risks when driving and these  could simply be compounded by their migraines.

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While car accident wrongful death numbers in the rest of the developed world have been falling significantly, they have actually been on the rise in the United States.  Part of the reason for this, experts say, is the presence of massive or large automobiles on our roads.

Tall SUVs are extremely popular, and have been so for decades.  The  race to make these cars bigger and better has, unfortunately, resulted in serious safety consequences for motorists and pedestrians. Some of these tall trucks, especially those with blunt trunks, aim directly at the torso or neck of the average American woman. The height of these vehicles makes it almost impossible for motorists to see shorter pedestrians, like young children behind the car.  Even more devastating is the kind of impact that an auto accident with one of these monster-sized cars can result in.  An auto accident with a smaller car may leave passengers suffering injuries in the leg, while an accident with a tall pick up truck or SUV can leave a passenger with personal injuries to the upper torso or the head and neck, and these personal injuries can be infinitely more serious. They are often also fatal.

Not only are these cars bigger and stronger, but they also come with large blind zones in front of the vehicle. That means they are at risk of causing severe and catastrophic personal injuries to vulnerable users of the road like pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicycles involved in an auto accident with these tall pickup trucks and SUVs.  Of special worry is the large blind zone in front of these large vehicles.  In one study, experts wanted to study how difficult it is for the driver in one of these cars to identify child pedestrians in front of the car. The experts made children sit in a row in front of the car. They found that a woman driver sitting in the driver’s seat was only able to see the 10th child in the row.  Even an alert driver may not be able to identify child pedestrians in front of the car.  The kind of car accidents that these large cars cause are devastating and often result in deaths.

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A spinal cord injury can result in loss of muscle to a larger extent than can be  attributed to lack of movement and mobility.   A new study points to one of the lesser known, but longer term consequences of a spinal cord injury after an auto accident.

A spinal cord injury is a serious personal injury that is caused when there is an injury to the spine during an auto accident, or motorcycle accident or pedestrian accident.  Spinal cord injuries may also be caused in slip and fall accidents.  The  degree and severity of the spinal cord injury can depend on the location of the vertebrae where the injury occurs.  Spinal cord injuries can result in loss of movement and mobility making it impossible for the person to  stand, walk and otherwise use his or her limbs.  These personal injuries  significantly alter a person’s life and  his ability to earn a living and live a  normal life after the personal injury.

A new study finds that there are long term consequences of a spinal injury that we may not be aware of.  The  study recently found that a spinal cord injury can cause significant muscle wastage in patients.  Some degree of muscle wastage in patients who have suffered a spinal cord injury is to be expected because of the lack of movement and exercise that can cause muscles to wither away.  According  to the study, however,  the kind of muscle wastage that a person with these injuries suffers cannot simply be explained away by lack of movement.  In fact, the researchers believe that it has more to do with the ability of the adrenal glands to receive nerve signals.

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The use of automated enforcement like red light camera systems can be a sensitive and touchy subject for most Atlanteans,  but as federal administration officials focus harder on preventing auto accident wrongful deaths and serious personal injuries, the presence of such systems on American roads is only likely to increase.

A recent report by the Governors Highway Safety Association and State Farm focused on the various types of automated enforcement  systems that are currently in place on American roads, effectiveness  of these systems and the sensitivities  involved in the implementation of these systems.  The  most common automated enforcement technologies  currently on our roads include red light camera systems, speed camera systems and school bus stop arm camera systems.  Some jurisdictions have also begun preliminary  experimentation with  cameras to identify when people  are driving without seatbelts and when motorists are using cell phones while driving.

The need for automotive enforcement, especially speed camera systems, has become even more dire over the past few years as speeding  rates across the country have skyrocketed.  The  number of people being killed in car accidents directly related to speeding has also   increased.  Law  enforcement departments across the country have been struggling with reduced  staffing, and that has meant departments looking more and more towards the use of automation to help with enforcement.

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One  of the most devastating consequences of a brain injury after a car accident is the effect on a person’s cognitive abilities. A new study finds that a brain stimulator device can help a person recover these critical abilities after a personal injury.

The findings of the study were published in a recent issue of the Nature Medicine journal. The researchers implanted the stimulators in the brains of persons who had suffered brain injuries as a result of trauma.  The  implants were left on for about 12 hours a day and the participants spent 3 months with the implants.

The research by scientists at Stanford University found that the implantation of the deep brain stimulator helped trigger  electric activity in brain neurons that had been left damaged after trauma. While  the researchers were hoping for a 10% increase in mental processing as a result of the implantation of the device, they  were surprised to find that the improvement was as high as 32% in the patients. What is even more promising is that the device can help with impairments that have occurred as a result of old brain injuries. According to the scientists, the device offers great hope to persons who have suffered injuries that have left them with memory loss and poor thinking skills.

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First responders attended to multiple victims of car accidents across Georgia over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Across  Georgia and  the country, law enforcement  authorities were reporting record volumes of   traffic.   More  than 55 million Americans are reported to have travelled  over the holiday weekend.  Unfortunately,  as is often the case, large volumes of traffic make for greater numbers of  auto accidents.   In  Georgia, the scene was no better as more than 23 accident fatalities were confirmed over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. This year, the holiday weekend stretched from 6:00 pm on Wednesday to 11:59 p.m. on Sunday.

Apart from  the 23 wrongful deaths, numerous other persons are reported to have suffered personal injuries in these car accidents. At least one busy interstate had to be shut down for 7 hours after a car accident involving an  18 -wheeler and an  SUV.  At least five out of the 23 fatalities occurred in a single car accident.

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Follow up care is not just important, but also critical after a senior suffers injuries in a slip and fall accident, and yet, new studies find that far too many seniors receive no such after – fall care, resulting in serious consequences.

The new studies find that  as many as 59% of seniors receive no follow – up care after they have suffered personal injuries in a slip and fall accident.  This  is in spite of the fact that it is  well- established that follow up – care after a fall can help   seniors not just recover quickly, but also learn how to avoid falls in the future. It is also in spite of the fact that slip and fall accidents are a serious health concern for American seniors.  For example,  one in four seniors above the age of 65 is expected to suffer a slip and fall accident, sending 8 million persons to hospital   emergency rooms. Even more worrying is the fact that 27,000 seniors suffer fatal personal injuries in slip and fall accidents, while these accidents also contribute to 800,000 personal injuries every year.  In  spite of all these facts, many seniors do not return to the emergency room for follow – up visits after suffering head trauma in a fall.

The researchers focused on a group of 1,500 seniors who had suffered injuries in slip and fall accidents, and found that many of them had not returned to their primary care physician for a follow up in the weeks after the slip and fall accident.  When  seniors did visit a doctor for a follow-up, they were recommended physical therapy as a way to avoid future falls. Physical  therapy can help improve balance, gait, coordination and address other physical aspects of aging that can increase a senior’s risk of suffering a slip and fall accident.

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Declining  vision is a much more serious car accident risk factor for senior drivers than we may believe.  According  to the results of a new study, it is linked to an 84% higher risk of being involved in car accidents.

Seniors  may suffer from a number of health challenges as they get older that increase their risks of being involved in an auto accident, and one of the most significant of those challenges is declining vision. Being unable to see clearly or the lack of a wide range of vision that allows the driver to see not just ahead but also identify auto accident risks from the sides, can significantly impact the person’s risk of being involved in a dangerous car accident. It is for this reason that most states, including Georgia, have laws in place that require senior drivers  to get their eyesight tested at regular intervals  as a condition for  license renewal.

At a recent conference of the American Academy of Ophthalmology,  researchers presented the results of a study which found that  the current eye testing system that is currently followed in so many states may not be the ideal way to determine senior health and the capacity of older motorists to avoid car accidents.

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