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Appleton Personal Injury Law Blog

Surgical sponges harm patients when surgeons leave them inside

Though surgical tools like sponges are useful and help the surgeon perform operations, they are not supposed to be left in the patient’s body. When surgeons sew up patients with a sponge still inside, the patient can sustain internal injuries. They will likely need more surgery to remove the sponge, and they might die from this form of medical malpractice.

Surgical sponges are not like kitchen sponges. They are squares of gauze that absorb blood. Medical professionals have struggled for years to find a reliable way to keep track of all the sponges used during an operation, so that the surgeon removes them all before finishing up. But techniques like having a nurse keep count, X-raying the patient or using bar codes have not eliminated the problem.

Distracted drivers often harm children in school zones

Distracted driving has become an epidemic in the United States. Unable or unwilling to focus their attention on the road, too many people choose to use their cellphone or other electronic devices while driving. Others believe, despite all evidence to the contrary, that eating or putting on makeup behind the wheel are safe and won’t cause a car accident.

Even the areas where children get on and off the school bus are not safe from distracted drivers. American Traffic Solutions, a company that provides traffic-light cameras, says that more than 100 children are killed each year in car crashes in school zones, and more than 25,000 injured.

Are Wisconsin drivers required to have insurance in case of crash?

Drivers in many states are legally required to have car insurance. Wisconsin is among those states. The law says that motorists must carry auto insurance, except in limited cases where another form of security like a surety bond or personal funds can be substituted.

According to the state Commissioner of Insurance, for policies issued or renewed as of Nov. 1, 2011, motorists must have at least $25,000 for injury or death of one person in a car accident. The policy must have a minimum of $50,000 coverage for injury or death of two or more people, and $10,000 for property damage.

Mayfly swarm causes 3-car accident in Wisconsin

Wisconsin motorists know to be ready for anything on the road. In wintertime, this means snow, ice and sleet, which can make streets and highways slippery. Drivers who do not adjust by slowing down and allowing for more following distance risk getting into a car accident.

Late in July, a different sort of natural phenomenon may have caused a three-car crash in western Wisconsin. At least two people were injured, though one of them was not seriously hurt. The condition of the second victim was not known.

5 steps for patients to avoid medical malpractice

It is the duty of the doctor and the rest of the medical team to provide a reasonable standard of care to the patient. If you go to the hospital for an operation and the surgeon seems like he or she is not meeting that standard, it may be necessary to act on your own behalf to reduce your chances of becoming the victim of a surgical error.

After all, most people would rather not be harmed by medical malpractice than be forced to assert their rights in court later. Here are five tips for how to protect yourself the next time you are about to have surgery:

Officials: fewest fatalities in Wisconsin car wrecks since WWII

The last time there were so few deadly car accidents in Wisconsin, World War II had just ended. In fact, if trends from this year hold, the rate could be even better, at least for four-wheeled motorists.

The state Department of Transportation recently reported that the number of fatal car accidents in Wisconsin over the first six months of the year were down 5 percent from the same period in 2013. Last year, there were 527 deaths on the roads, the fewest since 1944, but the numbers are on pace to be significantly lower this year.

Man says medical malpractice by CVS Pharmacy blinded him

Those of us who take prescription drugs to treat a medical condition rely on the pharmacist to provide us with the proper medicine at the correct dosage. A negligent pharmacist who provides the wrong drug, or makes another medication error, puts his or her customers at serious risk of harm.

Besides the fact that the unfortunate patient is not getting the medicine he or she needs, he or she could actually suffer from unwanted side effects from the incorrect drug. Such is the case with a man who was blinded in one eye by drops that were meant for ear problems, according to a medical malpractice lawsuit he has filed against drug store chain CVS Pharmacy.

Truck-car accident leaves a Wisconsin toddler with brain injury

A car accident on May 23 in Eau Galle, Wisconsin, sent a woman from Elmwood and her two children to a hospital in St. Paul. The family, including the 35-year-old mother, her two-year son and her 14-month-old daughter were injured when a cattle trailer being pulled by a pickup truck struck the woman's 2006 Chevy Impala.

Emergency personnel took the three to Regions Hospital where the mother was treated and released, according to a hospital spokesperson. Both children were transferred to another medical facility. The two-year-old boy was released from the hospital the following week, but sadly, the little girl is still hospitalized with traumatic brain injury.

Mother files wrongful death suit for son's overheated cell death

Unless they are familiar with jails, people likely give little thought to the responsibility of caring for a large group of imprisoned people. While paying for their crimes, prisoners must depend on others to provide basic needs like food, clothing and shelter. Our justice system prohibits cruel and unusual treatment, but one man suffered such a fate in a New York jail where he suffered and died in 100-degree temperatures. In cases like this, it's not only possible to file a wrongful death claim, it's the right thing to do and an experienced attorney can help surviving family members find the path to justice.

The victim's mother and her attorney have filed a wrongful death claim against New York City on behalf of her son's death at Riker's Island jail. The defense attorney has filed the proper documents demanding New York City preserve all communications and documented discussions related to the man's death. At a recent news conference, the man's mother expressed her feelings about the case, saying, "I know he was yelling for help and nobody ever came."

Veterans medical malpractice scandal continues to spread

If asked, most Americans would likely agree that the men and women who fought for us during global conflicts should receive any medical attention they might require in a speedy and competent manner. A different, much more shameful truth is slowly emerging across our country, a truth that paints a grotesque picture of injury, neglect and even wrongful death as our veterans languish away, untreated by the Veteran's Administration.

What could cause a tragedy like this and what can we do about it as Americans? Some cite lack of accountability on the presidential administration's part and others simply cry widespread mismanagement, but no one can seem to agree on what legal action to take against the personal injury storm brewing inside the VA.