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Kansas City Personal Injury Law Blog

Auto accidents and the costs of spinal cord injuries

Car accident injuries can fall anywhere on a spectrum of severity for Missourians. Many residents are lucky that they suffer nothing more than some bumps and bruises after a crash, while others are tragically left with serious injuries that completely reshape their lives. For those who fall into the latter category, the damages with which they have to cope can be completely overwhelming. Not only do they have to find a way to deal with the physical pain and suffering inflicted upon them, but they also have to find a way to cover medical expenses and rehabilitation costs that are necessary to spur their recovery efforts. These losses can be quite significant.

As an example, let us look at the costs associated with treating spinal cord injuries. Individuals who suffer a spinal cord injury that leaves them with any kind of incomplete motor function can be dealt with nearly $350,000 in medical costs in the first year of recovery alone. Each subsequent year can cost them an additional $40,000 or so. Individuals who suffer form more serious spinal cord injuries, like high tetraplegia, can face expenses that cross the $1 million mark in the first year of treatment alone and an additional $185,000 for each subsequent year of treatment.

New law expands rights of military victims of malpractice

A man who once was in the Special Forces is now fighting for his life against a terminal cancer. He has consistently maintained that military medical professionals misdiagnosed his cancer, and that but for that misdiagnosis, his chances for survival would have been much better.

Now, the man has lived long enough to see an old federal legal doctrine overturned in part. Until Congress passed a new law a couple of weeks ago, the man was prohibited from filing a claim against military doctors for the misdiagnosis. He had been lobbying for a change in this law for a long time.

Head-on collision leaves two dead

The roadways provide travel routes for a wide range of vehicles, and these roads experience unfortunate collisions each year. For some of these tragic crashes, the accident is caused by a wrong-way driver or a distracted driver that has crossed into the opposite lane of traffic.

A head-on collision in the Kansas City area left two people dead and sent two other people to the hospital. The accident involved a minivan and a van that was dedicated to transporting people with disabilities to where they needed to go. The van belonged to a not-for-profit organization which advocates for the disabled and provides for their needs.

What does a mammogram do?

Many residents of Kansas City, particularly women, who are of a certain age have probably been told to get a mammogram on a regular basis. While a mammogram is not a guarantee that a woman, or man for that matter, will not develop breast cancer, it can be a useful tool to detect the disease early.

Early detection can mean the difference between a person recovering from the disease and dying from the condition. However, just having the test done is not enough to ensure early detection. A doctor, usually a radiologist, will have to interpret the test results and, ultimately, make the diagnosis of breast cancer.

Pedestrian crashes and deaths hit record highs in 2018

Pedestrians are usually at a disadvantage when walking alongside or crossing roads. If you are frequently on foot, it may even seem like pedestrians were an afterthought during the design process. Considering that pedestrian crashes are becoming frighteningly common, that feeling just might be correct.

In early 2019, the Kansas City police department released data that demonstrates just how dangerous 2018 was for pedestrians. Over the course of that year, there were 360 accidents involving pedestrians. That is one accident for almost every day of the year.

Missing the warning signs of a stroke can lead to a major injury

As many Kansas City residents probably know from experience, a stroke is a very serious and potentially fatal medical condition. Those who survive a serious stroke may have to live with serious neurological problems for the rest of their lives, including paralysis and the inability to communicate verbally.

Prior to a stroke, many people will experience what is called a transient ischemic attack or TIA. Unlike a stroke, a TIA will come and go. However, the painful headaches and dizzy spells are oftentimes enough to get a person to seek medical care, frequently in an emergency room or other urgent care facility.

What causes a perforated bowel?

A Kansas City resident who has gone through abdominal surgery, including robotic surgery, should be concerned if he or she begins to feel severe stomach pains accompanied by nausea and vomiting. The reason is that these are symptoms of a perforated bowel.

If symptoms also include fever and chills, it could be a sign that the perforation or wound is getting infected. A perforated bowel, which is a fancy name for a hole in one's digestive tract, can happen for a number of reasons, including natural, and often unavoidable, medical conditions. However, bowl perforation can also happen when a sharp object or even a blow to the abdomen punctures, nicks or tears one's digestive tract.

A reminder about Missouri's basic speed limit law

Winter is coming to the Kansas City area. With that comes the reality that drivers in Kansas City and in both the Kansas and Missouri suburbs are going to have to deal with wintry driving conditions. Even on fair weather days, there are relatively few hours of daylight. Moreover, snow, ice, fog, wind and other types of weather can make the roads slick and the driving particularly treacherous.

Unfortunately, many people simply take for granted that they will be able to handle the adverse weather. Some may, for instance, assume that their in-car technology has them covered, while others may assume that they will be fine so long as they do not exceed the posted speed limit. Late November and early December may be the ideal time to remind people that, in Missouri, the posted speed limit is the maximum speed a person can drive in ideal weather conditions.

Nurse's aide wins malpractice suit filed on behalf of her son

A nurse's aide who filed a medical malpractice case against the hospital where she gave birth is now poised to receive $50 million, which she says she will use on her son's care. A jury in the woman's home state awarded her $109 million after a trial regarding the boy's birth injury, but the mother at some point made a deal to accept $50 million at the most. While the hospital maintained that it felt its staff had cared for the woman properly, it indicated that it intended to abide by its agreement with the child's mother.

According to reports, the woman, who gave birth as a single mom around five years ago, arrived at the hospital and, upon her arrival, doctors apparently received information that the baby was not moving around in the mother's womb. For some reason, they did not elect to perform a Cesarean Section at that time even though, the woman argued, there was clearly something wrong with the child.

Accidents can happen when moving patients

Much of the time, Kansas City residents may think of medical malpractice as something that happens when a doctor makes a mistaken diagnosis or misses something in the course of a complicated surgery. However, the reality is that medical negligence can happen under much more routine circumstances as well. While even medical staff may not think of it as they do it, even simple tasks, like moving a patient, can seriously harm the patient if the staff makes a mistake.

By way of example, nurses, aides and other staff often use an automatic lift, like a Hoyer lift, to move a patient from a bed to a chair, or even from one bed to another. Before moving a patient, the staff needs to make sure the patient is in the proper physical and mental health to be transferred. Likewise, the staff also should verify that the equipment is working properly before trying a move.

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