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Billings Personal Injury Law Blog

Safe driving tips for the Fourth of July holiday

With the Fourth of July holiday drawing near, chances are that freeways will be clogged again with weekend vacation traffic. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA) more than 40 million people will travel at least 50 miles to a destination, with a majority doing so by car.

If you are looking to take the entire week off in order to avoid holiday traffic, you may already have company. With the holiday being on a Tuesday, many people intend to make it a long holiday weekend by leaving on Friday. As such, the weekend poses a genuine threat to drivers given then large number of distracted drivers, drowsy drivers, and of course, drunk drivers on the road. In fact, the Fourth of July holiday is widely regarded as the dangerous holiday driving period; likely second to only New Year’s Eve.

Smelting may be responsible for cancer in some Montana workers

Southwest Montana may have a historical legacy of smelting but, according to researchers, smelt work proved fatal for some Montana workers. Smelting involves the processing of copper ore. However, such work negatively affected the health of many who performed it.

This news comes from the work of two researchers who came to Montana five decades ago to research copper smelters at an Anaconda smelting facility. The landmark study showed a connection between cancer of the respiratory system and inorganic arsenic airborne particles. The study examined company records reaching as far back as the 1930s, and also mortality data. Eight thousand people were examined in the study. The study concluded that there was a distinct connection between workers who died of lung cancer and respiratory cancers and being exposed to heavy amounts of arsenic at the smelting facility where they worked.

Factors to consider following a commercial truck accident

It is important that truck accident victims in Montana and elsewhere understands the dynamics of a commercial truck accident and how the unique aspects these accidents apply during civil litigation. In order to address federal and state trucking regulations and potential third-party liability, victims of a commercial truck crash need to understand beyond the basics of what happened during the collision. While it is important to immediately initiate an investigation to collect evidence, it is also important to understand where to look and what to look for during the investigation.

In order to establish cause and liability, evidence from the scene and the vehicle involved is necessary. This might mean impounding the vehicles as a means to preserve evidence. It is also important to obtain witness statements. Additionally, Internet and social media searches of the truck driver and the trucking company should not be overlooked. Finally, the driving history of the truck driver, the black box from the commercial truck and the history of the trucking company's Department of Transportation audits should be investigated.

Six people lucky to survive high-speed Billings car crash

Young drivers do not always make the best choices when behind the wheel, which can lead to accidents. For example, six young people are lucky to be alive after being involved in a high-speed auto accident where alcohol may have also played a role.

Six individuals were recently injured after being involved in a high-speed wreck in Billings. The accident occurred around 1:30 a.m. on King Avenue West when a Honda Civic being driven by a 21-year-old man, which was reportedly travelling above the posted speed limit, hit a pickup truck from behind. Both vehicles were traveling due west. The Civic then struck a fence surrounding an apartment complex.

Helping you when the medical system fails

When patients enter a medial clinic or are admitted to the hospital for a procedure or treatment, they likely think that they will receive adequate and reliable care. While this is likely for most patients in Montana and other states, some patients are the victim of medical errors that compromise their health and well-being. When this happens, patients and their loved ones need to be aware of the protective measures and recourses available to those harmed by medical malpractice.

Medical professionals, such as surgeons, doctors, nurses and medical staff, are not immune from committing errors. While this is an unavoidable element in the medical field, the education and training of medical professionals seeks to reduce the occurrence of medical negligence. However, a symptom could be overlooked, there could be oversights in the diagnosis testing process or steps could be missed in a surgical procedure. Any of these medical errors could have catastrophic results, causing much harm to an unsuspecting patient.

Brain injury victims may seek compensation for their losses

Perhaps it was a serious car wreck, a sporting injury, an accident at work or a fall on a broken sidewalk. Whatever the cause, every brain injury, even mild ones, can have a serious effect on the victim's health. For example, a person in Billings who suffers from a brain injury could experience a change in personality, persistent pain in his or her head and cognitive and memory problems. In the most serious of situations, a brain injury could even put a person into a coma, necessitating medical care for the rest of the victim's life.

However, treating a brain injury can be expensive. This is especially true if a brain injury victim needs hospital care and rehabilitation. If a person suffered from brain damage due to a head injury, he or she may even need professional help to relearn basic life skills. Some people will need life-long care.

Are medical residents responsible for medical errors in the U.S.?

Each and every day, residents in Montana and elsewhere visit medical professionals to help with an ailment or an injury. Whether it is a yearly checkup at a physician's office, for the treatment of an illness at a clinic or for medical treatment of a serious injury or ailment in an emergency room, the assistance of medical professionals is necessary. Patients rely on their training and expertise, and even if they are being seen and treated by a medical resident, patients trust the resident and their supervisors to deliver quality medical care.

The unfortunate truth that comes with being treated by a doctor is that they are human and can commit errors. This means that a patient could suffer from a simple or minor error, resulting in significant harm to the patient. And, now that the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education approved first-year residents to work 24-hour shifts from their once limited 16 hours, this could give rise to safety concerns.

Research shows lithium may help treat brain injury

As it currently stands, approximately 1.7 million individuals annually will suffer from a traumatic brain injury, making it a leading cause of disabilities and fatalities. One well-known drug, lithium, has been used for decades as a mood stabilizer to treat mental illnesses such as depression and bipolar disorder. However, Montana residents may be interested to hear that recent research out of Rutgers University has shown that lithium may also be beneficial in treating brain injuries.

This research is significant, since currently medications used in treating brain injuries are meant to help alleviate the symptoms of the injury and reduce pain, rather than stopping additional injury. Lithium apparently keeps toxic chemicals, such as glutamate, from accumulating in a person's brain cells. The drug blocks the toxic chemicals from triggering cell death. This, in turn, helps protect neurons in the brain.

The cause of fatal car accidents

The law of physics is typically not on the side of accident victims. When the speed of multiple vehicles is factored in, the violence and damage of a collision is often multiplied. This is often the result of a severe and fatal car accidents. This remains true even if one or more vehicles in the collision were traveling safely and following the rules of the road. It only takes one driver and a mere second of negligence or recklessness to cause a tragic car crash.

Understanding the causes of the catastrophic collisions not only helps deter future crashes, but also assists with the investigation and liability determination of fatal accidents. Based on recent statistics, many good drivers, which means the drivers who played no role or fault in the crash, are killed by negligent drivers each year.

What are some pros and cons to settling a truck accident claim?

Traveling on Montana's highways, whether it is on your daily commute or a vacation road trip, means that sooner or later you will be travelling alongside a semi-truck. This is not always a safe endeavor. A truck driver may be fatigued or improperly trained in handling their vehicle. They may be incentivized by their employer to drive as fast as possible, in order to make more deliveries. They may even be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Any of these situations can lead to a catastrophic collision that injures an innocent motorist.

When this happens, the victim of the truck accident may want to file a lawsuit. However, not all lawsuits wind up in court before a judge and jury. Sometimes the parties are able to reach a settlement out-of-court.

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