Distracted Driving Often Leads to Crashes

Photo of crashed carMore than 3,000 people died in distraction-related crashes in 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

“Distraction” is a broad term, used to mean any number of activities that might happen in a car, but one of the most significant distractions in our modern world is texting—the act of sending written messages using a cell phone.

Our grandparents could never have imagined such a problem. To them, the phone was attached to a wall in the kitchen, not designed to be carried around all day in one’s pocket. They might rightfully wonder why anyone would want to do such a strange thing.

Consider the alternative, though: try to convince anyone under 30 to go a day without their cellphone. They would probably wonder the exact same thing.

According to surveys, over 70 percent of teens and young people have composed, read or sent a text message while driving.

At any given moment, the USDOT estimates over 660,000 people are actively using their cell phones while driving. Upwards of 400,000 are injured in texting-while-driving accidents each year. “Distracted driving” has now joined “drunk driving” in the lexicon of familiar phrases related to car accidents.

Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, L.L.P. 
Maryland, Washington DC and Virginia Injury Attorneys

How Do I Know If I Am Choosing a Good Doctor?

When you can trust your physician, you will feel more comfortable talking about your symptoms, making it easier for your doctor to accurately diagnose and treat you. According to a study by Consumer Reports, individuals who found their doctors through a friend or family member had the most positive experience.

Some questions you may want to ask yourself when choosing a physician are:

  • How long will you have to wait for an appointment?
  • Does the office staff treat you in a nice manner, and are they attentive to your needs?
  • If you call about a health issue, how long will it take for a nurse or doctor to return your call?
  • Does the physician use a hospital that you trust and are comfortable with?

If you choose a doctor that treats you in a negligent manner, it could result in your serious injury or even death. If you have been harmed by a physician’s carelessness, contact an attorney to assist you in pursuing your claim.

Sponsored by Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, LLP, serving clients in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia.

Study Shows Prescribing Codeine to Children Could Have Dangerous Side Effects

A recent study revealed that despite recommended limits on codeine use in children, the potent painkiller is prescribed for children in at least half a million emergency room visits each year. With more than 25 million emergency room visits by children annually, the study shows that far too many children are getting the drug when better, safer options are available.

Codeine is an opiate drug, and a genetic variation makes some children metabolize it too quickly, potentially resulting in dangerous side effects, including excessive sleepiness and difficulty breathing. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued its strictest warning last year about a risk for life-threatening complications and death in children who took the drug after certain surgeries.

The FDA recommends that children who are prescribed codeine and develop breathing problems or unusual sleepiness should get immediate medical attention.

Sponsored by Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, LLP, serving clients in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia.

New FDA Proposed Rule May Provide Better Drug Safety in the US

The American Association of Justice (AAJ) recently announced their support of the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposed rule to allow generic drug manufacturers to independently update their warning labels.

Currently, generic drug manufacturers cannot independently update their warning labels, even when new side effects are known. This creates two systems: one for patients who use name-brand drugs and one for patients who use the generic. As a result, thousands of Americans have had their court cases dismissed merely because they took the generic version of a drug.

The FDA’s new rulemaking would allow generic drug manufacturers to update their warning labels using the same process that brand name drug companies currently use. Since the FDA proposed this rule in November of last year, 20,500 consumers have called on the FDA to enact this rule through an online petition.

Sponsored by Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, LLP, serving clients in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia.

Mandates in ACA Gives More Money to Safer Hospitals

A picture of a hospitalHospitals across the nation are getting creative when it comes to meeting tough new mandates in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to improve care and increase patient satisfaction, and they are getting paid more as a result.

Under the ACA, the federal government gives money to hospitals that deliver better care, rather just paying them for procedures covered by Medicare or Medicaid. The Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program aims to increase quality care and shrink the number of patients who die from mistakes.

Every year, 210,000 to 440,000 people die from avoidable hospital mistakes, according to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Patient Safety. If you feel that you have been subject to medical malpractice, contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation. Also, feel free to visit our Facebook page for more information.

Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, L.L.P.

Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia Injury Attorneys