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Medical Negligence in Cruise Ships

Cruise ships are places for recreation, but they can also be places for harm. It is worse if the harm is directly related to cruise ship management, like when an accident and injury has occurred because of its failure to maintain facilities, or its medical staff has committed negligence, resulting into the harm of an ill or injured passenger.

According to the website of Louis A. Vucci, PA, those who have been victims of negligence on the part of cruise ship medical staff may have legal options, such as getting compensation for the damages.

First, let us look what medical negligence is. Medical negligence occurs when a medical professional has a direct relationship with a patient, and the patient has been harmed in any way because of the medical professional’s action or inaction.

This can be particularly tricky when it comes to cruise ships, because most of the time, the medical professionals there are employed as independent contractors. It is much easier if the cruise line has its own medical staff, like on the following instances:

  • The cruise line pays the salaries of doctors and other medical staff
  • The cruise line handles the medical supplies, including equipment and medicine
  • The cruise line bills passengers for medical care
  • The cruise line has advertised its medical staff and facilities to passengers

Common Medical Negligence Cases

Medical negligence is both a health and legal issue, but more on the health aspect because the medical negligence can potentially be serious enough to result into complications, injuries, and even deaths. Below are some of the most common medical negligence issues in cruise ships.

Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis occurs when a medical professional has wrongly diagnosed a person, like when he or she has diagnosed a healthy patient as sick or a sick patient as healthy. These have their own respective risks and damages.

A healthy person diagnosed as sick may be subject to unwarranted procedures, medications, and other treatment methods, while a sick person diagnosed as healthy may be subject to delayed or complete absence of treatment, which may result into the worsening of his or her medical condition.

Incorrect Treatment

Even if the patient has been diagnosed correctly, he or she is still not completely safe, because he or she can still be treated incorrectly. Receiving inadequate medications and being subject to improper treatment methods or incompetent treatment techniques may result into several health risks, including allergic reactions, worsening of current medical conditions, and rising of new medical complications.

Factors Considered by Courts in Determining Pedestrian Accidents

While the likelihood of a car driver or passenger getting severely injured in a motor vehicle accident, despite being protected by car’s body, is not a remote possibility, imagine a pedestrian, who has nothing to protect his/her body, getting hit by a speeding car. This absence of protection is the sole reason why pedestrian accidents are either almost always fatal or resulting in severe injuries.

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Traffic Safety Fact Sheet show that in 2012, 4,743 pedestrians were killed, while 76,000 sustained injuries due to car accidents.

An article posted online in a website with the address, www.zavodnicklaw.com, shares this information about pedestrian accident:

Pedestrian related car accidents in Pennsylvania represented 3.3% of the total reported car crashes in 2014, however, they accounted for 13.9% of all traffic crash deaths. A review of the statistics published by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reveals that 41.9% of all pedestrian car accidents occurred while the pedestrian was entering or crossing at an intersection, driveway or mid-block. 31.1% of all pedestrian accidents occurred while the pedestrian was running, jogging, walking or playing. 5.1% of such car accidents occurred while the pedestrian was merely standing.

Anyone, at certain periods of the day, is a pedestrian. It can be a person running or jogging, someone just standing in any street corner, a hiker, or a person who decides to walk to a nearby grocery, to a friend’s house, or to the office.

There are different factors that can put pedestrians’ lives at risk. Though majority of the incidences wherein pedestrians get injured or killed involve motor vehicles, there are also non-vehicular causes of pedestrian accidents. These are the poorly-maintained or defective sidewalks and parking lots, faded or lack of crosswalks (especially in rural areas), inadequately lit roads, and debris on walkways.

Most pedestrian accidents occur in rural areas and during the night, when many different factors that compromise pedestrian safety are at work, such as overspeeding drivers (which is common due to the very light traffic), unlit roads, unaccompanied elders, intoxicated drivers, or intoxicated pedestrians.

Both drivers and pedestrians are expected to observe and obey road safety rules as well as exercise reasonable care. While drivers are usually judged as the liable or negligent party in pedestrian accidents, when the case is brought to court, all elements are looked into and there have been instances when it was actually the pedestrian who acted carelessly and caused the accident.

Some of the factors considered by the court in determining acts of negligence include:

  • On the part of the driver:
    • Overspeeding
    • Failure to yield the right of way to pedestrians, even at crosswalks;
    • Distracted driving;
    • Driving while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol;
    • Failure to signal, especially when about to make a turn
    • Disregarding traffic or weather conditions
  • On the part of the pedestrian:
    • Ignoring the “don’t walk” signal;
    • Failure to cross at marked crosswalks;
    • Entering and disrupting the flow of traffic; and,
    • Darting in front of vehicles

Pedestrians, who get injured because of the negligence of some drivers or someone who never did a good job in maintaining and keeping roads, sidewalks or parking areas safe, may be able to recover damages for whatever injuries they suffer. Being represented by a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyer or pedestrian accident lawyer can be an advantage in a civil lawsuit as the really liable party will definitely do everything to disprove his/her accountability.

Post Offer Employment Testing

Employment testing is a way for employers to know whether an applicant has the physical, emotional, and psychological fortitude to effectively perform the necessary tasks in the position he is applying for. It is the best way to remove those who are medically incapable of doing the job and dramatically decrease the number of applications.

By immediately eradicating those who are not medically qualified, the employers are already minimizing the risks of on the job injuries, unjustifiable worker compensation cases, and productivity issues in the workforce.

One kind of employment testing is the post offer employment testing. It is the test conducted on applicants who have already received an offer from the employers.

If pre-employment testing focuses on the applicant’s capability to perform the tasks related to the job and non-medical assessments, post offer employment testing focuses on the applicant’s more medical attributes. These attributes include existing medical conditions, medical histories, and quantifiable data such as fat index, weight index, strength, and overall fitness.

But aside from knowing the newly hired employee’s medical attributes, what are the advantages of doing a post offer employment testing?

  • Newly hired employees immediately know the physical, emotional, and psychological demands of the job
  • Significant decrease in on the job injuries because employers have hired those who are medically qualified
  • Significant decrease in employee turnover because filters like employment tests help employers find the right people for the job
  • Workplace becomes safer because of the reduced risks for injuries

However, it is important to note that a post offer employment test can be very expensive. Because of the fact that the test is medically inclined, employers will need medical professionals to conduct it. But in the long run, the expenses can be seen as good investments.

By having post offer employment testing, employers enjoy the security of less injuries, turnovers, and productivity issues in the workplace, which could then translate to better economic gains for the business and company.

Traumatic Brain Injuries: The Devastating Consequence of Automobile Accidents

Car accidents can lead to many different injuries, but perhaps among the most devastating of them all are traumatic brain injuries. As many know, a traumatic brain injury is a serious medical condition that can affect some of the most basic bodily functions. It can be caused by any forceful blow to the head or a foreign object that penetrates the skull.

A traumatic brain injury can either be temporary or permanent. With the former, injured individual will likely experience dysfunction in certain bodily functions regulated by the part of the brain that has been injured in the accident. Fortunately, these functions can be regained in time through proper treatment and rehabilitation. In some instances, damage caused by trauma to the brain can also be permanent. This will lead to paralysis or brain death.

The most alarming thing about traumatic brain injuries is that they’re often not easy to catch. In some cases, individuals walk away from car accidents without any concerning symptoms. Minor concussions can be easily ignored as a simple bump to the head. It is only after some time that the effects of some traumatic brain injuries can be outwardly spotted, and in some cases, it might already be too late to treat when this happen.

Victims of car accidents are encouraged to watch out for symptoms that may suggest a traumatic brain injury. Symptoms such as persisting headaches, disorientation, fatigue, drowsiness, loss of balance and coordination may suggest something more serious. In these cases, it’s important to seek emergency medical treatment right away. After some time, these symptoms might worsen and lead to seizures, convulsions, and a loss of consciousness.

Traumatic brain injuries are among the many devastating consequences that could come from an automobile accident. In instances of serious crashes that lead to such injuries, both the victims and their families are encouraged to seek legal counsel to receive information on how they can receive compensation for the many damages they incurred due to the accident.

Filing A Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit

For most families, sending an elderly loved one to a nursing home facility can be one of the toughest decisions they can make. As much as possible, the elderly would want to spend their last years living with their families. When they do decide to send the elderly to a facility, they have the assumption that their loved one would be safe and treated well. This has not been the case most of the time.

According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, there has been several reports of abuses in nursing home facilities. And if your elderly loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse, you can file a case against the facility. Just like any lawsuit, the process can be time consuming but if successful, you could be able to recover damages for your case. Here now are the steps for filing a nursing home abuse:

1. Gather evidence

Before the trial, you need to gather evidence that will solidify your claim of abuse. Among the most important documents you need to gather medical records from doctors or hospitals. These records can contribute in ensuring the success of your case.

2. Filing the case

Once the evidence has been gathered, the next step is to file the case in court and then served to the facility and other defendants. Just like other lawsuits, nursing home abuse lawsuits are covered by a statute of limitation so make sure to file the case within the prescribed time limit.

3. Preparation for trial

After the filing the case, the plaintiff gets ready for the trial. With the documents in hand, the legal team will assemble witnesses who will corroborate the claim of abuse. Doctors will also be invited to be expert witnesses for the medical records.

4. Resolution of the Case

There are several ways the case can be resolved. To avoid trial, the legal representative of the nursing home may opt for an out-of-court settlement. Other possible ways the case will be resolved includes mediation, settlement arbitration, or administrative settlement.

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