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Stop Making Medical Mistakes

/ Medical Malpractice /

Stop Making Medical MistakesROCHESTER, N.Y. – The most recent studies have found more than 400,000 lives and many more injuries may be caused by medical mistakes each year. It’s an astounding number and nearly all of the complications doctors ran into are considered preventable.

Unfortunately, healthcare providers and many doctors focus their attention on medical liability reform instead of patient safety. Hospitals, doctors and insurers have been lobbying state and federal lawmakers for years and in many states, they’ve successfully stripped away the legal rights of a person injured by medical malpractice.

“It’s more important than ever to have strong, knowledgeable lawyers on your side fighting for what’s right in cities like New York, Buffalo and Rochester,” medical malpractice attorney Ross Cellino said. “Instead of creating protocols to prevent these injuries in the first place, hospitals and insurance companies have consistently shown they’d rather prevent a victim from getting the compensation they deserve after a doctor’s mistake.”

Particularly in cases of childbirth, safety initiatives have shown to be an effective way of preventing serious harm to both a mother and a newborn. However, research has found best practices and standardized protocols are unevenly implemented.

“Some hospitals have successfully shown that their procedures can prevent medical mistakes and some complications,” Cellino said. “Unfortunately, many hospitals fail to implement these safety protocols and as a result, people get seriously hurt or worse.”

A report filed in 2009 estimated more than 150,000 injuries to newborns and mothers during childbirth could have been avoided every year. Other studies point out delivery complications were up to five times more likely in low-performing hospitals when compared to hospitals with high-performance scores.

“The evidence is there and it’s clear that thousands of medical injuries can be avoided,” Cellino said. “It’s time for the healthcare industry to open its eyes to this data and improve patient care instead of fighting it with lobbyists, effectively eliminating a patient’s rights to compensation.”

Medical malpractice attorneys say every case is unique and they suggest reviewing your options with a legal professional before deciding whether or not to take legal actions following a malpractice injury.

At Least 80 Deaths Due to Delayed Auto Recall

/ Dangerous Products, Defective Products, Product Recall /

At Least 80 DeathsNEW YORK – A major U.S. carmaker is paying at least $1 million to victims of faulty ignition switches in several popular car models. General Motors Co. set up the $400 million compensation fund after dozens of people died because drivers would inadvertently shut off the engine and disable power steering and air bags.

Last year, the automaker recalled several models of Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions and other vehicles with ignition switch issues and paid a then record-setting $35 million fine to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The administration claims GM knew about the faulty ignition switches but delayed issuing a recall for years.

“So far, over 4,000 claims have been submitted against the automaker,” auto recall attorney Ross Cellino said. “Hundreds of those are death claims.”

The compensation fund noted 80 death claims have been approved. Every claim was linked to the company’s delayed recall of 2.6 million cars.

“It’s important for all automakers to take responsibility for their mistakes and own up to it as quickly as possible,” Cellino said. “Many of those lives could have been saved; these are people who didn’t have to get hurt.”

For those who believe they’ve been hurt in a recalled vehicle, auto recall lawyers suggest going over your case with an attorney before filing a claim with the car company. According to the compensation fund, if a person or a victim’s family accepts an award, they cannot file a lawsuit against the automaker.

The Detroit News reports fund administrators have, so far, made 126 offers to victims found eligible.

Car Crashes Drop in States with Texting Bans

/ Car Accident, Driver Safety, Texting While Driving /

Car Crashes Drop in States with Texting BansBUFFALO, N.Y. – Distracted driving is the number one reason accidents happen in New York State. Driver inattention accounts for nearly 20 percent of all crashes, resulting in thousands of injuries. Although distractions like texting and driving are still a top cause of accidents, statistics show strict laws prevent some of these crashes from happening.

Most states, including New York, have bans on texting and driving and new research has found how important these laws are. Car crash hospitalizations dipped in states that have strict bans on texting and driving between 2003 and 2010.

Researchers found that overall, the number of those hospitalized in these states declined by 7 percent, compared to states without a texting ban.

“Clearly, texting and driving bans are extremely difficult to enforce but these laws have consistently shown they can help curb the number of injuries in places like Buffalo,” car accident lawyer Ross Cellino said. “In states with strict bans in place, drivers will at least think twice before picking up the phone.”

Currently, 45 states and the District of Columbia ban drivers from texting. However, five of those states do not completely ban the dangerous activity. Several places only restrict teenagers or those with driver permits from texting behind the wheel.

“It’s not just teenagers who are texting and driving,” Cellino said. “Adults do it too and it’s just as dangerous.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nine Americans are killed every day by a distracted driver. Researchers hope their findings can influence more states to include primary enforcement of texting and driving to the law books and improve highway safety nationwide.

Are Tires to Blame for Big Rig Crashes?

/ Truck Accident /

Are Tires to Blame for Big Rig Crashes?NEW YORK – The number of large truck crashes have steadily been rising since 2010. In the last five years, heavy trucks and buses played a role in over 14,000 fatal accidents. Many researchers believe an improving economy is allowing more companies to put more 18-wheelers on the road and the increased number of trucks can statistically account for the increased number of accidents.

However, new research found the truck’s tires may be directly responsible for crashes. In March, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) studied multiple tire blowouts and found that high speed and a lack of maintenance is to blame.

“Truck tires were not made for speeds over 75 miles per hour. Unfortunately, some truck drivers push the speed limit and in some areas, they’re moving at speeds greater than 75 or 80 miles per hour on highways around New York,” truck accident lawyer Ross Cellino said.

A total of 16 states have truck speed limits equal to or greater than 75 miles per hour. For years, The American Trucking Association has been warning all drivers of the dangers involved in areas with increased speed limits, suggesting the maximum speed should be capped at 65 mph.

New York truck accident lawyers say speed is clearly a factor in many truck crashes and adding special speed limits for trucks and better enforcement of truck lanes could improve highway safety.

“The distance it takes a vehicle to stop greatly increases at higher speeds,” Cellino said. “If large trucks that weigh 20 to 30 times more than a passenger vehicle are going 65, 75, or even 80 miles per hour, that’s a recipe for disaster and it doesn’t matter what kind of tires are on that vehicle.”

The NHTSA is currently conducting research and analysis on truck tires and the causes of failures to help pinpoint the crash safety problems associated with heavy trucks.

Are Anti-DUI Campaigns Showing Results?

/ Car Accident, Driver Safety /

Are Anti-DUI Campaigns Showing Results?NEW YORK – After 14 years of telling New Yorkers about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol, a new study found the state hasn’t made any progress in preventing deadly accidents caused by drunk driving.

The research analyzed numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and found the percentage of those killed in drunk driving crashes remained, for the most part, unchanged since 2009.

Researchers said 10,076 people died in crashes involving a drunk driver who wasn’t sober and wasn’t pulled over in 2013. The 10,076 killed in drunk driving accidents accounted for 30.9 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities that year. Just before the anti-drunk driving campaigns began to take off in 1999, 30.1% of motor vehicle deaths were caused by an intoxicated driver.

“People’s lives can be destroyed by a drunk driver in Queens,” car accident lawyer Steve Barnes said. “To find out little has changed over the past decade is really disheartening to everyone, especially to those families who lost a loved one in a crash.”

The former NHTSA researcher who conducted this study noted the total number of crashes is down and the actual number of DUI fatalities in California dipped by 6 percent as well. However, the study focused on the percentage of fatalities caused by intoxicated driving.

“It’s no secret that cars are much safer today than they were 10 years ago,” Barnes said. “By now, drivers should get the message that drunk driving takes lives and this research shows that message just isn’t connecting with everyone.”

The study concludes that a changing public information message may also be a contributing factor in the lack of progress. From 1982 to 1999, public service announcements branded advertisements with the phrase, “friends don’t let friends drive drunk.” That message changed to a general deterrence program in 1999 and commonly uses the phrase, “drive sober or get pulled over.”

Researchers point out that states are not living up to these messages as the total number of DUI arrests is down 22.8 percent and authorities would have needed 344,000 more DUI arrests in 2013 to equal the number of drivers busted in 1999.

Meso Vaccine Gets Approval

/ Dangerous Products, Personal Injury /

Meso Vaccine Gets ApprovalNEW YORK – Mesothelioma patients may soon have another treatment option on the table. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently granted orphan drug approval to a new vaccine that attacks cancer.

The vaccine, manufactured by Aduro Biotech, is called CRS-207. According to the manufacturer, CRS-207 is made from a version of Listeria bacteria that triggers the body to attack cells producing mesothelin, an antigen produced by many types of cancer, including mesothelioma.

“Every option a patient has right now can be extremely expensive,” Mesothelioma lawyer Ross Cellino said. “If this orphan drug trial is successful, it gives thousands of Americans another treatment option aside from surgery.”

Mesothelioma is a cancer found in a thin membrane surrounding the body’s internal organs. The cancer is most commonly caused by asbestos exposure.

In the mid-20th century, millions of Americans were exposed to asbestos fibers found in commercial and industrial products. Companies that used this insulation material often face large lawsuits for exposing workers and consumers to the product known to cause cancer.

For thousands of Americans now living with Mesothelioma, treatments have been limited to radiation, surgery, chemotherapy, or a combination. If CRS-207’s trial is successful, Aduro hopes to give patients another option to attack the cancer.

“We continue to be excited by the results from this trial of our novel immunotherapy in combination with chemotherapy in this difficult-to-treat patient population,” said Stephen T. Isaacs, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Aduro in a recent press release. “While the findings warrant further investigation, we believe CRS-207 may prove to be a very attractive therapeutic option in the armamentarium to improve overall response rates and boost the duration of those responses.”

Lawyers began drafting lawsuits for mesothelioma patients in the late 1960’s when the hazards of asbestos exposure began surfacing. Today, millions of asbestos claims have been filed in America and millions more around the globe.

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