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Syracuse Personal Injury Law Blog

Tips for surviving a submerged car

A car accident where the car becomes submerged is a nightmare scenario, but it does happen. Drivers in New York or anywhere where there are bodies of water should learn these important safety tips for surviving when a car crashes into water.

According to Popular Mechanics, about 400 Americans drown in their cars each year. Survival experts recommend that when a car goes in the water, the first priority of the passengers should be to get a window open so that they can escape. When a car hits the water, it takes approximately 30 seconds for water to rise to the base of the window. Passengers should try to get the window open in this time frame. If the window is automatic, a passenger can use a hammer or their feet to bash out the window. While it is possible for a person to wait until the car fills with water and the pressure equalizes so it is no longer impossible to open the car door, he or she is much more likely to die before escaping.

How to self-advocate for safer medical care

In New York and across the country, needless medical errors cause pain, suffering and even death. Patients can empower themselves and feel more confident about their health care by becoming medical self-advocates.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, 98,000 people die each year as a result of medical errors. These deaths too often could have been prevented by proper care from medical professionals. Research has shown that patients have better results when they become active participants in their health care decisions. One of the best ways that a patient can self-advocate is to become a better manager of her health care information. A patient should know the medications she is taking and in what doses. She ought to periodically review her medications with her doctor to see if she needs to renew, alter, or end any of her prescriptions. She should always make sure her health care providers know who she is, why she is receiving treatment and any allergies she has to medications. She should endeavor to learn more relevant information about her medications, illnesses and conditions. She should also inform her providers right away if her condition changes or worsens.

5 subtle indications that you could have skin cancer

Your doctor hasn't diagnosed you with skin cancer yet, but you can't help feeling nervous. Sometimes, you're almost paranoid. You know that cancer is often easiest to cure if it's caught early, so you don't want a delayed diagnosis to put you months or even years behind.

This can especially be an issue if cancer begins to spread. If not, localized treatments of skin cancer often work. Knowing that you have the disease as soon as you have it is important.

Myths about strokes could take lives, so know the truth

Failing to identify a stroke quickly can lead to a serious brain injury or death. People who suffer from these life-threatening conditions don't have much time to seek help. They may be paralyzed, unable to speak clearly and confused.

There are many myths about strokes that could cause someone to misdiagnose them. For example, on myth is that you can identify a stroke by looking at a person's tongue. If it's crooked, that's supposed to mean that they're having a stroke. That's not entirely true, though, and it is difficult to know what's "crooked" for one person compared to the next.

2 issues that impact motorcycle safety in ideal conditions

Many New Yorkers believe the majority of motorcycle accidents occur when road conditions are bad. However, a recent study in Motofire states that “most motorcycle accidents happen when road conditions are ideal. The study is based on reported data on motorcycle accidents in Australia. The information suggests that there are other contributing risks that lead to motorcycle accidents. 

Take some time to learn about factors that affect motorcyclist safety when road conditions are ideal. 

Force and pressure during delivery may result in nerve damage

Unfortunately, brachial plexus birth palsy, Erb’s palsy, and other conditions arising from nerve damage continue to affect children in New York. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, brachial plexus birth palsy is usually a condition that results from injury to newborns caused by those who deliver or assist in delivery when the nerves connected to a baby’s fingers, arm, hand or neck are stretched. Less than one percent of newborns develop brachial plexus palsy. The seriousness of a condition is usually diagnosed by a pediatrician through an examination of weakness in a baby’s arm. 

The most severe type of nerve damage, known as avulsion, occurs when a nerve is ruptured and separated or torn away from the spinal cord. This type of damage may be permanent. Other forms of nerve damage, also caused by stretching and strain on the neck or head during delivery, may result. If the injury is severe enough to cause scar tissue to form and affect healthy nerves, the damage caused may be permanent. If the upper nerves are damaged but not the lower nerves, the condition is known as Erb’s palsy. Usually these injuries occur during a difficult delivery.

Automation in large trucks may reduce operator interaction

When you are near a semitruck on the highway in New York, it may cross your mind to hope that the driver is not distracted or fatigued. You probably did not wonder whether there is even a person in the driver’s seat, though. We at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers understand that new technology could change the role of truck drivers, and in the future, it may reduce the number of commercial vehicle crashes.

While self-driving trucks are not on the road yet, CNBC reports that technology for tractor-trailers has taken a step in that direction. Your car’s aerodynamic shape gives you some relief from high fuel prices by increasing your miles per gallon. Large trucks take much more fuel, but by driving closer together, they reduce the wind resistance on each and improve their efficiency. Rather than traveling an average following distance of 200 feet, which is a two- to three-second space, platooning trucks would be a mere 50 to 80 feet apart.

Why so many pregnant women are dying

When a woman discovers she is pregnant, the visits to her New York health care provider will typically become more and more frequent, the closer she gets to the birth. The standard examinations and tests allow the doctor to identify the most commonly occurring pregnancy issues. According to the American Heart Association, for many women, these are not enough.

Research indicates that cardiac arrest kills approximately one out of every 12,000 American women who are admitted to the hospital for delivery. This does not include pregnant mothers who are not at the hospital when their heart malfunctions and stops beating. Researchers believe one problem is a lack of education for those who treat women suffering from cardiac arrest. For example, while CPR should be performed the same, a first responder, emergency room provider or staff member in the obstetrics department may not understand the minor differences in defibrillation protocols or other important details.

Finding health care providers who put patient needs first

While many people wish to rely on the expertise, knowledge and compassion of doctors to provide optimal health care, accidents, ignorance and general disregard of protocols are not unheard of. For New York residents who are anticipating receiving health care, they can benefit from doing their research to find a doctor who puts patient needs first and takes the time to create customized treatments.

The Huffington Post shared an article that discusses common mistakes that doctor’s make. However, the content is applicable to patients who are seeking a health care provider they can rely on. Some of the signs attentive patients can look for include:

  • Timely consultation: People should expect their doctor to provide timely consultation following suspicious symptoms. Attentive doctor’s will put everything else aside to properly diagnose a patient’s condition and educate him or her about the general outcomes, treatment options and recovery process.
  • Relationship health: The most reliable health care providers will put relationships with their patients above all else. Individuals receiving care should monitor the type of relationship they have with their doctor and look for signs that he or she really cares and is concerned about their health.
  • Thorough diagnosis: Because so many mistakes are made during the process of diagnosis, it is imperative that patients seek a doctor who is capable of making a thorough assessment. People should look for a health care provider who is willing to answer questions, explain what a diagnosis means and provide insight into what the future holds.

New York car accident claims the lives of two people

Each day, thousands of New Yorkers rely on the convenience and freedom of their vehicles to get them safely from one destination to the other. However, drivers cannot enjoy the privilege of driving without being subject to the risks of operating a motor vehicle. In most situations, a thorough investigation has to be completed to determine the cause of an accident.

This was just the case in a recent motor vehicle accident on the George Washington Bridge. According to reports, a full-size SUV was traveling eastbound on the New York side of the bridge. There were five occupants inside of the vehicle, two of which were children. Amidst slowing for traffic, a box truck had come to a complete stop when the SUV plowed into the back of the truck. All five of the SUV’s occupants were transported to a local hospital where a man and young child passed away. The other three occupants received unknown injuries.

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