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Serving Clients for more than 60 Years

Inserra & Kelley is a litigation firm that focuses on personal injury law. We believe in our system of civil justice to decide disputes between injured parties and those who are responsible for their injuries. It is the goal of Inserra & Kelley to use every effort to best represent our clients\' interests to get maximum recovery and a speedy resolution of disputes.

Inserra & Kelley handles injured railroad workers\' claims (FELA designated counsel), automobile negligence (injured in an auto accident which is not your fault), motorcycle accidents (designated counsel for Harley Owners Group) and other personal injury such as workers\' compensation, slip and fall, crossing accidents, and other negligence actions.

08/19/2014

Traumatic brain injuries have come to the forefront in our nation as of late and often attributed to blows to the head during sports, such as football, from Peewee football on up to the National Football League. Traumatic brain injuries are also caused by motor vehicle accident injuries, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stating these crashes rank third in the causes of traumatic brain injuries, representing 14% of those not ending in death, considering all age groups across the board. Since it can take days or even weeks for symptoms of a traumatic brain injury to become noticeable, and an injury best diagnosed immediately after occurrence, many accident victims are not conclusively diagnosed and treated properly.

When medical providers have enough suspicion of traumatic brain injury to warrant a diagnostic work-up, the first things often ordered are a brain computed tomography scan (CT) or perhaps a brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These studies can be great at diagnosing structural issues within the brain but do not provide clues to the dynamic issues occurring within the brain or lesions. Another diagnostic method, single-photon emission tomography (SPECT), is used by some medical providers. This imaging is purported to be superior to traditional MRI and CT scans, as it can show bigger cognitive functional issues not shown on the other structurally oriented basic studies. With this method it is important to do the study within 4 weeks of injury.

However, an exciting diagnostic tool is now being lauded by many at the forefront of diagnosing and treating traumatic brain injuries. It is a much more advanced form of MRI called diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). This technology basically shows doctors the brain connections in the white matter that have suffered injury to allow them to better diagnose a patient with a dangerous, traumatic brain injury. Not every patient who has suffered head injury shows definitive cognitive functional deficits. Many such patients mention problems with dizziness, vision issues, and headaches long before experiencing cognitive deficits. Often times these patients think they are just suffering temporary injury that will go away with no permanent harm. Many medical providers think the same thing, but any head injury causing dizziness should be suspect for dangerous, traumatic injury to the brain and taken seriously. DTI can show the injury to the brain, even in more mild traumatic brain injuries and may help doctors understand the injury and individual prognosis better. DTI is currently available, but researchers continue to advance it and are hopeful that soon doctors can use DTI, not only to diagnose traumatic brain injuries, but to predict what injured part of the brain is connected to what particular symptom being experienced. Such strides can only serve the individual patient better and better in terms of diagnosis and treatment options.

The bottom line is to take any head injury seriously and go with technologically advanced diagnostics to be on the safe side, rather than the sorry one. If you have experienced an accident with head involvement, whether that be with a blunt contact injury or more of a shaken brain or whiplash injury, express your concerns directly to your medical provider and ask about whether DTI is available in your area as a means of better diagnosis.

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08/18/2014

Recently a relatively surprising accident came out in the Massachusetts news when, on Route 95, an axe flew off a landscaping truck and landed halfway through the passenger side of a car’s windshield traveling behind the truck. An alarming photo shows the axe point stopped at the dashboard, not much more than a foot from the legs of the passenger. Thankfully for this particular passenger, the car was driving at the posted speed limit, as a faster speed could have sent the axe through the windshield to cause serious possible bodily harm. While safety conscious motorists often consider the possibilities of accidents caused by another guy’s vehicle, they often do not consider flying objects from the other guy’s vehicle or even the inside of their own vehicles.

Since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates 51,000 (2010) motor vehicle accidents have been caused by a vehicle versus an object, this is a serious matter to the cargo carrier and the motorist. With that in mind, are there laws that protect motorists from incidents such as the flying axe accident? There are secure cargo laws, varying by state, that bring fines and liability issues to law violators. The landscape truck driver in this sample incident was fined $200 in Massachusetts and on the hook for the property damage caused to the windshield. If the passenger had been more than frightened in this accident, the driver would also have been on the hook for bodily injury. In our own state of Nebraska, Neb.Rev.Stat.§60-6,304 covers requirements for keeping cargo and contents secure, properly sized, and distributed, with the penalty for violating this statute being a Class IV misdemeanor. So next time you chuckle about that vehicle traveling down the road carrying cargo like the Griswold family car in the classic 1983 movie, National Lampoon’s Vacation National Lampoon’s Vacation, think about the possible danger any vehicle carrying contents represents to all of those sharing the road.

In addition to injury concerns from someone else’s cargo, the motorist can also be endangered by his or her own vehicle contents becoming dangerous projectiles during an accident impact or situation where there is considerable momentum. This danger became reality for a California family, as told by ABC News. During a head-on accident in the family vehicle, the family’s one year old son’s skull was fractured by a flying cell phone from within the vehicle. Fortunately, this child survived but this brings attention to the need to protect yourself and your passengers from inside cargo concerns. Be proactive in keeping objects within a vehicle in the vehicle’s secure storage areas or compartments and/or sectioned off from the humans in the vehicle by the use of cargo nets. Such nets can be purchased for a relatively reasonable price, especially when compared to the price of you or a loved one being injured or even killed by inside unsecured cargo.

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08/13/2014
Author: clkkelley

Bayer and Johnson and Johnson manufacture Xarelto. Xarelto is an anticoagulant drug used to reduce the risk of blood clots and strokes. These newer direct thrombin inhibitors, Xarelto and Pradaxa,  drugs are heavily marketed, with direct to consumer advertising, as a replacement for Coumadin, or Warfarin, which has been the standard anti-coagulation therapy for the past 30 years.

Xarelto, Pradaxa and other newer anticoagulants have no reversal agent. Doctors use vitamin K and plasma to reverse any bleeding problems with Warfarin. Unfortunately, no antidote is available for the direct thrombin inhibitors. It is impossible to prevent serious injury or death if patients suffer bleeding problems.  The lack of antidote is where the danger lies with Xarelto.

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07/25/2014

Every day there are forty-six deaths in the United States attributable to a prescription overdose. In 2011 alone, 16,917 overdose deaths involved opioid pain relievers, with 31% of the deaths including benzodiazepine sedatives as well (CDC WONDER, unpublished data, 2014). In 2012, health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for opioid painkillers. Although many injuries and medical conditions require pain medication as treatment, prescription drug overdose has become an epidemic in the United States according to the Center of Disease Control Director Thomas Frieden. Prescriptions have increased 400 percent in the last decade. Nebraska has the third lowest drug mortality rate in the United States, however does little to curb prescription drug abuse.

One reason there is such a problem with overdosing on prescription drugs is overprescribing. Unfortunately prescription opioid abuse kills twice as many people as heroin and cocaine combined, and new studies suggest that 3 out of 4 people with a dependence on heroin began with prescription painkillers. Some states have begun to institute a prescription drug monitoring program in order to deal with the problem. In 2013, New York saw a 75 percent decline in the number of patients obtaining painkillers from multiple subscribers after instituting a monitoring program.

If you have an injury requiring prescription drugs, you can avoid falling into the addiction which leads to overdose by taking your medication exactly the way it is prescribed.   Never share your medication and take steps to ensure others in your home do not have access to your medication. That may require keeping your prescriptions in a lockbox. Approximately 70% of those who abuse prescription drugs get them from friends or family. If you find your pain is not being managed by the prescribed dose of your medication, see your doctor to discuss alternate treatment options or adjusting your dose. Never adjust the dose on your own. If you find you no longer need the prescriptions, talk to your pharmacy about safe and proper disposal of the unused portion of your medications. Make sure you dispose of outdated medications as well.

The FDA has now approved a new drug called Targiniq ER (extended release), which discourages potential abusers from snorting or injecting the drug. This new pain reliever is a combination of the narcotic oxycodone and naloxone, which is a drug that blocks the euphoric effects of oxycodone. Although this medication can still be abused by taking too many pills, removing the effects from snorting or injecting the drug will reduce the potential for abuse.

When prescription drugs are used as prescribed, they can be an effective part of your medical treatment and management of the symptoms of your condition.   Ensuring responsible and safe management, storage and disposal of prescription drugs can prevent illness, death or unintended side effects from an accidental overdose.

 

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