Tips For Staying Safe on New Year's Eve 2018

Tips For Staying Safe on New Year's Eve 2018

It's one of the most fun and exciting holidays of the year. There are fireworks, bonfires, and sparklers all around and large amounts of people gathered together. It's a time to think about how far we have come as well as the goals we have for the future. However, for some the new year will begin with a DWI charge on their record and some jail time. It's important to be smart on this holiday and plan for any potential mistakes that may come your way. Here are our top safety tips to keep your new year moving in a positive direction.
Forget the Alcohol
This will be a hard tip to follow for most people, but it could end up saving lives. If you have been designated as the driver for the night, this is your only option. When you think about it, this can only help you with drunk drivers all around the roads and cops keeping a look out on every turn.
Have a Sleepover
If you find yourself out at a New Year's Eve and you think you've had too much to drink don't be embarrassed to ask to stay the night.  Any good host will have already made sure this was possible for their guests. A good thing to keep in mind is that you can always ask ahead of time if this is an option. If not, you might want to think about going to another party.
Pick a Driver
Make sure you and your group have chosen a reliable and responsible driver to get everyone home safe. There are plenty of New Year's Eve activities to partake in for fun besides drinking. Try and stay encouraging to your DD and help them have fun without the drinks.
Download Uber or Lyft
Choosing a ride share option is one of the smartest and easiest ways to avoid drunk driving on this holiday. Make things even easier by downloading and creating an account with the app before the party even starts.
At Martin Walker Law, we want to encourage all East Texans to stay safe out there on New Year's Eve. It's important to have fun on this holiday, but it's not worth it if you get hurt or if you cause someone else to get in an accident. Happy New Year! Stay safe out there.


Nursing Homes and Their Risks

Nursing Homes and Their Risks

Mistakes can happen in all types of places, including nursing homes. Failing to check on a patient on schedule or failing to perform all duties that ensure their health and safety can lead to all sorts of trouble. One sign that an elderly patient is being neglected at a nursing home is if they start to develop bedsores. Bedsores or pressure ulcers happen when pressure is left on a part of one's body for a long period of time. These types of ulcers tend to happen more often on bony areas such as the heel or tailbone, but it is possible to happen to any part of the body.
Are bedsores a normal occurrence to the elderly?
Most elderly patients in nursing home care are wheelchair bound. They are usually sitting in a wheelchair all day and some are even paralyzed and cannot feel anything from the waist down. This means that the patients in this situation are not strong enough to move at all. Blood flow is lacking in this type of scenario which can lead to tissue death. If the situation is only that of short-term lack of mobility, the result can be nothing more than red marks or a change in skin texture. However, if this continues longer, over time the bed sore will continue to develop and worsen.  Further symptoms can include swelling, tenderness, and in some cases, pus-like fluids can occur. In extreme cases of bedsores, bone can be exposed.
If you are visiting a family member and you notice that your loved one or even another patient has bed sores on their body, seek immediate help for them. If these illnesses are not treated in time they can lead to infection, necrosis, and even sepsis which is an infection of the blood that can lead to death. It's no doubt that these cases are nothing short of negligence on the part of the nursing home staff. Seeking a new nursing home for your loved one is a good tactic to take if this problem occurs; at the same time as considering your legal options. Don't hesitate to call us today if you need our assistance in seeking justice for your loved one who has been neglected in a nursing home. (903) 526-1600


Cervical Cancer in the U.S.

Cervical Cancer in the U.S.

As it turns out, cervical cancer is one of the most treatable as well as preventable forms of cancer among women. This cancer forms itself in the tissue within the woman's cervix. It grows at a slow pace and does not show many if any symptoms within its victims. It occurs mostly in women between the age of 30 and 55. HPV strains are said to be the culprit of 95% of cervical cancer cases. Why is it then that the rate of occurrence and death form this illness remain very high? Estimates from 2009 by the National Cancer Institute reported that in 2009 11,270 women will be diagnosed with new cases of cervical cancer. The reasons for this range from women not availing themselves to proper annual testing for this cancer. Another is that some of the gynecological exams, as well as pap smears, are too often misread or performed incorrectly by physicians. This alone would constitute medical negligence by the health care practitioner, and a patient would have the right to being compensated. This kind of medical malpractice can be very deadly because if a pap smear is misinterpreted, the cancer will grow slowly over time and become invasive. That being said, women should be aware that a pap smear is their best line of defense for catching this cancer in its early stages, and a second pap smear could ensure it was read correctly. A particularly alarming statistics by the American Medical Association noted that 15% to 30% of all clean diagnosed pap smears turned out to actually be cancerous or contain cancer-like cells. It is very unfortunate that because of this medical error it is now one of the leading causes of death and disability for women that have invasive cancer despite regular pap smears and gynecological tests.


Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Improve The Health System

Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Improve The Health System

We like to remind East Texans of why we do what we do. It's hard to deny the facts, and when displayed in an intelligent way they can show reality in a clear and obvious way even to the deniers. Medical Malpractice cases are not frivolous and do not happen without cause. They are in fact extremely valuable assets that positively affect the quality and safety of patients in medical care.

There are a small number of doctors and hospitals that have poor standards of practice, and these are the practitioners hit the most by medical malpractice suits. These suits happen not only because of bad doctors, but because of faulty systems, processes, or colleagues who can't, won't and don't fix the problems they see around them. Problems caused by doctors, hospitals, Big Pharma, medical device makers, and insurers. Studies summarized in the Cj&D indicate that past performance by doctors is a great way of predicting how they will perform in the future.

That being said, most cases by medical malpractice only affect lawyers who have shown repeated mistakes. With all that in mind, there still seems to be a stigma around medical malpractice suits. The medical industry seems to put more emphasis on making these cases seem like a waste of time, instead of trying to fix their own internal issues that harm patients. The CJ&D also reported that sometimes when a doctor loses his license to practice in one state, they may then move to another state and keep their practice. It seems that hospitals make more of an effort to protect themselves than their patients when they discover malpractice from doctors or nurses working in their facilities. There seems to be an extreme amount of personal and financial risk for patients dealing with the uncertainties of modern medical care. That is why there are Law firms like Martin Walker Law protecting East Texans from this type of situation.

If you are interested in a free consultation with us because you feel you have suffered from medical malpractice, don't hesitate to call us today. (903) 526-1600


The Value In Getting A Second Opinion

Everyone needs medical treatment or assistance at some point. We all have opinions about our doctors, nurses and health care providers in general. East Texans are quick to recognize and appreciate quality care when they see or experience it. However, what all Texans should know is that sometimes medical providers fail to live up to designated standards sometimes causing severe and dangerous complications for patients. For this reason, it's important to let you know that it's okay to take your health into your own hands when you visit the doctor. One measure that you can implement on your next visit is obtaining a second opinion. If you are not aware of ways you can know you have suffered from medical malpractice please read our blog post covering that topic.
Being misdiagnosed is a form of medical malpractice, and this should never occur if the patient is receiving proper care. To ensure that you are never diagnosed incorrectly it is a good idea to ask for a second opinion. The Institute of Medicine reported that there are around 12 million diagnostic errors each and every year. Much more research and attention is needed to ensure this issue is properly addressed.
Here are some helpful steps you can take with you to your next doctor's visit.

  1. Clearly communicate with all of the medical professionals you visit to make sure that they understand all of your symptoms and problems.
  2. Keep notes of all your symptoms and give it to the doctor at your next visit so you have written proof.
  3. Ask to keep all of your personal health records so that you have them for any new providers you visit. Including any and all side effects to medications.
  4. Ask a lot of questions. Make sure that you and your doctor are understanding each other properly.
  5. Get a second opinion if you feel like there may be something wrong with your diagnosis. Or if you want to for any reason.

If all else fails don't forget to consult with your attorney. At Martin Walker Law we truly care about all of your worries when it comes to the treatment you receive from the medical industry. Let us know your concerns with a free consultation today (903) 526-1600


Surgery Mistakes And What To Look Out For

Here at Martin Walker Law, we like to keep East Texans informed. Not just so that we can connect with the community, but to also help you become more aware of the risks involved in the medical industry. We know it's important that everyone is kept aware of the latest happenings of this busy and sometimes chaotic industry.
Perhaps one of the scariest medical malpractice situations to think about is having a surgeon mistakenly remove or operate on the wrong part of your body or even remove the wrong organ. Unfortunately for many people each year, this is a harsh reality. According to WebMD, this type of situation takes place more than 4,000 times each year. We feel that it would take only one for this to be considered too often. According to their research, each week surgeons leave a foreign object such as a sponge or towel inside the patient's body up to 39 times. They perform the wrong procedure entirely on patients up to 20 times. They even operate on the wrong body site up to 20 times each week. Malpractice settlements and judgments relating to these type of occurrences totaled to 9,744 paid malpractice judgments and claims over the 20 year period in the study. These claims totaled $1.3 billion dollars due to these 'never events'. The individuals who completed this study claim that the figures are most likely even higher than the reports because so many of these events end up never being reported.
If you or a loved one has had an object left in your body after surgery, had the wrong procedure performed, or had an operation on the wrong side of your body. We want you to know that you deserve to be compensated to the full amount for these mistakes. Call us now for a free case evaluation (903) 526-1600.


Electronic Health Records And The Risks

Electronic Health Records And The Risks

Electronic health records or EHR's can be very beneficial If doctors and nurses are able to save valuable time. Time can be saved by utilizing these new technological systems because it allows medical professionals to quickly enter information about new patients by creating a digital record that can be updated with each new encounter. These types of records are growing in popularity because of how convenient they can be compared to paper-based records. Not only that but these records are thought to be more secure and access to them can be carefully controlled. These are all great options for doctors and nurses who need all the extra time they can get to attend to their patients.
That being said, There are some risks to patients with these new technologies. Autofill, autocorrect and copy-and-paste features can potentially input incorrect data that can lead to inaccurate and sometimes redundant records. These records have the potential to enable doctors to prescribe wrong medications or procedures to patients. Further problems can easily arise when the hospital staff is overworked or when people using the systems are not properly trained. Not only are incorrect inputs something to worry about with these new systems but data breaches are also a threat. These systems are not immune to hackers and data breaches that can result from passwords being given out uncarefully.
The best way to combat this issue is to ensure that medical facilities are creating up to date policies regarding these systems. In the meantime, it is also important for Texans to know that there are teams in place to make sure you are compensated for any problems these technologies can create for your health. If you or someone you know is suffering from medical malpractice after an electronic health record error; don't hesitate to call us today. (903) 526-1600


Should Medical Malpractice Be Listed As A Cause Of Death?

We have mentioned before that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the US. In fact, it's just under heart disease and cancer if placed in the official CDC annual report of the leading causes of death in the United States.
In 2013 medical error deaths reached 250,000 as compared to 98,000 in 1999. Why is it that this common cause of death is never listed anywhere by the CDC as a leading cause of death as it does for heart disease and COPD? It's possible that if the annual reporting of this cause of death were actually published people would start to become more aware of this serious issue. When these types of errors occur, hospitals and doctors never voluntarily admit their fault. A study published from 2013 recorded that only 9 percent of patients said that the hospital voluntarily disclosed medical errors in their case. In our state of Texas, the Medical Board receives over 7,000 complaints a year. These complaints are usually from the patients themselves or their families in regards to their health care provider. These complaints are statistically on the rise and are not being met with the level of attention they deserve. It's up to all of us to keep this in mind when dealing with our own health care providers. We must hold them accountable if anything goes wrong, and keep our friends and family informed of these statistics. Unfortunately, Texas pays less compensation to malpractice victims than any other state in our country.
There are a lot of challenges that face the victims of medical malpractice. The attorneys at Martin Walker Law will thoroughly investigate your situation and will work endlessly to make sure that you are compensated to the full amount possible. Contact us today for a free consultation and get the help you deserve today. (903) 526-1600.


Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving

The statistics have been clear for many years now. The night of New Year's Eve and morning of New Year's Day are some of the most dangerous times to be on the road. Most years, drunk driving related accidents spike by 70% or more during the early morning hours of New Year's day. Each year upwards of 120 people lose their lives over the holiday season related drunk driving crashes. Understandably, it is also one of the most dangerous times of the year for pedestrians. Some 20 pedestrians will likely die this New Year's by being hit by a vehicle.

Fortunately, these statistics don't have to be this high. In Tyler, we have several options that can let you have an enjoyable holiday while keeping yourself and others safe.

  • We have multiple quality cab companies in Tyler that will be glad to help you or your friends or family members home safely. Often times they even offer discounts or even free rides to help keep people safe during the New Year's holiday.
  • This New Year also marks the first time Tyler has had Uber operating in town. Like with a cab company, booking a ride home with Uber is a great way to have fun and then get home safe.
  • Another good option is to plan your celebrations in a way designed to keep you and your guests off the roads, especially during the overnight hours.
  • Finally, if you need to be on the road this New Year's Eve, take extra care to watch out for erratic drivers and please don't contribute to the problem by drinking and driving yourself.

We hope you'll stay safe this holiday season and have a great new year. It's important to note that each year, we advise all who are drinking during the holiday season to utilize the local Tyler taxi service, or an Uber.