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October 2014 Archives

Does Prior Driving History Comes Into Play in Auto Accident Lawsuits?

21810631_s-300x200.jpg If you are injured in a car accident, you may want to pursue legal action to obtain money damages for your injuries. In some cases, the claim will be settled out of court with an insurance settlement. In other cases, the insurance settlement may not adequately compensate you for your injuries and you will choose to file a personal injury lawsuit. As with any lawsuit, a personal injury lawsuit involves the introduction of evidence and testimony regarding the accident, injuries, and other applicable information. Many auto accident victims worry about whether their prior driving history can be used against them in an auto accident lawsuit. Generally, prior traffic violations and prior accidents fall under the "bad acts" rule, which means that prior driving history cannot be introduced as evidence in the current case. This rule applies to both the plaintiff and the defendant. The logic behind this rule is that a person's prior history should not have a bearing on their conduct in this special instance. There are some circumstances under which prior driving history may be introduced in a personal injury lawsuit, however. For instance, if the party testifies that he or she has a clean driving record, the door has been opened for the other side to introduce rebuttal information to the contrary. Another exception to the "bad acts" rule is if the defendant was driving while on the job, such as delivery driver. In these cases, the employer may be sued as a co-defendant for negligent hiring. If this is the case, evidence about the driver's unsafe driving history could be introduced as evidence to show that the employer knew or should have known that the driver was unfit to safely operate a vehicle on the job. Finally, evidence of prior driving history may come into play if the defendant's driving record includes a felony conviction, such as a felony DUI or vehicular manslaughter.

Radiology and Medical Malpractice

pPelvicXray_Dollarphotoclub_60783390-300x300.jpgRadiology is medical specialty that focuses primarily on the diagnostic use of CT scans, MRI, x-rays, ultrasounds, sonograms, and other methods of imaging. Like all medical professionals, radiologists are obligated to provide medical treatment that meets the applicable standard of care. The failure to do so can result in liability for any injuries suffered as a result. Radiology diagnostic errors can be caused by:

CMS to Resume Medical Error Reporting

pHospitalEmergencySign_Dollarphotoclub_50081646-300x158.jpgTimely and adequate reporting of medical errors is essential to proper oversight, accountability, and safety within in the healthcare industry. But, a few months ago, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) discontinued its practice of publicly reporting certain life-threatening mistakes. Fortunately, CMS quickly realized the negative impact that this could have on patient safety and reversed its decision last month. According to USA Today, CMS will resume publicly releasing data on hospital mistakes, including when foreign objects are left in patients' bodies or people get the wrong blood type. Before the CMS stopped reported medical error information, the Hospital Compare website listed how often many hospital-acquired conditions occurred at thousands of U.S. acute-care hospitals - those hospitals where patients stay up to 25 days for treatment of severe injuries or illnesses and/or while recovering from surgery - but after the change, CMS only reported the rate of occurrence for 13 conditions, including infections like MRSA and sepsis after surgery. It discontinued reporting all other information. According to CMS's decision to resume reporting, the information will not be released as part of the Hospital Compare website, but will be used for other safety ratings and researchers. But CMS spokesman Aaron Albright indicated that the agency would change its reporting processes in order to make it "more comprehensive and most relevant to consumers." "We are working to make it available as a public-use file for researchers and others who are interested in the data," CMS spokesman Aaron Albright said in an e-mail to USA Today. "It's been requested, so we will make it available." As reported in a recent USA Today article: "There is growing pressure on regulators and hospitals to be more forthcoming about safety and pricing. Increased transparency was one of the three health care policy recommendations issued by the CEO group Business Roundtable last week. Health care 'is a market where it's very hard to know what you're buying,' said Gary Loveman, CEO of Caesar's Entertainment and chairman of the Business Roundtable's health and retirement committee. He recommends, for example, that people considering elective surgeries such as knee replacements get a second opinion and research the infection rates at hospitals they are considering."   The medical malpractice law firm of Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish commends CMS for reinstating its policy of reporting medical errors as a means of promoting patient safety and accountability. We are committed to helping the victims of medical malpractice obtain full and fair financial recovery for their injuries. If you have been the victim of a medical error, contact our office at (312) 445-9084 to speak with one of our medical malpractice lawyers.   Additional Information:

Report Issued on Top 10 Patient Safety Strategies

6310985_s-300x200 (1).jpg  Earlier this year, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) released a report identifying the top 10 patient safety strategies that can be implemented immediately by health care providers. AHRQ developed 41 recommended strategies based on an assessment of evidence about patient safety interventions, finding that the top 10 strategies have the potential to vastly improve patient safety and save lives in hospitals and other healthcare institutions in America. The top 10 patient safety strategies include:

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