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Like any other drivers here in Kentucky, truck drivers get distracted, fatigued and even impaired, but they still drive. When accidents occur, it is to these factors that you may attribute the crash.

This isn’t always the case, though. Truck drivers can do everything right behind the wheel and still cause you injury. They and others are responsible for the proper securing of their loads. If one has not properly secured a load, it can shift or even fall off the truck. In either case, you could suffer injuries because of the carelessness and negligence of someone else.

Securing a load is a top priority for everyone

Nothing is guaranteed in medicine. Knowing that, how do you tell the difference between an ordinary bad outcome and medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice can occur under a variety of circumstances. It generally refers to mistakes that are made through a physician or medical provider’s negligence, which simply means making a mistake that an ordinarily cautious doctor or nurse would not make. Some common forms of medical malpractice include:

  • Prescription errors

Medicare, the federal insurance program that provides payments to many skilled nursing homes, is now penalizing skilled care facilities when too many patients end up admitted to hospitals over and over again due to avoidable issues. Many people — of all ages — end up in skilled nursing care for a time after surgeries, accidents and illnesses.

However, Medicare typically only fully covers 20 days of a patient’s stay, after which other insurance programs like Medicaid gradually take over. Since the profit a facility makes on a patient decreases the longer the patient is there, facilities can be in a hurry to discharge patients in order to maximize the profit made on each bed.

Patients sent home before they are ready often end up right back in the hospital again. In 2016, 11 percent of skilled nursing patients ended up back in a hospital due to avoidable problems within 30 days of their discharge from a facility. That’s a huge signal that something is wrong with the way skilled nursing homes operate.

On Nov. 15, 2018, the Supreme Court of Kentucky struck down the Medical Review Panel Act.

The Act, which was pushed into place through partisan support in the legislature at the urging of groups like the Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities and the Kentucky Medical Association, required plaintiffs who wished to pursue a medical malpractice suit against a doctor, hospital, nursing home or other health care provider to submit the case to a panel for review.

Each panel consisted of three medical professionals who would — eventually — vote on whether they believed the medical provider in a case violated the applicable standard of care. While plaintiffs could proceed to court without the panel’s approval, the panel’s decision could be used as evidence in the case.

On November 15, the Kentucky Supreme Court struck a blow on behalf of victims of medical malpractice across the Commonwealth. The Court struck down a much-decried law that forced potential litigants to go through a lengthy and cumbersome review system by finding the law violated the Kentucky Constitution.

Many malpractice and personal injury attorneys have been vocal against the 2017 law that set up the review panels for the very reason that the state’s top court pointed out: It was a system that largely denied people free and equal access to the courts.

That was precisely the intention of the law in the first place. The Kentucky Medical Association was one of the chief proponents of the 2017 law — which was put in place supposedly to stem the tide of “excessive” malpractice claims. Nursing homes, hospitals and physicians largely supported the law because it made actually filing a claim for malpractice a feat of endurance for any claimant.

No one wants to be involved in a truck accident, least of all a trucker. Unfortunately, industry demands and the pressure from employers to make deliveries on time — despite all risks — can push a truck driver to make poor decisions that put his or her life, and the lives of others, on the line.

According to data collected through 2016, the most recent year available for study, fatal accidents involving trucks are on the rise. While fatalities involving big rigs have yet to reach the level they were in 2005 (when they were at an all-time high), they’re still 29 percent higher than they were in 2009. If the trend continues, the number of fatalities may eventually exceed those 2005 levels.

Causes

The nursing homes in Kentucky have problems — and advocates for residents say that no one in the government is doing anything to fix them.

Federal law is somewhat vague about the staffing requirements for nursing homes, leaving it mostly up to the states to pass legislation that is more specific. Kentucky, however, has not done so. Efforts to pass a 2017 bill that would have required a mandatory minimum staff fell flat. Those opposed — who largely represent the nursing homes’ interests — said that Kentucky’s nursing homes simply couldn’t manage it. The bill would have required just a single nurse for every 21 patients during daylight hours and one nurse’s aide for every 10 patients.

In essence, the lack of legislation leaves Kentucky’s nursing homes able to set their own minimum staffing levels — and they prefer it that way. According to a rating system used by the United States Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 43 percent of the state’s nursing homes were rated either “much below” or “below” average when it came to the type of care they provide their residents. That puts Kentucky toward the bottom of the national list.

Hospitals are incredibly busy places, and mistakes happen all the time. Nurses, doctors and aides are often overloaded with too many patients to handle, so you simply can’t assume that everyone who walks into your room understands your medical condition or why you are being treated.

You need to take steps to protect yourself from medical errors whenever you’re in a hospital, whether you’re there for surgery, testing, or some other condition.

1. Bring someone with you.

If pediatricians have their way, the baby walker will soon be a relic of the past.

Baby walkers have traditionally been seen as the perfect toy for a curious infant. Parents were able to let their infants explore a little, convinced they were both safe and picking up a little help learning to walk.

In reality, baby walkers are incredibly dangerous for infants. In addition, they may even contribute to developmental delays — rather than promoting coordination and walking. If pediatricians have their way, baby walkers will soon be thing of the past. They’re already strongly urging parents to get rid of any walkers that they currently have.

If you are a Kentucky driver, you understand there are various hazards and safety threats on the road that could lead to a higher chance of an accident. From distraction to speeding, the actions of other motorists could be a direct threat on your own personal safety and well-being. One of these potential threats is a fatigued truck driver.

Truckers play a crucial role in the American economy. They transport goods across the country and make sure products get to where they need to go, but they also have the responsibility to drive safely and adhere to industry regulations. There are strict rules in place regarding how long a person can drive a truck. While many truckers and trucking companies play by the rules, some of them deliberately ignore the rules.

How serious is the problem?

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