Law Firm of Edmiston & Colton - Personal Injury

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in Billings, Montana

Billings Personal Injury Law Blog

In a car accident in Billings? Get medical help immediately

Here in Billings and the areas that surround it, car accidents happen regularly. It doesn't help matters that, as we've noted here before, everyone seems to drive distracted on these roads. Even if you or the driver of your vehicle are not distracted, you cannot safely assume everyone else is equally alert and focused on the road.

If you experience a car accident, you should always get a full medical examination as soon as possible. Many victims don't get an examination because they don't think they suffered any injuries, only to realize later that they suffered hidden injuries that do not cause pain initially. These delayed pain injuries may take hours or days to cause pain and display other symptoms. Some of them pose long-term dangers or may even develop fatal conditions.

Auto accidents and relationships

The consequences of an auto accident can shatter someone’s life in many different ways, whether they lose the ability to walk or face financial problems because of hospital expenses. There are all sorts of other challenges that may arise in the wake of a motor vehicle collision, however, some of which receive less attention. For example, auto accident victims sometimes find that their personal relationships suffer as a result of the collision, a topic that we will take a closer look at in this post.

Whether you are dating someone or have been married for years, an auto accident could be problematic for your relationship in various ways. For example, you may face problems regarding the physical aspects of a relationship as a result of a serious injury or permanent disability. Or, your relationship may suffer from an emotional angle, whether you are depressed following the crash or you have personality changes due to a head injury. Auto accidents can also place a lot of financial strain on a victim’s life, and this can create difficulties in their relationship as well.

Are hospitals really responsible for medical malpractice?

Many hospital administrators in Montana hold medical degrees. Some have even practiced medicine in their careers. However, you would be unlikely to meet a department head or a hospital president even if you underwent major surgery.

Nevertheless, these people and other business professionals are the ones who make leadership decisions that could affect your care. What happens when administrators have major input into how to keep your records, how doctors must do their jobs and how to provide your treatments?

What should I do after a hit and run?

For Montana drivers, a hit and run accident is extremely stressful. Even if you’re not seriously injured, you’ll still have to deal with significant property damage, and the driver responsible will be long gone when it comes time to deal with the issue. There are steps you can take to keep yourself safe while ensuring the negligent party is brought to justice, as explained by State Farm below.

Stay on the scene

Research shows half of surgeries involve medication errors

Before the people of Montana schedule any type of surgery or medical procedure, they may want to be aware of some startling numbers when it comes to medical errors. According to Forbes, a recent study conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital showed that patients were given the wrong medication or dosage of medication in almost half of surgeries performed at the hospital.

One interesting part of the study is the fact that researchers looked at the time period right before, during and after a surgical procedure to see where any errors occurred. Results showed that the most common mistakes were incorrect dosage, labeling mistakes, documentation errors and neglecting to give a patient a medication when their vital signs showed they needed it.

Drug errors can lead to serious injuries

When people take pick up their prescriptions at a local pharmacy, or have their medications delivered in the mail, they assume they are being given the correct drug, with an accurate strength and dosage. Hopefully, the medication will not interact with any of their other prescriptions or they will not have an allergic or adverse reaction to the drug based on their past history. All of these things should be in place to ensure people receive a medication that will be therapeutic and beneficial to their needs. Yet, drug errors occur more often than some people may think, and these mistakes can lead to serious injuries and even death.

Medication errors can occur anywhere during the process of filing a prescription. The physician may inadvertently prescribe the wrong drug, or the nurse may phone in the wrong medication, dosage or directions when calling the prescription into the pharmacy. For example, if the nurse calls in for 25mg of medication when the doctor wrote for 2.5mg, the results could be catastrophic. If the prescription reaches the pharmacy properly, the pharmacist or pharmacy technician may type the information incorrectly. They may also dispense the wrong medication or give the wrong patient the wrong drug.

A third of American teenagers admit to texting and driving

Sharing the Montana roadway with teenagers is undeniably dangerous, both because teens are often prone to distraction and because they inherently lack driving experience. A teen driver can become even more of a highway hazard, however, if he or she is also actively texting behind the wheel, which is something teens across the nation continue to do at alarming rates. At the Law Firm of Edmiston & Colton, we recognize that teens who text and drive endanger not only themselves, but everyone else on the road, and we have helped many victims of teen-driver-involved car wrecks pursue appropriate recourse in their aftermath.

According to Reuters, one in three of today’s teenage drivers acknowledge that they text and drive, and safety advocates believe this number may be even higher in Montana and other states where teens can get driver’s licenses before age 16. In a survey involving more than 101,000 American teenage drivers, nearly 40 percent reported that they had texted behind the wheel, despite the fact that the vast majority of the teens surveyed came from states that banned the behavior for drivers under 21.

Defective equipment may lead to major truck accidents

Motorists understand the importance of having their vehicle checked regularly to ensure all of the parts are working properly. Similarly, large trucks should be inspected on a routine basis to make sure there are no defective parts. Neglected maintenance, system malfunctions or defective equipment on tractor trailers could lead to a catastrophic truck accident. Not surprisingly, trucks that have defective parts are more than twice as likely to get in an accident.

In one study, researchers looked at trucks that had been involved in an accident and discovered that at least one mechanical violation was involved in more than 55 percent of those trucks. While mechanical failures involving braking systems and lighting equipment were the most common, there are a host of other problems that may occur in different truck systems. These include the following:

  •          Defective steering mechanisms
  •          Broken hydraulic hoses
  •          Burned out taillights, headlights or turn signals
  •          Bad windshield wipers and defrosters
  •          Defective trailer hitches

How can drug errors occur?

When you leave the pharmacy with your prescription or take your medication while staying in the hospital, you assume that you have been given the right medication that was prescribed by your physician. Sadly, this is not always the case. Medication errors occur at a surprising rate in Montana and across the United States. There are many opportunities for errors to occur during the prescription filling process, and if one mistake occurs, you may be sent home with the wrong medication.

There are several medical professionals involved in filling your prescription. First, the physician must order the medication, which is then called into the pharmacy by a medical assistant or written for you to take into the pharmacy. Next, the pharmacy technician must then enter in the prescription, which is checked by the pharmacist. During this tedious process, any of the following incidents may occur:

  •          The physician orders the wrong medication for the patient
  •          The medical assistant makes a mistake when calling in the prescription
  •          The pharmacy misfills the prescription with the wrong medication
  •          The wrong dosage of medication is prescribed and/or filled
  •          The patient is given someone else’s prescription

Teen participating in viral challenge causes car crash

Many activities “go viral” because of their entertainment appeal, especially for the younger crowd. Some of these events serve a useful purpose, such as taking the ice water challenge to raise awareness and funds for ALS. Others, like the Tide Pod challenge, seem to have no value and can, in fact, be harmful. When those participating in a viral challenge harm people in Montana or elsewhere, there can be legal ramifications.

The latest viral craze to take hold across the country is called the Bird Box Challenge. Named after the successful Netflix film Bird Box starring Sandra Bullock, those who participate in this challenge cover their eyes and go about their daily activities, usually filming their antics. While this has resulted in some entertaining videos on YouTube, CBS News reported on a car crash that resulted when a 17-year-old girl attempted to drive while blindfolded. Reportedly, two vehicles sustained moderate damage, but fortunately nobody was injured.

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    310 Grand Ave
    Billings, MT 59101

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