Despite major advances in car safety, road engineering and greater public education regarding the dangers associated with driving, the sobering fact is that car accidents remain one of the leading causes of death among adults and the leading cause of death among teenagers. The top ten causes of car accidents are:
- Road Conditions - Icy roads, crumbling streets, potholes and slick roadways can present significant danger to the motorist. In Las Vegas, given the year round sunshine, rain can pose a significant hazard when it mixes with the oil on city streets. The mixture creates an extra slick surface leading to cars colliding as a result of poor tire traction.
- Reckless Driving - How many times have you observed someone engaging in aggressive driving placing others at risk? If you received a penny for every daily observation, you'd have a nice chunk of change at the end of the day. Drivers that fail to yield the right of way, failing to provide a turn signal, tailgating, excessive speeding and sudden braking can all lead to catastrophic consequences. The road can be a dangerous place based on the reckless behavior of others!
- Speeding - This one is fairly obvious. Sadly, far too many people treat the city streets like a raceway. It's bad enough when a speeding driver places him or herself in danger, but it's unconscionable when they jeopardize the safety of others. Speed limits exist for a reason. Unfortunately, though, far too many people treat them as merely optional.
- Driver Distraction - Kids wrestling in the car, fixation with the radio, daydreaming while driving; all events that can lead to deadly results. Keeping one's eyes on the road is the key to ensuring maximum safety.
- Drug Use - You'd be surprised to learn some people believe they can consume drugs and drive. It happens far more frequently that one might think. Illegal drugs, however, are not always the culprit. Even over-the-counter cough medicine with a sedative effect can induce sleepiness leading to fatal results.
- Drunk Driving - Again, no surprise. Drinking and driving is simply asking for trouble.
- "Rubbernecking" - A car accident or other event occurs that gets everyone's attention as they crane their necks to observe what is happening roadside. This is called "rubbernecking" which is merely a form of distracted driving.
- Multitasking - The average person is under constant barrage of information as a result of ubiquitous technological innovations. This, coupled with the constant pressures associated with modern life, can cause people to do too much. Eating and talking on the phone while driving is not a smart move.
- Switching Channels - While driving safely should always be the first priority of every driver, far too many people make it a secondary concern to their desire to have the perfect song play on the radio.
- Cell Phones - Texting, talking or snapping constant pictures can lead to tragic results when those activities occur behind the wheel of a car. For this reason, many states have enacted laws regulating cell phone use while driving.
Being aware of safe driving habits can significantly minimize the risk of a car accident. Of course, while you can always change your own behavior, it still pays to be a defensive driver given all the other motorists engaging in high-risk behavior while behind the wheel.
The Difference Between Chiropractors And Physical Therapists - Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Paul S. Padda
Following a car accident, slip and fall or some other type of personal injury incident, people often seek the help of either a chiropractor or physical therapist. Of course, this makes perfect sense. Before exploring legal rights, one's health and well-being come first. However, the question often gets asked, "should I see a chiropractor or a physical therapist if I've been inured?" The answer is that it depends on the circumstances. While both are health care professionals specializing in alternative medicine, their approach towards treatment can differ.
Chiropractic science focuses primarily upon the interplay between the neurological and skeletal systems. The principal theory underlying chiropractic treatment is that "spinal adjustments" promote the free flow of nerve energy which helps to alleviate or cure many ailments.
The goal of every chiropractic treatment is to decrease pain through a series of visits in which a "spinal adjustment" is performed on the patient. In order to see full benefits, patients generally require several chiropractic adjustments before they experience results, this can require a treatment regimen that runs the course of several weeks to even a year in chronic pain cases. Generally, each treatment or spinal adjustment lasts between 10 and 30 minutes.
The goal of physical therapy is to focus on decreasing pain and improving mobility by emphasizing strength conditioning. Physical therapists target musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems in order to improve patient posture, joint flexibility and eliminate movement dysfunction.
While chiropractic medicine has the spine as its focal point, physical therapy encompasses a much broader range of body parts by addressing soft tissue neurological and joint structures. Like chiropractic medicine, physical therapy focuses upon pain reduction through a progressive and sustained treatment regimen.
They Can Both Help
Both Chiropractors and Physical Therapists are licensed health care professionals that must go through extensive certification before they can treat patients. Unlike Physicians, they're focus is upon alternative medicine that avoids prescribing medications for pain alleviation. Of course, if pain medication is necessary, they can both refer patients to qualified physicians that specialize in pain management.
Often, the best starting point is a chiropractor since most trauma occurs in the spine following an accident. After the chiropractor is able to make initial assessments about the degree of spinal trauma, he or she can then refer the patient to another professional that might be able to provide more specific treatment remedies.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ("NHTSA"), a federal government agency, on average around 4,500 pedestrians were killed per year in traffic crashes in the United States since 2008.
A pedestrian is killed in a traffic crash every 2 hours and injured in a traffic crash every 8 minutes. You don't need to be a safety expert to understand the depth of the problem.
According to NHTSA, more than 70% of the pedestrians that were killed were males and most fatalities and serious accidents occur between Friday and Sunday. In almost half of all cases, either the driver or the pedestrian were intoxicated.
Most pedestrian accidents occur in urban settings, usually at cross-walks or other street intersections.
Important Safety Reminders
Drivers are required to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing streets in marked or unmarked crosswalks in most situations. Given the occurrence of most accidents at intersections, pedestrians need to be exceptionally careful when crossing the street. This means being aware of one's surroundings. If a pedestrian is jogging and has headphones on, it is wise to look both ways and from behind before running into and through an intersection.
Increase visibility at night by using a flashlight or wearing retro-reflective clothing when exercising.
If you choose to run in the street instead of the sidewalk, make sure you're running in the face of traffic. This will ensure that you'll see what's coming towards you.
If you're the victim of a pedestrian accident, you have the same right to sue for injuries sustained as you would if you were driving a car and involved in an accident. Auto insurance policies cover pedestrian accidents. Being the victim of a pedestrian accident can potentially far worse than a run-of-the-mill car accident since the impact of the car on the human body carries with it far greater risk and potential for serious injuries. If you've been the victim of a pedestrian accident, "don't get mad, get legal!"
According to recent reports from Las Vegas Metropolitan Police pedestrian accidents increased by 80% in our valley during 2012. Take a moment to read (and share) these tips to help keep our valley safe!
After a traumatic or life-threatening event, it is very common for a person to experience upsetting memories of the event (i.e. "flashbacks"), increased unease or jumpiness, trouble sleeping and feelings of rage or depression. If these reactions do not ease over time or simply get worse, a person might be suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or "PTSD."
While PTSD is popularly viewed as a mood disorder associated with anxiety, it can in fact be a form of brain injury brought about by constant bombardment of brain chemicals due to a traumatic event. With advances in science and heightened studies of PTSD, many experts have come to view PTSD as associated with traumatic brain injury or "TBI."
According to a study discussed in the January 31, 2008 edition of The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that American soldiers who experienced mild concussions while deployed in Iraq exhibited symptoms associated with PTSD and physical health problems 3 to 4 months following the soldiers' return home to the United States. The same study also found that depression and PTSD are important links signifying the relationship between mild TBI and physical health problems. Recognizing the seriousness of PTSD, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs has provided significant information on its website (www.ptsd.va.gov) regarding PTSD in an effort to assist veterans and their families in dealing with this emerging health crises.
If you think PTSD is limited to soldiers fighting in war zones, you would be mistaken. PTSD can occur following a traumatic accident such a motor vehicle collision. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV ("DSM-IV"), PTSD may be summarized in the following manner:
- There is exposure to a traumatic event;
- There is persistent re-experience of the event in the mind of the PTSD sufferer;
- There is persistent avoidance by the PTSD sufferer of things associated with the traumatic event;
- There are persistent symptoms;
- The duration of the symptoms last more than one month; and
- There is significant impairment of the PTSD sufferer in social, occupational or other important areas of life.
The DSM-IV defines "traumatic events" for purposes of diagnosing PTSD as an event that involves actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others. The PTSD sufferer's response involves intense fear, helplessness or horror.
When many people experience a catastrophic accident, they tend to rightly focus on the physical injuries they may have sustained. However, as demonstrated above, ignoring the mental injuries (which can become physical injuries) can be a significant mistake leading to adverse consequences. PTSD is a real and significant condition that must be addressed and taken seriously.
If you or a loved one has been in an accident, you need to aggressive and highly-skilled legal representation. Finding the right lawyer can help you achieve the just compensation you deserve. A good lawyer will know good doctors who in turn will conduct a thorough medical examination. While the road to justice can be long and winding, it should not be made more difficult than necessary. If you or a loved one has been injured:
According to the Brain Injury Association of America the statistics involving brain injuries are sobering. Of the 1.7 million people who sustain a traumatic brain injury each year in the United States:
- 50,000 will die;
- 235,000 will require hospitalization;
- 1.1 million will be treated and released from an emergency room;
When most people think of a brain injury, they think of complete impairment or a person in a vegetative state. However, this is most often not the case. Did you know that a "concussion" is a form of brain injury? In fact, concussions are the most common type of traumatic brain injuries.
Concussions occur as the axons of neurons stretch and contort and brain fluid from the axons literally squirts out the ends of the telodendrites which is the end process of the neuron that transmits neurotransmitter substance to other brain cells. A concussion is basically a complicated pathophysiological process that impacts the brain.
It is often the case that, following a traumatic event resulting in a concussion, mental function is at least temporarily impaired. There is usually damage from the biochemical changes in neurons negatively affecting cell membranes and synapses. The "synapse" is simply the junction between where neurons release neurotransmitter substance from one cell before it is received by the receptors of another cell.
According to the American Academy of Neurology, concussions may be rated in one of two graded fashions:
Grade 1: Some transient confusion; no loss of consciousness and symptoms clear up in 15 minutes;
Grade 2: Some transient confusion; no loss of consciousness and symptoms last longer than 15 minutes.A concussion is nothing to be taken lightly. While we hear of concussions occurring all the time in professional sports, and therefore tend to view it as routine injury, athletes are highly conditioned individuals that are in peak physical shape and have the ability to withstand trauma in ways that might adversely affect the average person. However, even athletes often suffer significant problems from concussions which lead to major cognitive problems later in life.
If you or a loved one has sustained a concussion from a car accident or some other type of personal injury, make sure you receive prompt medical attention from a medical professional. Because a "concussion" is the type of injury that is difficult to self-diagnose, it is imperative to receive appropriate medical attention following a personal injury to ensure there are no major problems left unaddressed.
Following a car accident, many people experience pain in their back and assume that their injuries are limited to the spinal column. While this is often true, advances in technology and medical testing are leading many doctors to also explore the possibility of brain trauma. Often, injuries to the brain can be subtle and difficult to detect and discern. A good doctor examining the victim of a traumatic event will always be on the lookout for potential brain injury.
According to the Brain Injury Association of America (www.biausa.org) the statistics involving brain injuries are sobering. Of the 1.7 million people who sustain a traumatic brain injury each year in the United States:
- 50,000 will die;
- 235,000 will require hospitalization;
- 1.1 million will be treated and released from an emergency room;
Of course, these statistics do not tell the whole story. The number of people with a traumatic brain injury who are not seen in an emergency department or who receive no care whatsoever is unknown. Among the leading causes of brain injuries are the following:
- Motor-Vehicle accidents;
Additionally, men are 1.5 times more likely as females to sustain a traumatic brain injury. Given the propensity of men, especially younger men, to engage in high risk behaviors such as speeding or reckless driving, the disparity between men and women suffering from traumatic brain injuries becomes clearer and easier to understand.
If you or a loved one have suffered a traumatic personal injury, it is essential to make sure a qualified medical professional conducts the appropriate testing to ensure a brain injury is not left untreated. As noted by the Brain Injury Association of America:
"Brain injury is not an event or an outcome. It is the start of a misdiagnosed,misunderstood, under-funded neurological disease. Individuals who sustain brain injuries must have timely access to expert trauma care, specialized rehabilitation, lifelong disease management and individualized services and supports in order to live healthy, independent and satisfying lives."
In most instances, the appropriate physician to diagnose a traumatic brain injury will be a neurologist. If you or a loved one has been in a car accident, the potential for brain injury exists. While you might think a brain injury involves complete impairment, this often not the case. A concussion, even a mild one, is a type of brain injury that, if left untreated, can significantly impact a person's life.
With advances in health care, the elderly are one of the fastest growing populations in American society. Many people entrust their parents or other loved ones to nursing homes hoping they receive first-rate attention and care. This has increasingly become a fact of modern day life.
Unfortunately, despite the trust placed in them to care for our elderly, many nursing homes abuse that trust by failing to provide the proper care they should. By trying to cut costs or simply because they don't care, many nursing homes subject our most vulnerable members of society to neglect and abuse. This is completely unacceptable.
Some of the most common forms of elder abuse and neglect include the following:
- Bed sores;
- Slip and falls;
- Dehydration and malnutrition;
- Assault/Battery by nursing home staff;
- Wrongful death.
Given their vulnerable state, many elderly residents are afraid to speak up and complain. In other cases, some are simply unable to physically communicate what is occurring. If you have a loved one in a nursing home, be vigilant for the following warning signs of neglect or abuse:
- Pressure sores, bedsores and frozen joints;
- Loss of mobility;
- Weight loss from lack of nutrition or depression;
- Unexplained bruises, cuts, fractures, burns and broken bones;
- Odd behavior by nursing home staff, including refusal to permit visitation without staff present;
- Unhygienic conditions.
Discovering nursing home abuse can be shocking and extremely upsetting. It is important, however, to make sure you know your legal rights. While every state in the country has laws on the books to protect the elderly, there are civil claims that can be brought to put an end to the abuse and hold accountable those who hurt our most precious loved ones. If you suspect your loved one is not being treated right, don't ignore your feelings. Make sure you contact an experienced and aggressive lawyer with significant experience in this complex area of the law that will ensure justice is pursued where appropriate. Our elderly cared for us when we were young, we owe it to them to fight for their rights during their most vulnerable years.
Soft Tissue Injury Following A Car Accident Can Be A Serious Matter - Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Paul S. Padda
Soft tissue injury, commonly known as "STI," is a condition involving damage to ligaments, tendons and muscles. STI is extremely common following a car accident. While it might seem benign, STI can be a serious condition leading to serious consequences if not properly treated.
Some of the most common types of STI include sprains, strains, contusions, tendonitis, bursitis, stress injuries and whiplash. Of these, whiplash is among the most common following a car accident due to the nature of the traumatic impact that can cause the head to snap forward. Indeed, many car accidents involve rear end collisions which, because of the nature of the impact, can cause rapid jolting of the head forward and then back. Severe soft tissue damage can result from whiplash including strains and tears to the ligaments and tendons of the neck region. In some cases, whiplash can cause damage to the spine leading to long-term pain. Statistics show that one out of every three whiplash victims continue to experience continuing neck pain as long as three years following a car accident. STI is a serious condition that may not show up on x-rays right away but which can lead to severe pain later on.
While many people might be inclined to think STI requires a high speed impact, this is simply not true. Many STI injuries result from low speed impact accidents - less than 10 miles per hour. Because low impact collisions cause little damage to cars, people often assume there is no significant risk of physical injury. Because of the nature of STI, and because the pain resulting from STI can manifest itself many days later, it is extremely important to seek medical care following any collision. The last thing a person should do is ignore pain following an accident because that decision can lead to more significant consequences later when a ligament might get aggravated leading to increased pain and physical discomfort.
If you've been in a car accident, be on the lookout for the following symptoms of STI:
● Dizziness of nausea
● Neck pain
● Sore muscles in the back
● Tingling sensation in fingers and toes
Any of these conditions following a car accident should compel you to seek medical attention right away. Even if you've been released from an emergency room or by paramedics on the scene of an accident, you should still be on alert for discomfort and lingering pain. A medical professional such as a family doctor or chiropractor can help diagnose STI and begin a course of treatment that can help avoid more significant problems later.
In the 4th Century B.C., Hippocrates, the ancient Greek father of medicine stated "no head injury is too severe to despair of, nor too trivial to ignore." He was certainly right about the last part. No head injury is too trivial to ignore.
Modern life brings with it numerous perils and risks to the most sensitive part of our bodies - the brain. Whether you've been rear-ended in a car accident, fell in a public area because of a dangerous and poorly maintained surface or been the victim of a vicious assault, there are numerous ways you can injure your brain without fully recognizing it. The purpose of this blog entry is to provide some basic facts about "traumatic brain injury," also commonly referred to as "TBI."
What is TBI?
TBI is a nondegenerative, noncongenital condition arising from a trauma affecting the brain. In other words, you're not born with TBI nor does it occur as a result of old age. Instead, TBI arises from an external mechanical force like a blow or jolt to the head causing the brain to collide with the inside of the skull. Penetration of an object into the brain region can also cause TBI.
Among the most common causes of TBI are car accidents, slip and falls, assaults by other persons, certain contact sports and work injuries. Because of the sensitivity of the brain and its importance to every aspect of our lives, TBI is a condition that demands serious attention.
What Are The Symptoms?
There is a very wide spectrum of physical and psychological symptoms arising from TBI. For example, TBI can cause a complete change in personality or moods. On the physical level, symptoms can range from loss of consciousness, memory problems, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, anxiety to profound confusion, slurred speech, seizures and loss of motor skills. On the most extreme end, TBI can result in coma/vegetative state and even death.
Following an accident, many people self-diagnose themselves as feeling fine. This can be a big mistake. TBI symptoms can manifest themselves day or weeks after an accident. For this reason, it is imperative to seek medical treatment following an accident to ensure there are no major brain issues.
How Is TBI Different From A Concussion?
A concussion is in fact a form of brain injury, although what is often referred to as "subtle brain injury." A concussion, although a mild form of brain injury, should always be taken very seriously because left untreated, it can make you more susceptible to more significant injury.
What Can A Lawyer Do?
If you experience TBI as a result of the negligence of another, you should receive compensation for more than just your physical injuries. Trauma to the brain can cause problems with your job and personal life affecting you in profound ways that exceed any physical pain you might experience. A good lawyer will fight hard to obtain maximum compensation for your injuries, especially where there is TBI. However, in order to do so, the lawyer must be sensitive to the possibilities of TBI and know how to obtain maximum compensation arising from this complex condition.
Farmworker Wins $1 Million Settlement In Injury Case - Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Paul S. Padda
A California farmworker, Robert Ramirez Lopez, was on the job only three days in September 2009 when a tragic accident caused his left arm to be crushed and become mangled by a machine that processes watermelons. Mr. Lopez was tapping a watermelon with his hand in order to send it through the processing machine when his arm was crushed by a dumping mechanism in the machine.
As a result of his injuries, Mr. Lopez will never be able to work a manual labor job again. He now has limited use of his arm even though much of it was repaired during surgery. The case was settled only two weeks before the start of trial. Ironically, Mr. Lopez was only able to achieve such a high settlement because the machine that injured him was manufactured by a separate company that was not his employer. If Mr. Lopez had been employed by the company that owned the machine, then any compensation he received would have been limited to a worker's compensation claim. Under worker's compensation, his recovery would have been around $135,000.
If you've been injured in an accident caused by heavy machinery, it is extremely important you discuss your legal options with an experienced products liability attorney. Products liability cases require hiring the right expert and can entail a significant investment in both time and money. The right lawyer, however, can get you the right result. At Cohen & Padda we know what it takes to win. Don't get mad, get legal!
Most states, including Nevada, California and Arizona, require motorists to carry auto insurance. Auto insurance is a contract between a motorist and an insurance company that stipulates the amount of money that will be provided in the event of an accident for matters relating to medical care, property repair and liability to third-parties. Generally speaking, auto insurance coverage follows the vehicle rather than the person that has the insurance. In practical terms, what this means is that even a passenger in a car will have rights under an insurance policy even though the passenger never entered into any contract with the insurance company.
Categories Of Auto Insurance
- Bodily Injury Liability Insurance: This type of coverage reimburses and compensates others for medical expenses for bodily injuries resulting from an accident caused by you. Thus, this coverage protects you from claims by other motorists, passengers in your vehicle and pedestrians.
- Medical Payments Coverage: Also commonly referred to as "med pay." The law does not require that you carry med pay coverage but it is foolish not to. Med pay is a supplemental form of coverage whose cost is minimal compared to the benefits provided. Let's say you get in an accident and you get the run around from the insurance company for whatever reason, med pay coverage will provide you with instant cash to deal with injuries and other needs following an accident. The beauty of med pay is that you get immediate money regardless of fault. Also, the coverage travels with you so that if you're riding in a friend's car or happen to be on public transportation when an accident occurs, you still get coverage. While auto insurance follows the vehicle, med pay follows the person who holds the policy. At Cohen & Padda, we strongly encourage our clients to add med pay to their insurance policy. It might be one of the smartest things you can do to protect yourself. To learn more about med pay, see our blog post from January 1, 2012.
- Property Damage Liability Insurance: This type of coverage provides payment for damages, either repairs or replacement, to another person's car or property if you cause an accident. While it also covers your own vehicle, the law requires you carry coverage to address damage done to another person's property.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury Insurance: What happens if you are injured by a person driving a vehicle who has no insurance or not enough insurance to cover the costs associated with your injuries? This type of coverage addresses precisely that situation. Often referred to as "UIM" coverage, this type of insurance can be essential in helping you pay your bills in the event of a major accident caused by someone with the minimal coverage. Getting behind the wheel always carries risk. This type of coverage helps you address the risk caused by others with inadequate insurance.
What The Law Requires
Nevada law requires that motorists carry a minimal amount of insurance. Specifically, the minimal requirements are as follows:
- Bodily Injury / Death Liability of one person $15,000
- Bodily Injury / Death Liability of two persons $30,000
- Property Damage $10,000
The coverage requirements under both California and Arizona law are the same except California only requires $5,000 in property damage coverage.
A person who fails to carry the required state minimum may have his or her driving privileges suspended. They could also face an initial $500 fine and be required to carry a special "financial responsibility certificate" issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles for 3 years.
Manage The Risk
The road is an uncertain place populated with drunk drivers, young drivers, sleep impaired drivers who work irregular hours and aggressive drivers. Having the right insurance policy will not eliminate the risk of being in a car accident but it will give you peace of mind and access to appropriate compensation in the event of an accident.
At Cohen & Padda, we tell all of our clients that having the right insurance is not just smart it could make the world of difference in your life following an accident. If you carry the minimum policy ($15,000) and you're injured by someone with the minimum policy ($15,000) resulting in a major life impairing injury, your range of compensation will be $30,000 at most. If you're facing the prospect of hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills or maybe never being able to walk again, do you think $30,000 will be enough? Of course not!
Having the right amount of car insurance coverage is simply a matter of putting yourself in the best possible position in the event the unthinkable happens. Remember, "Don't get mad, get legal!"