Archive for July, 2015

Kansas City Medical Malpractice Attorneys Discuss the “July Effect” – Myth or More?

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Your child falls while at the playground and you think his or her arm may be broken. You are doing yard work and while bending over to lift something, your back spasms and you are suddenly unable to move. While at the local pool your spouse forgets to put on sunscreen and suffers a severe sunburn. If any of these summer time scenarios happen to you or your family, your first inclination is most likely to hop in the car and head directly to your local hospital emergency department or walk-in clinic for immediate treatment. But what most people are not aware of is that when you head to the doctor or hospital may impact the level of care you receive.

There is a phenomenon that is referred to as the “July Effect.” The July Effect refers to the theory that a person who visits a clinic or hospital during the month of July, receives a lower quality of care than if he or she had visited the same facility during one of the other eleven months of the year. Why July you wonder? July is the month when medical students, who graduated in May, typically begin their residencies at local teaching hospitals and clinics. The theory is that since the more experienced residents have moved on and now been replaced with virtually inexperienced residents, that the level of patient care worsens and more mistakes are made.

While research has been done over the years to see if the “July Effect” is more of a myth or if the phenomenon has a scientific basis, the answer to the question depends on who you ask. One doctor who analyzed two decades worth of data found that when he focused on the bigger and better studies, there was some support for the “July Effect”. He found that during the month of July, there was an increase in patient mortality and a decrease in the efficiency of patient care. That being said, another doctor, who uses a 2013 study for his basis, opines that it is probably more myth than fact. The doctor points to the fact that residents are not running around a hospital completely on their own—they are being supervised. Resident programs start with resident receiving very little autonomy. Then with experience and performance, a resident’s responsibilities increase.

Doctors are not the only ones with insights into whether the “July Effect” exists. Medical personnel such as nurses, are also witness to the influx of new residents during July. Nurses in particular acknowledge the huge learning curve that new residents must undergo. One nurse who writes about healthcare, feels that regardless of whether the data supports it, that more mistakes are made in July.

But even doctors who find some truth to the “July Effect” state that medical care should not be delayed simply because it falls during the 7th month of the calendar year. Rather, if a person is worried about the level of care he or she may receive, that it best for him or her to bring a friend or family member with them, who can help advocate on his or her behalf. Again, residents are supervised, and a patient can always request to speak with the resident’s attending physician.

 If you believe that you or a loved one was a victim of medical malpractice it is important that you seek out an experienced Kansas City Medical Malpractice Attorney. To succeed in proving that your injury was caused by hospital or doctor error you need a seasoned Kansas City Medical Malpractice Attorney. Only a skilled Kansas City Medical Malpractice Attorney has the capability to fully investigate your case and make sure that you receive appropriate compensation for your injuries. At Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P., you can trust our attorneys to provide you with the highest degree of legal services. Call our office today at (816) 472-4673 to schedule an initial consultation.

Road Trip Bound? Tips for Sharing the Road with Large Trucks

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Every year, individuals and families across the country hop into their vehicles with one main mission—a road trip. Sometimes a road trip may just be crossing state lines to reach a destination, while for others, the trip itself may be the real “destination”. Whatever the reason for your trip, if you plan to spend a lot of time on America’s highways and interstates, it is important to understand how to safely share the road when traveling next to large commercial trucks. Large trucks tend to make many motorists nervous due to how noisy they can be and their overall larger size. Not to mention, driving next to a large truck can be downright dangerous.

According to the National Highways Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 4,000 people were killed and more than 100,000 people were injured in 2012, in accidents involving large commercial trucks. However, since large trucks on the roads are as common as children on a playground, it is important for all motorists to learn how to safely drive next to large trucks and “share the road.” You can help your keep you and your passengers out of harm’s way when traveling next to large commercial trucks by simply following these safety tips:

  1. Exercise patience and caution when passing a large truck: Large commercial trucks, by their very nature, are quite large. Therefore, it will take you a longer time to pass a large truck than it would a regular passenger vehicle. When traveling at the posted interstate speed limit, it can take close to a half minute to pass a large truck. So the best advice when passing a large truck is to give yourself additional time to pass. Also do not be in a rush to change lanes. After passing a large truck only switch back to the lane, when you can see front of the truck in your driver’s rearview mirror.
  2. Make it easier for a large truck to pass you: It can be an unnerving feeling when you realize a large trucks is trying to pass you, especially if you are in a small or compact car. However, it is important to resist the temptation to speed up in an attempt to discourage the truck from passing you. Rather, the safest thing to do is to allow the truck to pass you. By reducing your speed somewhat and moving over to the right most part of your lane, you can actually help the truck pass you more quickly and safely.
  3. Inclines or hills require additional space: Another scary spot to find yourself is behind a truck on a sharp incline or hill when the truck has come to a complete stop. There is always the potential for the truck to roll back slightly when the driver takes his foot off the break and begins to accelerate. Understand that this can happen—be smart and always allow plenty of space between your vehicle and the truck in front of you.
  4. Be aware of a large truck’s four “no-zones”: Large trucks have four large blind spots, often referred to as “no zones.” The largest of these four zones is on the right (or passenger) side of the truck. The best rule of thumb to follow, is that if you cannot see a truck’s mirrors then the driver of the truck cannot see you.

If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries after being involved in a crash with a large truck, the seasoned Personal Injury Attorneys at Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P. can help. Our team of experienced Kansas City Personal Injury Attorneys will make sure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve. The team of Kansas City Personal Injury Attorneys at the Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P. have helped countless injured victims around the area, both in Kansas and Missouri. To find out how the attorneys at Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P. can assist you, call our office today at (816) 472-4673 to schedule an initial consultation. At Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P. we look forward to providing injury victims with top-notch legal services.