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Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Blog

What are the most common medical errors?

Some medical or hospital errors in Pennsylvania are minor. However, the ones that make the news and create nightmarish experiences for people are far more serious. These include bad reactions to prescribed medication, operating on the wrong limb, a wrong diagnosis or even sewing up a tool inside a patient’s body after surgery.

According to WebMD, medical errors are now the third-leading cause of death in the United States. In fact, researchers estimate that anywhere from 250,000 to 400,000 people die every year from medical errors. This no doubt seems ironic to Americans who trust in doctors to prolong their health and save lives. Here are the most common mistakes occurring in health care in America.

When a small business cannot repay its debts

Businesses of all sizes in Pennsylvania struggle with liquidity. This is especially true for companies that sell a product as opposed to a service. Products are assets, but they do not bring in cash until they are sold. If they are sold on credit, then they do not bring in cash until the other company settles their debts. It comes as no surprise then that many companies turn to business loans to make ends meet or cover temporary gaps in the budget.

But, what happens when those gaps become permanent and the company cannot repay its debts in time? NerdWallet differentiates between a missed payment and defaulting on a loan. Defaulting is what happens when a business has failed to pay its debts for a period of time. The time depends on the lender. Common examples include a 90-day span or 150 days. But, what can an entrepreneur do if they suspect they cannot keep up with loan payments?

New changes in the real estate market and transactions

Homebuying in Pennsylvania and the rest of the United States is facing a decline. Experts put forward several reasons for this. From new homes flooding the market to higher interest rates and high student loan debt, there are many reasons Americans are not currently purchasing new homes at the rate they once did.

According to Forbes, there was a 6.4% decline in December of 2018 compared to just the month before. The professionals who take the greatest hit when this happens is real estate agents. These professionals rely on real estate transactions to make money, usually from commission. Even so Pennsylvania remains one of the top states to earn an income in the real estate business as an agent. In 2017, agents in Pennsylvania made a mean salary of $66,550.

Can you use a cellphone while driving in Pennsylvania?

In the last few years, many states—including Maryland, New Jersey and New York—have been cracking down harder on drivers using cellphones while behind the wheel. In fact, those states now ban drivers from even having a cellphone in their hands: they instead must use hands-free technology and get their GPS units programmed before starting their route.

Twenty other states already have adopted a no-handheld-phone-use behind the wheel stance because in 2017, more than 3,100 people were killed in distracted driving accidents, about 10% of all crash fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Also, about 1 in 4 teen drivers admit to typing or receiving a text message within the last month.

The risks of sharing the road with older drivers

When driving in Pennsylvania, it is common to see seniors behind the wheel. According to the CDC, in 2016, there were 42 million licensed drivers over the age of 65 in America. Older adults often struggle to relinquish their driving privileges because it helps them to preserve their independence. However, as people age, they face a higher likelihood of dying in the event of a motor vehicle accident. In fact, in 2016, 7,400 adults over 65 were killed in motor vehicle accidents.

The likelihood of becoming involved in fatal crashes also increased sharply between the ages of 70 to 74 and was highest among individuals over the age of 84. Men faced higher mortality rates than women. One reason provided for higher fatality rates among the elderly is that as bodies age, they have a more difficult time withstanding and recovering from injuries.

Sleep deprivation can lead to high accident rates

In an article on car accidents in Pennsylvania, FindLaw implied that Philadelphia is one of the most dangerous cities to drive in. As residents of southwestern Pennsylvania know, Pittsburgh and its surrounding areas provide another accident hot spot in the state to watch out for.

While motor vehicle accidents most often result from disobeying traffic laws, sometimes the cause of an accident can come from as innocent a reason as lack of sleep. Truck drivers often receive much of the blame for falling asleep at the wheel, but the truth is sleep deprivation affects virtually all drivers at some point in their lives.

How do I know if my doctor has malpractice claims?

If you have been diagnosed with a serious illness in Pennsylvania, you may have been referred to a surgeon or specialist. While you may have built up trust with your general practitioner or even your dentist over several years, this specialist may be new to you. If invasive surgery is on the list of treatment options, you may be concerned about whether or not he has a good reputation.

Note, however, that a medical malpractice claim against a doctor is not always true, intentional or due to willful negligence. Even when doctors settle, they may do so to avoid a messy court battle or to preserve their reputation. Forbes estimates that 75% of doctors in low-risk fields and 99% of doctors in high-risk fields have dealt with a malpractice claim at some point in their careers.

How can I keep my child safe while bicycling this summer?

Over the summer, many children want to spend their free time outside riding their bicycles. Bicycling can be a great way for kids to burn off excess energy and stay involved with neighborhood friends. However, bicycling can also be dangerous.

When bicycling, children can be injured in several ways. The most catastrophic bicycle accidents can involve a child being hit by a car. However, there are some actions you can take as a parent to help prevent a tragedy like this from occurring.

Is a bad medical outcome a result from medical malpractice?

When people in Pennsylvania experience a bad medical outcome, there is often talk of a potential lawsuit. It is natural to want reparations after failing to see the results you expected when seeking medical care. This is especially the case if the end result was the death of a loved one. However, it is important to note that most of these instances do not result from medical malpractice.

It may be a hard pill for you to swallow, but according to Forbes, just over one in four bad medical outcomes result from malpractice. Researchers believe that 42% are not preventable and another 30.4% were preventable, but did not occur through neglect. Because of this, not every hospital visit that resulted in worsened symptoms, injury, complications or even death are eligible for a malpractice lawsuit.

What is a foreclosure rescue scheme?

When faced with the prospect of losing a home, many people are willing to do whatever it takes to prevent foreclosure from happening. Unfortunately, this desperation can cause a person to fall victim to a foreclosure rescue scheme, which offers a way to put offer foreclosure to homeowners who can no longer keep up on mortgage payments. FreddicMac.com provides more information on these schemes so you can steer clear. 

There are some basic elements that most rescue schemes have. A person identifying as a private investor claims that the homeowner can transfer the deed to them as collateral and that the investor will be able to secure new financing which makes the home more affordable. Once this new financing is in place, the homeowner will ostensibly privy to lower mortgage payments. The investor may also allow the homeowner to remain in the home and pay rent, until which time they can afford to repurchase it. 

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