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Billings Personal Injury Law Blog

How can you protect your family on a biking adventure?

Montana in the summer brings out the biker in all of us. There is hardly a better way to take in the gorgeous landscape than perched atop a bicycle on the back roads of this beautiful state. As you and your family prepare for your outdoor adventure, the Montana Department of Transportation has some tips for staying safe.

Awareness is one of the most pressing needs for bikers. The MDT says using rearview mirrors can be helpful in keeping you aware of oncoming traffic, but if you do not have those, make a habit of quickly scanning around you from time to time. Look over your shoulder, too, just to be sure you know when vehicles, other cyclists or pedestrians are close. 

What to do in the aftermath of a bike accident

Even the most careful bicyclists can find themselves in trouble when something unexpected happens, and in a bicycle-friendly state such as Montana, bike accidents are an unfortunate, but regular reality. The steps you take immediately following a bike crash can have a tremendous impact on your wellbeing, and there are certain measures you should always take to reduce your risk of suffering a serious, potentially life-changing injury on your bike. At the Law Firm of Edmiston & Colston, we have seen firsthand the catastrophic injuries that often result from bike crashes, and we have helped many clients who suffered injury because of someone else’s negligence work toward getting back on their feet.

According to Bicycling.com, one of the first things you should do after a bike accident is try and get a sense of the severity of your injuries. If you are bleeding heavily, avoid trying to apply a tourniquet yourself. Instead, prioritize getting immediate medical attention and apply pressure on your wounds while you wait for medical professionals.

3 common anesthesia errors

Patients across Montana are placed under anesthesia every day, but when it is happening to you or someone you love, it can be downright scary. Administering anesthesia is an extremely careful process, and if your anesthesiologist does not do it properly, serious repercussions can result. At the Law Firm of Edmiston & Colston, we understand that devastating consequences often accompany anesthesia errors, and we have helped many clients who suffered harm because of anesthesia-related mistakes seek appropriate recourse.

According to Elcam Safety, one of the most common anesthesia-related errors medical professionals make involves incorrect dosing. Dosing errors can result from a number of different circumstances, with inexperience, carelessness and a lack of familiarity with medical equipment all common contributors. Proper training can help reduce dosing errors, and hospital staff can also help combat the problem by encouraging workers to ask questions anytime they are unclear about dosing amounts or practices.

How common is substance abuse among truckers?

Sharing the road with semi-trucks is an unavoidable part of life in Montana, but many motorists feel fearful anytime they find themselves in close proximity to these large, heavy vehicles. While the sheer size and weight of commercial trucks present inevitable dangers, such dangers become compounded when truck drivers fail to follow the rules of the road and abuse substances before getting behind the wheel.

Just how common is substance abuse among commercial truckers? According to the American Addiction Centers, numerous studies have suggested a strong link between the truck driving profession and substance abuse. In fact, 36 studies conducted between 2000 and 2013 revealed that more than 90 percent of truck drivers drank alcohol while on the job, while more than 80 percent abused amphetamines and more than 8 percent acknowledged using cocaine.

What are 2 common types of bicyclist injuries?

Bicycle riding is a popular and common activity for many Billings area residents. Now that the temperatures are warming up, you can expect to see an increase in bikers in the area. Despite the benefits of riding, there are risks that can result in serious injuries and death for cyclists. According to CNN.com, the number of injured cyclists, especially riders who are over the age of 45 years old is increasing and has steadily done so since 1998. 

Accidents can happen anywhere, at any time. They usually occur when unexpected. Whether you plan to drive your vehicle or ride your bike, take some time to learn about two serious injuries that affect bicyclists. 

Distracted driving increasingly common across Montana, nation

If you regularly drive down the road in Montana and see other motorists using their phones, eating or drinking, or otherwise engaging in distracted driving practices, you may have firsthand knowledge of just how severe the problem has become. At the Law Firm of Edmiston & Colston, we know that injuries and fatalities often result when drivers fail to follow the rules of the road, and we have helped many people who suffered injury in distracted driving-related accidents hold the appropriate parties accountable.

Per KPAX.com, nearly 90 percent of drivers nationwide believe that distracted driving is becoming increasingly widespread and problematic. Additionally, members of the Montana Highway Patrol agree, noting that distracted driving is even more dangerous when hazardous road conditions, such as wet or icy roads, are present, as is often the case in the state.

Driving at night can be dangerous

When the sun sets in Montana, cars and trucks continue to fill the roads. People traveling home from work or school, running errands or going out for the night navigate the nighttime roadways. While most streets are brightly lit, people have a harder time seeing in the dark. This can make it difficult to drive safely on the road, and could put other drivers in danger. According to the National Safety Council, fatal automobile accidents are three times more likely during the day than at night.

One reason this is true is that people experience decreased visibility at night, especially those over the age of 50. The NSC reported that once a driver hits 50 years old, they often need at least twice as much light as a 30-year-old to see well. Eye conditions, like cataracts, and bright headlights can make the problem even worse. Without the presence of natural light, the eyes have trouble differentiating the distance and speed of oncoming vehicles. Poor depth perception, peripheral vision and loss of central vision can happen when people drive in the dark.

Health conditions doctors commonly misdiagnose

When you visit your Montana doctor, you probably have faith that the things he or she tells you about your condition are accurate and true. Regrettably, however, doctors are not immune to error, and some medical conditions are misdiagnosed at far higher rates than others. At the Law Firm of Edmiston & Colston, we understand the hardships that arise when patients receive the wrong diagnosis, or a delayed diagnosis, and we have helped many who suffered because of physician errors seek appropriate recourse.

Per Fox News, about one in 20 adults who receive outpatient care receive either a late or incorrect diagnosis about their condition, or they receive no diagnosis whatsoever, despite exhibiting key signs of a certain condition. Furthermore, misdiagnoses are to blame for about 10 percent of all patient fatalities, further spotlighting the problem and a need for a solution. Just what types of conditions are commonly misdiagnosed?

Drowsy driving puts everyone on the road at risk

Most people know that impaired driving is a mistake that can cost someone's life. It's also common knowledge that distracted driving endangers yourself and others. Somehow, many people still don't seem to understand that drowsy or fatigued driving is also a major risk.

More than half of all adult Americans admit to getting behind the wheel while tired. In fact, a terrifying one third of adult drivers admit to falling asleep on the road. Exhaustion may factor into a large number of crashes and collisions that cause serious injuries and death.

Are long trucker commutes endangering motorists?

Anytime you take to the roadway in Montana, you run the risk of encountering commercial trucks. While some semi-truck drivers and commercial trucking companies regularly follow the rules of the road, others engage in dangerous driving behaviors, such as driving after drinking, or driving while distracted, while on the clock. While the dangers of truck drivers driving drunk or distracted are well-documented, some believe a new risk is endangering American motorists, and it stems from increasingly long trucker commutes.

Per TruckingInfo.com, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration believes the dangers posed by long trucker commutes are substantial enough to warrant additional studies and research. As such, the agency is proposing a survey that would not only reveal information about how widespread long trucker commutes are, but also exactly how they endanger others on the state and nation’s roads.

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