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Memphis personal injury law blog

Medical negligence to blame for many birth injuries

Doctors and medical staff in hospitals in Tennessee and across the United States undoubtedly know how to handle the process of delivering babies safely. After all, they received years of training, but lawsuits alleging medical negligence continue to move through the civil courts. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 50,000 mothers and their newborn babies nationwide suffer birth injuries each year.

In many cases, the negligence involves failure to take prescribed precautions like monitoring the mother's blood loss or waiting too long to administer medication for blood pressure that rises high enough to cause a stroke or even death. In some cases, medical staff fails to recognize the need for emergency C-sections. These and other acts of negligence can jeopardize the health and safety of mothers and their babies, often with lifelong consequences.

Scaffolds responsible for many construction site injuries

It is not unusual for construction projects in Tennessee to have strict deadlines. Unfortunately, deadlines often put pressure on workers to take shortcuts and rush to get jobs done faster. That could lead to preventable construction site injuries. Scaffolds are structures that are often hastily erected without the necessary compliance with the safety standards prescribed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Falls are the most significant scaffold related hazards, and prevention starts with proper safety training. Before getting on a scaffold, it is crucial to inspect the structure and identify safety hazards, which must then be addressed before allowing workers on the structure. The safety checks should be repeated throughout the project because weather conditions and ground movement can compromise the stability of the scaffold.

Motorcycle accident injuries are typically severe

Motorcycles are part of the scene on the Tennessee highways throughout the summer. Safety authorities note that bikers need more advanced skills and better coordination than drivers of vehicles. These two-wheeled modes of transport are typically fun to ride, but motorcycle accident-related injuries cause many severe and life-changing injuries -- some of which are fatal.

Apart from protective riding gear, helmets are crucial to prevent skull fractures or penetration injuries to the head. According to authorities, traumatic brain injuries cause a significant percentage of motorcycle accident fatalities. Whenever a motorcycle crashes, it typically falls over, an invariably lands on the rider's legs. That makes leg fractures common injuries, but wrist, arm, shoulder and pelvic fractures are also prevalent.

15-year-old dies in construction accident

Every year, thousands of teenagers nationwide, including Tennessee, secure jobs to earn some money during the summer break. Those who enter the construction industry as inexperienced rookies might not receive adequate safety training -- often with devastating consequences. Inadequate safety protocols might have led to a recent construction accident that caused the death of a 15-year-old roof worker.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration mandates that employers must protect all employees, including temporary and teen workers, against known hazards. Sadly, this law appears to have been disregarded at a construction site in a neighboring state. Reportedly, the young worker was working on a roof when an unsupported section collapsed and caused him to fall approximately 40 feet.

Common injuries for nursing home residents

Nursing homes should be safe places for elderly people to receive proper care. Sadly, safety hazards are common in nursing homes. One example is how many falls occur in these facilities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 50 and 75% of nursing home residents fall every year

Many elderly injuries occur due to nursing home negligence. Here are a few prevalent injuries that impact nursing home residents.

Catastrophic injury: Spinal cord injuries can be life-altering

Damage to the spinal cord can block the communication between the body and the brain. It is a catastrophic injury that can happen in the blinks of an eye, but it can cause many years of suffering for victims in Tennessee and elsewhere. The location of spinal cord damage and the severity will determine whether the injury is classified as complete or incomplete. Spinal damage can prevent sensory, reflex and motor messages reaching the brain.

Although spinal cord injuries can happen during activities such as diving, gymnastics and various types of sports activities, many victims were involved in motor vehicle accidents. Statistics show that young adults between 16 and 30 years old form a significant percentage of spinal cord injury victims. It is also reported that there are more male than female victims because men tend to take more risks.

Construction site injuries: Trench Safety Stand Down

The annual Trench Safety Stand Down is scheduled for the week starting June 17. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration uses this time to remind employers and workers nationwide, including Tennessee. Compliance with safety standards is the only way to prevent trench collapses and their tragic consequences. The agency explains that a cave-in can bury a worker under a cubic yard of soil that could weigh as much as 3,000 pounds -- or the weight of a small car. Workers who are fortunate to survive often suffer severe construction site injuries that could lead to permanent disability.

Safety authorities relate the story of three construction workers who worked in an eight-foot deep trench to emphasize the danger. The walls were not shored, sloped or benched, nor did the employer install a trench box to protect the workers. When one of the trench walls collapsed unexpectedly, only one worker was able to escape. Of the other two, one was partially buried and rescued, but the third worker was entirely buried under the soil. He suffocated before rescue workers could get to him.

Volunteer worker suffers fatal construction site injuries

The safety and health of workers in Tennessee are the employers' responsibility, regardless of whether they are permanent, temporary or volunteer workers. Workplaces must be free of known hazards, and employees must be informed of remaining hazards to which they will be exposed. This is particularly crucial with volunteering workers who do not necessarily have adequate training or experience for the job to be done, increasing their chances of suffering construction site injuries.

In a recent incident, a 69-year-old man was killed while he was working as a volunteer at a construction project at a church in White House. Reportedly, the incident occurred shortly before 9:30 on a recent Thursday. According to a spokesperson for the fire department, a wheel loader that was operated by a parishioner toppled over, landing on top of the volunteer worker.

Medical negligence claim follows incorrectly placed spinal screws

Most people in Tennessee and elsewhere experience anxiety in the time leading up to scheduled surgical procedures. When the planned surgery involves the patient's spine, nervous anticipation is often exacerbated because the slightest error or medical negligence by the surgeon could have devastating consequences. One such case in another state led to a lawsuit against a doctor at a facility that deals mostly with spinal disorders.

According to court documents, the plaintiff underwent spinal surgery in April 2017, and when she came to afterward, she experienced severe pain, weakness and numbness. An x-ray after the procedure allegedly showed six screws placed in the spine, four of which were misplaced directly into her spinal nerves. An expert witness who looked at the placement of the screws says the imaging clearly shows them to be incorrectly placed.

Medical errors the nation’s third-most common cause of death

Americans place a good deal of trust in their physicians, and with good reason. The decisions these medical professionals make often have serious repercussions, and in some cases, they even have the capacity to mean the difference between life and death.

Statistics show, however, per CNBC, that today’s medical professionals are making critical mistakes at alarming rates. In fact, medical mistakes have become so prevalent across the nation that they are now the third-most common cause of death among Americans, with only heart disease and cancer currently claiming more lives.

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