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New Mexico Legal Issues Blog

Motor vehicle injuries estimates are in for 2018

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), someone in a motor vehicle here in the United States is injured every seven seconds. That statistic is used to get the attention of drivers and encourage them to be safe, but not enough of them are listening. The NSC estimated that there were 40,000 U.S. drivers and passengers involved in fatal crashes. This means that there were 1.24 fatalities on the road for every million miles traveled or 12.19 fatalities for every 100,000 people on the road. Here in New Mexico, the total was 387 fatalities, which is up 3 percent from 2017's 375. Numbers from state to state vary widely, but New Mexico is right in the middle.

The NSC also estimated the number of injuries that involved medical care. This number was 4,560,000 U.S. drivers and passengers. That is a ratio of 114:1. This total, like the fatalities total, is down one percent from 2017.

Combating accidents with new technology

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released a 2019-2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements. The objective is to highlight different safety initiatives, some of which are also the focus of the National Safety Council (NSC). 

The objectives

New study on electric scooters injuries

Those rentable electric scooters are showing up in cities across the country. While there has been anecdotal evidence of injured riders seeking treatment in emergency rooms, there is a new study from Southern California that takes a quantifiable look at the risk and damage. The study finds that there were 249 visits to the ER between September 1, 2017 and August 31, 2018.

Types of injuries

You’ve suffered from a food-borne illness. Can you sue?

Sadly, there has been no shortage of incidents of food-borne illnesses and food product recalls in the past six months. If you have been sickened, can you sue?

Personal injury lawsuits or product liability lawsuits are avenues available for anyone who has sustained medical costs or had lost income and other damages.

Drowsy driving is a major safety issue

Drowsy driving has been a road safety issue since the earliest days of motor vehicles. However, a recent survey conducted by the American Automobile Association (AAA) as well as other data gathered frame the issue as one that deserves growing concern. According to the AAA, one third of all drivers surveyed admitted that they had driven at least once in the last month when they were having trouble staying awake. This piggybacks on another study that says that 27 percent of Americans claim that they have trouble sleeping.

Sleep aids also an issue

Common malpractice issues involving plastic surgery

Cosmetic surgery can involve a wide range of procedures that restore or reshape a patient's face or body. More than simply performing medically enhanced beautification, doctors and staff can reconstruct parts of the body after medically necessary surgeries or devastating injuries and enable patients to feel more confident and comfortable. Unfortunately, the results do not always measure up to what was expected or promised.

Medical malpractice due to error

WATCH releases list of dangerous toys

The holidays are over and it is now time to take stock of the gifts given to the kids. Mom and dad may be careful to pick toys that are fun, safe and age appropriate, but Aunt Kathy who has grown kids or confirmed bachelor Uncle John may not even consider issues of safety. These toys may get lost in the frenzy of Christmas morning, but it is not too late for parents to double check new additions to the toy box.

The consumer safety group World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH) recently announced its 46th list of the 10 most dangerous toys on the market. Parents can use this list and the organization's rationalization for its place on the list as a quick reference.

Fatal trucker crashes reach record highs

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released a report that announced that 840 truckers died in 2017. This is a record high that was up from 786 in 2016 and an overall 25 percent increase in the number of fatalities since 2011. This breaks down to an average of 26.8 deaths per 10,000 truckers, which is marked higher than the national average of 3.5 per 10,000 workers across all professions.

Driver error to blame

Why are people still falling off cruise ships?

It is commonplace to read stories about passengers who fall off cruise ships. According to experts, of the nearly 27 million people who board a cruise ship each year, an average of 1.5 people fall off or jump each month. It is a relatively small number of disappearances considering the overall total, but some wonder if the cruise ship industry could do better.

An industry not worried

The worst corporate actors of 2018

The American Association for Justice (AAJ) has come out with its report on the "Worst Corporate Conduct of 2018."  It looks at the companies that ended up in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons to pick the worst of the worst corporate actors.

The report also notes that we seem to be in an era of corporate apology. Americans heard apologies from United Airlines, Facebook, United Airlines again, Wells Fargo, Uber, and Papa Johns, just to name a few of the many. Several companies in the hot seat even switched out their CEO's. But are these the only companies who should be apologizing? According to the report, they don't even represent the worst of the bunch in 2018. According to the AAJ, the winners are: