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Orange County Wrongful Death Law Blog

Fiery car accident blamed on possible drunk driver

California drivers typically understand how important it is to follow the rules of the road. Using seat belts, adhering to the speed limit and staying aware of surroundings are all safety techniques commonly used by drivers who want to make it to their second destination in one piece. Sadly, all it takes is one negligent driver to cause a devastating car accident.

A vehicle was apparently stopped at an area traffic light when it was struck from behind and thrust into the intersection. The force of the impact was so great that the vehicle burst into flames, killing one of its occupants and seriously injuring another. A third vehicle was sideswiped as a result of the initial wreck, injuring the driver and sending him or her to the hospital.

Medical malpractice found lurking in teledermatology practices

As video chatting and photo sharing have become an everyday part of life, the medical field has adapted to include the technology in its practicing methods. Patients in California and other parts of the United States can now have their dermatologic concerns addressed via the Internet through teledermatology. While convenient, the direct-to-consumer model might be a harbinger of medical malpractice.

DTC teledermatology is just one branch of telemedicine in which a patient never has any physical contact with a physician but instead interacts online through either video, voice or pictures. A recent study focused in on teledermatology after concerns regarding incorrect diagnoses and breach of guidelines were raised. The physicians behind the study posed as patients and submitted six different dermatologic cases to be reviewed, diagnosed and treated.

Heart surgery brought to a halt by defective medical device

Advancements in the field of medical care have brought computers and other advanced forms of technology into hospitals, creating opportunities for newer and better treatment options. While these changes have undoubtedly made it easier to fight certain illnesses, most people in California understand just how frustrating computers can be. Malfunctioning software can turn an otherwise functional tool into a defective medical device.

Heart surgery can be a dangerous undertaking, and the Merge Hemo device is supposed to make the procedure safer by supervising the tubes that are inserted into a patient's arteries and veins. Like most technology, the device runs software on a computer, visualizing the data for attending doctors. A Feb. 2016 heart surgery was ground to a sudden and unexpected halt when that software malfunctioned.

When truck accidents cause serious injuries, turn to us

Trucks are a major part of the American economy, transporting goods across the country, but they are also sources of great danger for those in smaller vehicles. When these large trucks are involved in accidents, smaller vehicles often cannot withstand the impacts of such large and heavy vehicles. Consequently, even a low-speed accident can cause serious injuries or even death. 

Truck accidents can happen for many reasons. As California readers know, truckers are often paid based on miles driven, which could encourage fatigued driving. Despite industry regulations determining how many hours can be driven at a time, these rules are broken every day. Poorly loaded cargo, bad tires or improperly maintained trucks can also lead to accidents, as can untrained, inexperienced or reckless truck drivers.

Fines for nursing home neglect tend to be small

Despite doing the best research possible, some California families still learn that the nursing homes in which they placed loved ones are not as safe as they previously believed. Nursing home neglect is a startling common issue for the elderly and other compromised individuals. Despite the seriousness of mistreating residents, most nursing homes face little more than citations and resulting small fines.

An out-of-state nursing home was fined a mere $2,265 when staff negligence led to a patient's death. First admitted in November 2015, the patient was already in need of extensive care when he arrived. He was later found dead in his own bed the day of Christmas that same year. Two days prior to his death nurses had noted his shortness of breath and informed a physician of his need for oxygen, but proper documentation did not occur, and the oxygen was never administered.

Hit-and-run car accident sends 1 to hospital

California police say that a disabled vehicle caused a chain reaction wreck that sent one person to the hospital. However, police are still searching for the driver of that disabled vehicle. Because of the driver's disappearance, the car accident is currently being investigated as a hit-and-run.

According to authorities, a disabled vehicle was sitting on the southbound side of Interstate 880 at approximately 3 a.m. It was not on the shoulder of the road and did not have any lights on at the time, and it is not clear if the driver was still in the vehicle or nearby. An oncoming 18-wheeler did not see the disabled vehicle in time and, although the driver took action to avoid a collision, he ultimately lost control of the truck.

Defective medical device still in use after causing many deaths

The public relies on both the Food and Drug Administration as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to keep dangerous products out of hospital facilities. When a defective medical device does happen to make it to the market, it is not necessarily unreasonable for California patients to expect the device to be removed from circulation in a timely manner. Unfortunately, the FDA does not always act in in a manner befitting the situation.

A defectively designed scope was last discussed on this blog in Feb. 2015 ("Spread of Bacteria Linked to Alleged Defective Medical Device"). Its flawed design makes it nearly impossible to properly sterilize, exposing patients to harmful bacteria that has been linked to infections and death. The FDA was aware of the problem since at least 2012, yet the scope remains in hospitals across the United States, putting more patients at risk for deadly infections. Recently, the FDA was notified of another eight infections and two deaths.

Misdiagnosed sleep disorders can lead to medical malpractice

Thinking of misdiagnosed cases as an uncommon occurrence can be a comforting thought to California patients, but that thought is not an accurate representation of the reality of the health care world. Patients across the United States of America continue to suffer needlessly after being misdiagnosed by both primary care physicians and specialists, and one class of disorders -- sleep disorders -- is particularly prone to being missed altogether. In such instances, medical malpractice through misdiagnosis makes it difficult or even impossible for patients to receive the correct treatment.

Current data indicates that about 70 million patients suffer from at least one type of sleep disorder. Unfortunately, over 40 million of those patients are not even aware of the disorders that they suffer from. Many sleep disorders end up being diagnosed as something different altogether, even when patients attempt to advocate for themselves and their systems.

Patients hit, punched in case of nursing home neglect and abuse

Two employees are facing criminal charges and several others are out of jobs due to allegations of serious and ongoing abuse in an out-of-state nursing home. Nursing home neglect and abuse is a severe and ongoing problem for many California elders. While criminal charges might address some aspects of the emotional damages related to neglect and abuse, additional action is often necessary for victims to recover financial compensation.

Much of the abuse was actually captured on hidden cameras that were installed following one woman's concern over her father's unexplained injuries. Documents from the resulting police investigation paint a disturbing picture of what transpired behind the closed doors of the nursing home facility. In one incident, a towel was thrown at an elderly patient who suffered from cognitive impairment. The 82-year-old woman tossed the towel back to the employee who then rolled it into a ball and threw it directly into the resident's face.

Car accident orphans 3 California children

Three children are now parentless after a tragic car accident caused by a wrong-way vehicle. The children were also injured in the wreck, as well as two other people, including the driver who apparently caused the collision. California police are still investigating the car accident, although no charges have been filed against the driver yet.

The wreck occurred close to midnight when two parents were traveling with their children and another passenger on Highway 4. As they were heading east, an oncoming vehicle swerved out of the west bound lane and struck the family's van head on, forcing them off of the road. Their van overturned and came to rest in a nearby drainage canal.