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New Haven Personal Injury Law Blog

Mistakes by surgeons happen more often than you might think

People generally have a deep respect for medical professionals. After all, physicians attend almost a decade of higher education to earn their title and the potential ability to legally practice medicine. Surgeons, more so than general practice physicians, tend to command respect by people who cannot imagine operating on another human.

While physicians and surgeons certainly deserve respect for their education and the service they provide, you can never forget that surgeons are fallible humans who can make dire mistakes. Surgical mistakes are frighteningly common, despite the fact that most of them are preventable with proper procedures in the operating room.

Bicyclists have rights under Connecticut laws

Bicycling on city streets is necessary for some people, however, it isn't always a safe prospect. Many drivers assume that they have full rights to the road without the cyclists having any. Those motorists might do things that place the people on bicycles in a dangerous position. The fact is that Connecticut law provides equal road use rights to bicyclists and motorists.

One thing that cyclists and drivers have to remember is that they all have to follow applicable laws. When anyone violates these, bicyclists may face a crash that leads to injuries or death.

What can we do to make cycling safer?

Making the roads safe for cyclists is everyone's job. It's important to carefully consider the number of serious injuries and fatalities springing from cycling accidents every year. Most of these events could easily be avoided. People do not have to suffer from life-changing injuries or lose a loved one. And yet it continues to happen.

Rather than accepting that accidents are inevitable, what can we do to reduce the odds of a crash? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Why do dogs attack cyclists and chase bikes?

Every day, you hit the roads on your bike. It's fun and it keeps you fit. You love it. After years of running, you switched to biking to keep your body healthy — and it's worked.

Unfortunately, you still face a lot of hazards. Drivers cut you off. People open car doors into the bike lane. The city doesn't fill in the potholes. You worry that you will get hurt while you're out for a ride.

Bike lanes aren't perfect. You still face serious risks.

Let's start with this: Bike lanes help. They do keep cyclists safe. Don't write them off. They help to keep bikes that much farther out of traffic, they alert drivers to the fact that they'll be driving near cyclists and they add some structure to a road system that can often feel chaotic otherwise.

That said, they're not perfect. You still face very real risks, which you need to be aware of.

Why do American drivers clash with cyclists?

If you've ever spent time cycling in Europe, you may have felt shocked by the differences in your interactions on the roads. Many riders report feeling like European drivers are kind and courteous when they ride around bikes, whereas American drivers tend to act frustrated and hostile. This attitude could explain why car vs. bike accidents remain so common in the United States, when riders in Europe feel much safer.

But this probably got you thinking: Why do Americans have this different viewpoint? If we could change that, could we make cycling safer on this side of the Atlantic?

Risk-taking drivers undermine the entire point of bike helmets

You wear a bike helmet every single time you get on your bike in New Haven. You know that it helps keep you safe. It protects your skull and brain in the event of a crash. Your parents told you to wear it when you were a child, and you carried that advice with you as you grew up. Now you tell your children the same thing.

Bike helmets do help. You should wear them. So should your kids. Do not doubt that your parents gave you good advice.

Pro teen cyclist dies in tragic accident

Tate Meintjes was living out his own personal dream. At just 19 years old, he was already a professional cyclist, participating in races all over the United States.

Tragically, the teen phenom recently passed away in an accident with a car. He was in California, where he was planning to tackle the Redlands Bicycle Classic. During a pre-ride of the race course, he got cut off by a car. He collided with the vehicle and crews rushed him to the hospital, but he passed away from his injuries.

5 common diseases that doctors miss

When a doctor misses a disease or makes the wrong diagnosis, it can have devastating consequences. Patients may spend months or even years not getting the treatment they need or getting treatment for a disease they do not even have. In some situations, diseases progress during this time so that they can't be cured at all, when early detection would have allowed the patient to have life-saving options.

It's important to understand that doctors are human and they do make mistakes. Never assume that they're always right. Here are five diseases that they often miss:

  1. Lupus: This autoimmune disease leads to swelling and inflammation when the body, rather than attacking invaders like viruses and bacteria, turns on itself. Healthy tissue gets attacked and damaged. Doctors may miss it because it can attack any part of the body, so the symptoms can appear very different from one person to the next.
  2. Celiac disease: If you've heard people say that they're "gluten free," this may mean that they have celiac disease. It makes it so that your body can't properly process the gluten found in many foods -- it comes in rye, barley and wheat. Doctors may miss it because the symptoms include things like constipation, diarrhea, bloating, weight loss and other gastronomical issues that can have many causes.
  3. Cancer: The problem with cancer is that symptoms may not suggest it's cancer when it is internal, rather than external. For instance, a dermatologist may have little trouble identifying skin cancer, but a primary care doctor may think that something like colorectal cancer is intestinal TB or just an ulcer. It can produce the same stomach cramps and other symptoms. The real disease may not show up if doctors do not do a colonoscopy or similar procedure.
  4. Sleep apnea: This is a very dangerous and sometimes fatal sleeping condition that can lead to strokes, heart disease and high blood pressure. Since the symptoms happen while you sleep, people with the disorder often don't know they have it and the main notable symptom for a partner may simply be snoring. It can take doctors far too long to figure out what's going on.
  5. Aneurysms. These are often called "time bombs" because they can quickly become fatal. The speed at which they take lives means that any mistake by a doctor could prove deadly. Many patients don't even make it to the hospital, and those who do need immediate care.
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