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Dangerous Recalls and Children’s Products

When we hear about a product recall, many of us worry that we may be at risk of a serious personal injury. However, those concerns tend to increase dramatically when we learn that our children have been using defective products. After all, child injuries can be particularly serious and life-threatening. According to a recent article from CBS News, children’s product recalls decreased in 2014, yet many recalled products continue to circulate in the used marketplace.

What should you do if your child suffered serious or fatal injuries from a product defect? It’s important to discuss your case with an experienced San Diego product liability lawyer. You may be eligible to file a claim for compensation.

Recall-254x300Child Safety Product Defect Report

How effective is the recall system in our country when it comes to children’s products? Do recalls actually result in these hazardous items being removed from the shelves? According to a report from the child safety advocate group Kids in Danger, fewer children are “being injured or killed” by defective products. Recalls have also declined. Yet, do these statistics account for used products that continue to make their way to our homes through second-hand stores and garage sales?

Some child advocates urge daycares to step up and to “play a key role to assist parents” when it comes to product recalls. If daycares pay close attention to recalls, then their employees can ensure that none of these products are purchased for or used by the children at the facility.

For instance, last year a napping chair (the “Nap Nanny”) was part of a recall last due to the danger of suffocation it posed. While many parents who owned these products discarded them, many of these chairs ended up in donation piles and ultimately at daycare centers and other places where they can continue to pose a serious risk to the safety of young kids. In situations like these—which arise with more frequency than most of us would like to assume—it’s important simply to know about recalled products and to avoid using them.

More Vigilance Needed for Kids’ Safety

What can we do to ensure that parents, daycare centers, schools, and babysitters know about dangerous product recalls? According to the recent Kids in Danger report, a very important tool that isn’t used as often as it should be is social media.

To be sure, social media platforms can play a very important role in publicizing product defects and recalls, but not all children’s companies use Facebook or Twitter, for example. And, for companies that do have these social media accounts, “less than a quarter of those with Facebook pages and less than a third of those with Twitter accounts posted recall information on those channels.”

As such, consumers should encourage companies to make information about recalls as salient as possible, which likely involves using social media. The Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association recently emphasized that companies making kids’ products do post recall notices in many different places (e.g., in-store notices, direct-mail notices). However, making better use of social media channels could make a big impact.

Not only do many young parents check Facebook and Twitter regularly, but daycare centers can also monitor these channels for news about dangerous products and the risk of child injury.

If your child has been injured because of a defective product, your child deserves compensation for his or her injuries. Contact the Walton Law Firm today to speak with an experienced San Diego product defect lawyer.

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Bike-Accident-InsuranceAlthough it’s wintertime, many Californians have the luxury of riding bicycles at any time of the year. However, bicycle accidents can be deadly, especially when they’re caused by distracted or aggressive driving. A recent article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported that a bicycle advocacy group, People Power, is hoping to create “bikeways near highway interchanges” in order to make those intersections safer for cyclists.

While these changes would only affect the Santa Cruz area in the most immediate terms, it’s very likely that bicycle advocacy groups across the state could push for additional measures to make bicycling a safer activity in the San Diego area.

Making Bicycle Transportation Safer

Cycling accidents can happen anywhere—in bike lanes, at interchanges, and even when a cyclist is stopped at a traffic light. However, interchanges pose significant risks for auto accidents, and bicyclists can get caught in the middle. To be sure, the bike community in California “knows these areas as dangerous places to ride.” Why? Most notably, “when motorists are getting on or off the freeway, they’re driving much faster than cyclists.”

Many freeway intersections in California don’t even have cameras, so it’s impossible to know how many times a bicyclist has been cut off or almost involved in an accident with a speeding driver. According to one cyclist in the Santa Cruz area, riders often feel as though they’re risking their safety when they ride through a freeway interchange. “There are a lot of avoided and unreported accidents,” the rider explained.

Without bikeways near highway intersections, numerous California cyclists are dissuaded from riding bicycles as a primary mode of transportation. However, with more bikes on the roads, the safer cycling becomes. Indeed, according to Amelia Conlen, the director of People Power, “with more cyclists, there’s more of a perception of safety.” She went on to explain that, “by making cyclists more visible on the road, it can make them feel like they belong on the road.”

Bicycle Accident Facts and Figures: What You Need to Know

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “bicyclists face a higher risk of crash-related injury and deaths than occupants of motor vehicles do.”

What are some of the risk factors linked to cycling? For one, adolescents aged 15-24 and adults aged 45 and older are at greatest risk of a fatal bicycle accident. Children between the ages of 5 and 14 years old and adolescents between the ages of 15-24 are at greatest risk of injuries in a serious cycling-related accident. And if you’re wondering whether your child’s gender can play a role in his or her risk of a bike accident, males are at much greater risk than females of sustaining serious or fatal injuries in a bicycle crash.

What can you do to prevent a serious or deadly bicycle collision? The CDC recommends the following:

  • Wear a helmet, even if it’s not required by law.
  • Wear fluorescent clothing, even if you’re riding during daylight hours. It will make you more visible on the road, and if it gets dark while you’re riding, other drivers are more likely to see you.
  • Install active lighting on your bicycle, including front white lights and rear red lights. You want to do everything in your power to increase your visibility to other motorists.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a serious bicycle accident or pedestrian accident, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer to discuss your case.

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Construction work takes place every day in sunny California. While many construction projects reach completion without any dangerous accidents or injuries, construction work can be extremely hazardous. Indeed, construction accidents often result in severe and fatal injuries. According to a recent article from ABC 7, a freeway bypass collapse in Willits left four construction workers with serious injuries and another trapped beneath debris.

Details of the Mendocino Bypass Collapse

How did this accident happen? Caltrans has been working on a freeway bypass in Mendocino County. It’s intended to be a nearly 6-mile overpass, but it has encountered a number of problems along the way. Most notable, it “has been beset by lengthy delays and cost overruns.” The bypass is projected to cost around $210 million, but it has only reached approximate 50 percent completion. It’s also two years behind schedule.

According to officials, when the construction workers began to pour concrete for the project, “a 150-foot temporary steel and wooden structure known as falsework suddenly collapsed.” The collapse took place in an area only accessible to construction workers.

In addition to the serious accident dangers posed by the bypass project, California residents have contested its construction due to environmental concerns. To be sure, both opponents of the project have filed lawsuits in hopes of preventing unnecessary damage to the environment. Such opposition has been a notable contributing factor to the construction project’s delay. Authorities report that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will be looking into the bypass collapse.

Serious and Fatal Workplace Accidents

Construction accidents are among the most frequent and deadly workplace accidents in America. But how often do they happen? And what steps can construction workers take to prevent serious and fatal accidents?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2013, more than 4,600 employees sustained fatal injuries at work. In connection with a news release that reported the high number of deadly workplace accidents, the BLS released some of the following information about fatal workplace incidents:

  • About 15 percent of all workplace deaths involve contractors. In many cases, these contractors are employed by the construction industry.
  • Fatalities in the construction industry have risen in recent years. Between 2011 and 2012, construction fatalities rose by nearly 10 percent (to a total of 806 deaths in 2012).

Employers can help to prevent deadly construction site accidents by taking the proper safety precautions. In particular, employers must take steps to reduce the following types of accidents:

  • Falls, which lead to more than one-third of all construction accident deaths;
  • Being struck by an object, which results in about 10 percent of construction fatalities;
  • Electrocution, which leads to almost 10 percent of all deadly construction accidents; and
  • Being caught in or between a structure or operating device, which accounts for approximately 2 percent of deaths that occur in the construction industry.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident or in another workplace accident, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. A San Diego construction accident attorney at the Walton Law Firm can discuss your options with you today.

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brain-injury-300x240Serious accidents and injuries can take place anywhere, and they often happen when we’re least expecting them. Depending on the type and severity of an injury, the consequences can be life-long. According to a recent article in U-T San Diego, a young Carlsbad man recently suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) while playing in a recreational softball league. While he’s currently in stable condition, doctors worry that he may not be able to fully recover.

A “Freak Accident” on the Softball Field

Less than a week ago, 28-year-old Mike Petracca had been in Las Vegas for a softball tournament. However, while he was walking across the softball fields, he sustained a TBI in what his coach referred to as “a freak accident.” While Petracca was walking between the fields, a “softball bat slipped from a player’s hands, flew like a rocket nearly 90 feet over a fence and struck Petracca in the head.”

After being struck in the head by the bat, Petracca fell and “hit his head on the asphalt.” Emergency medical responders rushed him to a nearby hospital, where doctors “determined he suffered a fractured skull and swelling of his brain.” As a result of the severe injury, Petracca underwent emergency surgery. However, post-surgery scans of his brain suggest that the region of his brain that controls speech (in the frontal lobe of one hemisphere of the brain, known as the Broca’s area) remains damaged. As such, Petracca has only been able to utter one full word since waking up after surgery.

Unfortunately, according to Petracca’s surgeon, the damage cannot be repaired with surgery. Instead, Petracca will need time to allow his brain to heal. However, there are no guarantees. According to the doctor, “he may regain speech in a day or two, or a year or two, or never.” In short, it’s impossible to predict the outcome of this severe head trauma.

Members of the LGBT sports community, of which Petracca is a part, have been generous in helping to fund Petracca’s recovering and in offering their support. He remains in stable condition, and doctors report that his motor skills continue to improve. Petracca’s medical team hopes that the facial paralysis he’s currently experiencing will heal with time. After he’s discharged from the hospital, he’ll continue treatment at a Southern California rehabilitation center.

Sports-Related Severe Brain Injuries

We often think about sports-related brain injuries in college or professional athletes, but they can happen to anyone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), TBIs are contributing factors in about 30 percent of all injury-related deaths in the country.

While many sports-related TBIs are classified as concussions, or mild TBIs, these injuries can also be more severe. Two types of severe TBIs exist:

  •      Closed: where an injury to the brain was caused by the movement of the brain within the skull.
  •      Penetrating: where an injury to the brain resulted from a foreign object entering the skull.

In cases of severe head trauma, the effects can be long-term and life-altering. The CDC explains that, in the case of non-fatal severe TBIs, patients often report one of more of the following problems:

  •      Impaired cognitive function;
  •      Impaired motor function;
  •      Impaired sensation; and,
  •      Emotional changes, including depression, anxiety, and general personality shifts.

If you or a loved one has sustained a traumatic brain injury, you may be able to file a negligence claim. You should contact an experienced San Diego brain injury attorney to learn more about seeking compensation for your injuries.

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Every year, thousands and thousands of car recalls take place. For many Americans, hearing about a product defect can be very scary. But are all recalls emergency situations? A large number of these recalls aren’t going to have a serious effect on the drivers. According to a recent article from ConsumerReports.org, numerous recalls happen for “less than perilous reasons.”

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For example, “sometimes they’re for something as benign as a mislabeled sticker.” Or, in other cases, “durability tests find a suspension spring could wear out prematurely.” And even if your car is subject to a more serious recall, it’s not guaranteed that you’ll experience that problem. To be sure, “a vast majority of affected cars will never experience the potential problems outlined in a recall notice.”

Yet many of us aren’t always sure how to tell the difference between a relatively benign and a more serious recall. How can you learn specific details about recalls and whether you need to pay particular attention? And in the event that your car is recalled for a significant reason, what should you do?

Recent Recalls and Consumer Injuries

In 2014, a number of automobile recalls shook the news. Nearly 8 million recalls took place for cars that had certain Takata airbags installed. If you’ve been reading about the Takata air bag recall, you know that these automobile parts “are prone to explode in collisions, spraying passengers with shrapnel,” and “sometimes with fatal results.” Some of the automakers that use Takata airbags include GM, Honda, Toyota, and BMW. Honda was just recently fined $70 million for failing to report more than 1,700 injuries and deaths that occurred in its automobiles, according to an article in the Washington Post.

In addition to the Takata recall, GM also recalled about 2.6 million vehicles in 2014 due to a defective ignition switch. In certain cases, these cars could simply turn off during operation, resulting in serious and fatal accidents. And just shortly before news about the GM recall hit the internet, Toyota and Lexus recalled more than 10 million automobiles because of a problem that resulted in “unintended acceleration” and deadly car accidents.

Learning About a Recall

How do most of us find out about recalls? Whether an auto manufacturer issues a recall for a minor or a serious problem, it will contact car owners by snail mail or email, and it will provide instructions for having the defective part repaired or replaced. How long does an automaker have to alert you to the recall? Once it has informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the recall, it must let you know within 60 days.

If you find out that your car is part of a recall, you should follow the instructions—which usually involve visiting the nearest dealership—and have the fix or replacement completed. In some cases, the dealership won’t have the parts in stock that are needed for the repair. In such a case, you should find out if the recall “involves a key operating component, such as the acceleration, brake, steering, suspension, or fuel systems.” If it does, and the automaker suggests that you stop driving the vehicle until it can be repaired, it “should tow your car to a dealership and provide a loaner.”

Social Media and Product Recalls

If you want to stay informed about product recalls, social media can provide very useful tools. For example, you can follow your automaker on Twitter or Facebook. After GM instituted its massive recalls, it began using these precise social media platforms to let consumers know that they needed to pay attention.

If you do sustain an injury from a defective car part, you should always report the problem to the NHTSA and contact an experienced San Diego product defect attorney. You may be eligible to seek compensation for your injuries.

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Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can have serious consequences. Even concussions, or mild TBIs, can result in significant threats to long-term health. Did you know that many people don’t even realize they have concussions? When head trauma patients don’t receive proper medical care and treatment, those mild TBIs can be even more dangerous. Now, research into a new eye-tracking technology, published recently in the Journal of Neurosurgery, promises to make concussion evaluations easier than ever.

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Background of the New Brain Injury Technology

The new technology was developed at the NYU Langone Medical Center using 169 patients, according to a recent article in Forbes. Of those patients 157 were “neurologically normal,” or had no brain injury. Twelve of the patients had brain injuries, or “demonstrated specific abnormalities in cranial nerves controlling eye movement or brain swelling close to those nerves.” When these nerves are damaged—in other words, when a person sustains a brain injury—their eye movements change.

For the study, the researchers required the patients to watch television shows or music videos, and they monitored their vertical and horizontal eye movements. In patients without brain injuries, the ratio of horizontal to vertical eye movements is typically equal, or 1:1. In patients with brain injuries, however, that ratio changes. And depending on the ratio (more horizontal movements versus more vertical movements), physicians can locate nerves that have been damaged by head trauma.

While medical professional treating patients with severe TBIs typically can locate the source of the brain injury or the area affected by the trauma, patients with concussions aren’t as easy to evaluate. Often, the specific location of the nerve damage or brain swelling isn’t readily apparent. Now, this eye-tracking technology may offer a new method to make these evaluations.

Wide Use and Accessibility

One of the great things about this new technology, several of the researchers emphasize, is that it’s transportable to many different medical professionals and diagnosis sites. For instance, it won’t need to be used only in hospitals. Rather, emergency medical responders will be able to assess patients after suspected brain injuries, and more significantly, sports venues may be able to employ it to evaluate athletes.

Athletes in contact sports who suffer concussions can be at risk of life-threatening diseases like chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). With eye-tracking technology, sideline doctors may be able to use this “simple non-invasive screening test” to determine whether a football player, for instance, has suffered a concussion on the field.

Right now, the balance error scoring system (BESS) test is the one primarily used to determine whether athletes have sustained concussions. How does it work? It allows doctors to assess abnormalities in balance. However, many physicians emphasize that it’s a problematic test if the player has difficulty standing for an unrelated reason (such as a spinal cord injury or a hip injury). The new eye-tracking technology could be extremely useful when athletes in contact sports sustain multiple injuries, including suspected head trauma. To be sure, the new technology could be used regardless of whether a patient is able to stand upright during the test.

If your loved one recently suffered a concussion or other traumatic brain injury, you may be able to file a claim for compensation. Contact an experienced San Diego brain injury lawyer today to learn more about how we can assist with your case.

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Was 2014 really the year of the deadly hit-and-run accident in Southern California? Three deadly collisions that occurred just before the end of the year don’t bode well for car accident prevention and pedestrian fatalities in 2015. Hit-and-run crashes often are preventable, but when they do happen, it’s important to remember that you have legal rights.

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Deadly Pedestrian Accidents in the San Diego Area

According to a recent article from NBC 7 San Diego, police have been dealing with a number of serious and fatal hit-and-run collisions at the end of the holiday season. By December 29, authorities were investigating three separate hit-and-run accidents that occurred on the same day in National City, City Heights, and Oceanside, respectively.

How did these deadly accidents happen, and could they have been prevented? The first accident occurred in the early hours of the evening at around 6:30 p.m. in National City. An elderly pedestrian, Armando Guerrero, 75, had been crossing the street in a crosswalk. While in the bounds of the crosswalk, a white pickup truck struck Guerrero before fleeing the scene. The victim sustained fatal injuries and died at the scene of the collision. Authorities have yet to locate the truck involved in the crash, which they believe to be an older-model Nissan or Toyota with front-end damage.

A second pedestrian accident occurred at around the same time. In this case, the victim was a 23-year-old man who had been standing on a center divide near 52nd Street and University Avenue in City Heights. According to U-T San Diego, police received a call about a hit-and run accident at 6:21 p.m. on December 29th, and emergency responders rushed to the area. However, the victim was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.

Almost concurrently, another 24-year-old man sustained fatal injuries in a hit-and-run accident near Camp Pendleton. The victim tried to cross Interstate 5, and he was struck by more than one vehicle, according to police reports.

And hit-and-run accidents aren’t the only ones taking place near San Diego. Just a day prior to these deadly accidents, a tow truck driver was seriously injured in another collision in Encinitas. The tow truck driver responded to an accident that occurred early in the morning on the northbound side of Interstate 5, according to a report from NBC 7 San Diego. That accident involved only property damage, and required that one of the cars be towed from the interstate. An oncoming car “collided into the tow driver as he was attempting to get the vehicle up on the back of the tow truck.”

Hit and Run Facts and Figures

Hit-and-run accidents are on the rise in the San Diego area, but they’re also happening with more frequency across the country. A report in USA Today suggested that hit-and-run collisions are becoming epidemic in a number of major American cities, in particular in Los Angeles and San Diego. The number of fatal accidents of this type reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the last several years confirms this trend:

  •      2009: 1,274 fatal hit-and-run accidents
  •      2010: 1,393 fatal hit-and-run accidents
  •      2011: 1,449 fatal hit-and-run accidents

The NHTSA continues to collect data on hit-and-run fatalities between 2012-14, but the early numbers appear to show a continuation of the upward trend. Can we make 2015 a year of pedestrian safety in San Diego? Time will tell whether hit-and-run prevention measures can help to decrease the occurrence of these deadly accidents.

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a serious hit-and-run accident, you should speak to an experienced San Diego car accident lawyer today.

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Outside the United States, legislation that restricts ownership of certain dog breeds is quite common, according to a recent article in the Sacramento Bee. For instance, in the United Kingdom, lawmakers enacted the Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991 after a pit bull terrier mauled a 6-year-old girl. That law restricts ownership of pit bulls as well as other breeds identified as particularly “dangerous” in order to prevent dog bites. In addition, it requires that dogs be “muzzled in public at all times.” Could a similar law end up governing dog ownership and responsibilities in California?

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Fatal Dog Attacks Becoming More Common

In California and across the country, fatal dog bite injuries seem to be happening with more frequency. As the Sacramento Bee article points out, the terrible dog attack in Modesto, in which an elderly woman sustained serious injuries and her son was killed by several pit bulls, is a story that has become all too common. Indeed, according to Dogsbite.org, every day around 1,000 people in the U.S. must visit an emergency room in order to receive care for a dog bite injury.

And the dog bite fatality statistics show that Californians have been the victims of the most dog bite injuries in the last year. To be sure, California had the highest rate of dog bite fatalities, with 5 in 2013 alone. All of those cases involved pit bulls, and 60 percent of those cases led to criminal charges. Statistics for 2014 are currently being compiled, but the incident in Modesto suggests that the fatality number may prove even higher this year.

Some other significant statistics about dog bite fatalities include the following:

  • Pit bull terriers and rottweilers are the most frequently cited “lethal” breeds in the U.S. In 2013, pit bulls were responsible for 25 dog bite fatalities, and rottweilers were responsible for one. Together, they account for 81 percent of all recorded dog bite fatalities in 2013, and three-fourths of all dog bite fatalities between the years 2005 and 2013.
  • More than half of all victims who sustained fatal dog bites were kids under the age of 8 (56 percent). Of those victims, 61 percent were under the age of 5.
  • Of the dogs involved in fatal attacks, about half are characterized as “family dogs” (47 percent), and nearly 80 percent of reported fatal attacks occurred on the dog owner’s property.

Dog Attack Legislation

Certain cities in California have already adopted rules that require dog owners to neuter their pit bulls, as well as some other breeds that have been linked to attacks. However, advocates for reform suggest that cities like San Diego must take bigger steps toward preventing dog bite injuries, and perhaps even banning certain breeds. Can the U.S. learn from the U.K.?

Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen of Modesto indicated that she’d be in support of a bill like this, but she’s not currently planning on proposing one. The Sacramento Bee suggests that it will take a brave assemblyperson to propose such a ban, given the high rate of dog ownership in California. Yet at the same time, tougher legislation may be necessary to put an end to the high rate of dog bite fatalities in our state.

Have you been bitten by a dog? Have you lost a loved one in a dog attack? You may be able to file a claim for compensation. Contact an experienced San Diego dog bite lawyer at the Walton Law Firm today.

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Many Californians own dogs, but it’s important to remember that dogs can be very dangerous when they bite. Indeed, a dog bite injury can quickly become infected, resulting in severe and life-threatening complications. If you or your child sustained injuries in a dog bite accident, you shouldn’t wait to speak with an experienced San Diego dog bite lawyer. You may be able to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for your injuries.

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Recent California Dog Bite Injuries in the News

According to a recent report from ABC News, a Modesto, California woman was mauled by four pit bulls, and her son died while trying to save her life. The victim, Maria Fernandez, 77, heard her son out back and saw that four pit bulls had attacked her son. “They were all around him,” she explained. Trying to help her son fend off the animal attack, she “tried to chase them with a broom,” but the dogs then attacked Maria. Her 54-year-old son, Juan Fernandez, managed to get away from the animals, but he came back to save his mother’s life.

Maria sustained “bites on her arms, shoulder, and head,” and she also “suffered a broken leg,” according to the report. She remembers seeing that she “had all blood all over.” She managed to make it back inside her house as her son Juan sustained additional attacks from the dogs outside. Juan’s injuries ultimately proved fatal. The dogs belonged to Maria’s neighbors, who have since moved away. The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office hasn’t yet determined whether it will press criminal charges. As of early this month, Maria remained in a rehabilitation center, receiving treatment for her injuries.

Another recent article in U-T San Diego emphasized that dogs can bite at any time, and dog bite injuries often require immediate medical treatment. Last month in Valley Center, a man had been driving erratically. One motorist described the suspect as “swerving all over the road” and failing to yield to other motor vehicles. Deputies engaged in a slow-speed pursuit with him, and the suspect ultimately stopped his vehicle, got out, and ran. The deputies released a police dog, and the dog bit the suspect. He was transported to Palomar Medical Center in order to receive treatment for his wound before being taken into custody.

Prevention and Treatment for Dog Bite Injuries

Before thinking about essential treatment for dog bite injuries, it’s important to consider prevention. An article on WebMD emphasizes that dogs bite more than 4 million Americans each year, and about 50 percent of those victims are children. Indeed, children are at greatest risk of a serious or fatal dog bite injury. And of those millions of victims, approximately 20 percent require immediate medical attention, according to statistics gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). What can you do to prevent a dog bite injury?

  • Choose a pet with a traditionally good temperament.
  • Don’t go near dogs you don’t know.
  • Don’t leave your child alone with a dog, even if it’s a dog you know.
  • Never try to approach a dog that’s eating.
  • If a dog does become aggressive, do your best to stay calm and to back away slowly—a sudden movement can cause the dog to attack.

Many dog bite injuries require immediate treatment. Without medical attention, a dog bite injury quickly can become infected. When you’ve been attacked by a dog, it’s important to seek treatment from a healthcare professional and to contact an experienced San Diego dog bite attorney. Contact the Walton Law Firm today to learn more about how we can assist with your case.

Photo Credit: Klearchos Kapoutsis via Flickr

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Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can result from many different kinds of accidents; often, these serious and life-threatening injuries are not preventable. But if we know what kinds of accidents can put our kids at risk of a severe head trauma, can we work on better preventing these injuries from occurring?

Reasons for TBIs Shift from Cfile000478062624hildhood to Adulthood

A recent article on NPR discussed the different ways in which children sustain TBIs. Adults sustain brain injuries most often following involvement in a car accident, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Children, however, tend to sustain TBIs more frequently from falls. According to the article, the changes in the ways that children, teens, and adults suffer injuries tend to shift as “their forms of motion change.” And the types of fall-related injuries also vary depending upon the age of the child.

An article published in the New England Journal of Medicine emphasized that young children sustain brain-related injuries from different types of falls than do young adults. The authors of the paper are members of the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network, and their research involved analyzing data from 43,000 children admitted into emergency rooms from “blunt force head trauma” between the years of 2004 and 2006.

Falls Most Common Cause of Childhood Head Injuries

The article’s authors found that three primary causes of blunt force head trauma exist for children under the age of two:

  • Falls from elevation, or falls from heights, accounted for 54 percent—more than half—of all emergency room visits related to blunt force trauma to the head;
  • Falls down the stairs led to 14 percent of all emergency room visits for kids under two years old;
  • Falls to the ground from a walking or standing position resulted in nine percent of emergency room visits.

As is evident, the top three causes of brain injuries for children under the age of two are all linked to fall-related injuries. By and large, falls from heights produce the highest number of serious injuries in these young kids. At the same time, however, it is important to note that falls that occur while a child is standing, walking, or running can also lead to a severe head trauma. How many times has your child slipped and fallen while running on the kitchen tile? How frequently does your toddler trip and fall on the playground asphalt?

For kids between the ages of two and twelve years old, the researchers also discovered that fall-related injuries are the major cause of serious head injuries. The top three causes of head trauma for kids in this age group include:

  • Falls from elevation, or falls from heights, accounted for 24 percent of head injuries;
  • Falls to the ground from the position of standing, walking, or running led to 14 percent of brain trauma in children between the ages of two and twelve;
  • About nine percent of head injuries in this age group resulted from being accidentally struck in the head by an object.

As children grow older, the causes of their head injuries look more like those of adults. Specifically, teen head traumas most frequently result from assault (24 percent), sports (19 percent), and car accidents (18 percent).

If your child suffered a brain injury in a dangerous slip and fall accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit. Contact a dedicated San Diego premises liability lawyer today to discuss your options.

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