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Baton Rouge Louisiana Personal Injury Law Blog

Potential changes to truckers' Hours of Service rule

Truck driver fatigue has long been acknowledged as a problem and a potential safety hazard for truckers and other motorists in Louisiana. A few years ago, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration developed its Hours of Service rule that identified a set of guidelines governing when truckers could drive, how long they could drive at a single time, when they must take breaks and more. That rule has created a lot of contention between the FMCSA and trucking professionals. Now, there is a proposal to amend the rule.

As explained by Fleet Owner, there are five major changes proposed in the rule amendment by the FMCSA. These changes are designed to provide more flexibility to drivers and companies while still maintaining safety by preventing undue fatigue among truckers. One change is specifically targeted at drivers who operate short-haul routes, allowing them to drive an additional two hours each day and over 50 air miles more than the current rule.

New study sheds light on surgical mistakes

People in Louisiana who might need to have surgical procedures or who have family members in need of operations might understandably be a bit concerned about these events. There can be many risks associated with surgeries and families should be able to trust that such risks are minimized, in large part due to the oversight and care of the professionals involved. However, there are times when the professionals themselves introduce the risks to the patients.

Surgical errors can and do happen. In some cases, a mistake may not result in any harm to the patient. But, there can be times when a patient experiences significant harm due to a surgical error. Some patients have even died because of a mistake in the surgical process. Becker's Hospital Review recently provided a report detailing some insights from a study that reviewed the causes of surgical mistakes.

Does the weed killer Roundup cause cancer in those exposed to it?

Some people will jokingly claim that just about everything causes cancer. While it is true that cancer-causing chemicals, also called carcinogens, exist in many aspects of our lives and some are endemic to our environment, that doesn't mean that people shouldn't take action if they become ill due to exposure to a dangerous chemical in their environment.

The herbicide or weed killer known as Roundup has been a very popular gardening tool for individual homeowners as well as for lawn care professionals and even commercial farmers. People will use it to clear unwanted plants. Farmers will purchase Roundup-ready crops they can spray with the herbicide without killing them.

How is tardive dyskinesia diagnosed?

Taking certain medications in Louisiana to treat digestive conditions and/or psychosis could put you at risk of developing a disorder of the nervous system called tardive dyskinesia. This condition causes uncontrolled, repetitive movements. Effective treatment of tardive dyskinesia requires swift diagnosis. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, diagnosis of tardive dyskinesia involves assessing the timing of your symptoms relative to your use of the medication and ruling out other conditions that could produce similar symptoms. 

Other conditions can cause neurological dysfunction that can produce similar symptoms to tardive dyskinesia. These include head injury, HIV and syphilis. Illicit substance abuse can also cause neurological dysfunction, as can multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune disorders. Schizophrenia can result in mannerisms that resemble symptoms of tardive dyskinesia, and there are other movement disorders unrelated to medication use that produce similar signs, such as Tourette's syndrome or Huntington's disease. 

What are the symptoms of tardive dyskinesia?

A number of medications that you may be taking in Louisiana may produce a side effect of drug-induced movement disorders. One of these is tardive dyskinesia. It is different from similar conditions in that most other drug-induced movement disorders manifest quickly and resolve themselves once you stop taking the medication. Tardive dyskinesia is different because the symptoms do not always show up right away. In fact, they may not occur until after you stop taking the medication. That is where the term "tardive" comes from; it derives from a Latin word meaning late or delayed. 

According to WebMD, tardive dyskinesia results in uncontrollable movements of the skeletal muscles. The movements may be either slow or fast, but they are stiff and jerky in nature. TD can affect different areas of the body. Dyskinesia of the limbs is one possible sign of TD. It can cause involuntary swaying from side to side, tapping of the feet, wiggling of the fingers or flapping of the arms. 

6-vehicle crash kills Louisiana motorcyclist

Authorities suspect impairment in a six-vehicle crash that occurred approximately a week ago in Concordia Parish, Louisiana. The crash involved two cars and four motorcycles. One of the motorcyclists, a 22-year-old man, lost his life. The crash is still under investigation, and charges against one of the drivers are pending as law enforcement awaits the results of routine toxicology tests. 

The accident occurred on U.S. Highway 84 in the early morning hours last Sunday. Four motorcycles were traveling two by two in close proximity to one another in the eastbound lane. However, it is unclear whether they were traveling together as a group. A collision resulted when a westbound vehicle struck two of the motorcycles after crossing the center line.

What are the rules of motorcycle group rides?

As a motorcyclist in Louisiana, you may find that your experience is even more fun when you travel with other riders. However, there are additional safety risks involved in motorcycling with a group. When you do not follow the rules of motorcycle group rides, chaos can result, and chaos on the road is always dangerous.

If you are not aware of what the rules are, Esurance has compiled a list of some of the most important. 

What is a Le Fort fracture?

If your face hits a stationary object during a car accident, such as the steering wheel or dashboard of a car, you may be in danger of sustaining a Le Fort fracture. According to University of Iowa Health Care, Le Fort fractures include specific fractures of the bones of the face. 

Le Fort fractures can occur along any of three transverse weak lines through the midfacial skull. In 1901, a doctor named Rene Le Fort discovered these lines when studying anatomy with the use of cadavers. He lent his name to the fractures that can occur along these weak lines. 

What are the different patterns of spinal fractures?

The high-energy trauma of a car accident in Louisiana can cause fractures of your vertebrae, i.e., the bones in your spine. Often, though not always, these fractures occur in your thoracic spine, located in the middle of your back, or your lumbar spine in the area of your lower back. Another common location for spinal fractures from a car accident is the point where your thoracic and lumbar spine meet. The name for this area is the thoracolumbar junction. 

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, there are different types of spinal fractures. However, they tend to follow three specific patterns. Therefore, doctors use the patterns to classify the type of fracture and determine the proper treatment. 

What are the causes of wrong-site surgery?

If you or a member of your family expect to undergo a surgical procedure, you should know about the causes that can lead to wrong-site surgery. The unexpectedness of wrong-site surgery and its potential to cause serious physical and psychological injury or death prompted the Joint Commission to identify it as a sentinel event in the late 1990s.

Between Jan. 1st, 2010 and Dec. 31st, 2013, the Joint Commission received 463 voluntary reports of surgical errors involving the wrong site, wrong procedure, wrong patient or wrong side. The estimated incidence across the United States, including Louisiana, is higher. As many as 50 incidents may occur per week. 

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