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Greenwood Village Personal Injury Law Blog

Higher speed limits linked to rising road fatalities

Colorado is one of 41 states that have increased speed limits significantly since the federal government abolished the nationwide 55 mph top speed in 1995, and motorists there can drive at speeds of up to 75 mph on some stretches of road. However, allowing vehicles to travel this fast claims thousands of lives each year according to a recent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study. Researchers from the nonprofit croup analyzed accident fatality data gathered between 1993 and 2014, and they concluded that higher speed limits led to an additional 36,760 deaths.

The IIHS study suggests the speed-related death toll would have been even higher if automobile manufacturers had not developed sophisticated systems designed to prevent collisions of mitigate their effects. Motor vehicle accident deaths have surged in recent years despite these improvements. Excessive speed has also been linked to a worrying rise in pedestrian and cyclist deaths.

Spinal cord injuries can affect the whole family

If you have a loved one who suffered a serious injury to his or her spine and that injury left him or her significantly impaired, you, your family and the injured individual may all be suffering in a number of ways. It is normal to think about how the injury may impact the victim. Fewer Colorado residents tend to think about how spinal cord injuries can affect family members, particularly those who become primary caregivers.

The stress of caring for someone who has experienced a catastrophic injury can really take its toll. No one really understands how bad it can get until the injured is out of the hospital and no longer has medical providers there to handle everything.

Is your post-accident headache a sign of traumatic brain injury?

When another driver hit you as you traveled along a Colorado road, you may have felt confused and frightened. The fact that you could think at all, of course, meant that you had survived. Rescue workers hopefully arrived quickly and were able to help you seek immediate medical attention. The problem is that not all accident injuries are immediately apparent.

It's possible that, beyond a few bumps, bruises and lacerations, you felt fairly well after your motor vehicle collision. However, there are often internal injuries that remain unseen until symptoms begin to surface. This is why it is so important to pay close attention to how you feel in the days and weeks that follow your collision. If any problem issues arise, you'll want to seek additional medical support. Legal support is also available for those who choose to seek restitution if driver negligence caused their injuries.

Misdiagnosis behind most malpractice claims

Colorado residents should know that two recent studies have linked the majority of malpractice claims with misdiagnosis. In a 2017 study involving 62,966 malpractice claims filed by hospital patients, University of Michigan researchers found that 22 percent involved misdiagnosis. Two years earlier, the National Academy of Medicine stated that diagnostic errors may be the third leading cause of death among hospitalized patients.

Two studies were conducted by two insurance carriers specializing in medical professional liability policies. Coverys found that 46 percent of the 1,800 closed claims that were made against its physicians from 2013 to 2017 involved misdiagnosis. Sixty-eight percent of paid indemnity costs were related with misdiagnosis. Out of those misdiagnosis-related cases, 45 percent of the patients died.

Car crash risk goes up after daylight saving time

Drivers in Colorado should be aware that their risk for getting into a car accident can go up after they "spring forward" for daylight saving time. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Everyone advises that drivers should sleep at least seven hours each night, and losing one or two hours of sleep can actually double one's chances of getting into a crash.

AAA also reports that individuals who sleep for only five hours in a 24-hour period will experience the same level of impairment behind the wheel as someone who exceeds the legal limit for alcohol. Yet drowsy driving continues to be a major issue. A AAA survey reveals that 3 in 10 respondents admitted that there was at least one time in the past month when they drove while so tired that they had trouble keeping their eyes open.

Driving aggressively and road rage are not the same thing

Even so, they often result in the same outcome. Driving defensively or assertively can help you get to your destination safely, but when driving behaviors cross over into aggression or road rage, serious accidents can result.

If you happen to get in the way of one of these drivers, you could suffer serious injuries. Your best defense may involve knowing the signs of an aggressive driver, who could easily become a road rage driver.

Rare diseases and medical misdiagnoses

Some people in Colorado may be misdiagnosed because they suffer from a rare disease. In the United States, a rare disease is one that affects fewer than 200,000 people in the country annually. For many rare diseases, treatments are few or are more effective at earlier stages, but the disease is rarely detected in time. Half of all people who suffer from rare diseases are children.

Mesothelioma, a type of cancer, is one example of a rare disease. Only around 3,000 people are diagnosed with it each year. Until it reaches a later stage, it is often misdiagnosed as asthma, pneumonia or a cold since its symptoms include chest pain and shortness of breath.

New technologies may help in the fight against distracted driving

Colorado readers know that distracted driving continues to be a problem both in the state and across the country. Despite the fact that most people are completely aware of the risks involved in distracted driving and the laws that prohibit texting, it is still a major safety concern. There are many opinions on how to fight this problem and make the roads safer for everyone. 

Some suggest that implementing new technologies is the ideal way to make it safer in situations when a driver may not be fully attentive. You may wonder how adding technologies to cars and passenger vehicles can help, but there are advancements that can actually help cars to help drivers avoid collisions. It is possible that one of the keys to reducing the number of distraction-related accidents is to add specific features to vehicles.

Tracking time behind the wheel does not reduce truck accidents

As Colorado readers know, truck accidents happen for many reasons, and they frequently cause significant damage. The large size and heavy weight of this type of vehicle can greatly damage a smaller vehicle during a collision, causing significant injury to the occupants. It is critical for the trucking industry to implement safety measures and do everything possible to protect the interests of all motorists.

One common cause for truck accidents is the number of hours a trucker spends behind the wheel. Too many hours on the road leads to fatigue, and fatigue leads to poor decisions and a greater chance for accidents. In order to combat this problem, truckers have to use electronic logging devices, ELDs, to input their hours. This is to ensure adherence to hours of operation regulations.

Truck crash study calls for speed limiters

Truck accident fatalities in Colorado and around the country continue to climb despite an overall reduction in the number of miles covered by commercial vehicles. This was one of the somber conclusions reached by Road Safe America after studying U.S. truck accident fatalities between 2009 and 2017. Worryingly, Colorado emerged as one of the five states with the highest percentage increase in tractor-trailer crash deaths.

The Georgia-based nonprofit group, which was founded by the parents of a boy killed in an auto accident, says that many of the 35,882 lives lost in truck crashes during the period scrutinized could have been saved by technology that is already available but not yet mandated by federal regulations. Devices that limit how fast tractor-trailers can travel have been standard equipment on American trucks for many years, and systems that apply air brakes automatically in emergency situations are available from all major tractor-trailer manufacturers.

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