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Testing22222If you live in the San Diego area, you are probably familiar with Uber and Lyft. These ride-sharing services have become extremely popular in Southern California, allowing residents and visitors to take advantage of quicker, and often less expensive rides than taxis. Easier than making a phone call or hailing a cab, Uber and Lyft users can simply use an app to catch a ride. But are customers at risk of serious car accident injuries while they are riding in the backseats of Uber vehicles?

According to a recent article from Digital Trends, in response to the increasing use of Uber, Lyft, and other ride-sharing services, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has decided to begin putting crash-test dummies in back seats within the next few years. Can a shift in car accident testing help to prevent severe and fatal injuries in traffic collisions?

Ride-Sharing Services Expected to Grow, Prompting Need for Testing

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IMG_8957Carlsbad Pedestrian Struck on Freeway Shoulder


How often do pedestrian accidents, in particular hit-and-run collisions, occur in the San Diego area? According to a recent report from The San Diego Union-Tribune, a hit-and-run pickup truck driver recently struck a pedestrian who had been stopped to help a motorist on the shoulder of a Carlsbad freeway. The report indicates that the victim was a 48-year-old man from Tijuana, and his injuries were so severe that he may not survive.

How did the pedestrian accident happen? According to the report, the victim “parked on the shoulder of northbound Interstate 5, south of Palomar Airport Road, to assist a friend whose vehicle was disabled.” At the time of the crash, he had been standing in front of his own vehicle. The pickup reportedly “veered onto the shoulder and hit him.” California Highway Patrol Officer Jim Bettencourt indicated that, after striking the victim, the driver of the pickup truck simply continue driving before taking an exit onto Palomar Airport Road.

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flames-300x200Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes or electronic nicotine delivery systems, have been “promoted as safer alternatives to traditional cigarettes,” according to a fact sheet from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. However, as a recent article in Scientific American explains, e-cigarettes have been linked to serious burn injuries caused by the explosion of these devices. While we do not yet have enough information to know about the health risks associated with e-cigarettes, we do know that they can cause serious burns to the hands and mouth, and in some cases can cause fractures and paralysis.

What else do you need to know about e-cigarettes and serious injuries? Can injury victims seek compensation by filing a lawsuit?

Learning More About Electronic Cigarettes

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Child car seatIt is always concerning when we hear about a product recall, especially when that product has been linked to serious injuries or even deaths. However, product recalls often are even more upsetting when they involve products that we have purchased with the expectation that they will be safe for our children’s use. We expect quite a lot of kids’ products, and we should be able to presume that a child’s car seat or an infant cup will not cause preventable injuries to our children. However, as a recent article from Safe Kids Worldwide reports, there were two major recalls of children’s products last month alone. Failing to pay attention to these safety defects could result in serious and even life-threatening injuries to your child.

What do you need to know about recent recalls concerning safety defects and kids’ products?

Spill-Proof Children’s Cups and Dangerous Mold Risk

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file0001812797650If your doctor is on probation due to medical negligence or for committing a serious surgical error, how will you know? According to a recent report from KQED News and California Healthline, proposed legislation “would have required doctors and other medical [professionals] to notify their patients if they were on probation for serious infractions.” However, as the report explains, the California Senate rejected the legislation, meaning that there will be no law in place—at least not in the very near future—that will require physicians to inform their patients about their severe mistakes.

Details of the Proposed Legislation and its Limited Application


As the report explains, the proposed legislation did not aim to require all doctors and other healthcare professionals who have been cited for any and all forms of medical negligence to tell their patients. The bill only “would have applied to a tiny pool of practitioners—those disciplined for serious offenses such as gross negligence, sexual misconduct, substance abuse, or a felony conviction related to patient care.”

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MAILMANHow often are mail carriers in California injured by dog bites and animal attacks? According to a recent news release from the U.S. Postal Service, 6,549 mail carriers and other employees were the victims of dog attacks last year. Where did most of the dog bites occur? According to the USPS, Houston, TX was the city with the highest number of dog bites (77 in total), but San Diego was a close second with 58 dog attacks in 2015. Both numbers show an increase from 2014. For example, dog bites rose in Houston by 22%, and they actually rose by 23% in San Diego. In numerous cities across the country, the rate of animal attacks rose. As such, the USPS has made recommendations to help prevent employee dog bite injuries.

Taking Steps to Improve USPS Employee Safety

Given that dog bite injuries are on the rise in many of America’s cities—including in San Diego—the USPS has announced new safety initiatives that are aimed at preventing animal attacks on its employees. As USPS Safety Director Linda DeCarlo explained of the recent increase in dog bites, “dogs are protective in nature and may view our letter carriers handling mail to their owner as a threat.” Yet just because dogs are protective of the properties on which they live does not mean that USPS employees do not have options to be safer when they are doing their jobs.

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brain scanGiven the enormous attention to sports-related concussions and the long-term implications of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) for professional athletes, it should not come as a surprise that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) developed a brain injury study. What has come as a surprise, however, are allegations that the NFL “improperly attempted to influence the grant review process” for that study, according to a recent report from NFL.com. The allegations came through a report issued by New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone following concerns about bias.

Do the recent allegations suggest that certain studies may not be providing accurate information about the dangers of NFL concussions and rates of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) among ex-football players? To better understand the implications of Pallone’s report, we should take a closer look at the specific allegations levied against the NFL.

Details of the Congressional Report

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file0001308286258Most San Diego residents do not have to wait until summer to enjoy trips to the beach or afternoons by the pool. However, given that most children are on vacation during the summer months and likely will be engaging in recreational activities in and around the water, it is important to think about water safety and ways of preventing serious and even fatal child injuries. Parents in California should understand the risks and symptoms of both dry drowning and secondary drowning, and how to react in the event that an accident happens. According to a recent article in the Huffington Post, dry drowning and secondary drowning are not especially well understood, and it is important to learn more about how these incidents can occur.

Risks Continue After a Child Leaves the Water


One of the scariest features of both dry drowning and secondary drowning is that the child typically appears to be safe after being pulled from the water, only to exhibit life-threatening symptoms at a later point. Dry drowning is a little bit different from secondary drowning in terms of the timing. To better understand the symptoms of each, we should take a closer look at what each type of drowning entails.

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file0001569965691According to a recent report from NPR, car accidents are the leading cause of death for American teenagers, and in a surprisingly high number of those crashes, alcohol plays a role. About 25% of all teenage traffic collisions involve alcohol. In states where there are substantial restrictions on alcohol usage and serious repercussions for impaired driving, the rate of teenage auto accident fatalities tends to be lower, according to a recent study reported by NPR. What do the findings of this new study tell us? California and states across the country should put policies into place that help to curb teens’ purchase and use of alcohol, and to take steps to make the consequences of drinking and driving more severe.

Regulations on Alcohol Sales for the General Population


When we talk about regulations aimed at limiting the purchase of alcohol and its consumption by underage teen drivers, what kinds of regulations are we thinking about in practice? According to the NPR report, there are a number of regulations that can accomplish these goals with relative ease, and all of them target the general population. In other words, policies aimed strictly at teens do not tend to have the results we want. Rather, it is important to consider regulations that would limit alcohol purchases for everyone, including San Diego residents who can legally purchase it. Examples of these policies include but are not limited to:

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Opened First Aid Kit

Opened First Aid Kit

When you visit a hospital in San Diego for a routine procedure, you should not have to worry about sustaining a serious injury as a result of medical negligence. However, medical mistakes happen much more often than any of us would like to think. According to a recent article in Yahoo! Finance, up to as many as 440,000 people in the United States suffer fatal injuries every year because of hospital mistakes. In addition to those deaths, it is likely that around 722,000 American develop preventable infections while they are staying at a hospital, and around 75,000 of those infections turn out to be fatal. Yet, as the article points out, we can take steps to prevent some of the harms associated with common hospital errors.

Preventing Falls at the Hospital


You might not think immediately of a fall-related injury when you think about a medical error, yet falls in a hospital setting often result from medical negligence. Hospitals need to take steps to ensure that patients do not slip and fall and that they have the proper equipment to move around the facility without getting hurt. According to the article, about one million American patients suffer falls every year when they are in the hospital, and the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reports that about one-third of those falls are preventable.