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Des Moines Personal Injury Law Blog

Keeping track of medication

For Iowa patients who have serious illnesses such as cancer, managing medication can be challenging. However, there are some tips that they and their caregivers can use to make sure that they are taking the right medication and taking it as directed. First, it is important for patients or their caregivers to ensure that the patient has the right medication. Patients should also make sure that they know how much of their medication to take.

Up to 50 percent of patients take the wrong dosage of their medication because they don't understand the directions. Therefore, it is critical to ask a pharmacist anytime there a patient or a caregiver has questions about how much of a medication to take at a given time. Once it is clear how to take a medication and when, it is important to take it exactly as prescribed.

Breach of doctor-patient confidentiality can lead to lawsuit

When you go to see your doctor, one of the last things on your mind is whether or not that doctor will release or reveal information about your visit to other people. This is because of doctor-patient confidentiality, an incredibly important concept that every doctor must uphold. If doctor-patient confidentiality didn't exist, there would be many people who would simply avoid going to the doctor out of fear that their embarrassing medical condition would be broadcast to the whole world.

Doctor-patient confidentiality is mutually beneficial. For the patient, they feel secure in going to the doctor and revealing very personal, and important, information to a trusted medical professional. For the doctor, it helps to know that the patient is secure so that he or she gives you all of the relevant and necessary information you need to make a decision or prognosis about their condition.

Medical mistakes a leading cause of death in the U.S.

Stories of surgeons leaving surgical tools in patients or nurses confusing medications between patients command headlines. Yet these stories remain easy to dismiss. When you're a patient, you want to assume you're in good hands. Usually, you are. Nevertheless, even the best doctor or nurse can make mistakes. A recent study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine indicate that the prevalence of such mistakes can be eerily high. In fact, "medical errors" in health care settings account for the estimated loss of 151,000 lives every year, surpassing the number of deaths from stroke, Alzheimer's, accidents and respiratory disease. While the numbers are staggering, few people know about them. The reasons may surprise you. 

When the surgeon is negligent, elective surgery can be dangerous

Elective surgery is still surgery, and can carry the same risks as any other type of operation. Errors in the administration of anesthesia, operating on the wrong body part and leaving surgical instruments inside your body, to name a few common surgical errors, can leave you with a permanent disability.

For example, some patients undergo cosmetic surgery, only to end up badly injured because of their surgeon’s negligence. In one particularly sad example, a young woman suffered severe brain damage while undergoing a breast augmentation procedure in 2013.

How to Avoid ATV Injuries

At Galligan & Reid, P.C., we have made it our work as personal injury lawyers to help make the world a safer place. We take that work very seriously and always aim to help people avoid having to come to see us to protect their rights when they have been injured.

It is not infrequent that clients come to us after having suffered a serious injury as a result of using an ATV. A brief understanding of ATV vehicles can help you and your loved ones avoid such an injury.

Surgical error at University of Iowa hospital paralyzed patient

Most patients know that undergoing surgery is rarely totally free of risk. Every type of operation has a chance, even if remote, of leading to serious side effects.

This is why, before you go under the knife, hospitals generally require you to sign documents acknowledging that you are consenting to the procedure. But under the law, if your surgeon has not adequately explained the risks associated with the operation you will be undergoing, you cannot truly consent. After all, how can you consent to something you don’t really understand?

The Preventive Role of a Lawyer

When many people hear the words "personal injury lawyer", they immediately think of attorneys who help represent clients who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents, in the workplace or by malfunctioning products.

And while personal injury attorneys do represent and look out for clients' best interests in those circumstances after someone has already been injured, a major part of any personal injury attorney's job is to help reduce the frequency and severity of those types of accidents. Ultimately, personal injury attorneys want to help make our country a safe place for all of us to live in.

Do universal helmet laws save lives?

Many motorists in Iowa take certain measures to ensure their safety on the roadways. For drivers and passengers, this often means using a seatbelt. For motorcyclists, this usually means wearing protective clothing and a helmet. Many riders will wear a helmet even when the law does not require it. Only three states in the nation, Iowa included, do not have legislation that requires either all bikers or bikers below a certain age to wear a helmet. This causes some to question whether helmet laws are effective at reducing serious and even fatal injuries in the event of a motorcycle crash.

Do universal helmet laws save lives? Universal helmet laws require all motorcycle riders to wear a helmet, while partial helmet laws are age specific, usually for those under the age of 18 or 21. Because the highest rate of injuries and deaths from a motorcycle accident are among riders 20-to-24-years-old, studies have looked at the rates of states with universal helmet laws versus those with partial helmet laws, or none at all.

Motorcycle-RV collision in Iowa injures motorcyclist

Although fall weather is settling in throughout the state of Iowa, motorcyclists are still seen on roadways throughout the state. Even on cooler days, drivers should still expect to encounter these small vehicles on all road types. When a driver fails to take note of motorcyclists around them, they could collide with the rider, resulting in a serious or even fatal motorcycle accident.

Authorities in Iowa were recently dispatched to a motorcycle collision in LeClaire. According to preliminary reports, the accident involved a motorcycle and an RV. Police believe the collision occurred when the motorcyclist was traveling down a rural road and encountered an RV that was backing into a private driveway.

The dangers of commercial truck accidents

As a previous post highlighted, a large number of tractor-trailers travel on all types of roadways in Iowa and other states across the nation. This makes truck safety an important issue; however, to understand why these measures are imperative, the dangers that large trucks could pose on the roadways should be understood.

A recent study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration considered the rate of fatal and injury causing truck accidents occurring that year. When looking at the decade before, the number of fatal commercial truck accidents decreased from 4,721 to 3,906 from 2003 to 20013. While this is a 17 percent drop, roughly 327,000 police-reported truck crashes were reported in 2013.

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