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Phoenix Personal Injury Law Blog

Fatal accident at Disney World's speedway

A man has died after an auto accident at Walt Disney World Speedway, which is an attraction visited by people from as far away as Arizona and Alaska. According to Florida police, a 36-year-old man was the passenger who was pronounced dead at the scene. The 24-year-old driver suffered only minor injuries and was taken to Celebration Hospital before being released.

Authorities say that the 24-year-old man was attempting to regain control of his speeding Lamborghini, but the vehicle hit a guard rail before he could slow it down. Both men were wearing seat belts at the time of the accident. The reason for the crash is still being investigated at this time. Speedway at Walt Disney World offers a number of high-speed attractions, allowing customers to ride in powerful NASCAR vehicles and other high-risk cars.

Tips for driving in wet weather

Spring rains bring wet weather to Arizona and the rest of the country. The American Auto Association reports that 1.2 million crashes each year are caused by rainy weather. The most important rule for driving on a wet road is to stay alert at all times. There are several other good ways to avoid accidents.

Potholes are often caused by winter weather affecting the roads. Water can seep into the road where it freezes and thaws many times, causing a pothole to form. Slow down when approaching an unavoidable pothole, then let off the brakes while going over it. The tire will roll over the hole instead of taking a hard hit. Tires that are in good condition help the car stop quickly on a wet road. Find where the tire tread is the shallowest, and insert a quarter into the trough. The tread is worn out if the top of Washington's head is visible.

Illegal street racing's impact on car accidents

Illegal street racing places individuals in Arizona and across the country at risk of personal injury. Law enforcement is cracking down on this unlawful activity for the protection of all individuals. Offenders face serious consequences like confiscation of their vehicles, heavy fines, loss of their driver's licenses and the possibility of arrest.

Illegal street racers experience opposition from the law because their actions have harmed thousands of people. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that illegal street racing was the cause for 135 fatal deaths in 2001 alone. Additionally, the NHTSA has reported that motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of fatalities for people ages 16 to 20. When illegal street racing is thrown into the mix, injuries and fatalities can grow even more frequent.

Serious injuries often occur along with sternum fractures

Arizona residents who have been in motor vehicle accidents in which they were not wearing seat belts or were in a vehicle that did not have air bags may have suffered from a sternum fracture. Also known as a breastbone fracture, this injury most commonly occurs in a car accident when the victim hits the steering wheel or dashboard. It is most common in adults over the age of 50 and women are more prone to suffer this type of injury than are men.

A sternum fracture is frequently accompanied by other more serious injuries. These fractures may result in injuries to internal organs such as punctured lungs. The heart and abdominal organs might be involved as well. Because these internal injuries are so serious, treatment usually focuses on stabilizing those before turning to the sternum fracture. A sternum fracture is diagnosed through imaging and physical examination. Frequent symptoms include pain and inflammation, difficulty in breathing and muscle spasms.

Long-term effects of brain injuries in Arizona

A recent study, done by researchers at Imperial College London, indicates that brain injuries may result in lasting and subsequent damage to the brain. Researchers looked at brain scans of people who had suffered traumatic brain injuries ranging from a month to 46 years after the injury took place, and these scans were compared to scans of individuals who had healthy brains.

It was discovered that those who had suffered brain injuries had brains with similar structures to those of older people with brains appearing around five years older than their actual age. This appears to explain why some people with head injuries develop conditions that are associated with aging, such as dementia.

Risky driving behavior of teenage drivers

Recent studies show that Arizona teenagers can be made aware of the risks posed by distracted driving. A study by Oregon State University shows that 40 percent of teens polled text while driving, which is a decrease from previous studies. Overall, however, a considerable number of young drivers have admitted to multitasking while behind the wheel.

While education has helped with reducing the number of teenage drivers who text while driving, industry experts believe that teens need to be educated about the dangers. In fact, most car accidents are caused by distracted driving. The list of distractions for teen drivers goes well beyond texting, talking on the phone and adjusting the radio or GPS. In the Oregon State survey, teens admitted to putting on makeup and changing contact lenses while driving. Doing homework while driving was also frequently mentioned. Twenty-seven percent of the survey respondents admitted to changing clothes or shoes while driving.

Accidents and traumatic brain injuries

People in Arizona who have been involved in serious auto or work accidents often sustain traumatic brain injuries as a result. Traumatic brain injuries occur when a person suffers from a penetrating head injury that disrupts the function of their brain. A sudden blow to the head or a violent shaking of the head can cause a traumatic brain injury.

According to data provided by the Arizona Department of Health Services, about 1.4 million people in the U.S. suffer from a traumatic brain injury every year. Currently, there are about 5.3 million people living with a disability that is related to a traumatic brain injury they have sustained. Fifty thousand deaths are linked to these types of brain injuries each year, and between 80,000 and 90,000 people become permanently disabled from these injuries.

Arizona birth injuries may be preventable

Arizona parents who are expecting a child may wish to examine their healthcare provider's safety protocols for delivery methods. A report in the Huffington Post indicates that four different hospital groups had initiated basic safety programs that showed a vast reduction in the frequency of birth injuries and a correlative drop in malpractice actions undertaken because of them. These findings suggest that such protocols had a major impact on the potential well-being of mother and child, both during and after birth.

Among the safety measures the report cited were improved communication and the use of simulation-based training to teach medical personnel how to respond properly to possible problems or dangers to the mother or child presenting during childbirth. An institutional reluctance to undertake Caesarian section procedures is also credited with reducing birth injuries as the procedure tends to be more traumatic to both the baby and mother but has nonetheless become more popular among providers in the last several decades.

Problems with breast cancer misdiagnoses

Many women in Arizona undergo breast cancer biopsies every year. Some receive an incorrect diagnosis of cancer, while others suffer while the disease remains untreated. This particular problem is one of almost epic scope, as a recent study pointed out.

According to research published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, as many as 75 percent of women receiving biopsies are either incorrectly diagnosed as having cancer or are victims of a diagnostic failure in which breast cancer is missed. This appears to indicate that a majority of women who have breast cancer biopsies are incorrectly treated for cancer that may or may not be present.

Concussion treatment guidelines in Arizona

In 2013, the American Academy of Neurology updated their sports concussion evaluation and management guidelines for the first time in 16 years, and one of the biggest changes is to how it deals with return-to-play recommendations for young adults and children. Currently, recommendations say that young athletes should not be allowed to play again until they have been looked at by a healthcare professional.

Additional highlights from the updated guidelines include that medication does not appear to do anything to improve recovery and that those who have had concussions are at greater risk for future concussions. It is also suggested that the first 10 days after a concussion pose the greatest risk for an additional injury. Furthermore, although helmets can help prevent concussions, there is no clear data on whether different types of helmets are more beneficial.

*Certified Specialist in Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation by the State Bar of Arizona, Board of Legal Specialization