2015 Quickly Becoming a Dangerous Year for Traffic Deaths

Louisville, KY Car Accident Lawyers - Gladstein LawAccording to the National Safety Council (NSC), traffic deaths have risen by 14 percent already in 2015 – making this year the deadliest year for motorists since 2007. The non-profit organization surveyed accident data from January to June 2015 and found that there were more than 18,600 deaths due to auto accidents. This is a significant increase from this same time period in 2014, which only saw 16,400 deaths.

The NSC also estimates that the cost of these deaths and injuries associated with these accidents costs $152 billion – which is up 24 percent from the same timeframe in 2014. The costs can include lost wages, productivity losses, medical expenses, administrative fees, employer costs and property damage costs.

Why the Sudden Increase in Traffic Fatalities?

The rise in traffic facilities is believed to be caused by three different items, which include:

  1. Cheaper Gas Prices Mean More Cars on the Road – Gas prices continue to remain low. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, gas prices are down by 30 percent since 2014. Because it is more affordable to commute, more vehicles are now on the road and fewer groups are carpooling or using public transit. The high volume of vehicles on the road increases the likelihood of accidents.
  2. More Jobs Mean More Commuters – In addition to cheaper gas prices, there has also been a significant increase in the number of jobs added to the U.S. market. Jobs are continuing to steadily increase in 2015 and the more individuals entering the workforce, the more vehicles on the road commuting to and from work.
  3. Distracted Driving Still Causing Traffic Fatalities – While the first two causes are not preventable, the third contributing factor is: distracted driving. The NSC states that distracted driving is still a common cause for accidents and accident-related deaths in the United States. They feel that Americans are “addicted to these devices,” and therefore, would risk their own safety and the safety of others to use them while driving. Even with nationwide bans and some states creating harsh penalties for cellphone use while driving, drivers continue to break the law.

What You Can Do

If you want to help reduce the number of traffic fatalities, there are things you can do to lessen your own risk:

  • Never drive distracted or drive with individuals who engage in distracted driving;
  • Carpool to work even if gas is cheap – you will only save more money;
  • Use public transit a few times per week to decrease road congestion;
  • Always use safe driving practices while on the road and never engage in reckless driving;
  • Be aware of common distractions, including cellphones, radios and even talking to passengers in the car;
  • And, never drink and drive.

Injured in an Accident? Contact a Louisville Car Accident Attorney

If you were injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. It is imperative that you speak with a Louisville car accident attorney regarding your accident for a case assessment and to determine if you have a valid claim. Contact Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC online or call 800-991-0474 now to schedule your free consultation.

How Parents Influence Teen Driving Habits

Louisville, KY Car Accident Attorney - Gladstein LawMost teen drivers pick up their bad and good driving habits from their parents. Parents who are poor role models behind the wheel often have children who show little responsibility when driving – and this may even increase the likelihood of them being involved in an accident. According to the Driving Change Report published by Allstate Foundation, teens consider their parents to be the biggest influence when it comes to their driving behaviors.

Statistics

The Allstate Foundation’s report showed that parents are just as guilty as teens when it comes to poor and risky driving behaviors – especially when it came to things like distracted driving and even speeding. In fact, their study showed that:

  • 84 percent of parents admitted to Allstate that they speeded with their teen drivers in the car, while 79 percent of teens stated that they do drive faster than the published speed limit while driving themselves.
  • 88 percent of parents admitted that they use their cellphones while driving – while 87 percent of the teens surveyed admitted to talking, texting or reading emails while driving.

Speeding and distracted driving are two of the biggest contributors to car accidents across the country – and both are illegal for most states. In fact, distracted driving can be just as dangerous as driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

According to DistractedDriving.gov, distracted driving has claimed more than 3,154 lives in 2013. A few other statistics further showing how dangerous distracted driving is includes:

  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that in the United States there are an estimated 660,000 vehicles being driven by those holding cellphones at any time (2011).
  • In 2012, more than two-thirds of drivers nationwide admitted to talking on their cellphones while driving at least once in the last 30 days.

Unfortunately, adults still do not feel that distracted driving is dangerous – even after studies have shown the delayed responses and the dangers associated with removing eyes from the road even for a few seconds.

Most Parents Are Unaware of Teen Driving Habits – Good or Bad

Unfortunately most parents are clueless when it comes to the driving habits of their teens. They do not monitor their driving activities nor do they themselves exhibit good driving behaviors – only further influencing poor habits behind the wheel. Today, teen drivers are still one of the more dangerous groups behind the wheel and are a threat to those around them – especially when they engage in risky or dangerous behaviors.

Parents can help reduce their teen’s risk just by taking a more active role in helping them to develop good driving habits. Parents should also always exhibit good driving habits themselves – habits such as maintaining the speed limit, never driving recklessly and of course, refraining from distracted driving at all times.

Injured in a Car Accident? Speak with a Louisville Car Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one was injured because of a reckless or distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC today for a free consultation. Schedule online or call 800-991-0474 to get started.

Choosing the Right Nursing Home Facility

Louisville, KY Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers - Gladstein LawPicking a nursing home for your loved one can be overwhelming. There are numerous choices you have to make and financial decisions that can make nursing home selections a time of high stress. Regardless of your endless to-do list, it is imperative that you approach the process as prepared as possible so that you can ensure you pick the right nursing home.

First, consider the level of care your loved one needs and what type of care is most important to them. Almost all nursing home residents need some sort of assistance with their day-to-day activities. Some may require physical therapy while others need specialized care for dementia – these specific care needs will help you narrow down the list of possible facilities. You may also want to consider any religious affiliations or social activities offered at the nursing home – so that it is as suitable as possible for your loved one.

Visit the Nursing Home More Than Once

You should visit several nursing homes to get a broader perspective on the options available in Louisville and the surrounding areas. You will also want to verify if the nursing home has their Medicare certifications if your loved one will be billing via Medicare insurance. The certifications mean that the nursing home has passed the independent required inspection – ask to see that inspection document to verify it is valid.

You should visit the nursing home you are considering more than once and at different times of the day. A few things to look for during those visits include:

  • The appearance of the patients – are they well groomed, clean, etc.?
  • See how much staff is there during the week as well as on the weekends.
  • Make sure the facility has enough staff members for each patient in the facility.
  • Ensure the facility is well-maintained at all times and that there are no foul odors – which may indicate poor maintenance.
  • Inquire about their food and even ask to sample that food. Ask about what dietary considerations are used when creating their menus and if they have specialized menus for those suffering from dietary restrictions.

Lastly, make sure that the nursing home location is convenient for you and other family members to visit frequently. Also, any emergency contacts listed with the nursing home should be within a short driving distance from the facility.

Be on the Lookout for Signs of Neglect or Abuse

When you visit your loved one, always be on the lookout for signs of nursing home neglect or abuse – such as bedsores, unexplained cuts/bruises, malnutrition/dehydration, etc. If you recognize any of the symptoms of abuse, remove your loved one and contact the authorities right away.

Speak with a Louisville Attorney Regarding Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing homes are often understaffed and underfunded, but that is no excuse for the poor treatment some facilities give to their residents. If your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse, contact Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC today. We have helped numerous nursing home abuse victims receive compensation for their injuries, pain and suffering. Call us for a free consultation at 800-991-0474 or fill out an online contact form with your questions.

Can I Sue for Bedsores?

Louisville, KY Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers - Gladstein Law

Residents in long-term care facilities, hospitals and even nursing homes are often too frail or weak to move their bodies frequently. As a result, they may spend countless hours in the same position – whether it is in a chair, bed or even wheelchair. This limited mobility can lead to painful, life-threatening pressure sores, also known as bedsores or decubitus ulcers.

Any patient who develops bedsores may have grounds for a lawsuit, because bedsores are the direct result of patient neglect or abuse. This is even more applicable if the patient was admitted without bedsores or has had no history of bedsores in the past.

What are Bedsores?

Bedsores occur in 11 percent of nursing home patients, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These lesions appear on the skin and are the result of direct, constant pressure on bony portions of the body such as the spine, back of the head, hips, shoulder blades, tailbone, elbows, heels and ankles. Increased, constant pressure to these areas depletes oxygen and blood supply to the skin, which forces the tissue to experience cell death.

Individuals that have limited mobility or who are bed-ridden often experience bedsores. Poor circulation or nutrition can also cause these sores to develop. Bedsores are classified into four stages – with stage four being the most serious and possibly life-threatening.

Bedsores Are Not a Patient’s Fault

A bedsore is not something that can be blamed on the patient. There are federal laws that protect hospital patients and nursing home residents and are designed to ensure they receive proper medical care. When the federal standards are not applied, a patient can develop bedsores.

Nursing homes and hospitals are required under that law to develop care plans for their patients. These care plans entail frequent movement (whether that means shifting the patient’s body weight often or moving them in and out of bed) to prevent bedsores from developing. Failure to reposition a patient and development of bedsores is the direct result of the medical facility’s negligence.

When Treatment is Not Received in Time

If a patient develops bedsores or arrives at a facility with bedsores, the facility is also required to administer treatment immediately. Without treatment, a bedsore will continue from stage one to stage four. By stage four, reconstruction and serious surgery may be required to remove infected and dead tissue. Stage four bedsores have the highest complication and death rate – and even if a patient survives, they will have a long, painful recovery.

Receiving Compensation – Contact a Nursing Home Abuse or Malpractice Attorney

If your loved one has developed bedsores, contact an attorney right away. An attorney can hold the negligent nursing home or medical facility responsible for their actions. Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC offers nursing home abuse victims and hospital injury victims the chance to receive compensation for their injuries. Call us at 800-991-0474 or contact us online to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.

When is a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Appropriate?

Louisville, KY Medical Malpractice Lawyers - Gladstein Law

Malpractice claims are one of the most complex civil claims that can be filed in Kentucky courts. A physician may make numerous mistakes throughout their career, but those mistakes are not always the basis for a valid medical malpractice claim. There are numerous complicated issues that must be accounted for first, and it is best to have your case examined by an attorney before assuming a lawsuit is warranted.

Key Factors Required for a Medical Malpractice Case

In Kentucky, there are specific factors that must be present to have a valid medical malpractice claim. These include:

  • Negligence – Negligence is a key factor. But, that negligence is not established simply by the physician performing an error. Instead, the physician or medical professional must have deviated from the accepted medical standard of care – meaning other professionals in a similar situation would not have performed the same steps that led to the critical error. For example, in a surgical setting, a surgeon is required to maintain a level of hygiene to reduce the risk of infection to the patient. If the surgeon fails to properly sanitize themselves, or the staff fails to sanitize surgical instruments, there may be grounds for negligence.
  • Injury – If a physician performs an error, but no injury has occurred, there is no grounds for medical malpractice under the law. To qualify as malpractice, the wrongdoing must have caused an injury or illness to the patient and those injuries must have resulted in some sort of financial cost to that patient. This is because costs (or losses) are required in order for the courts to issue damages to the plaintiff. Some common damages that may be rewarded include lost income, medical expenses, loss of future earning capacity, future medical costs and treatments, and pain and suffering. In rare cases, punitive damages may be awarded.
  • Causation – This is the most critical component in a malpractice claim. There must be physical evidence that specifically links the physician or medical professional to the injury. If the professional cannot be linked to the injury, there are no grounds for a lawsuit.

If a patient is treated negligently in the medical field and the result is unnecessary harm or injury, they are entitled to compensation under Kentucky statutes. Even if you have all three critical factors, you must also ensure your case is within the statute of limitations – which is one year from the time the error occurred and resulted in injury.

Speak with a Medical Malpractice Attorney – Contact Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC Now

If you or a loved one was injured due to a physician or medical professional’s error, contact Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC today for a free consultation. We can assess the facts of your case and determine if you have a valid claim. If you do, we will aggressively protect your right to seek compensation under the law.

Contact us online to get started or call 800-991-0474 to schedule your consultation with an attorney.

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