Category Archives: News

Latest injury news headlines from around the United States.

drunk-driving

Young Woman Senselessly Killed

The crash that fatally injured 24 year old Megan Elizabeth Carrier happened just after 4 a.m. on February 4th, 2013.  She was the passenger in a vehicle operated by an impaired driver that rear ended a semi-truck parked on the shoulder of the I-5 freeway, just outside Castaic in California. Carrier, a resident of Las Vegas, is survived by her infant child. The driver of the vehicle which Carrier was the passenger of was identified as 25 year old James Samuel Buterbaugh, who highway patrol officials stated was arrested for “gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.” The driver of the big rig that was rear ended was asleep in his cabin when the semi truck collision occurred.

A Preventable Death

Many people who know that they shouldn’t drive drunk, yet for some reason, still tempt fate by getting into cars driven by people in no condition to drive. Perhaps this is because they are only thinking of the legal consequences of their actions (better he get arrested for drunk driving than me), or maybe because they just think that they’re lucky enough to avoid unfortunate consequences.

The exact circumstances surrounding Megan Carrier that put her in the car with Buterbaugh are still not clear and, in fact, may never be 100% clear – but it is clear that this story serves as a cautionary tale to those who would get in a car with an impaired driver. Impaired drivers don’t just take a legal risk with themselves; they take a deadly risk with the lives of everyone else that they are on the road with.

Some might reason that letting the person who is least drunk do the driving is prudent because it would be quicker and cost less than calling a taxi. James Samuel Buterbaugh would likely disagree, perhaps now more than ever.  His decision to drive drunk, if found guilty, could cost him his freedom, tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and judgments against him, and countless sleepless nights as the totality of his single poor decision takes an emotional and mental toll on him.

More than Impaired Driving

This story doesn’t just illustrate the importance of staying out of vehicles driven by impaired drivers; it also illustrates the caution which any driver should take when he or she drives on the open road.  Professional truck drivers and long distance haulers regularly pull over to the shoulders of highways when they need to rest.  Therefore, especially when driving at night and in a lane next to a shoulder, drivers should remain aware of the shoulder and of any vehicles parked or stopped on it.

Further, all occupants of vehicles should always wear their seat belts.  The statistics and stories from crash survivors have existed long enough for people to realize exactly how effective seatbelt technology really is.  Not only can seatbelts save lives, but simply wearing a seatbelt is much more affordable than being stopped and ticketed by a police officer for not wearing one.

About the Author: This post was contributed on behalf of the law firm of Fisher & Talwar. Vibhu Talwar has been representing semi truck accident victims and people with all other types of injuries.

hand-sanitizer

Young Patient Catches on Fire

Witnesses in the hospital on February 2nd, 2013 said they saw 11 year old patient Ireland Lane run out of her hospital room engulfed in flames.  Lane is a cancer patient who was at the hospital following an unrelated head injury she sustained at school. The fire would burn 12% of Lane’s body before it would be snuffed out by her father, who was sleeping by the girl’s bedside when the fire ignited, and other hospital staff.

Sanitizer and Olive Oil Blamed

After an investigation by fire investigators, it appears that the fire may have been caused by a static electrical charge that combined with hand sanitizer and olive oil.  Investigators believe that hand sanitizer residue on Lane’s clothes, combined with olive oil used by hospital staff to remove residue left behind by medical testing, and a spark of static electricity from Lane’s hospital linens, combined to create the dangerous fire that sent the little girl running from her room.

According to officials, fires started by static electricity are among the rarest types of fires that a person might encounter, but when they do happen, they can be devastating, nonetheless.

Prevention

Even though the risk of static electrical fires might be low, it is always a good idea to take steps to prevent even the slightest chance of fire.  After using hand sanitizer, hands should be allowed to dry completely before touching anything that may create static electricity, or touching anything near an open flame.  If any hand sanitizer spills onto clothing, the clothes should be removed and washed.  Standard sanitizer contains up to 60% alcohol, so allowing it to soak into clothes can turn outfits into fire hazards for as long as it takes for the alcohol to evaporate from the fabric.

Alcohol evaporates best when it is spread over a wide surface and exposed to air.  Therefore, to prevent the risk of catching the hands on fire after applying some hand sanitizer, the hands should be rubbed together until it feels as if all of the alcohol has evaporated.  Hand sanitizer users will know when this has happened when their hands don’t feel wet or cool to the touch.

Olive oil, which investigators also thought played a part in sparking the inferno, should also be cleaned from the body with water after intentional or unintentional application.

What’s the Risk

Burns caused by hand sanitizer can cause serious injury to the skin and body. Ireland Lane, the victim in the case above, has already had to receive a skin graft in order to repair the damage that her skin sustained – but she was lucky.  Lane was surrounded by quick thinking medical staff and loved ones who were able to smother the flames before they could do any more damage.  If a person is alone or doesn’t know how to respond if caught on fire, the outcome can be much more tragic than it was for Lane in this case.

As always, the best way to extinguish flames if ever caught on fire is by stopping, dropping, and rolling.

About the Author: This post was contributed on behalf of Fisher & Talwar, attorneys who represent burn victims in Los Angeles California. If you have sustained burn injuries through negligence of another, contact Fisher & Talwar for a free consultation.

Boy Recovering After Losing Nose in Dog Bite Attack

A 10-year-old boy, who lost his nose in a vicious dog bite attack, is recovering in a hospital, where doctors have reattached his nose.  Any dog bite lawyer will find this to be a horrific and vicious attack by any standard.

Dog BiteThe attack occurred in Kentucky, and the dog belonged to the victim’s friend.  The boy was visiting the friend, and was playing with the big dog in the yard.  When the dog walked back into the house and sat on the couch, the dog apparently lunged at the boy, and tore off his nose.  The dog actually swallowed the nose.

The boy was rushed to the hospital, where doctors managed to reattach the nose.  Before this, however, they had to retrieve the nose which was inside the dog.  A vet had to be located in order to retrieve the nose.  The nose was recovered from the dog’s stomach, and was reattached onto the boy.

The surgery has been a success.  However, doctors say that they need to wait for a few more days to see if the nose is completely and successfully reattached to the face.  There doesn’t seem to be any explanation for why the dog suddenly attacked the boy.

Out of the 4.5 million dog bites every year in the country, a majority involve children.  Children are vulnerable to dog bite attacks not only because of their size, but also because they may not understand the risks involved in playing or interacting with a dog.  That is the reason why people who have children at home, or who have children visiting them, must be careful about restraining their pets, and making sure that the dog is secure.  This is especially important in the case of aggressive or large breeds that can do a lot of harm to a young child.

About Author: Written by from the marketing team of McCormick and Murphy, Personal Injury Lawyer

Distracted Driving Survey Shows 21% Surf Web at the Wheel

More people are copping to using smart phones to access the internet while on the road.

Distracted Driving

A State Farm Insurance survey of 1,000 people over 18-years-old who drive more than 80 hours a week found jumps in all categories of internet usage types. People aren’t just using the technology to coordinate directions or check traffic. People are updating statuses, checking email and Facebook, trends that could be dangerous in the upcoming holiday driving season.

This survey isn’t conducted every year by insurance giant State Farm. The last time the survey was taken was in 2009 before anyone knew what Timeline was or how to Instagram the traffic ahead. Still, at that time the smart phone was a popular choice and many drivers had the technology in the car with them.

For the general results, all usage jumped by at least 4 percent in the drivers surveyed. 21 percent said they access the internet while driving, compared to 13 percent in the previous year’s response. 13 percent are updating their Facebook status or tweeting from the car, which was only 9 percent in 2009. Email and news feed checkers have risen to 15 percent, which is a small increase from the 9 percent of the previous survey.

When broken down into age groups, the 18 to 29-year-olds were the worst offenders. Almost half of them use the internet behind the wheel at 48 percent. Only 29 percent said they did so in 2009. 30 percent update status while driving, compared to 20 percent before. 36 percent check the news feed of their social media networks and 43 percent check their email in the car. That’s compared to 21 and 36 percent respectively in the previous survey.

Map of the United States showing states with texting while driving laws. States in red ban texting while driving for all drivers, while states in yellow do so only for new drivers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s true that average age of drivers distracted by their phones is fairly young. It has dropped from the 2009 survey, but the average numbers grew as well. Regardless of age, many drivers seem to support safety laws that ban texting while driving at 72 percent. However, less than half supported technology that prevents drivers from using their phone at 48 percent. A majority seems to understand the danger of using the phone behind the wheel, but don’t want to give up the privilege of using it anyway.

To further add to the confusion of driver’s attitudes towards technology use while driving, about two thirds said they don’t believe current distracted driving laws are effective. They don’t believe that the laws are enforced well enough. Meanwhile, the trend is that more drivers are distracted by technology while driving.

What do all these statistics mean? It could be that more distracted drivers on the road could correlate to more frequent car accidents on the horizon. If people aren’t paying attention in traffic, the chances of a rear-end collision, careless sideswipe or red light run could easily jump up. Whiplash and concussion could become the most common preventable injury in the country.

If you were injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence at the wheel, then speak to an accident attorney today to determine if you have a valid case. Visit the Accident Attorneys’ Group for more information about personal injury cases and what to do after a car accident. 

About Author: The personal injury law offices of Robert Koenig have collected millions of dollars for their clients who were hurt in an accident. With over 20 years of collective experience, the Accident Attorneys’ Group is prepared to handle anything insurance companies or others can throw at them.

Escalator Accident

Elderly Woman Dead in Unfortunate Escalator Accident

With all of the world’s dangers daily commuters face today, from speeding vehicles to deadly train collisions, none are more rare and unfortunate than death by an escalator.

MSNBC posted news of an 88-year-old woman in Long Island who was strangled to death when her clothes caught in an escalator. While on her way to visit her daughter in Manhattan, the woman walked to the train station and took an escalator at the Long Island Railroad Station in Lindenhurst. After falling on the escalator her clothing became tangled and suffocated her.

Neighbors described the woman as a very friendly person. She frequently visited her daughter but most likely never expected her life to end with an escalator accident. As unfortunate as this accident was, such events occur in United States once in a while. Our condolences go out to the woman’s daughter, who must be in shock at this time.

While a full investigation is still under way, there is no clear responsible party yet. Commuters say the escalator was often out of service, while the rail road company says it’s been maintained properly and remained in a “good operating condition”.

No matter the actual cause of this incident, I think we can all agree that this occurrence is downright freaky and left other daily commuters thinking about their safety today. The last thing that crosses our mind when we think about our ultimate demise is suffocating by an escalator. However, these things do happen and when they do, we often try to react to the circumstances instead of thinking about possible dangers proactively.

Does your daily commute involve taking an escalator or two? Mine does, and you can bet that I’ll be thinking twice before rushing my way up the escalator – if not for my own safety then the safety of others.

Church

Church Meeting Disrupted When Woman Crashes Car

Thursday morning, an elderly woman trying to park her Toyota Camry slammed on the gas pedal instead of the break, breaking the entrance way to the church, disrupting a meeting a mere 20 feet away.

It must have been quite a surprising scene for the people in the meeting at the Heritage Christian Fellowship church when an unidentified woman drove her vehicle into the building.

Luckily, no injuries were reported. The authorities are investigating the incident at this hour.

 

Dog Bite Attorney

Dog Bite Injury in San Diego, Child and Officer Taken to Hospital

A dog attacked a little child – aged seven, and a policeman on Sunday when San Diego police discovered the animal owners and their dogs in an empty dwelling in the Southeastern San Diego area of Shelltown. Both the policeman and the child were taken to a hospital for injury treatment. Luckily their injuries were non-threatening.

Police came on scene at the residence around 12 in the afternoon Sunday to find the owner of two gray pit bulls in the residence. The pets got through the fence and one bit a child passer-by in the hand. When a law enforcement officer tried to get in the way, the officer got bitten as well, according to Lt. DeSousa with the San Diego County Department of Animal Services. There is nothing to suggest that the very same animal injured both victims, as everything occurred fairly quickly.

The course of events happened outside a residence near the corner of Epsilon Street and South 41st Street, DeSousa said.

Dog bite injuries are quite common in Southern California with a high concentration of pit bull breed population. Although this was a very unfortunate case involving a child, it is not uncommon for such events to take place. Most people in these situations contact dog bite attorneys to take legal action against owners.

Rear End Collision

San Diego Woman Injured, Man Sentenced Today

There was an unfortunate accident in San Diego that left a young woman with brain damage and other serious injuries after a drunken driver hit her vehicle from behind. Today that man was sentenced to a custodial program where he may work during the day and spend the night behind bars. The sentence was much lighter than a possible 5 years prison time due to special circumstances -the drunken driver (Brian LaRose) has a young child with autism and another with an auto-immune disease that requires constant attention.

The victim (Heidi Wise) who turned 19 in the hospital, says she can’t remember anything a month before and after the crash. The judge commented that it is amazing that she survived, both for the victim and for the drunk driver.

Apparently LaRose is capable of making restitution to the victim, thus in combination with other circumstances keeping himself out of prison.

In California, injury accidents resulting in brain damage are frequent. The sheer volume of traffic on the roads is responsible for many unfortunate accidents. The police officer’s comment couldn’t be more true – “It’s really tragic, and yet our society does not have a grip in this yet”, such accidents are almost impossible to prevent entirely. While not all brain injuries occur from auto accidents, California personal injury lawyers can represent all types of accident victims.

If you live in Southern California and have sustained a brain injury through someone’s negligence, contact prominent Los Angeles brain injury lawyers to help you with your claim.