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Arnold & Stafford Legal Blog

Georgia man killed when his car is rammed on Interstate 85

A Lawrenceville, Georgia, man was killed and a 33-year-old woman is facing several charges, including drunk driving and first-degree homicide, after a fatal crash on Interstate 85 recently.

The victim, who was 24, was sitting in a disabled vehicle around 6 a.m., parked on the shoulder of Interstate 85 north near Pleasant Hill Road. The woman is alleged to have run into the rear of the parked car, and the impact propelled the stalled car into traffic on the highway. A tractor-trailer hit the car, which burst into flames.

Does your Georgia surgeon have malpractice insurance?

Whatever kind of surgery you need to have, there's always the possibility that something could go wrong. There's even a possibility that your surgeon will make a mistake.

Here's the sobering reality: According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, there are more than 4,000 surgical "never" events every year in the United States. That means that a surgeon made a mistake so basic that it simply never should happen -- like operating on the wrong body part of leaving a foreign object inside a patient after surgery.

Is it possible to get your DUI dismissed?

If you are charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, there's nothing you can do about the past at this point. Instead, you must turn your attention to the future. Most importantly, focus on the steps you can take to get your DUI dismissed.

Here are some of the many steps you can take in an attempt to have your charges thrown out by the court:

  • Prove the traffic stop as invalid: A police officer must be able to show that they had reasonable suspicion for pulling your vehicle over. This can be something as simple as a minor traffic violation, such as failure to use a turn signal. However, if the officer doesn't have reasonable suspicion, the evidence obtained during the stop may not be admissible in court.
  • Challenge the accuracy of the field sobriety tests: There are many reasons why a field sobriety test may result in inaccurate results, such as improper administration.
  • Chemical test results: This can include breath, blood and urine tests, all of which can measure your blood alcohol content (BAC). However, you may be able to challenge the results, such as if the officer used an improperly maintained Breathalyzer.

Abusing prescription drugs can result in legal consequences

When you think of crimes involving drugs, you may think of substances like heroin, cocaine or marijuana. However, prescription medications are commonly misused, too. Taking prescription drugs not prescribed to you or in a manner not instructed by your doctor is unlawful, as is selling them. According to WebMD, approximately 20% of the U.S. population has used prescription medicals for nonmedical reasons at some point.

The misuse and abuse of prescription drugs is becoming more common. Here are the types of medications that are abused the most.

Ask these legal questions before scheduling surgery

If your doctor suggests surgery, you should strongly consider the benefits of this treatment plan. Regardless of the reason and intended outcome, it's important to have a clear idea of what you're getting into so that you can plan accordingly.

Here are three important questions to ask before scheduling surgery:

  • What are the finer details of the procedure that you are performing? You should be 100% clear as to what terms you agree, as this helps protect you from your doctor performing another procedure.
  • What are the potential complications of the surgery? Every procedure, even the most basic, has a risk of complications, some of which may be serious or even fatal. Knowing what to expect before, during and after your surgery is imperative.
  • What are the costs of the procedure? The answer depends on several factors, and may change based on what happens during the surgery. However, your doctor and/or the medical staff should be able to provide an estimate of out-of-pocket expenses based on the expected outcome.

Commonly misdiagnosed conditions: Protect yourself

When you visit your doctor with a medical concern, you put your faith in this person. You hope that they'll do whatever it takes to diagnose your ailment, provide treatment and help you reach your former level of health.

Unfortunately, a medical misdiagnosis can happen at any time. Here are several of the most commonly misdiagnosed conditions:

  • Cancer: This has long been a problem, as cancer is often mistaken for something much less serious. This is particularly true of colorectal, breast and lung cancer.
  • Heart attack: A heart attack shares symptoms with many less serious ailments, such as indigestion and a chest cold. If a heart attack goes undiagnosed, it can cause irreparable harm and even result in death.
  • Stroke: The sooner a stroke is treated the less damage it will cause. This is why it's critical to avoid a stroke misdiagnosis. Symptoms of a stroke typically include weakness and poor coordination;however, these signs could come about slowly. When this happens, the symptoms could be mistaken for something else.

How often do doctors make diagnosis mistakes?

There are two main types of diagnosis mistakes. First, the doctor may miss the disease entirely. This is a missed diagnosis when the doctor overlooks something or even tells you that you're healthy when you're not. The second is a misdiagnosis when the doctor knows that there is a problem, but he or she simply thinks it is something else. An example could be telling you that a spot on your skin is a wart when it's actually skin cancer.

But how often does this happen? You trust your doctor. You want to believe they would not make this type of mistake. You want to trust them when they tell you that you're healthy or when they explain what they think is wrong.

Georgia prosecutors can't bring up failed Breathalyzer tests

Late in February, the Supreme Court of Georgia ruled that prosecutors can't say if a defendant has previously declined a Breathalyzer test when trying a drunk driving case. In the past few days, senators were supposed to discuss whether roadside breath tests should be made mandatory in the state. The latest push to get these laws changed comes at a time when prosecutors are struggling to get convictions in these cases.

Under current laws, police officers who suspect that a motorist is drunk have to take them into custody. They must then bring them to a local hospital to have blood tests performed to see how intoxicated they are.

It's dangerous to trust a doctor's first opinion

Throughout March, many individuals have been commemorating Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. One of those individuals is a 22-year-old Minneapolis woman. Her abdominal discomfort went misdiagnosed until doctors finally performed a colonoscopy on her. They found that she had colon cancer.

Stories about how colon cancer rates among younger Americans are on the rise first made the news a few weeks ago. Despite that, most medical advisory boards only recommend that individuals over the age of 50 go in for regular colonoscopies.

Can you obtain security clearance with a DUI conviction?

Perhaps you are pursuing a job with the Internal Revenue Service, or you want to work for a government contractor.

However, on your way home from a party, a law enforcement officer arrested you for driving under the influence of alcohol. Will a conviction prevent you from obtaining the necessary security clearance?

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