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Johnson City Legal Issues Blog

Can nursing bullying result in medical malpractice?

There are pecking orders in many industries. You and other Tennessee residents might be surprised to learn that bullying is quite common in nursing. In fact, most nurses may experience or witness bullying to some degree at least once during their careers. The unfortunate fact is that being bullied or bullying others on the job can significantly affect the quality of patient care.

The Journal of Emergency Medical Services explains that numerous surveys of health care workers indicated that the job performance of bullied nurses is often negatively impacted, and patients’ safety and well-being is often put at risk. Also, the data revealed that the health care industry is rife with bullying, more than any other industry in the country.

Summer is high-risk time for collisions in Tennessee

If you're a baby boomer or older, you may recall a time in the U.S. when it was commonplace for families to take Sunday drives. Especially when motor vehicles were still novelties, it was a sign of prestige and affluence to take one's family out on the open road and wave to passers-by. Summertime drives were a favorite of many.  

Nowadays, you might feel as though your life is at risk (and it is) if you drive during summer in Tennessee. That's because summer happens to be one of the most dangerous times of year for motorists and pedestrians alike. There are several key factors that make summer months potentially deadly roadway times. If you're aware of these issues before getting behind the wheel, you may lower your risk for injury. If you're involved in a crash, it's critical to know where to seek support.

Important points to know about food-borne illnesses and recalls

Reports of serious instances of food poisoning and recalls of common supermarket foods have had people in Tennessee and across the country on edge. If something as popular and simple as a salad can carry a food-borne illness that can put consumers in the hospital or kill them, who is safe? After all, it is not usually possible to know if food is contaminated before eating it.

Most people will remember the recent recalls of romaine lettuce in certain areas, which culminated in 89 hospitalizations for salmonella and five deaths. More recently, pre-cut melons were deemed responsible for another salmonella outbreak that hospitalized 34 people and affected at least 70. As the Chicago Tribune reports, it is not easy to track down the source of contamination, as commercial foods pass through many hands, from the farm to processing plants to store shelves.

Combating driver's fatigue

Drivers in Tennessee may have experienced driver's fatigue before, as it is actually a fairly common phenomenon. Unfortunately, it's also a potentially dangerous one, and it isn't addressed as frequently as other dangerous driving behaviors even though it can be just as damaging.

According to WebMD, there are a few things that can be done to combat driver's fatigue when a person feels it coming. One of the first suggestions is to drink something caffeinated. This can include tea, soda, or coffee. However, caffeine does take up to 30 minutes to kick in and its effect may vary from driver to driver. Some sources suggest taking a nap after consuming caffeine to maximize its effects.

Can companies help truckers avoid distractions?

When you are in charge of a fleet of trucks in Tennessee, you may think it is the responsibility of your truck drivers to ensure they are not distracted on the road. However, there are many things you can do to promote safe driving.

Your truckers may be distracted on the road for many reasons. According to Fleet Owner magazine, truck drivers may use their cellphones to send text messages or make phone calls. However, if one of your drivers has not gotten enough sleep or is experiencing conflict at home, he or she can easily be distracted, even when the cellphone is out of sight. Because of this, it is important for you to know how you can emphasize safety so none of your truckers are distracted.

Distracted drivers: Is there one in your midst?

How many times a day do you drive somewhere? If you're similar to the average Tennessee motorist, you may have to get behind the wheel two, three or more times in a single day. Every time you drive, there's a certain amount of risk involved, although you likely expect to arrive safely to your destination if you are cautious and alert at all times, as well as adherent to all traffic regulations.

The problem is you can control your own choices and actions but not those of other drivers nearby. Distracted drivers are major menaces on the roads today. It's a fast-paced, tech-savvy world, and many people multitask and stay "plugged in" wherever they go. Driving is definitely not the time to browse the internet, take a selfie or text a friend. While distractions involving electronic devices often lead to collisions, there are many other distracted behaviors that are equally dangerous.

How can you combat motorcycle unawareness?

As a motorcyclist in Tennessee, you understand the risks associated with riding alongside covered vehicles. Motorcycle unawareness is a huge problem that people like you face every time you get on the road. But are there ways that you can combat this issue?

The National Safety Council reminds drivers that motorcycles are everywhere, and that not paying attention to them or noticing them can be a dangerous and potentially deadly risk and a big factor in motorcycle crashes. Behaviors can be changed on the part of both other drivers and motorcyclists to diminish these chances.

When medical malpractice leads to wrongful death

When Tennessee residents check into a hospital, they believe that the doctors, nurses, lab technicians and other personnel have the education, skill and training necessary to deliver adequate if not superior care. They expect to be treated with compassion, dignity and professionalism. They also expect that they will leave the hospital better than when they arrived. The last thing they expect is that someone will make a mistake that worsens their condition or leads to their death.

Sadly, many health care professionals do not live up to these expectations. The Institute of Medicine estimates that up to 100,000 Americans die each year due to preventable medical errors. Per the American Medical Association, the problem of medical errors has become so acute that it now is the third leading cause of death

Consumers worried about self-driving tech after fatal injury

New technology can be amazing and life-changing, but in some cases, innovation may seem frightening and life-threatening. In recent months, the rapidly progressing technology involving self-correcting and autonomous vehicles has inspired emotions in residents of Tennessee and elsewhere that range from intrigued and excited to doubtful and apprehensive. Many people have questioned the safety of vehicles that can pilot themselves without the assistance of human drivers.

An accident that occurred in early March appeared to highlight the worst fears of those who are suspicious of self-driving technology. Reportedly, an Uber SUV equipped with autonomous technology was driving 40 miles per hour down a road in Tempe, Arizona, when it struck and killed a woman walking her bicycle across the street. The accident is still under investigation, but dashcam video showed that a human driver inside the vehicle did not have his hands on the wheel and was not looking at the road at the time of the crash. Uber officials have privately settled the matter with the woman’s surviving family instead of becoming involved in a lawsuit.

Coping with a loved one's death

Although it is not easy to lose a loved one in Tennessee, it can be even more difficult if someone died unexpectedly in a car crash or because of medical malpractice. It is important for people to know how they can help their families through this difficult time.

After a loved one dies unexpectedly, it is important for people to take time to grieve. According to Mental Health America, people should typically avoid making large changes in their lives. It is usually best if people come to terms with the loss of their loved one before they start a new job or move to a new city. If people lost a spouse suddenly, they should generally grieve before getting remarried.

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