Injury Law Blog

Becoming A Doctor or Lawyer? Or, Both? An Interview With R. John Naranja Jr., M.D., J.D.

stethescope or gavel? which career to choose

Jonjy Ananth Interviews R. John Naranja Jr., M.D., J.D. on WCUW Community Radio 93.1 FM

When considering his career choice, Dr. Naranja, an orthopaedic surgeon and personal injury attorney, had a strong influence in terms of going into medicine. Both of his parents were physicians. What he didn’t know, is that he would years later also become an attorney.

Here are some highlights from an entertaining and informative interview with Jonjy Ananth. Here are some highlights from an entertaining and informative interview with Jonjy Ananth. Click here to listen to the interview.

Inspiration came to Dr. Naranja from his father, who was born and raised in the Philipines, where he went to medical school. He immigrated and completed his residency in the United Sates. He started with nothing. With all his hard work he always put his family first and succeeded to live the American dream. At one time both father and son were stationed at same Air Force in base.
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Lack of Relationship Between Vehicle Damage and Occupant Injury

car crash victim, whiplash injuries can last a lifetime

In the mid-1990’s a major car insurance company published a set of guidelines and trained its claims adjustors to deny injury claims when the car damage was low. Other insurance companies followed suit.

The purpose of the Minor Impact Soft Tissue (MIST) segmentation strategy was to reduce insurers’ costs by claiming that crashes with minimal damage were unlikely to-or could not cause significant or permanent bodily injury. Insurers treated such injury claims as fraudulent regardless of medical evidence. The goal was to close these cases without payment.1

A technical paper 2 published in February 1997 by Malcolm C. Robbins 3 presents a clear understanding of vehicle body performance when it is subjected to crash dynamics and the relationship to occupant dynamic responses and resulting injury. Using mathematical equations and models, this paper explains the flawed rationale behind correlating the amount of crash damage and the degree of occupant injury.

Notes from the paper 2 state:

  • One of the major factors relating to occupant injury due to a collision is the G force to which the occupant is subjected. 4a, 5a
  • The use of stiff motor vehicle bodies and chassis will produce a spiked G force loading to occupants, even if little damage occurs to vehicle body or chassis.
  • The classic whiplash injury associated with a great deal of litigation is most likely founded on the flawed reasoning that if there was little or no vehicle damage, no injury can result. In fact, the reverseis more likely.
  • If the occupant is decelerated over a greater time/distance due to a large crush/arresting distance (i.e. the more the car is crushed, the more it takes on the G force which reduces the amount transferred to the occupant), then the likelihood of injury is reduced.

Arthur C. Croft 6 and Michael D. Freeman 7 conducted a study, published in 2005 in the Medical science monitor: international medical journal of experimental and clinical research, “to synthesize the published literature for evidence that allows for validation of a system that can accurately predict injury presence, severity, or duration based solely on vehicle property damage levels.1

This study of actual accidents reflects the scientific conclusion based on the mathematical expression and practical examples in the earlier tecnical paper(2) by Malcom C. Robbins. 3

Some notes from the study by Arthur C. Croft(6) and Michael D. Freeman7:

  • In two longitudinal studies, no significant correlations were found between crash severity and long-term symptoms. 8
  • It seems clear that property damage in low velocity motor vehicle crashes do not provide a reliable means of assessing the validity of injury claims and provides no reliable means of prognosticating long-term outcome.
  • It is likely that other factors, such as being aware of an impending impact 4 and relative head restraint rating 9 or geometry 10 are competing, and perhaps stronger, determinants of injury risk than property damage in low velocity crashes of this type.

Their conclusion states “Based upon our best evidence synthesis, the level of vehicle property damage appears to be an invalid construct for injury presence, severity, or duration. The MIST protocol for prediction of injury does not appear to be valid.1

The Human Cost

When a person is injured in a car accident, endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers, can make it appear that you are not injured and delay other signs of injury. This means it is possible that the effects of the accident may not be felt for days or maybe even weeks. 11

When combining these facts with minimal car damage and a strategy by insurance companies to dismiss these injury claims, thousands of people have likely been deprived of the reasonable compensation to which they are entitled insurance policy. By implementing these policies, insurers deprived injured victims of compensation intended to help pay medical bills unless the injured victim contacts an attorney and is willing to fight in the courts.

We can attest from experience the MIST strategy to reduce costs is still followed by auto insurance companies today.

If you suffered injury despite modest property damage to the cars, you should consult a lawyer familiar with challenging insurers reliance on such patently false theories used to deprive injured victims fair compensation.

1 “Correlating crash severity with injury risk, injury severity, and long-term symptoms in low velocity motor vehicle collisions”, by Arthur C. Croft, Michael D. Freeman, Published in Med Sci Monit, 2005; 11(10): RA316-321, November 2005
2 Robbins, M., “Lack of Relationship Between Vehicle Damage and Occupant Injury,” SAE Technical Paper 970494, 1997, doi:10.4271/970494. Copyright 1997 Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc.
3 Malcolm C. Robbins. City and Guilds in Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering, B.Sc. degree in Production Engineering, Member of the American Society of Safety Engineers and the Institution of Production Engineers and Industrial Managers in the UK. Previously full-time faculty member of the Mechanical Engineering Department at San Diego State University. Currently a consultant and expert Forensic Engineer, specializing in the reconstruction of accidents involving automobiles and products. Mr. Robbins may be contacted at 6229 Caminito Marcial, San Diego, California 92111-7218 USA, phone:(619) 268-8543.
4 Malliaris, A. C., R. Hitchcock and M. Hansen, “Harm Causation and Ranking in Car Crushes,” SAE paper 850090, 1985.
5 Malliaris, A. C., R. Hitchcock and J. Hedlund, “A Search for Priorities in Crash Protection,” SAE paper 820242, 1982.
6 Arthur C. Croft. Spine Research Institute of San Diego and the Center for Research into Automotive Safety & Health, Spring Valley,California, U.S.A.; Southern California University of Health Sciences, Whittier, California U.S.A
7 Michael D. Freeman. Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine, Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.
8 Ryan GA, Taylor GW, Moore VM, Dolinis J: Neck strain in car occupants: injury status after 6 months and crash-related factors. Injury, 1994; 25: 533–37
9 Farmer CM, Wells JK, Werner JV: Relationship of head restraint positioning to driver neck injury in rear-end crashes. Accid Anal Prev,1999; 31: 719–28
10 Olsson I, Bunketorp O, Carlsson G et al: An in-depth study of neck injuries in rear end collisions. In International IRCOBI Conference September 12–14; Lyon, France, 1990; 269–80
11 Delayed Car Accident Injuries

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10.4% Increase in Traffic Deaths – Are Smartphones To Blame?

man driving distracted with mobile phone and smartphone app

In Massachusetts, the law states drivers must pay attention in order to prevent injury to others. There is no prohibition on cell phone use while driving in New Hampshire. However, all New Hampshire drivers are prohibited from texting,

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released the Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities for the First Half (Jan–Jun) of 2016 in October 2016. The report indicated there was a 10.4% increase in fatalities over the same period last year (Table 1). Two things are alarming about this. Over the last four decades these fatalities have decreased.1 Secondly, this is the largest annual percentage increase jump in fatalities in 50 years.2

Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities for the First Half (Jan–Jun) 3

These alarming statistics lead the Department of Transportation in October to set a goal of ending fatalities on the nation’s roads within the next 30 years. The NHSTA, Federal Highway Administration, and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are joining forces with the National Safety Council (NSC) to form with the Road to Zero coalition.4 Concurrent efforts will focus on overall system design, addressing infrastructure design, vehicle technology, enforcement and behavior safety.  An important principle will be to find ways to ensure that inevitable human mistakes do not result in fatalities.

Although the NHTSA states, in reference to this report, that it is too soon to attribute contributing factors or potential implications of any changes in deaths on our roadways, other studies give some insight into one possible cause – distracted driving.

In December 2013 a report was prepared for Congress, Understanding the Effects of Distracted Driving and Developing Strategies to Reduce Resulting Deaths and Injuries5, that summarizes a series of studies undertaken by the NHTSA and others, to acquire the information needed to address the general problem of distracted driving, including distractions other than the use of personal wireless communications devices.

These distracting tasks affect drivers in different ways, and can be categorized into the following major types:

Visual distraction: Tasks that require the driver to look away from the roadway to visually obtain information;

Manual distraction: Tasks that require the driver to take a hand or hands off the steering wheel and manipulate an object or device;

Cognitive distraction: Tasks that are defined as the mental workload associated with a task that involves thinking about something other than the driving task

A national phone survey conducted by NHSTA in 2010 reported distracted driving attitudes and behaviors. It was noted that drivers under 25 years of age were 2-3 times more likely than older drivers to send text messages or emails while driving.

Among the behaviors that drivers reported doing on at least some trips:

  • 80% talked to other passengers
  • 66% adjusted the car radio
  • 51% used a navigation system
  • 46% ate or drank
  • 41% made or accepted phone calls
  • 30% used a portable music player with speakers
  • 27% interacted with children in the back seat
  • 26% used a smartphone for driving directions
  • 22% changed CDs, DVDs, or tapes
  • 10% read e-mail or text messages
  • 6% did personal grooming
  • 6% sent text messages or email

Auto Insurers Viewpoints

A recent study by True Motion of a half-million driver trips also found that when traffic slows due to congestion, many drivers pick up their smartphones to text or use apps.

Robert Gordon, senior vice president for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, said “Our auto insurance companies feel the biggest cause of the increasing accident frequency is this type of distracted driving”.6

Auto insurers have expressed renewed interest in what is known as usage-based insurance as consumers become more comfortable with sharing their data to get discounted rates, said Gwenn Bézard, co-founder and research director at financial services research firm Aite Group. FICO may be offering its Safe Driving Score to enter into telematics and help insurers provide usage-based auto insurance. By 2020, about 70 percent of all auto insurance policies in the U.S. will use telematics, according to estimates by Strategy Meets Action, a Boston-based research firm.7

U.S. regulators want phone makers to block most apps for drivers8

“With driver distraction one of the factors behind the rise of traffic fatalities, we are committed to working with the industry to ensure that mobile devices are designed to keep drivers’ eyes where they belong — on the road,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. The government says 3,477, or about 10 per cent, of the more than 35,000 traffic fatalities last year involved distracted drivers. That’s up 8.8 per cent over 2014.

The U.S. government unveiled voluntary guidelines in November, 2016 to reduce crashes, asking smartphone makers to lock out most apps when the phone is being used by someone driving a car.

Drivers could still make calls but the phones and automaker systems would lock out the ability to enter text. Internet browsing, video not related to driving, text from books, and photos also would be locked out. Navigation systems would be permitted, but with guidelines on how to avoid driver distraction.

Moving Forward on the Road to Zero Traffic Fatalities9

The short term strategies include improving useage of seat belts and motorcycle helmets; redesigning streets; truck safety; and leading driver behavioral change campaigns.

Long term, the efforts will focus on overall system design, new vehicle technology, enforcement, and behavioral safety. Automated vehicle technologies may make the goal achievable by the mid 2040’s.

Reaching zero fatalities will require commitment from the traveling public too. After all, 94 percent of crashes can be tied back to a human choice or error, like impaired driving, speeding, or texting behind the wheel.

In Summary

Traffic fatalities have increased at alarming rates in the last year. Distracted driving accounts for 10% of those fatalities, up 8.8% from 2014. Auto insurers feel the use of smartphone apps is the type of distracted driving causing these increases. The NHTSA unveiled guidelines in November 2016 that are the agency’s first recommendations specifically for portable devices that are used while driving, asking smartphone makers to lock out most apps when the phone is being used by someone driving a car. The Road to Zero coalition is working to reduce traffic fatalities to zero in 30 years, and state self-driving cars are an important component in achieving that goal.

While smartphone apps contribute to distracted driving and may be the cause of the recent increase in fatalities, it is too soon to attribute contributing factors or potential implications of any changes in deaths on our roadways. Regulators are not waiting for the definitive analysis, but are responding by taking quick action with guidelines and coalitions.

Sources:

1 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities for the First Half (Jan–Jun) of 2016.

2 New York Times. Biggest Spike in Traffic Deaths in 50 Years? Blame Apps

3 NHTSA. Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities for the First Half (Jan–Jun) of 2016; Table 1: Fatalities and Fatality Rate by Quarter, First Half, and the Percentage Change From the Corresponding Quarter or First Half in the Previous Year.

4 U.S. Department of Transportation. U.S. DOT, NATIONAL SAFETY COUNCIL LAUNCH ROAD TO ZERO COALITION TO END ROADWAY FATALITIES

5 Understanding the Effects of Distracted Driving and Developing Strategies to Reduce Resulting Deaths and Injuries – A Report to Congress.

6 Associated Press. Auto insurers: Distraction big factor in traffic death surge

7 CNBC. More auto insurers want to track your driving behavior in exchange for lower rates

8 U.S. regulators want phone makers to block most apps for drivers. Tom Krisher / The Associated Press. November 23, 2016

9 U.S. Department of Transportation. Moving Forward on the Road to Zero Traffic Fatalities Posted by U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and National Safety Council President Deborah Hersman

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Diller Law, P.C. – Super Lawyers

Diller Law, P.C. attorneys named Super Lawyer and Rising Stars

LEFT TO RIGHT: David Mehan**, Marc Diller*, Shaun DeSantis**, R. John Naranja Jr.
*CHOSEN TO 2016 SUPER LAWYERS; **CHOSEN TO 2016 RISING STARS

EXPERIENCE. TRUST. RESULTS.

Diller Law, P.C. is proud to announce, for the second consecutive year, Marc Diller has been named to the Super Lawyers list1 and Shaun DeSantis and David Mehan have been selected to Rising Stars.2

The firm’s attorneys are dedicated to representing people who suffer injuries and catastrophic losses as a result of motor-vehicle-related crashes, unsafe or defective products, or dangerous premises. Attorney R. John Naranja Jr., M.D., spent more than a decade as a practicing orthopedic surgeon and brings a unique blend of medical and legal expertise to the firm.

“We maintain close communications with our clients and are committed to providing aggressive, thorough and assertive representation,” says Diller. “We fight aggressively on behalf of those we represent and our goal is to achieve just results.”

Article and Photo Source: SUPER LAWYERS MAGAZINE / NEW ENGLAND 2016 SuperLawyers.com.

Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area. The result is a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys.

The Super Lawyers lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers Magazinesand in leading city and regional magazines and newspapers across the country. Super Lawyers Magazines also feature editorial profiles of attorneys who embody excellence in thepractice of law. For more information about Super Lawyers, visit SuperLawyers.com.

1 Each year, no more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive

2 Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor.
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Preventable Injuries, Playground Safety and How to Protect Your Children

Consumer Product Safety Comission Poster (a)

About 20 children die every day from a preventable injury – more than die from all diseases combined.1 Playground injuries are one segment of these preventable injuries.

“Today we recognize that these injuries, like the diseases that once killed children, are predictable, preventable and controllable.” Grant Baldwin, Ph.D., MPH, Director, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2

Playground Injuries3

reported incidents associated with playground equipment, enteral hazard pattern, 2001-2008, cpsc From 2001-2008, an estimated 1,786,008 injuries associated with playground equipment were treated nationally in emergency departments. An estimated 57% occurred at schools or parks. Children between 5 and 9 years of age were 53% of the total injured. The top diagnoses were fractures, contusions and abrasions, lacerations and strains and sprains. The majority of the injuries were associated with monkey bars or playground gyms, swings and slides at a place of recreation or school.

Of those, 2,691 injuries were reported to Consumer Product Safety Comission (CPSC) staff. The most common causes for injury were falls (44%) and equipment related (23%). The top four types of equipment – swings, slides, climbers, and monkey bars – accounted for 58% of the reported incidents. Sixty-eight children were hospitalized, 100 died and 1,976 were treated and released. (Due to ongoing processing of data and other classification reasons these counts tend to be underestimates of the actual numbers of product-related deaths.)

How To Help Keep Your Children Safe On Playgrounds

Public Playground Safety4

CPSC playground guidelines for equipment, layout, materials and maintenance include:

  • Protective surfacing, such as wood chips, mulch, sand, pea gravel, or mats made of safety-tested rubber or rubber-like materials covering a wide enough area beyond the equipment itself to reduce injuries from falls.
  • Guardrails on elevated surfaces to prevent falls.
  • Spaces that could trap children, such as openings in guardrails or between ladder rungs, should measure less than 3.5 inches or more than 9 inches.
  • There should also be 9 feet of space between playground equipment and no tripping hazards.
  • Qualified maintenance providers must do regular inspections of equipment and surfacing to be sure they are in good condition and have no dangerous hardware or sharp points.

Parents, teachers and trusted caregivers are essential to helping prevent injuries on the playground by supervising the children. Safe Kids Worldwide is a global organization dedicated to protecting kids from unintentional injuries, the number one cause of death to children in the United States.

Some tips to remember:5

  • Remove necklaces, purses, scarves or clothing with drawstrings that can get caught on equipment and pose a strangulation hazard. Even helmets can be dangerous on a playground, so save those for bikes.
  • Teach children that pushing, shoving or crowding while on the playground can be dangerous.

Falls are the most common type of playground injury, accounting for more than 75 percent of all playground-related injuries. Lack of or improper supervision is associated with approximately 45 percent of playground-related injuries. 5

Outdoor Home Playground Safety Handbook6

Each year, about 50,000 children go to U.S. hospital emergency rooms because of injuries on home playground equipment, and several children die on home playgrounds. About 80% of the injuries occur when children fall from play equipment.

If you are planning a playground or have home playground equipment, this handbook will help you keep your children safe. It is intended as guidance for homes and residential child care facilities.

It includes guidelines for planning your play area, picking the right construction materials, properly anchoring, assembling and maintaining your equipment, selecting protective surfacing and more.

Note: Schools, parks,multiple family dwellings, public child care facilities, restaurants and recreational developments, and other public use facilities should reference the Handbook for Public Playground Safety, CPSC publication #325.7

References:

1 Sleet, DA, RA Schieber, A Dellinger. Childhood injuries. The Enclyclopedia of Public Health, Vol I (Ed., L Breslow). New York: Macmillan Reference, USA 2002, pp 184-187

2 CDC Childhood Injury Report: Patterns of Unintentional Injuries among 0-19 Year Olds in the United States, 2000-2006.

3 Data reported in O’Brien, C. (October 2009) Injuries and Investigated Deaths Associated with Playground Equipment, 2001-2008. Washington D.C : U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

4 Consumer Product Safety Comission, Public Playground Safety Checklist

5 Safe Kids Worldwide, Playground Safety Tips.

6 U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Outdoor Home Playground Safety, Publication #324, 2005.

7 U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Handbook for Public Playground Safety, CPSC Publication #325, December 29, 2015.

Photo Source:
aCPSC Downloadable, Printable Poster: Safer-Playgrounds, Safer Play For Kids

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Distractions, Teenagers, and Car Crashes

Research Shows Distracted Driving is Four Times Worse Than Estimated

teenager texting while driving
How many of us worry about safety knowing that there are teenagers behind the wheel of a car?

This younger generation has grown up adept at using technological devices.  In fact, teenagers are so used to using handheld computers and cell phones, it is sometimes hard to regain their attention.

When you mix the inexperience of teenage drivers and their dependence on cell phones, etc… it poses a deadly mix — distracted driving!

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s March 2015 report, 1 teen drivers had thier eyes off the road four and one-tenth (4.1) out of the final six (6) seconds before a crash.

What were they doing? The top two reasons teens were distracted from focusing on their driving were:

  • Interacting with one or more passengers – 15%
  • Using their cell phone for calling, texting and other uses – 12%

The following infographic 2 from AAA outlines all causes:

infographic of teen crash causation
This comprehensive study 3 was the result of analysis of 1,700 videos of teen drivers taken from in-vehicle event recorders over a six year period using . Lytx™, Inc., a global leader in video-based driver safety technology using in-vehicle event recorders, provided the collision videos.

The drivers in the crashes examined in the present study were not participating in a study at the time of their crashes, however, they were participating in a program intended to improve teen driver safety, and most were likely encouraged or required by their parents to participate. These results from naturalistic studies are more representative of the teen driving population, but also could underestimate the general driver population of young drivers.

The following video 4 provides a sample of those used in the study.


Teen drivers are more prone to being distracted and make poor judgment calls due to their lack of experience. In 58 percent of all teen crashes studied, distraction was a factor. Out of the 963,000 drivers age 16-19 involved in police-reported crashes in 2013, approximately 40% involved injuries and 0.3% resulted in deaths. 1

What Can Be Done To Prevent Distracted Driving?

Today’s study shows passengers and cell phones are the most common forms of distraction. In five years new distractions may appear and others may lessen. Drones flying overhead could be a new distraction. Within another decade driverless cars may eliminate most if not all of these problems.

We cannot wait another decade for this to happen. Reccomendations by AAA and AAA CEO Bob Darbelnet include:

  • All state should have graduated driver licensing (GDL) laws that allow new drivers to gain practical experience in a relatively safe environment by:
    • prohibiting cell phone use by teen drivers (currently only 33 states have this provsion)
    • restricting passengers to one non-family member for the first six months of driving (currently only 18 states have this provsion)
  • Parents should create a parent-teen driving agreement 5 that includes strict ground rules related to distraction

AAA offers a comprehensive driver education program, where teens can learn specifically how using a cell phone affects driving abilities and increases their crash risk. TeenDriving.AAA.com http://www.teendriving.aaa.com/

In summation, teen driver errors contributed to 94-99% of all teen driver crashes. The most common behavior leading up to a crash was attending to a passenger. The second most common behavior involved cell phone uses.

The information obtained in this study can help in better educating teenagers regarding unsafe behaviors while driving. Parents play a critical role in educating their teenagers to avoid cell phone useage while driving and restrict the number of passengers during their learning and early stages of driving.

teenage boy laments losses from car crash
We all need to help educate our children regarding the significant dangers attributed to distracted driving.

Resources from AAA and the AAA Foundation: 6

  • Driver‐ZED – Interactive risk‐management training tool designed to help teens recognize how to react in a variety of driving scenarios.
  • StartSmart Online Parent Session – Two-hour webinar that explains the licensing process and parents’ role, and demonstrates how to reinforce what your teen is learning in DE and how to maximize the practice driving that you’ll do with your teen.
  • TeenDriving.AAA.com –AAA site that provides state‐specific information to help parents and their teens navigate the learning‐to‐drive process, and includes links to the above programs.

Sources:
1 Source Article https://newsroom.aaa.com/2015/03/distraction-teen-crashes-even-worse-thought/

2 Infographic http://newsroom.aaa.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Teens-Crash-Causation.jpg

3 Full Report Using Naturalistic Driving Data to Assess the Prevalence of Environmental Factors and Driver Behaviors in Teen Driver Crashes

4 Video samples from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Report https://www.youtube.com/embed/SDWmwxQ_NnY

5 Parent-Teen Driving Agreement

6 Environmental Factors and Driver Behaviors in Teen Driver Crashes

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Danger after 2015 Blizzard – Slips and Falls on Snow and Ice

snow on steps and sidewalk looking out an open doorThe Blizzard of 2015 and this winter’s first big storm may have passed, but the dangers resulting from snow and ice have just begun. Inadequately plowed and shoveled walkways and driveways will likely freeze and create dangerous, icy walking surfaces resulting in many slip and falls.

Unintentional falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries in the United States.1

Recent changes in Massachusetts law now require property owners (or those who control the property) to take reasonable measures in removing snow to avoid dangerous, icy walkways.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Considerations in Vince Wilfork’s Rescue Activities

Vince-Wilfork, pictured image cropped from the original, at 8-28-09 Patriots-vs-Redskins game

Vince Wilfork (a)

By Ask Dr. John, Esq.

Car crash victims invite rescue. But what considerations should rescuers contemplate before attempting rescue?

In the aftermath of a New England Patriots victory of the AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts, news from Foxborough publicized the heroic efforts of Patriots defensive tackle, Vince Wilfork, in helping to rescue a woman trapped in a car after it rolled over near Gillette Stadium.(1) The driver was charged with drunken driving, but fortunately, no other serious injuries have been reported.

In Massachusetts, the rights of a rescuer are primarily determined by three doctrines: Read the rest of this entry »

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Be Careful of Drunk Drivers Thanksgiving Eve

row of liquor shots being poured
Be careful of drunk drivers on the road on the evening before Thanksgiving. Across the country, the bar industry knows that the night before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest drinking nights of the year. Old friends get together and meet up at the local watering holes.

In 2012, 31% (10,322 people) of all traffic deaths involved drunk drivers.1 Many more each year suffer catastrophic injuries, but live with the consequences. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bounce Houses: How Seemingly Innocent Fun Can Turn To Tragedy

bounce house in residential neighborhood

It is given that parents will never cease to worry about the safety of their children, especially in modern society, but we should be able to lower our guard while our young ones are enjoying a harmless activity like bouncing around in an oversized inflatable house…right? A closer examination of this popular pastime, however, tells a different story.

A 2012 study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics demonstrates that injuries to young children resulting from the use of inflatable bounce houses are rising at an “alarming” rate. Records analyzed from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database estimated that approximately 64,657 children under age 17 suffered injuries associated with inflatable bouncers from 1990-2010 with a rapidly increasing rate in recent years.1
Read the rest of this entry »

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