Se Habla Español

Peterson, Berk & Cross, S.C.

Specializing In You

Our clients are at the heart of what we do every day. Our priority is always your best interests.

Get Help Today 920-831-0300

Appleton Personal Injury Law Blog

Trucks more likely to be involved in multiple vehicle crashes

Some residents of Wisconsin may have experience with truck accidents. While any form of crash has the potential to be dangerous, truck accidents tend to involve more vehicles and may in general be more deadly for other motorists.

Commercial companies may sometimes pressure drivers to work more than they're physically capable of doing. For example, although laws exist to limit the amount of time a truck driver spends at the wheel, drivers may receive incentives for pushing themselves farther than others with respect to their shipment deadlines. These sorts of situations have the potential to overly fatigue the driver and lead them to be less cautious or aware on the road than they otherwise would be. Since 81 percent of fatal truck accidents involve multiple vehicle crashes, this can be quite dangerous for other motorists.

Facts Wisconsin drivers should know about impaired driving

Wisconsin drivers should be aware that alcohol-impaired drivers lead to roughly 30 deaths each day in the United States alone, or one death in every 51 minutes. In fact, almost one-third of all traffic-related deaths involve a driver with a blood-alcohol content of higher than the legal limit of .08. In addition to the injured victims, impaired drivers are far more likely to be killed or injured in an accident themselves.

Alcohol is not the only major source of impairment on the road. Approximately 18 percent of all traffic related deaths were caused by drivers under the influence of drugs. Young people face a significantly higher risk of being involved in a drug or alcohol impaired car accident. In 2012 alone, 29 percent of motorcyclists killed in accidents had blood-alcohol levels over the legal limit. Those between the ages of 40 and 44 were the most likely to be involved in a fatal accident.

Brain injury victims likely to be re-hospitalized

Research shows that patients in Wisconsin with traumatic brain injuries may be more likely to be re-hospitalized than people with other kinds of injuries. According to the study conducted by the Brain Injury Association of America, 20 percent of individuals with traumatic brain injuries are re-hospitalized for both elective and non-elective reasons.

The study looked at information that was provided by 655 people who had suffered from a traumatic brain injury. The data concerning re-hospitalization was gathered through interviews that were conducted one, two and three years after the patients had been discharged from their first hospitalization for the brain injury. Researchers found that about 50 percent of re-hospitalizations were for elective reasons, and 50 percent were for non-elective reasons.

Oregon woman dies after hospital administers wrong medication

Residents of Wisconsin may have heard about a mistake at an Oregon hospital that resulted in the death of a 65-year-old woman. She was given a paralyzing agent instead of the anti-seizure medicine she was supposed to take, and the switch-up caused her to suffer from brain damage and cardiac arrest. A representative from the hospital said that this is the first time a case such as this has happened, and they take full responsibility for the accident.

Three hospital employees have been placed on paid leave because of the mistake, and investigators are trying to figure out what caused the error to happen. To determine this, they are looking into how the drug was labeled, how it was ordered from the manufacturer, how it was given to the patient, and other steps of the medication process. The ultimate goal of the investigation is to discover whether or not human error was involved in the tragedy. According to the woman's son, her family does not yet know if they will take legal action.

Statistical facts regarding uninsured motorists

In regards to the number of uninsured motorists in 2012, the state of Wisconsin ranked 25 in the country with 11.7 of its motorists being uninsured, according to a report by the Insurance Information Institute. The state of Massachusetts carried the fewest amount of uninsured motorists, and Oklahoma carried the highest amount at 26 percent.

It appears that the numbers have steadily been decreasing over the last 20 years, however, with 15.6 percent of motorists being uninsured in 1992 as compared with 12.6 percent, or roughly one in eight drivers, in 2012. This may be because motorists who reside in the 20 designated states and the District of Columbia are required by law to carry underinsured or uninsured coverage on their car insurance policies. Moreover, other states, such as Texas and Nevada, are cracking down on uninsured motorists by identifying them through online car insurance checking systems.

Wisconsin man seriously injured by drunk driver

The Marathon County Sheriff's Department reported that a drunk driver struck and seriously injured a 39-year-old man on Nov. 7. The accident happened on Highway K around 6 p.m.

According to authorities, the victim, who is a Wausau resident, was directing traffic around a prior accident involving a car and a hay trailer when a third vehicle hit him. He was taken by ambulance to Aspirus Wausau Hospital for treatment of serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

Understanding traumatic brain injuries

Brain injuries can be particularly devastating for families. If brain function is limited due to damage, then quality of life can fall drastically. There are two basic types of traumatic brain injury: closed and penetrating.

With penetrating injuries, a foreign object enters the brain. One example would be a bullet going through the skull and brain. Surgeons can examine the patient and conduct tests to determine which area suffered damage, and symptoms will vary based on the area that was damaged. With closed-head injuries, the brain is damaged as the result of a hard blow to the head. Examples include falling, hitting the head on a car dashboard or being struck with an object.

Facts on traumatic brain injuries in Wisconsin

A traumatic brain injury may result from a variety of causes. The aftermath of brain trauma may include permanent disability or a prolonged coma. The medical expenses, therapy, rehabilitation and long-term care needed to care for a person with brain damage can be considerable. These traumas are a major cause of death and disability in Wisconsin and across the U.S., contributing to nearly 30 percent of deaths caused by injuries.

Brain trauma may result from a bump, jolt or blow to the head or the penetration of a foreign object into the head. A brain injury may be classified as mild to severe. Mild brain injuries are the most common and include concussions. In 2010, the nation experienced 2.5 million hospitalizations and emergency room visits due to brain injuries.

How many injuries occur from drunk driving accidents?

Alcohol-related crash injuries in Wisconsin have steadily declined since 1979, but deaths due to drunk-driving accidents have remained relatively stable since 1982, according to statistics. The state saw an all-time high in drunk driving fatalities and injuries in 1979. As laws became stricter and enforcement increased, the overall numbers dropped, but they are still problematic as alcohol is still the largest cause of fatal motor vehicle accidents in the state.

In 2012, more than 5,000 alcohol-related crashes occurred, representing a rate of one person killed or injured in a drunk-driving accident every 2.8 hours. While significantly better than in 1990, 2012's rate still meant that 37 percent of all accident fatalities in the state for the year were due to drunk driving.

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.