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    Profits Before Patients? Dangers of Unnecessary Medical Procedures

    Last updated 1 year ago

    With patients becoming trapped between insurance providers trying to minimize payouts and privately-owned hospitals seeking to maximize profits, medical malpractice through the use of unnecessary testing and treatments is a very real risk for many Florida residents.  A recent 2010 probe against HCA—the largest for-profit hospital chain in the U.S.—revealed a significant number of unnecessary medical procedures throughout several Florida hospitals.  As a result of this malpractice, patient lives were put at risk for conditions which, according to medical documents, did not present an immediate risk.  As Florida patients struggle to protect both their rights and their health, pressure by Florida malpractice attorneys and the federal government to prevent unnecessary medical care is increasing.

    According to The New York Times, some estimates report that unnecessary medical treatments account for as much one-third of all annual medical expenses.  Unnecessary medical tests can become prohibitively expensive, and unnecessary surgical procedures can leave patients in worse condition than if more conservative approaches were adopted.

    Although everyone’s individual medical needs vary, ordering scans when there are little or no symptoms present may constitute negligent or even exploitative behavior.  Similarly, any type of surgery carries an inherent risk of complications, and unnecessary procedures needlessly expose patients to the possibility of severe injury, chronic debilitation, or even wrongful death.  In regards to the HCA investigation, evidence indicates that both cardiac catheterization and stent implants—both sensitive heart procedures—were being liberally applied to patients whom did not exhibit serious need.

    If you suspect that you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury or wrongful death due to medical malpractice, consult with Orlando-based attorney Michael Barszcz, M.D., J.D., about your case.  As a legal professional with an extensive medical background, attorney Michael Barszcz can provide you with sound counsel and representation.  Schedule a professional consultation today or call (407) 843-6353 for more information.

    Car Safety Technology: Making for a Safer Drive

    Last updated 1 year ago

    The type of vehicle you drive has a tremendous impact on your likelihood of experiencing—and surviving—a car accident. While the chances of injury can never be completely eliminated, driving a vehicle that carries some of the following state-of-the-art features will help ensure that you and your passengers enjoy as safe a ride as possible:

    Adaptive cruise control. An ever-useful feature for highway driving, cruise control is now safer than ever. Today’s adaptive cruise control features sensors to keep track of the lane ahead of you, adjusting your speed whenever necessary to keep a safe distance from other vehicles.

    Tire-pressure monitoring. Low air pressure in tires significantly increases the risk of a blow-out on the road. This feature uses a sensor to keep track of your tire pressure and sends you a warning when they are underinflated.

    Emergency brake assist. This feature is in place to ensure that braking operates effectively whenever you need to come to a sudden, unexpected stop. Emergency brake assist measures how quickly and forcefully you are braking, and gives you the extra force you need to stop your vehicle immediately.

    Dual-stage airbags. To avoid injuring passengers, today’s airbags are designed to deploy at lower capacity in minor accidents, only inflating to full capacity in the event of a serious collision. In addition, dual-stage airbags can sense a person’s height and weight, whether or not a seat belt is fastened, and the vehicle’s speed in order to provide more effective protection.

    Lane-departure warning. This feature protects against distracted driving by giving you a warning when your vehicle begins to drift out of the lane. In addition, it keeps track of approaching vehicles and provides you with an alert if you attempt to change lanes when doing so would risk an accident.

    It only takes a split-second for a car accident to shatter your life. If you or a loved one has been injured because of someone else’s negligence, it’s time to contact Michael Barszcz, M.D., J.D. Our areas of practice include car accidents, wrongful death, and medical malpractice. Call (407) 843-6353 today for more information.

    Tips for Driving in High Winds, on Flooded Roadways, and in Other Hazardous Hurricane Conditions

    Last updated 1 year ago

    As every driver knows, bad weather means bad driving conditions. A sudden gale, a flash flood, or a shower of flying debris can damage your vehicle or lead to a deadly accident. It’s best to avoid driving through a hurricane whenever possible—but, as Floridians know all too well, it’s sometimes unavoidable. Whenever you find yourself driving through one of Florida’s hurricanes, follow these tips to reduce the likelihood of a car accident:

    Never drive through standing water. Even a depth of only a few inches can cause your vehicle to lose traction and begin to drift. Driving into a flooded street can also cause your car’s engine to stall. If your car stalls, leave it and move toward higher ground immediately. To avoid the possibility of becoming trapped on a flooded road, keep your car radio tuned to a news station and listen for local traffic updates.

    Avoid driving over electrical lines. Driving into a downed power line can result in a fatal shock, while trying to drive around a downed line can result in your vehicle becoming trapped in a place where rescue will be difficult and dangerous. If you come across a downed power line, find a different route.

    Be ready to seek shelter. The rules for driving in any sort of bad weather—slowing down, turning your headlights on, activating your windshield wipers, and remaining hyperaware of your surroundings—are even more imperative in a hurricane. Driving through a hurricane is dangerous even under the best of circumstances, and if conditions grow too severe, it’s better to find a safe place to park—on high ground—and wait out the storm in a nearby building.

    If a car accident has disrupted your life, it’s important to seek out qualified legal counsel right away. Michael Barszcz, M.D., J.D., is an Orlando attorney who practices in personal injury cases, such as car accidents, wrongful death, and medical malpractice. To learn more, call (407) 843-6353.

    Determining the Likelihood of Injury in a Car Accident

    Last updated 1 year ago

    When you sit behind the wheel of a car, you’re probably not thinking about how likely it is that your next excursion will end in a serious accident and injury. But hundreds of Americans are badly hurt in avoidable car accidents every day. You can help reduce the probability of a crash by asking yourself these questions:

    How old is my vehicle? The older a vehicle is, the less safe it is likely to be. In addition to the natural wear and tear of age that affects any car’s performance, newer cars have more advanced safety features. No matter how gorgeous your 30-year-old car might be, the odds are good that it isn’t nearly as safe to drive as a newer model.

    What type of vehicle do I drive? All cars are marketed as safe, of course—but that doesn’t mean that they are. Pickup trucks are notoriously prone to rolling over during accidents, which drastically raises the risk of injury and death. Certain models, such as the Nissan Titan, are also statistically more likely to be involved in accidents. As a rule, lighter and smaller vehicles are more dangerous for drivers and passengers than larger vehicles.

    What precautions are in place to protect me? If your car doesn’t have side-curtain airbags, which protect you from side-impact injuries, you’re dangerously vulnerable to a severe head injury in the event of an accident. Electronic stability control, which reduces skidding, is another important anti-accident feature.

    What is my driving style? In many ways, you decide how safe you are. The numerous decisions you make as a driver every minute you are on the road—how fast you are going, when you brake, how much room you leave between yourself and other vehicles—either raise or reduce the chances of a car accident. By driving safely, you protect both yourself and everyone else on the road.

    If you or a loved one has sustained a serious car accident injury, finding legal counsel is a must. Michael Barszcz, M.D., J.D., is an Orlando injury attorney who practices in cases involving car accidents, wrongful death, and other personal injury matters. To schedule an appointment to discuss your case, call (407) 843-6353 today.

    Tips for Driving Safely at Night

    Last updated 1 year ago

    Driving at night is inherently dangerous. The reasons are many: Drivers are more likely to be fatigued at night, drunk drivers are more likely to be on the road at night than in the daytime, and visual conditions are poor. According to the National Safety Council, you are three times as likely to be killed in a car accident while driving at night as you are during the day.

    Here are some tips for keeping yourself safe when driving after dark:

    Make sure your windows are clean. Clean, clear windows—the windshield and rear windshield included—are important at any time of day, but they are particularly crucial at night. Rinse and wipe them off before you drive, or stop at a gas station and clean them using a squeegee. Don’t forget to clean your windows and windshield from the inside, where dust and grime can easily build up over time.

    Slow down. It’s harder to see other vehicles clearly at night, which is why it’s important to reduce your speed accordingly. You should also increase your following distance; giving yourself a few additional seconds to react can make all the difference if another vehicle does something unexpected.

    Turn your lights on. The most important thing you can do to reduce the chances of an accident is to make yourself as visible to other drivers as possible. You should turn your headlights on at dusk and leave them on even when there are streetlights. However, be sure to turn off your high-beam lights when another vehicle is approaching to avoid blinding the driver. Never look directly into an oncoming high-beam headlight, which can temporarily blind you.

    Michael Barszcz, M.D., J.D., is a personal injury attorney serving the greater Orlando community. Our areas of practice range from car accidents to medical malpractice. If you are in need of a personal injury attorney in the Orlando area, call (407) 843-6353 or visit us on the Web to learn more about our legal services.

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