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Arkansas’s Roadway Fatalities Rise 11% Through June 2016

Published on Aug 24, 2016 at 2:22 pm in Car Wrecks.

Noel Oman, in an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette article this morning, addresses the increasing number of Arkansas fatalities on our state’s roads.  Here’s a link to the article: https://digital.olivesoftware.com/Olive/ODN/ArDemocrat/PrintArticle.aspx?doc=ArDemocrat%2F2016%2F08%2F24&entity=ar00900

From 2004 to 2013, driving fatalities declined nationally.  However, driving fatalities rose nationally in 2014 and 2015 and that trend continues through June 2016.  Arkansas’s road deaths have followed a similar pattern as fatalities on the state’s roads have increased 27% when comparing statistics for January to June 2014 versus January to June 2016 and 11% when comparing statistics for January to June 2015 versus January to June 2016.

The National Safety Council’s recommendations to motorists and drivers are make sure passengers use their seat belts, designate alcohol- and drug-free drivers, get plenty of sleep and take breaks to avoid fatigue, never use a cellphone and monitor teen driving habits as teens are three times more likely to crash than experienced drivers.

 

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Article Focuses on Little Rock 911 Staff Shortage and Increased Call Volume

Published on Aug 1, 2016 at 4:26 pm in Little Rock 911.

The front page of this morning’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette featured an article by Ryan Tarinelli on call volumes and staffing shortages at Little Rock 911 resulting in wait times for 911 callers.  Here’s a link to the article: https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2016/aug/01/jump-in-calls-shortage-of-staff-lead-to/#/

Little Rock 911 has had staffing shortages for years.  Here’s a link to an article from 2012 addressing the problem: https://katv.com/archive/little-rock-911-dispatch-shortage-grows

The staffing issues and delayed answer times were also addressed in an October 2015 consultant’s report which stated: “[t]he lack of staff appears to be affecting the ability of [Little Rock 911] to provide comprehensive training, answer all calls in a timely manner and provide the required support to field personnel from the dispatch perspective.”

McMath Woods continues to represent the estates of Jinglei Yi and Le Yang, who drowned due to a delayed 911 response by Little Rock 911.

 

McMath Woods Receives Key to Safety Town

Published on Jul 26, 2016 at 2:39 pm in Uncategorized.

Last month, McMath Woods received the key to Safety Town from Mayor Wendy Saer.  Safety Town educates five and six year old children on a variety of safety topics – pedestrians, car passenger, bicycle, school bus, calling 911, and many more.  To learn more about Safety Town, please click the following link: https://www.centralarksafetytown.com/

McMath Woods is a proud sponsor of Safety Town.  Thank you Mayor Saer and all the 2016 Safety Town volunteers for teaching the children of our community how to stay safe.

 

 

18 Wheeler Wrecks and Regulations

Published on Jul 21, 2016 at 7:54 pm in 18 Wheeler, 18-Wheeler wreck, Car Wrecks, Careless Driving, Negligence, Tractor Trailer, Uncategorized, Wrongful Death.

We have blogged before about the challenges of handling a wreck involving an 18 wheeler. If you are involved in a serious wreck with an 18 Wheeler, be aware that it is very likely they will have experts, including accident reconstructionists, on the scene within hours. You should not delay in seeking help. You need someone preserving evidence on your behalf and making sure that everyone involved will be treated fairly and justly.

Most 18 Wheelers have downloadable data in them that should be preserved after a significant wreck. The data can show braking, speed, rpms, steering input and numerous other pre-crash items important to reconstructing what happened. This information needs to be preserved for all parties involved.

Delayed Diagnosis of Cancer, Lost Chance of Survival Doctrine

Published on Jul 21, 2016 at 7:24 pm in Delayed Diagnosis, Medical Error, Medical Malpractice, Medical Negligence, Missed Cancer, Uncategorized, Wrongful Death.

Lost Chance of Survival

We take many calls concerning medical negligence cases, and we frequently get inquiries from people who claim their doctor delayed in diagnosing their cancer. These cases can be difficult to evaluate for the following reasons:

1) Proximate Cause – did the delay cause any damage?

2) Burden of Proof – is there actual proof the diagnosis was missed, such as a radiology study that required follow up?

3) Differing types of cancer have different cure rates, growth rates, etc.

Legally, the biggest issue in a delayed diagnosis cancer case is lost chance of survival. Currently, in a death case, a Plaintiff has the burden of showing that the doctor’s malpractice reduced Plaintiff’s chance of a survival to less than 50%. For the best explanation of this issue, review Holt v. Taylor, 344 Ark. 691, 43 S.W.3d 128, 2001 Ark. LEXIS 286 (2001). In Holt, on April 30, 1996, Sheryl Holt was being prepped for gallbladder surgery and underwent a routine chest x-ray. The x-ray noted “a right apical mass, infiltrate and/or plural thickening.” This was abnormal and the radiologist recommended follow up. No action was taken.

Should A Pressure Ulcer Develop on a Patient in a Hospital?

Published on Jul 7, 2016 at 1:48 pm in bedsores, decubitus ulcer, hosptial malpractice, Medical Malpractice, never event, Pressure Ulcer, skin breakdown, Uncategorized.

In almost all instances, pressure ulcers (sometimes referred to as bedsores or decubitus ulcers or pressure injuries) should NOT develop on a patient in a hospital. Many patients who lose mobility due to coma or stroke or medication, no matter their age, can be at risk of a pressure injury on their bony prominences, such as their coccyx (tailbone), heels, or elbows. Failure to properly reposition a patient, as required by the applicable standard care, can lead to debilitating pressure ulcers. Nutrition, hydration and proper skin assessment by nurses are also important in preventing pressure ulcers. Patients and families should be aware that typically a patient should be repositioned every two hours if lying down, or if sitting up in a chair, the patient should be repositioned every hour. The seated position puts more pressure on the area around the coccyx (tailbone) increasing risk for skin breakdown. Pressure ulcers are serious injuries that should be prevented and avoided.

Medical Errors are the Third Leading Cause of Death in the U.S.

Published on May 4, 2016 at 12:48 pm in Medical Error, Medical Malpractice, Uncategorized, Wrongful Death.

US News and World Report has published an article this morning that summarizes a study done by doctors from John Hopkins University School of Medicine. The study found that medical errors are the third leading cause of death for Americans behind only heart disease and cancer. The study estimates 251,454 deaths result each year from medical mistakes. It appears this was based on numbers from 2013 and before. The study’s lead author, Dr. Martin Makary a professor of surgery and health policy at John Hopkins School of Medicine, stated “People don’t just die from heart attacks and bacteria, they die from system-wide failings and poorly coordinated care.”

Dr. Makary went on to state that “throughout the world, medical error leading to patient death is an under-recognized epidemic.”  The study defined medical error as “lapses in judgment, skill or coordination of care; mistaken diagnoses; system failures that lead to patient deaths or failure to rescue dying patients; and preventable complications of care.”

#JustDrive

Published on Apr 26, 2016 at 7:47 pm in Uncategorized.

Earlier this month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched its #JustDrive campaign to emphasize the true dangers of distracted driving.  Part of the campaign involves Twitter shaming drivers who brag about texting while driving.  You can follow the NHTSA Twitter feed through its website: https://www.distraction.gov/.

Also, I found the following video very powerful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qe80QHz9ITY.  The tagline for the video is “Don’t let an emoji wreck your life.  If you’re texting, you’re not driving.”

McMath Woods encourages all drivers to #JustDrive.

Have You Experienced A Delay When Calling Little Rock 911?

Published on Apr 20, 2016 at 2:30 pm in Consumer Awareness, Wrongful Death.

A couple weeks ago, my family and I saw a local news story about the successful water rescue of a family in Kanis Park by the Little Rock Fire Department.  As the news story ended, my five year old son said “when you call 911, they come real fast.”  I felt horribly conflicted.  On the one hand I was overjoyed to hear that a family of 3 had been saved and I wanted to reassure my son that calls to 911 always bring timely help.  But on the other hand, I knew that a 911 call about a different water rescue from several years earlier didn’t produce an appropriate response and ended in great tragedy.  

Over the last three years, I’ve helped represent Dayong Yang and the estates of his late wife, Jinglei Yi, and his late son, Le Yang, who drowned due to a delayed 911 response. While working on their cases, I’ve often thought “was the delayed response an isolated event?”  “Could the delayed response happen again?”  Unfortunately, the answer I found in an October 2015 consultant’s report prepared for the City of Little Rock was that “[t]he lack of staff appears to be affecting the ability of [Little Rock 911] to provide comprehensive training, answer all calls in a timely manner and provide the required support to field personnel from the dispatch perspective.”

I’m curious to know whether others in Little Rock have experienced delays in having their 911 calls answered and delays in 911 responses.

Here’s the link to the story of the successful 2016 water rescue: https://katv.com/news/local/firefighter-relives-first-water-rescue-as-guardian-angels-save-3-from-flood-waters.

Here’s a link to a story on the drowning of Jinglei Yi and Le Yang: https://archive.thv11.com/news/article/243379/2/LR-Water-Accident-Dad-remembers-wife-son-fights-for-life.

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