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Jackson Personal Injury Blog

Types of financial abuse in nursing homes

When most people think of nursing home abuse, their first thoughts turn toward violent acts or neglect. Many people do not even realize nursing home staff sometimes exploit senior citizens financially. Elderly citizens in nursing homes reportedly lose approximately $2.9 billion annually from exploitation. 

Nursing home residents may not be of sound mind. This makes them prime targets for unscrupulous staff members who see an opportunity to pocket some extra money. It is critical if you have a loved one at a nursing home you remain aware of the signs of abuse. While a majority of nursing homes are perfectly reputable, it never hurts to maintain a vigilant eye. 

Drowsy driving linked to Daylight Saving Time

Drivers in Mississippi should know that drowsy driving accounts for nearly a tenth of all car accidents in the U.S., according to a traffic safety study by AAA. The same organization has just released a study suggesting an increase in drowsy driving right after Daylight Saving Time. The reasons are obvious enough as springing forward cuts out an hour of valuable sleep time. However, AAA does have some good suggestions for avoiding drowsiness on the road.

Until the body becomes adjusted to the change, drivers should try to get to bed earlier. Once on the road, they should exercise greater caution since other drivers, after all, may not have obtained that extra hour of sleep. When changing lanes, drivers should use their turn signals and double-check their blind spots. They may also want to watch out for pedestrians in the early morning when it's darker than usual. Pedestrians should make themselves visible through bright colors and flashlights.

OOIDA seeks rehearing of their FMCSA rule change challenge

Despite the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals previously dismissing their lawsuit, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) recently filed a motion asking the court to reconsider their suit. The suit argues that a recent rule change by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regarding sleep apnea screenings for tractor-trailer drivers violated federal law. Sleep apnea rules affect drivers across Mississippi given that fatigued driving is a major contributing factor in truck accidents.

According to the OOIDA, the FMCSA's recent rule change violated a 2013 statute that requires the formal rulemaking process to be used for any rule change relating to sleep apnea screening. Under this formal procedure, the FMCSA is required to provide a period of public notice and comment before any regulation can be amended. It is the OOIDA's position that the recent rule change is unlawful because it did not go through the formal rulemaking process.

The nature of soft tissue injuries

Injuries to soft tissues, such as the muscles, tendons and ligaments, are all too common in car accidents. The impact of a crash followed by the bracing of the body and sudden braking can lead the soft tissues to stretch, resulting in soreness, strains, sprains and even tears. Victims of soft tissue injuries in Mississippi will want to know more about the nature of this type of trauma.

One of the most important things to know is that soft tissue injuries are hard to diagnose compared to hard tissue injuries, which involve the bones and cartilage. X-rays cannot detect them, and the symptoms themselves may not be felt until days after the accident. The symptoms of soft tissue injuries can range from bleeding and persistent swelling to a loss of motor functions.

OOIDA proposes hours of service change

Truck drivers in Mississippi and around the country may have more flexible hours of service if a rule proposed by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is adopted. The group has asked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to change its rules for the 14-hour daily clock and allow drivers to skip the mandatory half-hour break in the first eight hours. It has also asked the FMCSA to allow drivers to stop the clock for up to three hours.

According to the OOIDA, the current regulations force drivers to stay on the road in inclement conditions and do not take drivers' varying levels of endurance into account. The organization argues that roads would be safer under the proposed modification. The plan would still require drivers to take 10 hours off before resuming their shift.

Nursing home residents and traumatic brain injuries

If you are one of the numerous Mississippi residents who has had to make the painful decision to put your aging parent in a nursing home, his or her health and safety are always on your mind. You worry that (s)he may suffer neglect or even abuse by nursing home employees.

Sadly, even in the best, most well-staffed and well-managed nursing homes, accidents do happen, and falls are the accidents that most often happen to nursing home residents. To make matters worse, the older your parent becomes, the more likely it is that (s)he will fall. Once that happens, (s)he then is likely to fall more often as time goes on. While not all falls are life-threatening, they are the most common reason for the high incidence of traumatic brain injury among older adults. A TBI happens when a person receives a blow to the head that causes the brain to dysfunction.

A guide to making roads safer

The roads may pose dangers to Mississippi residents and others throughout America. In 2016, there was a 5.6 percent increase in traffic deaths from 2015, and there were 39 states that reported an increase in traffic deaths within their borders. According to a new report from the National Governors Association, there are many ideas being proposed that could help to make roadways safer.

For instance, multiple agencies could work together to create safer roadways within a given state. This is something that a state governor may be properly positioned to do. Currently, the United States lags behind other developed nations as it relates to how safe its roads are. The report is intended to be a guide that states are free to use as they see fit, and the broad goal is to eliminate traffic fatalities entirely.

Drowsy drivers are a safety hazard on highways

Mississippi drivers who text and drive aren't the only ones who cause accidents. Motorists who drive while they're sleepy cause accidents, too. The problem of drowsy drivers apparently is worse than people think.

Federal statistics indicate that only 1 percent to 2 percent of vehicle accidents are caused by drowsy drivers. A new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, however, says accident rate caused by sleepy drivers may be as high as 9.5 percent. Researchers monitored 3,500 drivers at six locations around the United States between 2010 and 2013. Drowsy drivers are three times as likely to be involved in car accidents at night, the study said. The study used in-vehicle cameras to count how many times a person's eyes closed while they were driving.

How to avoid distractions on the road

A recent survey found that 52 percent of drivers with smartphones have used their devices while on the road. Smartphone use is a major factor in distracted driving, which may in turn be a cause behind the recent increase in traffic deaths -- a trend that can be seen in Mississippi and across the U.S.

While iPhones and Android devices are equipped with features meant to prevent distractions, such as modes that block alerts to incoming calls and texts, this may not be enough. For starters, these features are voluntary. Even if users don't send texts or emails, they can still surf the internet, play music and watch videos on their smartphones.

Nursing homes may see relief from fines

Health care facilities in Mississippi and throughout America may benefit from a new Trump administration policy. He is rolling back fines that were levied against nursing homes that had been cited for abuse or neglect in the past. During the Obama administration, two-thirds of nursing homes that were cited for severe violations received fines. Under the new policy, homes will either not be fined or will receive smaller ones.

According to a New York Times report, one nursing home that was fined $282,954 during Obama's time in the White House would be fined less than $21,000 under President Trump. Some believe that this new policy may discourage nursing homes from adopting methods to keep patients safe. A Los Angeles Times report found that 75 percent of nursing homes were cited for poor infection control over a period of four years.

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