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Memphis personal injury law blog

Both mothers and babies can suffer birth injuries

It is only natural for pregnant mothers to experience anxiety as the time approaches to give birth. The fact that thousands of preventable birth injuries are reported in Tennessee and other states each year does nothing to ease a would-be mother's mind. They might not even consider the fact that, in many cases, the lack of proper care during childbirth cause life-altering or even fatal injuries to mothers.

Some suggest that women's safety is put on the line by the complacency of medical staff in hospitals. Shortcuts and skipping of standards of practice, such as tracking blood loss and monitoring high blood pressure, often lead to strokes and other life-threatening conditions. During or after childbirth, mothers can suffer blood clots, organ failure and infections if negligent care is provided.

Wrongful death: Does tire blowout point to someone's negligence?

On a recent Thursday, crews were sent to clean up a crash scene at which a truck that was hauling contaminated soil rolled over. The accident was a tragedy that followed a tire blowout that might have been preventable, but it claimed the life of a 35-year-old truck driver. In such incidents, there are typically questions about the condition of the tire that blew and whether anybody's negligence might be to blame -- in which case a wrongful death claim might follow.

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the trucker lost control of the vehicle when the tire blew. The truck ran off the interstate and rolled over. Rescue workers reported that the dump truck ultimately came to a halt approximately 100 feet down the embankment. The driver was trapped inside the cab of the truck.

Trench-related construction site accidents are preventable

Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has strict safety standards with which construction company owners must comply, trench-related fatalities are frequently reported. These construction site accidents happen nationwide, including in Tennessee. Trenches are known for the risk of cave-ins, but that is not the only danger.

Shoring or sloping a trench or providing a trench box to prevent the walls from collapsing is crucial, but so is protecting workers from exposure to toxic gases while they work in deep trenches. An example of an employer's failure in this regard is a report of OSHA proposing a fine of more than $422,000 after a worker in another state was overwhelmed by hydrogen sulfide fumes that caused his death. It is a toxic and highly flammable gas that is frequently present in confined spaces like sewers and trenches.

The top errors doctors make in the emergency room

With any luck, you may require a trip to the emergency room once or twice in your lifetime. The trips may wind up costing you more than hours of waiting and thousands of dollars – they could end up costing you permanent injury, illness or even death.

Medical mistakes happen at every level, including in the ER. Here are the most common mishaps that may occur in the emergency room.

Catastrophic injuries lawsuit needs skilled legal counsel

According to reports by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the primary cause of fatalities and severe injuries nationwide, including Tennessee, is road accidents. Many victims of catastrophic injuries do not recognize the enormity of the long-term financial consequences. Those who fail to seek the support and guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney might accept inadequate offers made by insurance providers.

An attorney can work toward a comprehensive settlement that will include future health care expenses and other costs such as the services of experts to testify if litigation follows. When the severity of injuries is classified as catastrophic, long-term therapy and rehabilitation are typically par for the course of recovery. The need for physiotherapy, massage therapy, chiropractic treatment, medical aids or devices, and even home modifications might form part of the financial consequences that are often not immediately apparent.

2 wrongful death claims possible after single-vehicle crash

Road safety authorities in Tennessee recently urged drivers to buckle up, focus and avoid distractions. They reported that more than 1,000 people lost their lives in road accidents across the state so far this year, through Dec. 17. Reportedly, December is the month that has the most fatal crashes each year. Many fatal accidents also lead to wrongful death lawsuits filed in the state's civil justice system.

The call for drivers to make a concerted effort to drive safer came after a single-vehicle crash on a recent Sunday afternoon. According to a report by the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the driver of a sedan failed to maintain control, allowing the vehicle to leave the roadway and roll down an embankment in a wooded area. One passenger was ejected and suffered fatal injuries.

Mitigation of trench-related hazards on construction sites

Despite all the emphasis put on trench safety by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, excavations continue to collapse nationwide, including Tennessee. Safety authorities say construction workers should guard against the complacency that often develops after frequent trench work without mishaps. Unsecured trenches on construction sites can collapse unexpectedly, often with catastrophic consequences.

Construction workers can refuse to enter unprotected trenches that are deeper than five feet -- except if the trenches are cut into solid rock. An experienced individual must be appointed to analyze the soil and other aspects of trench safety to determine the suitable protective measures. To prevent walls from caving in, trench walls can be sloped, which is angling the walls out at specific grades, based on the soil type and the depth of the excavation. Benching is a similar system, with the sloped walls are benched at regular intervals.

Slips and falls cause many construction site injuries

Safety authorities frequently remind employers and employees nationwide, including in Tennessee, of the importance of addressing hazards to prevent slip-and-fall accidents on construction sites. The risks of such incidents are exacerbated during the winter months when rain, melting snow and ice cause many surfaces to be slippery. They warn against the dangers of rushing when walking surfaces are treacherous, and suggest several precautions that workers can take.

Shoes with non-slip soles that provide proper traction are crucial, and workers must avoid distractions while they walk. Looking at the walking surface all the time can prevent both slips and trips because spilled liquids, wetness from workers' shoes, random materials and equipment along with level changes are all typical causes of falls. Carrying a flashlight when walking in dimly lit areas is also recommended.

Driving hazards during the holidays

The winter months are full of holidays and celebrations. While these festivities are usually cause for joy, they can also be cause for pain when car accidents occur. More people tend to be on the road, many from out of town to visit friends and family.

You can help prevent getting in a motor vehicle crash by knowing some of the common driving hazards in Tennessee this time of year. Keep the season bright by preparing for these dangers.

Most frequently reported motorcycle accident injuries

Heading into winter weather, motorcycle enthusiasts in Tennessee will have to take special care when they take to the roads. Operating motorcycles in any weather conditions requires more skills than driving automobiles. Also, without seat belts, air bags and other protective features with which larger enclosed vehicles are equipped, motorcycle accident injuries are often more traumatic than those suffered by occupants of four-wheel vehicles. Safety authorities say eight in 10 motorcycle crash victims suffer severe or fatal injuries.

Bone fractures -- most often broken legs -- are some of the most common motorcycle accident injuries. They often result from the bike falling onto the rider in an accident because it has only two wheels and cannot stand without support. However, the instinct people have to put out their hands to attempt to break falls frequently causes fractured arms and wrists. Pelvic and shoulder fractures are also common in these crashes.

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