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Portland Oregon Personal Injury Law Blog

Issues with self-driving cars aren't going away

While the following accident didn't happen here in Portland, Oregon, the circumstances of the crash will soon be relevant to every city all across the country; because the self-driving revolution isn't stopping.

The crash in question happened in Pittsburgh, where a self-driving car operated by Argo AI -- a self-driving startup backed by Ford -- was hit as it crossed through an intersection. A truck traveling in cross traffic t-boned the self-driving vehicle, which was carrying four people in it. Two of them had to be transported to a hospital, but they were listed in stable condition.

During decline in traffic fatalities, pedestrian deaths went up

As time passes by, our technology improves. This allows for a lot of incredible development in many different areas and industries. Specific to automobiles and traffic safety, it means that a lot of cars and trucks have advanced to a point where their safety equipment prevents a lot of injuries and deaths. This is why we have seen an 18 percent decline nationally in the traffic fatality rate from 2006 to 2015.

But what this statistic doesn't reveal is how pedestrian fatalities have only increased during this period, and by a significant margin. In 2006, there were 4,795 pedestrian fatalities. But in 2015, there were 5,376 pedestrian fatalities. Similarly, bicyclist deaths increased during this time too.

Which side of the road should you be on?

When you're walking, jogging or biking, the side of the road you pick is not always determined by where you're going or where you started.

It's important to know exactly where you should be to keep yourself safe and lower the odds of an accident.

What do fatality rates tell us about older drivers?

People often point to fatality rates among younger drivers as a way to show that teen drivers are inherently unsafe on the road. They have the highest fatality rate of any age group, after all.

However, fatality rates don't always tell the whole story. For instance, did you know that older drivers actually have the second-highest fatality rate? That information comes from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

5 reasons people don't trust their doctors

Do you trust your doctor with your life?

You may feel like you have to, when a serious illness or injury strikes, but the reality is that more and more people do not fully trust their physicians. Below are five reasons that have been noted:

  1. Doctors have to create digital files and keep track of electronic information. This means they can appear distracted and may not always make eye contact. This makes people feel like the doctor isn't listening.
  2. Doctors face restrictions that patients do not know anything about, which sometimes means they can't give out the medications people want.
  3. Some doctors are more interested in making money than helping people. Patients who have to come to multiple visits and try many different treatments may feel like the doctor is just using them to earn as much as possible, with no real effort to cure the problem.
  4. Doctors are busy. They don't make as much as they'd like from each patient visit, so they often have to book more patients than is ideal. This means they seem like they're in a hurry all of the time.
  5. Bad doctors and bad outcomes make it into the news more often. Stories about medical mistakes and pill mills are more compelling than stories about people who simply get the help they need, so those are the stories people read all of the time.

Crash just before Christmas put 5 people in the hospital

A car accident in California, allegedly caused by a man from Portland, put five people in the hospital just two days before Christmas.

The crash happened on Saturday, December 23 on Interstate 5. According to the California Highway Patrol, the 45-year-old man from Oregon was heading south around 3:30 in the afternoon when he turned his vehicle in an unsafe manner and lost control. The CHP did not note exactly what that turning maneuver was.

Three easy steps to prevent workplace falls

Workplace falls continue to be one of the leading causes of injury and death in many industries, including the construction industry. As such, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been running a fall prevention campaign.

It's very simple, but could prove effective. The three easy steps are:

Is one type of car accident the most dangerous?

Car accidents take four basic forms: The head-on crash, the rollover crash, the side impact and the rear-end accident.

What you may be wondering is if any one type is clearly the most dangerous, or if they all carry the same risk. When looking at multivehicle accidents, the statistics paint an interesting picture. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:

  • 7,063 people died in head-on crashes, or 57 percent.
  • 3,933 people died in side impacts, or 32 percent.
  • 758 people died in rear-end accidents, or 9 percent.
  • 148 people died in "other" accidents, which were mostly rollover wrecks. That's just 2 percent.

Even following safety tips can't prevent all pedestrian accidents

Pedestrian accidents are often tragic, as those who are hit have a very high likelihood of passing away from their injuries. There is no protection in a car-pedestrian crash, and even relatively low speeds are dangerous.

As such, there are plenty of tips out there about what people can do to stay safe. These tips absolutely can help, but it's important to note that doing everything you can does not guarantee you won't be hit.

6 examples of serious medical mistakes

You expect your doctor to be a professional and give you excellent treatment. Unfortunately, the reality is that doctors make mistakes all of the time. Some reports indicate that these result in millions of injuries annually and around 250,000 deaths.

Below are a few examples of these common mistakes:

  1. Leaving surgical tools behind. The team is supposed to count all of their tools, but a simple courting error has serious ramifications.
  2. Giving treatment to the wrong person. That surgery was supposed to be done on Joe Johnson, but the team operated on Jon Johnson by mistake.
  3. Allowing air bubbles to make it to the bloodstream. A patient's chest tube is taken out, but the hole isn't properly sealed and it's not airtight.
  4. Making patients wait too long for treatment. The emergency room is crowded and chaotic. A patient isn't properly entered into the system and is forgotten.
  5. Causing a wound to become infected. A doctor is in a hurry before surgery, and she doesn't wash her hands properly. Bacteria gets into the wound and is sown inside, where it causes a serious infection.
  6. Operating on the wrong part of a person's body. An infected left leg needs to be amputated. The surgeon reads the files incorrectly and amputates the right leg instead. To make matters worse, when the mistake is caught, the left leg still has to be amputated.

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