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Joplin Personal Injury Law Blog

Liability questions arise when self-driving cars crash

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a noise? If no one is driving a car and the car crashes, is anyone responsible for the damage? These two potentially maddening questions are really not so different from each other. And as a result, many Americans are concerned about the potential liability implications of allowing self-driving vehicles to operate on the streets of America.

Self-driving vehicles are not completely autonomous. They require a motorist to start them and to remain in the driver's seat in case of emergency. However, because the motorist in the driver's seat is not technically driving, it would be problematic to hold that individual accountable for harm caused by a crash if the car itself was doing the driving.

Permanent birth control method may place patients in danger

Patients understandably trust their physicians to recommend treatment plans which will ultimately work to improve their medical conditions as opposed to negatively impact them. Unfortunately, some dangerous treatments remain on the market even after patients and physicians alike have reported that these treatments can be far more hazardous than beneficial.

For example, a number of women is currently attempting to persuade the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to take a permanent birth control method called Essure off the market. The women have used social media to educate the public about potential hazards associated with this medical device and they were ultimately allowed to voice their concerns directly to the FDA.

Patients lose when physician arrogance goes unchallenged

Being a doctor remains one of the most prestigious professions in America. In many cases, the prestige is justified because of the difficulty of the job and the skill and professionalism which many doctors display.

Unfortunately, there are plenty of doctors who behave in ways that are unprofessional and even childish. A recent article in Slate Magazine discussed a problem that leads to a terrible work environment for nurses and puts patient safety at risk. While it often goes unreported, there is seemingly an epidemic of doctors who berate nurses and other staff members and refuse to listen to any comments or questions they see as a challenge to their authority.

Honoring National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Some of our readers may believe that this month of observance is unnecessary. After all, numerous educational campaigns, technological innovations and local laws are already helping to curb the prevalence of distracted driving behavior. However, it is important to understand that distracted driving continues to kill a staggering number of Americans on an annual basis. Until this problem is significantly curbed, it will remain relevant to educate the public on the hazards of distracted driving.

In 2013 alone, more than 3,000 Americans perished in distracted driving crashes. During that year, an additional 424,000 Americans were injured in distracted driving accidents. Despite these devastating statistics, Americans continue to embrace technology that inspires distracted driving behavior.

Whiplash is not an insignificant injury

In the wake of motor vehicle accidents, some injuries are immediately apparent. Lacerations, broken bones, severe bruising and other injuries can usually be initially assessed with the naked eye. However, other injuries are not always visible. Internal bleeding, bone bruises, concussions and whiplash injuries can take time to become apparent. It is important to understand that “invisible” injuries are often either just as serious or more serious than visible injuries may be.

If you have suffered whiplash or you suspect that you have suffered whiplash as a result of a car accident, please understand that this is not an insignificant injury. Whiplash can lead to chronic pain in some cases and can impact an individual’s ability to lead a normal and healthy life. If you suspect whiplash, please consult a physician and keep track of medical records related to your injury.

Important patient safety documents released

Over the past few weeks, several important documents related to patient safety in America have been released. These documents should help to give lawmakers, medical professionals and the public a clearer sense of which patient safety issues remain pressing. Unfortunately, the most recent documentation released indicates that many patient safety issues still need to be urgently addressed.

First, the Office of the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released its Compendium of Unimplemented Recommendations. The authors of the report noted that “Many of the recommendations in this compendium have seen some progress. However, as of March 2015, the date of publication, OIG had reason to believe that more should be achieved." This comment clearly illustrates that patient safety efforts are lagging behind the pace that the federal government initially expected that they would.

Inside truck accident numbers

If truck accidents involving 18-wheelers and cars were boxing matches, the referee would stop the proceedings before the opening bell. It just wouldn't be a fair fight. The average passenger car weighs about 3,200 pounds, while big rigs can tip the scales at 80,000 pounds.

When a 40-ton truck hits a car weighing two tons or less, the outcome is predictable. As we have seen in the Joplin area, those people inside the smaller vehicle are much more likely to sustain serious injuries or even to be killed than those inside the commercial behemoth.

Cephus Richard III Has Been Nominated and Accepted as a 2015 AIOPIA'S 10 Best in Arkansas For Client Satisfaction

The American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys has recognized the exceptional performance of Arkansas' Personal Injury Attorney Cephus Richard III as 2015 10 Best Personal Injury Attorneys for Client Satisfaction. 

Dangerous driving on St. Patrick's Day

It was 1,554 years ago that the patron saint of Ireland died on March 17. Though he wasn't even Irish, St. Patrick lived on in the hearts and minds of Irish immigrants who came to the U.S. generations ago, bringing with them their festive celebrations. Today, however, St. Patrick's Day is known mainly as a drinking day; a day of partying and excess, especially among young adults.

Unfortunately, it is also a day marred by memories of drunk driving car accidents that cause injuries and fatalities.

Attorney admitted to American college of trial lawyers

Roger Johnson has become a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in America.

The induction ceremony at which Roger Johnson became a Fellow took place recently before an audience of approximately 585 persons during the recent 2015 Spring Annual Meeting of the College in Key Biscayne, Florida.

Founded in 1950, the College is composed of the best of the trial bar from the United States and Canada. Fellowship in the College is extended by invitation only and only after careful investigation, to those experienced trial lawyers who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality. Lawyers must have a minimum of fifteen years trial experience before they can be considered for Fellowship.

Membership in the College cannot exceed one percent of the total lawyer population of any state or province. There are currently approximately 5,860 members in the United States and Canada, including active Fellows, Emeritus Fellows, Judicial Fellows (those who ascended to the bench after their induction) and Honorary Fellows.