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South Carolina Personal Injury Law Blog

Federal data shows many nursing home staffing shortages

One of the biggest reasons for nursing home neglect is not that the staff doesn't care. It's that they just do not have enough people on staff. Try as they might, they can't get everything done and they can't offer proper care to every single person in the nursing home.

The worst staffing levels in new reports showed up on the weekends. This could be because people decided to take time off or simply did not show up for their shifts.

When you're driving, don't think about anything else

Have you ever gotten home in the car with no memory of the drive there? Have you ever zoned out behind the wheel and then suddenly realized that you passed your exit and you don't know where you are?

It happens all the time. You're supposed to think about driving, but your mind wanders. Along with cellphones, it's one of the biggest reasons for distracted driving accidents. People just start thinking about something else, they don't concentrate on the road and they make mistakes.

How many falls are on the same level?

Many people assume that you need to be at a height to get injured in a workplace fall. This is a myth. You can get seriously injured in a slip-and-fall accident on the same level. Some people have even passed away from their injuries. Do not assume you do not need to think about safety just because you're not using a ladder or working from an otherwise elevated position.

So, how often does this happen? It's different for every workplace. Workers are exposed to different levels of risk depending on the jobs that they do.

Study links car color and accident risks

Your odds of getting into an accident may all come back to the color of car that you buy. A study found that specific colors saw higher or lower accident rates, indicating that drivers may be unknowingly putting themselves at risk when they pick out their next vehicle.

The study pegged white as the safest car color. It stands out against the pavement and in low light. When you compare white cars to black cars, for instance, you will find that the odds that a white car will get into a wreck are 12 percent lower. That statistic holds true all around the clock, not just at night.

Examples of disabilities after a car accident

When they get involved in a serious car accident, the first thing that many people ask the medical professionals is how long it will take them to recover. They want to know when they can get out of the hospital, when they'll feel like normal again and when they can return to work.

Unfortunately, that's not always the reality for those in serious motor vehicle accidents. Crashes are one of the leading causes of disabilities. Those injuries may never heal, meaning that a disability can last for the rest of your life. While every case is unique, here are a few examples of disabilities caused by these traumatic events:

  • Paralysis, which often stems from trauma to the spinal cord. The location of the injury makes a big difference in how the paralysis impacts you.
  • Psychological trauma from the accident, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many people never find themselves in a more traumatic or shocking event than a car accident.
  • Amputation injuries. Though medical advancements have come a long way, life will never be the same again.
  • Sensory issues, like deafness or blindness. This can be incredibly detrimental to someone when it happens so suddenly, as they're not prepared for what life will be like.
  • Brain injuries, also referred to as neuro-trauma, that lead to both cognitive and physical limitations. These can sometimes change the way that you interact with loved ones, and they may think you seem like a completely different person.

Malnutrition can have a serious impact on the elderly

If your loved one is getting neglected in a nursing home or assisted living facility, they may not be getting all of the nutrients that they need every day. This can lead to malnutrition, which can have a drastic impact on their health.

Depending on their mental and physical capabilities, they may not realize what is happening, or they may not be able to communicate it accurately to you. That's why you need to know what signs and symptoms to watch out for:

  • Injuries and wounds may take longer to heal than they should.
  • The person's temperament could change, and they could be irritable all of the time.
  • The person may always talk about feeling tired or may seem very fatigued.
  • Depression could set in, changing their mood and the way that they interact with others.
  • You may notice a distinct loss of weight that has no other apparent cause.
  • Their skin could look pale and feel cold and stiff to the touch.
  • The person's hair could start to fall out at an accelerated rate.
  • They may always talk about feeling tired or cold.
  • They may have trouble breathing and struggle with even simple tasks that they could do before.
  • Their face may take on more of a sunken and unhealthy appearance.
  • They may get sick more than they used to, or they may not get better very quickly.

What is 'microsleep?'

When a driver dozes off for even a second, catastrophic consequences can ensue. They can swerve into another lane or fail to stop when the vehicle ahead of them does. They may not see a pedestrian or bicyclist entering their path.

There's a term for brief episodes of dozing off, which can last from one to ten seconds — microsleep. It often occurs when someone is already drowsy and fighting to stay awake.

4 infants injured when car crashes into day care facility

Not all car accidents involve a collision between vehicles or even with a pedestrian. People going about their day at home, work or elsewhere can become the victim of a careless or reckless driver.

Earlier this month, a woman ran her car through the wall of a Columbia day care facility, injuring four infants. The babies were taken to a nearby hospital. However, none of them suffered serious injuries.

Fast-food workers face violence, many other dangers

People who work in fast-food establishments are on the front lines -- literally. They regularly interact with customers (and non-customers) at the counter and in drive-thru lanes. Most of these interactions are unremarkable. Too often, however, they are violent.

Just this month, surveillance video captured a young McDonald's employee being attacked by a man who reached across the counter and grabbed her. Other employees came to her assistance, and together they fought him off. Here in South Carolina, at another McDonalds, a customer in the drive-thru threw hot coffee in an employee's face.

Are assisted living facilities safe for people with dementia?

As the American population ages, there's been considerable growth in the assisted living industry. Approximately 40 percent of the people in assisted living facilities have dementia. Unfortunately, the people who work in many of these facilities aren't trained or equipped to properly care for them. This can be dangerous for those residents suffering from dementia as well as for other residents.

Some of our readers may remember the tragic 2016 case of a 90-year-old woman with dementia whose body was found in a pond behind the South Carolina assisted living facility where she'd been living. She'd been attacked by at least one of the alligators that lived in the pond. This wasn't the first time she'd slipped out unnoticed, but no one had noticed that the woman had gotten out of Brookdale Charleston until her body was discovered some seven hours later.

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