Woman Loses Arm Leg after Dog Bite-Related Infection

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Most of the serious injuries related to dog bites that Los Angeles dog bite lawyers come across involve facial injuries, ripped skin, scalp wounds another injuries. A Canadian woman recently suffered a devastating bacterial infection after she was bitten by a dog. The infection led to a limb amputation.

The woman was playing with her dog, a three-year-old Shih Tzu, when the dog bit one of her knuckles. The woman's three other dogs came over and licked her wound. The woman did not think too much of it then, but just days later, she was in a coma. When she came to, the doctors informed her that they would have to amputate her arm and leg because a deadly infection had spread throughout her body.

The Capnocytophaga canimorsus bacteria that are normally found in dog saliva caused the Infection. However, the organism is rarely linked to infections in human beings.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this is a very rare condition, and can cause septicemia or infections of the bloodstream, and meningitis. In rare cases, the person may even suffer from endocarditis, and ocular infections. These infections can be very hard to diagnose.

These infections are rare, but they have been recorded inside this country as well. Earlier this year in fact, a Texas woman suffered a dangerous infection caused by the very same organism that led to the Canadian women's amputation.

In this case, the woman, a young mother, suffered a life-threatening infection after a dog bite that she sustained while she was trying to break up a quarrel between her dogs. She developed an infection, and had to undergo an amputation of her leg and fingers.

Treadmill Training Improves Recovery after Spinal Injury

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A study that was conducted in mice recently found that mice that have suffered a spinal cord injury and suffered from a paralysis showed significant signs of improvement, when they were put through treadmill training. However, the researchers also found that inflammation needed to be contained for the treadmill training to be beneficial.

The mice were administered the treadmill training just a few days after they suffered the injury. Those mice that received the treadmill training during a period when they suffered from severe inflammation saw no significant benefits, while those mice that were administered the treadmill training when the inflammation was minimal, showed significant recovery. These mice were able to use their hind legs to walk around within a few days after receiving the treadmill therapy, and were also able to retain the benefits of the therapy for up to 42 days.

According to the researchers, this study proves very conclusively that spinal inflammation needs to be controlled for the training to be effective.

The study also confirm that spinal cord injuries can contribute to impairments, even several segments away from the site of the trauma. The researchers specifically focused on the signs of inflammation in the lumbar region of the spine, at least 10 segments below the injury.

The good news is that stronger drugs to help reduce this inflammation may be available soon. The inflammation in spinal injury patients is believed to be caused by an enzyme called MMP-9, and previous studies have also linked this enzyme to cancer. Experimental drugs to inhibit this enzyme are already in various stages of research.

More Widespread Use of Blackbox Recorders in Accident Investigations

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Over the next couple of years, Los Angeles car accident lawyers expect to see a massive increase in the use of event data recorders or black box recorders in traffic accident investigations. Such use of data recorders has existed for a while now, but the use of black box recorders was bound to become more high-profile after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began pushing for mandated black box recorders in all automobiles. The agency is pushing for all automobiles manufactured after September 2014 to come with event data recorders.

Critics say that there are many privacy issues that have not yet been ironed out, and these need to be dealt with before event data recorders become a standard feature in all automobiles. However, currently as many as 96% of cars that are manufactured in the United States come with an event data recorder. These data recorders are also currently being used in accident investigations as well as criminal investigations.

Event data recorders are of different types, and some recorders can record the speed of the car at the time of the accident, the crash force at the time of impact, as well as other information, that could easily help investigators who are trying to find out what exactly happened in the seconds before the crash. In other words, event data recorders allow investigators significantly in accident reconstruction.

Information about whether the occupants of the car were wearing seat belts at the time of the accident, or whether the brakes were activated in the seconds before the crash can be obtained from the event data recorders. This information is likely to be very useful in car accident and auto defect investigations.

Traumatic Brain Injury Linked to Higher Risk of Stroke

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Over a period of time, traumatic brain injury contributes to a number of long-term health consequences that may be irrevocable. A new study, that analyzed data involving thousands of patients with traumatic brain injury, also links TBI to an enhanced risk of stroke.

Stroke is typically associated with the above 65 group, but a significant number, or approximately 20% of strokes every year involve persons in the under 65 category. Scientists for a while now have been at a loss to understand why strokes occur in people below 65 years of age.

Researchers at the University of Michigan Medical School analyzed data involving more than 400,000 people who had suffered a traumatic brain injury, and more than 700,000 people who had suffered trauma, but no brain injury. All of these people had been treated in hospitals in California between 2005 and 2009, and the average age of the patients in the study was 49.2 years.

The researchers analyzed the risk of suffering a stroke among the persons who had suffered a brain injury over 28 months after the injury, and found that more than 11,000 people in the brain injury group or 1.1% suffered a stroke in the months after the injury. In the other group, the stroke risk was just about 0.9%.

According to the researchers, that is a statistically significant difference, because people in the below 65 year age group typically are not prime candidates for a stroke.

However, the researchers have stopped short of confirming a cause-and-effect relationship between stroke and brain injury. More studies are needed to investigate whether the increased stroke risk is due to an artery damaged by the injury, or is the result of stress or other factors.

Caltrans Warns Motorists of Accident Risks from Road Debris

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Many car accidents in California every year involve not two vehicles that collided with each other, but vehicles colliding with or trying to avoid pieces of debris that fall off pickup trucks and other vehicles. The California Department of Transportation is again warning motorists of the accident risks that come when they collide with road debris.

Road debris is a huge issue in California, and according to the Department of Transportation, each year, millions of pounds of debris are collected by dump trucks. Much of the debris constitutes typical items that are found in a California household. Debris may consist of mattresses, bathtubs, computers, stoves and ovens, clothes, shoes and every other item that you can think of. These items typically fall off pickup trucks when they're being transported, and then simply lie on the road, posing a serious accident hazard to unsuspecting motorists.

Road debris must not be underestimated as an accident hazard. There have been serious, and even fatal accidents involving motorists who either collided with the debris, or met with an accident when they were trying to avoid a piece of road debris. For instance, in 2006, a California Highway Patrol officer was killed in an accident when he was trying to avoid a stove that was falling off a pickup truck.

For the California Department of Department of Transportation and other public agencies, clearing up road debris is equally as hazardous. The Department of Transportation advises motorists to drive slowly and drop speeds when they see road debris, and then pull over and call 911. If necessary, change lanes to avoid the debris. Don't panic and don’t make an emergency maneuver that can increase your risk of being involved in an accident.

New Study Investigates Safer Child Behaviors around Dogs

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Every year, approximately 4.5 million people in the United States suffer dog bite related injuries. A majority of those victims are children below the age of five. Children are not only the biggest victims of dog bites in the United States, but also some of the most seriously injured victims, because they have little protection to guard against catastrophic or devastating injuries during a vicious attack.

Often, these injuries are caused when children, who are naturally trusting, and curious, try to pet a strange dog. However, these injuries can also be caused when a child is playing with a family pet or some other familiar dog. Whether the attack involves a strange dog or a familiar dog, it is very important that children are trained to behave appropriately around dogs.

A major part of behaving appropriately around dogs is to recognize when dogs may be threatened or aggressive. A new study that is being conducted in the United Kingdom, aims at reducing a number of dog bite attacks involving children by educating them to recognize the warning signs displayed by a dog that’s feeling threatened.

In the research, the scientists are investigating how children between the age of three and five interpret the signals that are displayed by dogs that are feeling threatened or aggressive. A dog may treat a child’s friendly overtures as signs of hostility or aggression, and may feel threatened as a result. Such dogs are much more likely to attack a child.

According to the researchers, very often, these attacks occur because children are not able to integrate those warning signs appropriately. The scientists are currently testing children between the age of three and five on how they interpret signals, like a dog's body language and other signs. They believe this will help them to gain insight into a child’s thought processes, and can help change child behaviors around animals.

Pilot Inexperience Being Investigated As Cause of San Francisco Plane Crash

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Investigations into the plane crash at San Francisco International Airport that killed two passengers of an Asiana Airlines flight have begun. Those investigations are now focusing on the lack of experience of the pilot of the Asian Airlines plane.

The pilot was still in training on the Boeing 777, and had never landed a Boeing 777 at San Francisco Airport before. The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate this angle further, but it is not rare for pilots to have varying levels of experience on a new plane. The pilot in this particular case had logged 43 hours flying the 777 jetliner, over a total of nine flights. It takes experience of 60 hours and 10 flights for a pilot to be considered fully qualified for flying the 777 jetliner. However, the pilot had more than 9,700 hours of experience flying a number of other jetliners included the Airbus A320. The co-pilot, in this case, had logged more than 3,000 hours of experience flying the 777.

So far, it seems that the plane clipped a portion of the sea wall, when it descended, and bounced around the runway before finally crashing in a field. At this point, it is also clear that the plane descended significantly lower than the 150 mph targeted speed, and it also appears that the pilot and co-pilot tried to abort the landing just a few seconds before the crash.

Two female passengers, both of them 16 years old were killed in the crash, and it is believed that they were ejected from the plane. Investigators are also probing whether one of the girls was run over by a fire truck that was racing to help the plane, which burst into flames as soon as it crashed landed.

Red Light Violation Blamed for Fatal Metro Bus-Truck Accident

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A speeding truck driver, who also ran a red light, is being blamed for a fatal Metro accident recently. According to reports, the Metropolitan Transition Authority employee was driving a bus in the early hours of the morning, when it was hit by a tow truck. The tow truck was allegedly being operated at excessive speeds, and ran a red light just before the accident.

Police reports say that the impact of the accident was tremendous, and both of the vehicles were completely destroyed. Both of the drivers had to be extricated from their vehicles using life-saving equipment. The deceased driver is a 37-year-old woman. Even the tow truck driver sustained serious injuries, and was taken to the hospital in a serious condition.

This has been one of the more horrific accidents involving Metro buses recently, and understandably, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has been devastated by the death of its employee.

The accident is likely to once again focus on the accidents risks involving red light violations in the state of California. It's also likely to trigger a debate on red light camera systems and their effectiveness in helping reduce the number of red light violations that contribute to accidents.

There has been plenty of opposition in California to red light camera systems, and critics have charged that the systems are installed not to help reduce accident risks, but to fatten state coffers. This is in spite of the fact that there is plenty of research indicating that red light camera systems are quite effective in helping reduce the number of these potentially deadly violations. Another analysis by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently also made similar conclusions.

Troubling Increase in Dog Bite Claim Values

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

While the numbers of dog bite claims that have been filed over the years have remained more or less constant with slight fluctuations, the value of these claims has increased substantially.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, over the past decade, the value of dog bite claims has skyrocketed, accounting for $489.7 million in value in 2012 alone. According to the data, which was released to time with National Dog Bite Prevention Week in May, over the past 10 years, the number of dog bite insurance claims has gone from 16,695 in 2011 from 16,459 in 2001. That is hardly a statistically significant difference. However, the picture is markedly different when you consider the value of the claims.

In 2012, the value of dog bite claims accounted for approximately $489.7 million, accounting for more than one third of all homeowner’s liability insurance claims that were paid out in 2012. In contrast, in 2003 the value of dog bite claims was approximately $324.2 million. This is in spite of the fact that in 2003, there were actually a few hundred more dog bite claims than in 2012.

The average claim payout increased from $19,162 in 2003 to a $29,752 in 2012. That is an increase of 55%.

The Insurance Information Institute advises dog owners to be responsible with their dogs to avoid claims. Don’t assume that small dogs don't bite, and may not be involved in a vicious incident, resulting in a claim against you. Even dogs that are normally docile can bite when they are disturbed, when they feel threatened or when they feel hungry. Many owners of dog unfortunately get pets without bothering to understand responsible ownership practices. This often has devastating consequences.

Many Parents Distracted While Driving with Children

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A disturbing new study released by the American Academy of Pediatrics finds that distracted driving and the use of cell phones while driving is not only rampant among American adults, but also that many American adults are distracted by these devices, while they're driving with their children in the car.

The American Academy of Pediatrics study focused on 618 parents. Almost 90% of these parents admitted to several distracting activities while they were driving with their children in the car. The parents were given an option of 10 distracting activities, and were asked whether they performed these while they were driving, and most parents admitted to performing at least four of these activities.

These activities include using a hand-held cell phone while driving for a conversation, texting while driving, e-mailing, using a GPS device for directions, changing a CD, eating, grooming, and taking care of their child.

The most common distracting activity that parents admitted to indulging in was talking on a cell phone while driving. This is one of the most distracting activities you could perform, because it involves using your hand to hold a cell phone in the case of a hand-held cell phone, while the mind is completely focused on the conversation that you're having with the person on the other end.

The least common distracting activity was texting while driving, and that finding is not surprising to Los Angeles car accident lawyers, because there has been a lot of effort to educate people about the dangers of texting while driving in recent years. Those efforts seem to have had some success in reaching out to parents.

However, the fact that an overwhelming majority of parents admit to all kinds of distractions while driving, even when they're driving with the most precious cargo in their car, is very worrisome.

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