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Tulsa Oklahoma Legal Blog

Oklahoma nursing home, assisted living residents have rights

When we help our loved ones take the next step in their lives and move into an assisted living facility or nursing home, we expect that they will be well taken care of and treated with respect.

However, we've also heard the horror stories about such living situations gone awry. So what are the signs that your loved one might be the victim of abuse or neglect in an Oklahoma nursing home or assisted living location?

  1. Confusion, disorientation or extended sleep. This could occur because of overmedication.
  2. Injuries that can't be explained. This includes everything from broken bones to bruises to dislocations that could happen during poor transfers or even the administration of medication.
  3. Evidence of poor personal hygiene. This includes wearing dirty clothing and body odor.
  4. Immobility. This occurs if staff does not ensure a resident is helped to walk or given exercise.
  5. Bedsores or open wounds. This occurs when a person is confined to bed or doesn't receive medical care for known issues.
  6. Dehydration or malnourished. Look for sudden weight loss, weakness, cracked lips or a report of reduced urine production.
  7. Unexplained accidents or falls. This indicates the lack of supervision or assistance.
  8. Anxiety or agitation. That could result from emotional abuse of staff members.

Crash claims two lives in Oklahoma City

A terrible crash in Oklahoma City is still under investigation. However, police are treating the incident as a crime.

According to witnesses and investigators, the 22-year-old male driver of a Dodge Charger ran straight through a red light. He immediately hit a silver car, propelling it further than a block, catching two other vehicles up in the wreck.

November's here: Tips for save driving in the dark in Oklahoma

Welcoming November means the end to daylight-saving time. With it comes shorter days and longer nights.

And that can increase the risks of car accidents when you drive in the dark at rush hour with reduced night vision. The National Safety Council (NSC) also reports that when it's dark, a driver's depth perception, peripheral vision and ability to recognize colors can be compromised. The glare of oncoming headlights also can also affect a driver's sight.

Injured Oklahoma worker compensated after failing drug test

Oklahoma has one of the most progressive medical marijuana programs in the country, making it available to anyone who can obtain a physician's recommendation for the drug for any reason. It's probably no surprise that Oklahoma has already seen the issue of post-accident drug testing for worker's compensation entitlement go to the courts.

The Oklahoma Civil Court of Appeals just reversed a ruling by the Oklahoma Workers Compensation Commission (OWCC) denying an injured machine operator benefits because he failed a drug test after his left hand and wrist were crushed in a machine roller. The worker, a machine operator, was assisting a co-worker after a piece of plastic stuck in the guillotine machine. As he moved to clear the plastic with his bare hand, another co-worker accidentally restarted the machine.

What does recent data say about truck accidents?

Truck accidents happen for many reasons, but they often result in serious or fatal injuries for individuals in smaller vehicles. Due to the larger size and heavier weight of commercial trucks, they can inflict serious damage on smaller vehicles, even when going at a slow rate of speed. Collisions involving semitrailers and large commercial vehicles are a serious safety threat on Oklahoma roads and elsewhere.

Recent traffic data indicates that the issue of truck accidents is not getting better. Despite knowledge about the dangers of distracted driving, safer vehicles and other regulations, fatal truck accidents are happening at an alarming rate. Whether you suffered injuries in this type of accident or you simply want to learn more about how and why these events happen, it can help to take a close look at the statistics and what they may reveal about this serious concern. 

Could you be at risk of a Halloween crash?

Halloween night is rapidly approaching, and parents will soon be busy planning their children's costumes and activities. However, Halloween can be a dangerous time for kids.

Motorists who will be out and about during trick-or-treating hours must exercise added caution to avoid causing an accident that could maim or even kill a child. Below are some safety tips for Halloween driving:

  • Consider staying off the road during popular trick-or-treating hours. Unless there is an urgent need to travel during those hours, avoid driving.
  • Be aware of kids walking on streets and darting between cars. Halloween is an exciting time, and children can be very unpredictable.
  • Reduce your speed. Be prepared to drive slower than the posted speeds, and don't follow the car ahead of you too closely. These precautions can help you avoid a rear-end collision if the other driver has to stop suddenly.
  • Don't drink and drive. Adults celebrate Halloween as well as kids, but instead of feasting on candy, they may overindulge on alcohol. If you plan to drink, arrange for a sober ride to and from your party destination.
  • Be especially careful backing out of driveways. Anticipate that children may be traipsing back and forth on sidewalks and streets to collect candy.
  • Watch out for drunk or otherwise impaired drivers. Just because you're sober, that doesn't mean that everyone else on the roads will be as well. If you see a motorist driving erratically, give them a wide berth and call 911 to report them once you can pull over safely to do so.

Warning signs of unsafe stairs

A slip-and-fall accident can lead to serious injuries no matter where you are, but it is perhaps most dangerous when it happens on a stairway. A simple fall could lead to life-changing head, brain or spinal cord injuries. These types of falls happen in apartment buildings, stores, malls, hotels, amusement parks and many other locations where you do not have complete control over the safety of your surroundings.

The key, then, is to know what warning signs to look out for so that you can spot a hazardous staircase before an accident takes place. Some signs include:

  • Staircases that have been carpeted
  • Stair treads that are cracked or broken
  • Staircases without proper handrails
  • Handrails that have come loose from the wall
  • Stairs that do not have adequate lighting
  • Doors that are positioned to swing into the stairway, rather than away from it
  • Steps that have collapsed or sunk in the middle
  • Staircases that are too narrow to move comfortably
  • Treads that are of an abnormal size, especially when they themselves are too narrow
  • Stair treads that are not all exactly the same height
  • Newell posts that are loose, missing or not installed properly
  • Stairs that are exposed to the weather, such as outdoor staircases that get slick when it rains
  • Stairways with snag hazards

The 2 ways speeding increases road dangers

Speeding is something that many drivers do every time they get behind the wheel. If we're all honest, it's something we've done before. Maybe it was the joy of cruising at high speeds when you were young, maybe it was to counter running late for work, or maybe you just "lightly" break the speed limit by driving a bit over that limit on a consistent basis.

No matter how it happens, the truth is that speeding is dangerous. There are two main ways that it increases the amount of danger you face on the road.

Red light accidents are on the rise, and smartphones are to blame

Your smartphone is an important part of your life, and it is easy to see why. Smartphones are actually much more than just phones. They act as a communication device, entertainment provider, GPS guide and much, much more. Unfortunately, smartphones can also be very addictive. Drivers are increasingly using smartphones while behind the wheel, and it is causing an increase in red light accidents and traffic fatalities.

It is no secret that it is dangerous to use smartphones while driving. Since more and more drivers are still looking at phones instead of the road, it is obvious that many people simply do not care. Here are some important facts to know about smartphone use and traffic deaths.

Tips for parents of new teen drivers

If you're the parent of a teen who is beginning the process of getting their driver's license, you're likely experiencing a range of emotions -- and so is your child. It's a time of excitement, but also some trepidation.

Parents should spend plenty of time in the car with their teen behind the wheel once they get their permit. This is in addition to their official behind-the-wheel training. You can also model good behavior for your teen while you're behind the wheel -- e.g., not talking on the phone or eating, wearing your seatbelt and obeying all traffic signs.

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