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Norfolk Personal Injury Law Blog

Medical mistakes might be preventable with vigilance

Patients in hospitals are often too sick to watch out for everything that doctors, nurses and other medical personnel are doing. For those patients, as well as anyone else who is receiving medical care from any location, keeping a watchful eye on the medical staff treating you is one way that you can help to prevent medical errors from harming you. Whether you are the patient or if you are simply helping to care for a loved one, keeping these pointers in mind might help our Virginia readers stay safe.

Washing hands is something that many medical personnel do without thinking. It is very important to ensure that any medical professional who examines you washes their hands. Even if they are wearing gloves, they should still wash their hands to prevent the spread of germs and infection. You shouldn't be afraid to speak up if you notice that someone forgot this very important step when coming into your exam room or hospital room.

Understanding Virginia DUI charges and sobriety checkpoints

Beginning in 1990, the United States Supreme Court ruled in a landmark decision that sobriety checkpoints conducted by local law enforcement agencies are constitutional. However, case law unique to the Commonwealth of Virginia has since been established that further clarifies the procedures that police officers must observe before they arrest you.

One of the most important things to remember about roadside sobriety tests is that you still have constitutionally protected rights. Although the police have legitimate reasons to use roadside sobriety tests to protect other motorists from drunk driving accidents, they must still refrain from infringing upon your individual rights.

Holding someone liable for causing a motorcycle accident

One of the entries in our blog last week had to do with a motorcyclist who was killed when an alleged drunk driver slammed into him. If you remember, that alleged drunk driver was going at a high rate of speed when she killed the motorcycle rider. A tragedy like that one isn't ever acceptable.

It is a sad reality that motorcycle riders face tragic issues like that one on a daily basis. No matter how safe the motorcycle rider is being, the other vehicles on the roadways might not pay close enough attention around them to avoid causing an accident. When an accident does occur, the motorcyclist is sometimes seriously injured. Some of those injuries can be fatal. Others might mean lengthy hospital stays and recovery time. Many can lead to missed work.

Can a nurse with a criminal background in Virginia get hired?

As someone who has placed a loved one in a nursing facility, you want to make sure that he or she gets the right care. Can a facility hire an RN or doctor with a criminal background? The short answer is yes, but interestingly, while there are no specific laws preventing hospitals and nursing facilities from hiring RNs with felony convictions, it's unlikely to happen.

Once a person loses his or her license, it must be reinstated before he or she can work as an RN or doctor in a care setting. Some employers have policies that restrict the hiring of those with felonies or disciplinary action in their backgrounds. It could be a state statute in some places, but it is more likely to be a directive from the facility's legal team to prevent issues between patients and providers.

How does tort reform affect my medical malpractice case?

Since the 1970s, there has been a constant struggle between doctors and attorneys regarding tort reform. In legal terminology, a "tort" is essentially a fancy way of referring to any action that could give rise to a lawsuit. Typically, when people talk about tort reform, they are usually talking about the amount of money that a person injured by medical malpractice should be allowed to seek in his or her lawsuit.

The health care professionals, physicians, nurses, nursing home staff and others have constantly maintained that injured patients need to be restricted from receiving large court awards in successful lawsuits. Their rationale is that the insurance companies who provide coverage for health care professionals will eventually charge so much for their premiums that they will become unaffordable. Doctors would be left uninsured, and thus, they would eventually leave the state and Virginia residents would be forced to fend for their own medical needs.

Man killed in a motorcycle accident, drunk driver faces charges

It is never a good thing when a motorcycle and a vehicle collide. Those types of accidents can lead to serious injuries for the motorcycle rider. In some cases, the injuries are fatal. A recent accident is evidence of why it is vitally important for drivers to keep an eye out for motorcycles. It also highlights why it is so important for drivers to only drive when they are sober.

The accident happened when a woman who was driving at an estimated 115 mph slammed into a man on a motorcycle. The motorcycle rider was driving at a speed of 60 mph at the time of the crash. The rear-end crash killed the man on the motorcycle.

Virginia approves surveillance systems in nursing homes

There are several political moves you should be interested in during 2015, especially if you're concerned about the impact of nursing home abuse in Virginia. Many changes are coming about thanks to security cameras and systems, which may be backed by congress, the Department of Justice, Department of Education and others if it can provide the security needed for students and patients.

On the health care front, the state government has been working to allow for the voluntary placement of surveillance equipment in nursing homes. This would allow things like thefts, neglectful interactions, abuse and other problems to be seen and replayed to the authorities. In Virginia, a law has been passed to allow cameras in nursing homes, which can help prevent patient injuries. Not all states allow this to happen, though; Illinois and South Carolina are only just in the process of passing bills to allow the same.

How digital data can assist you in your truck accident lawsuit

Although probably not surprising to many Norfolk residents, commercial trucking is an essential part of our local economy. The Port of Virginia is the sixth largest cargo complex for containerized cargo in the U.S. In fact, an estimated 2.22 million cargo shipping containers went through the terminal last year, many of them hauling freight to outbound ships or bringing goods into Virginia from the terminal.

Modern commercial trucking is an extremely competitive industry. Many trucking companies seek to gain a competitive edge by employing sophisticated technology to help them route their cargo more efficiently between ships, trucks or rail lines.

Don't let your rights get violated; Defend yourself in Virginia

As someone accused of a drug crime, you're in a difficult position. Your future depends very much on how you approach this charge. You shouldn't plead guilty thinking that you'll get a lesser charge if you're not guilty at all, and of course, you need to protect yourself from accusations that are simply off base. With help on your side, you can work with someone who can help you identify any weaknesses in the case against you; with perseverance, you can make your side of the story heard and understood.

In Virginia, you can face a few types of drug charges. You could be charged for possessing drugs, distributing drugs or possessing them with the intent to distribute. The differences between each can be dramatic as far as punishment goes, and the prosecution team may try to make more out of your situation than it really was. For instance, if you were in possession of marijuana and had someone else in your vehicle with you, then you could be accused of possessing it with the intent to distribute it; that's a crime that can be punished more heavily than simple possession.

Vulnerable residents shouldn't suffer through nursing home abuse

Residents of nursing homes have a lot to think about. One thing they should never have to worry about is getting hurt. Sadly, nursing home residents are sometimes neglected. Some are abused. Just the mere thought of the elderly residents of Virginia being placed in harm's way while they are in a home that has promised to care for them is enough to infuriate some people.

There are various excuses nursing facilities might use when a resident is neglected or harmed. Just to be clear, none of those reasons is a good reason. Understaffing might be blamed. While it is true that improper staffing can lead to improper supervision of residents, that still isn't a good excuse for a resident to be harmed.

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