Because of continued changes in technology, the latest craze is all about self-driving cars. Predictably, the experts say the end of driving by humans is near. And of course there will be no more accidents. But just how realistic are either of these most recent tales of the future?
So Will Self-Driving Cars End All Accidents
Not surprisingly, distracted driving remains the main cause of fatal car accidents. Because 90% of accidents result from human error, self-driving cars could potentially solve this problem. However, driving habits take time to change. In addition, young drivers want the freedom and thrill of actually driving. So do some of us older folks.
Here is the problem. As long as both self-driving and human-driven cars on the road, the problem will continue. Hence, the human factor is still there. Maybe there will be fewer crashes based on more self-driving cars. Only time will tell.
Other Safety Issues
While car driving may be safer, what if passengers feel safer and stop using their seat belts? In addition, pedestrians may rely on safety technology and take more chances. After all, they think the vehicle’s computers will stop the car and save them. Like I taught my children when they started driving, trust your own instincts. And always give yourself plenty of time and room in case something on the car fails. Hence the emphasis on mechanical failure. Regardless, this issue will be litigated and regulated because this generation is used to driving on their own. After all, people also did not like mandatory seat belt or child car seat laws. Yet now we know these changes have saved countless lives.
While the future may be bright, we are still on guard for now. So if a human behind the wheel causes you harm, call us for help. While we hope you never need our services, we will be there if you do. You have our word, and we have your back.
Bedsores or Decubitus Ulcers Are Always Preventable If Proper Care is Given
As a former Registerd Nurse (RN), attorney Robert J. Reeves used to treat patients in the Intensive Care Unit who were clinging to life from a Stage IV decubitus ulcer, or bedsore. This is a critical care situation where there is massive tissue, muscle,and even bone loss. After a bedsore begins, immediate and aggressive treatment must be undertaken to prevent more damage from blocked circulation and resulting infection. If the infection gets into the person’s bloodstream, they become “septic” and will die if the infection cannot be controlled and then reversed. The body suffers extremely high fevers, and the immune system is overwhelmed by infection. Blood cultures are drawn repeatedly, and massive doses of antibiotics are given to try and save the patient’s life. So how does such a life threatening condition begin? It starts when an immobile or bedridden person is not given proper hydration and nutrition and is not turned properly to prevent bedsores from forming.
In most situations, we see nursing home residents and patients with head injury or paraplegia cases. In elderly patients, inattentive care by staff can allow residents to become malnourished and dehydrated which sets up a perfect scenario for bedsores to start. They tend to become less mobile and even bedridden. If not encouraged to ambulate or left in bed or a wheelchair for several hours, skin breakdown can occur. If not detected promptly or skin care measures not employed, decubitus ulcers can quickly deteriorate, often within days. At that point, aggressive inpatient medical treatment will be required in an already immunosuppressed patient. If sepsis develops, many elderly patients simply cannot overcome the infection and will pass.
With head injury cases, these patients are being care for in hospitals and by specially trained professional staffs. They have specifically designed beds that constantly “move” in an attempt to prevent decubitus formation. The staff monitor fluid intake, usually by IV, and nutrition is supplied through a tube directly into the stomach. Many of these patients are on ventilators to breathe and are fighting to recover from a traumatic brain injury. If properly monitored and turned regularly, bedsores never get a chance to start. On reddened areas, skin integrity must be maintained by applying lotions and regular massaging to maintain proper circulation to the area.
Paraplegia and quadraplegia patients are, of course, the most vulnerable to bedsore formation and must be protected by hypervigilant care. Special care must be given at all times but especially during transport by ambulance for procedures and followup care. I have a recent case where a paraplegic patient was left on a hard stretcher for several hours waiting for an MRI scan. During that relatively brief period, the patient was not turned or repositioned. Several “reddened areas” in the usual “pressure points” were not detected, and skin breakdown started in just a few hours. People who are paralyzed already suffer from decreased circulation and are chronically under nourished and borderline dehydrated. As a result, bedsores quickly deteriorate without immediate and aggressive medical intervention. In this case, the patient died in her thirties after just a few days. How can this happen so fast? It is the deadly combination of inadequate hydration, nutrition, systemic circulation issues, and lowered immune response. No matter what the excuse given, bedsores are completely preventable in all cases. The more frail and vulnerable the patient; the more care is required. When proper care is not given, deadly results can occur quickly.
Accidents at Construction Sites
It’s good to see construction again. For too long, the economy dragged the building business down and kept workers from their jobs. No new houses or office buildings were being built. Even government spending was greatly decreased. Our country’s economy depends largely on good paying construction jobs. Now in Charlotte and throughout York County, we are seeing construction cranes and new housing developments. Here in Fort Mill and Rock Hill, there are numerous new housing subdivisions being developed. We will miss all the trees, but our area is growing again, and we will all benefit from the high paying construction jobs. However, with those jobs and wages comes the risk of serious injury while on the job and at work.
Workers compensation construction accidents are usually quite serious. People who work indoors or at offices can get hurt, but their injuries are typically minor and do not result in lost time. But folks who wear hardhats and build things can be seriously injured in an instant. Construction accidents can happen in an instant given all of the dangerous machinery and equipment being used. There is so much activity going on at the same time. Everyone has to watch out for each other. A moving crane or heavy loads being moved overhead can crush a worker or amputate a limb in a moment of distraction. Falls from at height can easily result in a serious back or head injury. And let’s not forget all of the saws and welding equipment that injure or even kill even the safest of construction workers. The point is we are all grateful for the new growth in building and everything that comes with new construction. But let’s be doubly careful while at work so that everyone gets back home safely to their families.
If you or someone you care about is injured in a construction accident, call us for answers and options. You can also download our free eBook South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Law What To Do If Hurt At Work by going to our website www.rjrlaw.com. For a private, confidential review of your particular case, call Robert J. Reeves 803-554-4157 or email Robert@RJRlaw.com.
Be Safe. Get Home.
Semi-Truck Accidents Seriously Injure and Kill
Studies conducted by the National Highway and Safety Administration from 2010 reveal that 3,675 people were killed and 80,000 people injured in crashes involving large tractor trailer or semi-trucks. From this figure, approximately 17,000 were children. Children are oftentimes more seriously harmed in semi-truck accidents due to a multitude of reasons but are clearly more vulnerable. Of course, given the physics of a large, multi-ton semi-truck impacting a passenger car, it is amazing that anyone survives this type of crash. Road safety by trucking companies should be followed and placed in the forefront of everything they do. But, despite heavy regulation by federal and state governments, trucking companies still seem to place getting their loads delivered at whatever cost ahead of public safety. Everyday you see large trucks driving too fast with big loads and cutting over lanes in front of other cars and trucks on the road. The causes of these fatal accidents are many, but we see a persistent pattern of negligence.
Common Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents
The picture to the right is a classic example of overloading and why tractor trailer accidents still occur on our roadways. The load depicted is clearly unsafe and never should have been allowed to leave the terminal. No matter how “secure” in the beginning, an experienced semi-truck driver will tell you ALL loads shift. Braking, turning, and other typical driving maneuvers will make heavy loads unstable and dangerous. If the truck has to take evasive action or a sharp turn, the load will move and cause the driver to lose control. It takes real effort to keep a fully loaded truck on the road. When control is lost, only time and distance will eventually stop the truck. Anything or anyone who gets in the way is just doomed.
Another major cause of tractor trailer accidents is driver fatigue due to long hours on the road and excessive delivery demands. These days, the average age of a semi-truck driver is over 50 years old. Younger people simply do not want to drive trucks. The life of a trucker can be a lonely one. You are gone from friends and family for days or even weeks at a time. In addition, being stuck behind the wheel day after day becomes very boring and monotonous. Semi-truck drivers say they get “stir crazy” even though they are traveling at 60 plus MPH. As a result, there is a real, nationwide driver shortage. Consequently, there are fewer drivers available to deliver more loads which means longer times and distances to get the job done. And tractor trailer trucking companies place more demands on their existing drivers to meet their schedules no matter what.
The final cause of semi-truck accidents we will discuss is improper maintenance on trucks. Given the shortage of drivers, trucking companies use fewer trucks. Semi-trucks are very expensive and have to be in motion to be paying for themselves. Companies still trying to remain profitable have to prolong usage between service rotations. As a result, trucks are going longer before critical updates other than oil changes. Brakes and tires require more time off the road and are costly. While oil changes keep the engine going, brakes and tires keep the truck on the road. Hopefully, as the economy improves, younger drivers will be drawn into the trucking profession. Although it is certainly hard work, the pay is also greatly above average. And with no time to spend it, a person could drive a semi-truck for a few years and really save up some money. It would also help make our roads a little safer as younger drivers can remain alert longer than older truckers. All drivers on the highways just want to get home safely.
According to S.C. SECTION 42‑5‑10, Workers’ Compensation states that it is up to the employer to secure payment of compensation to the extent of liability.
Specifically, the statute states that “Every employer who accepts the compensation provisions of this Title shall secure the payment of compensation to his employees in the manner provided in this chapter. While such security remains in force he or those conducting his business shall only be liable to any employee who elects to come under this Title for personal injury or death by accident to the extent and in the manner specified in this Title.” S.C. SECTION 42‑5‑10
In other words, what Workers’ Compensation really is, is an insurance policy that your employer essentially takes out on you when they have a certain amount of employees in working for their company. The employers pay out to the Workers’ Compensation, in the event that a person is injured on the job.
Most states will assess the damages occurred to the employee who was injured while working within the scope of their employment. In the event that an employee is injured while working on the job, they will be entitled to recover for their personal injury, or the estate for a death of the employee, only to the extent of the injury.
This places no blame on the employer, and then business is only liable to the employee who utilizes the statutes for recovery.
If you have been injured while on the job, contact the law offices of Reeves, Aiken, and Hightower, LLP toll-free at 877-374-5999 for more information on compensation options.
According to various sources, including statutes and case law, a personal injury is simply a legal term that is used for any injury to a person’s body or mind (including emotions.)
Injury to property however is considered to be something entirely different and is a different type of “damage” that is typically covered by the defendant’s insurance company.
Typically, the legal term refers to an action of negligence by one person, called the defendant, against another person, referred to as the plaintiff. The plaintiff suffers an injury at the accidental fault of the defendant through the defendant’s negligent act, and then sues the defendant to recover damages for their losses.
What most people think of when they hear the phrase “personal injury,” is that someone has been involved in a major car accident where the plaintiff was seriously injured. They would be entirely correct to make this assumption.
Roadway accidents, accidents at work, “slip and fall” accidents, and holiday accidents are statistically proven to be the most common types of “personal injuries.”
However, the term “personal injury,” expands to encompass much more than simply the “run-of-the-mill” car accident. A personal injury can include anything from a car accident or motorcycle accident all the way to intentional infliction of emotional distress (referred to as IIED) and negligent infliction of emotional distress (or NIED.)
These two claims often arise when the plaintiff has suffered mental injuries, and these injuries are proven by medical attention reporting such injuries. These injuries could include anything from PTSD to depression due to the accident.
If you have suffered any sort of serious personal injury, contact the law offices of Reeves, Aiken, and Hightower, LLP to speak with one of our personal injury attorneys directly at 803-548-5444 or toll-free at 877-374-5999 today.