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D'Amico, Griffin and Pettinicchi, LLC Legal Blog

Things to know when pursing a personal injury lawsuit

Motor vehicle accidents involving all types of vehicles occur on roads in Connecticut each day. Some of them result in serious injuries to those involved. In addition to being long and painful, the recovery period can also be expensive. This could leave those involved unsure of how they will get by.

In some situations those injured in a car accident may decide to file a lawsuit against driver of the vehicle responsible for the crash. This civil complaint is filed in a civil court and if successful, the person who filed the lawsuit will secure financial damages. To be viable, the claim must be filed within a certain amount of time following the injury. Claims filed after that period of time is up, will not be successful.

Massive Recalls Due to Defective Takata Airbags Highlight the Dangers of Confidential Settlements in Product Liability Litigation

The New York Times has reported that at least 3 deaths and 139 injuries have been associated with the defective Takata airbags that have led to the recalls of 14 million vehicles worldwide from 11 automakers. That is approximately 5 times the number of vehicles recalled this year by General Motors for its deadly ignition switch defect. (A complete list of affected vehicles is available here.)  The airbag safety crisis is yet another example of the significant "disconnect between what automakers are aware of internally and what they reveal publicly," as previously reported by the NY Times. It is also another gruesome reminder of the danger in allowing confidential settlements in product liability claims. With respect to the Takata airbags, the NY Times reported:

Custody arrangement important when couples with kids splits

When children are the product of a relationship between a couple, if the relationship ends who the children will live with following the split, is often one of the most contentious issues. This is true regardless of whether the couple was ever married. Since most parents are interested in being active participants in the lives of their children, it is not surprising that individuals would seek the assistance of a family law attorney to work through this process.

Infections in nursing homes

Infections in nursing homes are associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality, frequent hospitalizations, pain, a rapid decline in cognitive and physical functioning, and often death. As such, nursing homes are required to have a heightened awareness for preventing infections, diagnosing infections, and treating infections.

Diagnosis of condition important part of treatment

When it comes to treating an injury to a child, the approach is not always the same as for adults. Tools used when assessing adults may in fact do more harm in the long run to children. One situation where this may be the case is where blunt head trauma is concerned.

Computed tomography, also referred to CT is one of the most often used methods of determining the severity of a blunt head trauma injury in children. While it is effective in determining the severity of the injury, it could ultimately lead to other health issues in the future for children, such as radiation-induced malignancies. In cases where a head injury is minor, the risk associated with the use of this diagnostic tool can make it less desirable to use.

Survey: Public against increasing truck driving hours allowed

As is the case in any type of motor vehicle accident, there are multiple reasons why a truck accident might occur. A reason getting a lot of attention lately is drowsy drivers. Despite this, a senator recently amended the Senate appropriations bill to increase the amount of hours a truck driver would be allowed to drive. Specifically, per week, the amendment seeks to increase the hours allowed to 82 from the current standard of 70 hours per week.

Tips on keeping child pedestrians safe on Halloween

As many parents of children are well aware, Halloween is one of their favorite days of the year. For many children, the excitement tied to picking a costume, dressing up and heading out to get candy makes it a day that is looked forward to for weeks and sometimes even months in advance. Unfortunately with so many young children running around in the dark, the evening can be dangerous as well as drivers are not accustomed to a large amount of children running through the neighborhood.

There are steps that both pedestrians as well as drivers can take to reduce the risk of an accident occurring.

Product defect could be to blame in motorcycle accidents

When it comes to causes of motor vehicle accidents, driver error is often to blame. This is true regardless of the type of vehicle involved, including motorcycles. There are however other factors that may contribute to a crash occurring. One of these is a defect in the vehicle.

In situations where a defect is uncovered, it is incumbent upon the manufacturer to let the public know about the issue. This is accomplished by filing a public report in conjunction with a recall. This public report must contain several pieces of information.

Laparoscopic Power Morcellators Pose Serious Risk of Spreading Unsuspected Cancer, Significantly Worsening Patients' Long-Term Survival Odds

Wall Street Journal reports http://online.wsj.com/articles/gynecologists-push-back-on-fdas-caution-about-cancer-when-using-morcellation-in-hysterectomies-1411358341 that doctors across the country continue to use a gynecological tool, called a morcellator, to remove common benign uterine growths called fibroids even after the FDA warned, this past April http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm393689.htm that it can spread undetected cancer.

Electronic health records - lawyers beware when requesting

As medical records have transitioned to the era of the electronic health record(EHR), also electronic medical record(EMR), lawyers requesting records must beware. In the old days when records were written, regulations often provided that if a change was made to the record it was to be crossed out by a single line and initialed so that the change made was clear. With the rise of the EMR, changes are not known based on the records typically provided pursuant to authorization. As an analogy when a document is created in Word, unless the "track changes" feature is activated, any changes made are not visible in the final document. It is therefore imperative that when requesting an EMR that the audit log, sometimes referred to as audit trail, is obtained. This audit log will typically show when the EMR was accessed, by whom and why. Even still the audit log often does not show what the content was that was changed. To acquire the content change it is necessary to ask for what is colloquially referred to as the "edit trail" or edit history. Edit trails are not always maintained but regardless should be requested with the audit log. The audit log together with the edit trail will provide the majority of important information to the requesting attorney. There are other parts of an EMR referred to as clinical decision support(CDS) features. CDS includes alerts and reminders for the health care provider when certain data is input into the EMR. An example would be an alert that a new medication interacts with an existing medication. In sum, the world of medical records has become less transparent than in the past and a detailed analysis of the EMR is necessary to understand the care provided to a patient.

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