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Atlanta Personal Injury Law Blog

Did you suffer whiplash in a car accident?

Whiplash is an injury that results from the forceful, back and forth movement of the neck, such as when struck from behind by a motor vehicle.

No two people are the same, but there are a variety of symptoms typically associated with whiplash:

  • Neck pain, often accompanied by stiffness
  • Loss of range of motion in the neck
  • Additional pain or discomfort associated with neck movement
  • Numbness in the arms
  • Headaches
  • Tenderness in the local area, such as the arms and shoulders
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty seeing and hearing

Are you aware of these conditions that are often misdiagnosed?

If your doctor overlooks a serious medical concern, it has the potential to result in additional harm or even death.

Some conditions are more likely to be misdiagnosed than others, including the following:

  • Heart attack: The symptoms of a heart attack, such as chest pain, are the same as many less serious ailments, including the common cold and indigestion. However, if your doctor turns you away when you present with a heart attack, it's a major mistake that will take a toll on your health.
  • Cancer: Cancer is easy to misdiagnose without the appropriate testing. Some forms are more likely to be overlooked than others, including breast, lung and colorectal. Misdiagnosing cancer gives the disease the opportunity to spread to other parts of the body, thus reducing the likelihood of beating it.
  • Stroke: Just the same as a heart attack, the symptoms of a stroke are shared with other less serious conditions. These symptoms include general weakness, confusion and poor coordination. In the event of a slow onset stroke, the risk of misdiagnosis is even greater.

Types of compensation to seek after a truck accident

If you're injured in an accident with a commercial truck, your health is your top priority. However, as soon as possible, learn more about your legal rights for seeking compensation from the negligent party.

There are many types of compensation to seek after a car-truck accident, including but not limited to:

  • Future and current medical expenses
  • Disfigurement (such as scarring or amputation)
  • Loss of consortium
  • Household services
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of companionship
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Mental anguish
  • Permanent disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Special damages

How can you prevent an accident with a commercial truck?

When driving near commercial trucks, it's critical to take a variety of safety precautions to prevent an accident.

While there's no way of knowing what a trucker will do next, here are some of the steps you can take to reduce the risk of an accident:

  • Don't drive in blind spots: Commercial trucks have blind spots on both sides, as well as behind their vehicle. Don't drive in these areas for too long, as a trucker may lose track of your location.
  • Be careful when changing lanes: For example, changing lanes abruptly in front of a truck can cause a rear-end collision.
  • Avoid unsafe passing: The most common form of unsafe passing is doing so in the right lane. If you're going to pass a truck, use the left lane. And as noted above, leave enough space when you decide to change lanes in front of the truck.
  • Don't drive between large trucks: This puts you in a compromising position, as you're unable to see the what's going on around you. If you find yourself driving between two commercial trucks, remove yourself from the situation as quickly as possible.

Keep your distance if you spot a drunk driver

As a driver, safety is your No. 1 responsibility. By taking the right approach, you're able to enhance your personal safety, as well as that of every other driver on the road.

If you have reason to believe you've spotted a drunk driver, keep your distance. Driving in close proximity to this person increases the risk of an accident.

Tire safety and maintenance are key factors of travel safety

If someone were to ask you how much air pressure each of the tires in your car needs to function at maximum safety quality, would you be able to correctly answer the question? Don't worry if you read that question and your first thought was that you would have absolutely no idea. In fact, you can logically assume that many other Georgia vehicle owners might give similar answers.

Unless you have a background in tire manufacturing or other aspects of vehicle safety, it is not uncommon to be only vaguely familiar (or not all) with air pressure gauges and other tire safety issues. It's a good idea to learn more about it, however, because tire safety and maintenance are critical issues when it comes to avoiding a blow-out or possibly a collision. Then again, even if you're on top of your tire safety game, another driver's negligence can place you at risk for injury.

Do you know how to avoid hydroplaning?

Hydroplaning occurs when a tire (or tires) lose contact with the road, typically as a result of standing water. If this happens, you'll temporarily lose control of your vehicle, which greatly increases the risk of an accident.

It's important to take steps to avoid hydroplaning, such as the following:

  • Keep your tires properly inflated (check for this at least once a month)
  • Replace your tires when necessary, as bald tires increase the likelihood of hydroplaning
  • Slow down when driving in wet conditions
  • Don't accelerate and decelerate quickly
  • Drive in a lower gear
  • Avoid quick and sharp turns
  • Keep an eye out for standing water, such as puddles

Easy ways to personally avoid distracted driving

You don't have any control over the decisions other drivers make. If someone wants to talk on their phone, send a text or read a map, they're going to do so.

However, you do have full control over everything that happens in your vehicle. There are many ways to personally avoid distracted driving, with these tips among the most powerful:

  • Put your cellphone away: When your phone is on your lap, in your pocket or in the center console, it's easy to reach for it. However, if you put it in your trunk or glove box, you're unable to use it while driving. This one change will greatly enhance your safety.
  • Don't eat and/or drink while driving: Many people make a habit of this, especially during the morning hours. It's okay to stop for coffee or a bite to eat, but don't consume your purchase while your vehicle is in motion. Doing so forces you to take at least one hand off the wheel.
  • Limit the number of passengers: There are times when there will be other people in your vehicle, such as friends, family members or co-workers. This is okay, but only if you maintain your focus. Don't let a passenger distract you from the task at hand, as doing so puts all of you at risk of injury or death.

How to choose a doctor you can rely on

When it comes to your health, there's never a good time to take a risk. Fortunately, with the guidance of a qualified medical team, you'll feel confident in your ability to manage your health.

Choosing a doctor you can trust is easier said than done. If you're in the process of comparing doctors, here are four things you can do:

  • Ask for help: For example, if you're seeking a highly reputable surgeon, ask your primary care doctor for guidance. They can probably point you toward several surgeons who they've worked with in the past.
  • Conduct your own research: Once you narrow your list of doctors, search online to obtain as much information as possible. In addition to the doctor's biography, read reviews from current and former patients.
  • Call the office: You won't speak directly with the doctor, but you will have the opportunity to converse with their staff. If you're not treated with respect when you call, you shouldn't expect this to change once you're a patient.
  • Know what you're looking for: No two people are seeking the exact same thing in a doctor. You may care about nothing more than reputation and experience, while another patient puts just as much emphasis on bedside manner.

Are you familiar with these air bag safety tips?

All modern vehicles are equipped with air bags, which provide an added layer of safety in the event of an accident.

While there is no denying the fact that air bags save lives and prevent injuries, this is only the case if you follow these tips:

  • Wear your seat belt. Air bags are meant to work alongside seat belts. In an accident, your seat belt will keep you secure, while also ensuring that the air bag doesn't strike you with too much force.
  • Sit back. Some drivers are in the habit of sitting too close to the steering wheel. Do your best to maintain a minimum distance of 10 inches at all times. The closer you sit to the steering wheel, the greater chance you have of being injured by the air bag.
  • Children should ride in the back. A child riding in the front seat is in danger of being injured if one or more air bags deploy. It's safest for your children to ride in the backseat, so keep them there until they get older.
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