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Albuquerque Personal Injury Law Blog

Heavier traffic Thanksgiving weekend could lead to car crashes

Thanksgiving weekend is commonly known as one of the busiest travel weekends of the year in New Mexico and across the nation. Many people find that traveling to visit relatives and friends is an important Thanksgiving tradition. However, because the Thanksgiving holiday season is relatively short when compared to the Christmas season, people must confine their travels to just a few days out of the year.

According to some experts, it seems that this Thanksgiving will be a particularly busy day on the nation's roads -- the busiest since the last great economic boom of 2005. Predictions are that over 54 million people across the country will travel at least 50 miles away from where they live this Thanksgiving, which marks an increase of just under 5 percent over last year.

Review: What is shoulder dystocia?

This New Mexico legal blog has reviewed various types of birth injuries. Sometimes, during a difficult childbirth, the baby may be deprived oxygen and thus suffer severe brain damage or, in some cases, cerebral palsy. In other cases, the child's limbs or nerves can be affected, making it hard for her to move, at least for a time. Unfortunately, these sorts of injuries can be permanent if not addressed properly.

Shoulder dystocia is not a birth injury in of itself. Rather, it is a medical condition that tends to cause birth injuries. Specifically, in a difficult delivery shoulder dystocia occurs when the widest part of the baby's body, his or her shoulders, get stuck in the birth canal. The baby can then not be removed without a lot of effort, yet at that the same time, the baby needs to be able to complete the birth quickly.

New Mexico's distracted driving problem continues

Like most other states, New Mexico has laws that are designed to prevent distracted driving, specifically distracted driving caused by cellphones. Specifically, New Mexico prohibits so-called texting and driving. For purposes of the law, texting also includes checking one's email and just about any Internet use on one's smartphone while driving. It does not, however, prohibit making a traditional phone call.

Most agree that these laws are a good idea and can save lives. However, in this state, the law has certainly not eliminated all cases of distracted driving. In fact, according to a recent report, drivers in New Mexico are still spending up to 18 percent of their time on the road driving distracted by their phones.

The benefits, and limits, of helmets in motorcycle accidents

A previous post on this blog talked about the benefits of motorcycle helmets. The important takeaway from that post was that while helmets do indeed save lives, they are not a foolproof guarantee that a motorcyclist will not get seriously hurt or even die in an accident. Thus, people in New Mexico should resist the temptation to blame a motorcyclist for his or her injuries if he or she was not wearing a helmet.

Further studies only reinforce this point. One study examined whether helmets might actually increase the chance of serious spinal cord injuries. It concluded that, in fact, motorcycle helmets tend to prevent spinal cord injuries around one's neck. Specifically, there was a marked difference in the frequency of fractures in the vertebrae, as well as strained ligaments, between riders who wore helmets and those who did not.

Semi-truck driver cited in fatal car accident

A semi-truck driver who was involved in a recent fatal accident in New Mexico has been cited for careless driving in connection with the incident. According to reports, the truck driver involved in the accident was pulled to the side of the road on a major national highway and was facing north. In order to continue traveling north, it would have to cross the lane of oncoming traffic.

The trucker yielded to another large truck that was passing from the opposite direction but apparently did not see smaller pickup that was behind the approach large truck. The driver therefore crashed in to the pickup in a head-on collision. The driver of the pickup died at the scene of the accident, and the passenger of the pickup was injured, although the extent of the injuries was not known.

How the enforcement process helps spot nursing home abuse

Most of the nursing homes in New Mexico accept patients who are on either Medicaid or Medicare, which are both federal health insurance programs. In fact, many of these patients must use one or both programs to survive financially.

Because these nursing homes are getting access to money through a federal program, the government has the right to enforce certain rules, specifically safety and care standards, as a condition of these facilities continuing to get federal funds. While some of these rules are technical in nature, many if not most of them serve to protect patients from nursing home abuse or neglect.

Our legal team represents injured bicyclists

While a lot of people in the greater Albuquerque area enjoy riding bicycles both in the city and the surrounding beautiful New Mexico countryside, doing so carries risks. As a previous post on this blog discussed, bicyclists face dangers from loose dogs, poorly repaired sidewalks and, especially, cars and other motor vehicles. While of course bicyclists should follow the rules of the road and pay attention, many of these accidents happen despite the fact the bicyclist was being as careful as possible.

On the other hand, these accidents are often still preventable the driver of the vehicle involved or the property who let his or her sidewalk fall in to disrepair or who let his or her animal roam free. It also bears repeating that bicyclists, just by nature, are more vulnerable in accidents because they are on a lightweight vehicle and don't have a lot of protection.

The truth about helmets and motorcycle crashes

Many motorcycle aficionados and others in Bernalillo and other parts of the greater Albuquerque area have probably heard the maxim that helmets save lives. While that is indeed true, it is important to put that advice in to context, lest one think that not wearing a helmet somehow makes a motorcycle crash automatically the fault of the motorcyclist.

According to one set of statistics, in 2016, motorcycle helmets saved over 1,800 lives, which is certainly significant. The same report suggested that just over 800 more people would still be with us today had every rider chosen to wear a helmet. Admittedly, these numbers remind riders that wearing a motorcycle helmet is a very good idea.

Cars are the leading cause of bicycle accidents

There are a lot people in the greater Albuquerque area who ride bicycles, and they probably understand that with this activity comes certain risks. While one might imagine that the biggest single hazard facing bicyclists is the chance of falling off one's bike, the reality is that the single most common cause of bicycle accidents, at least those which get reported, involves the bicyclist getting struck by a car.

In fact, one survey from a few years back attributed 29 percent of all bicycle accidents to cars. The second most common cause of bicycle accidents was falls, at 17 percent. Significantly, 13 percent of these sorts of accidents involved a road or sidewalk not being in proper repair, and 7 percent involved unspecified collisions. In 4 percent of crashes, a dog either bit or interfered with a bicyclist.

Eight died in New Mexico bus accident

A horrific bus accident that happened in New Mexico and attracted the attention of both the national news media and federal safety investigators has left eight people dead. All the victims died of what medical experts described as blunt force trauma. One of the victims was the Greyhound driver.

The accident happened on Interstate 40. According to authorities, the first indications are that a semi-truck blew a tire while traveling in the opposite direction of the Greyhound bus involved in the accident. The truck crossed the center of the road in to the path of the Greyhound, hitting the bus head on.

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