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Las Vegas Litigation Law Blog

Demential linked to concussions

Nevada drivers making claims for damages after an automobile accident should be fully aware of their injuries and the long-term health and welfare consequences. New research shows that even supposedly minor bumps on the head can greatly increase the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's. Before signing settlement documents, claimants should understand the risks and factor them in accordingly.

The study links traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, to increased risks for dementia later in life. Concussions are a type of TBI commonly sustained from bumps to the head or jolting of the brain inside the cranium, which is the brain's bony housing in a human skull. In even minor collisions, the brain often crashes against the cranium when there is a rapid acceleration and deceleration such as in a whiplash injury. A mild TBI typically has symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, blurred vision or memory loss. It is important to note that all symptoms are not necessary for a TBI to have occurred; medical treatment should be sought if any of the symptoms exist or if there is a visible bump or a penetrating injury has been sustained.

Daydreaming causes more crashes than texting

Las Vegas motorists are aware of the dangers of distracted driving, but most people associate the problem with cellphone use, such as texting or sending an email, while behind the wheel. However, a data analysis by Erie Insurance found that most distracted driving accidents are actually caused by simple daydreaming.

According to federal statistics, approximately 172,000 people were killed in U.S. traffic accidents over the past five years. Erie Insurance researchers used the Fatality Analysis Reporting System to examine the causes of these fatal crashes and found that 10 percent of them were attributed to distracted driving. Of those cases, 61 percent involved drivers who were lost in thought, bored or daydreaming. In comparison, only 14 percent of distracted driving deaths were blamed on cellphone use, such as reading a text or calling someone.

Turning an idea into a business

Many Nevada entrepreneurs feel as if their business idea is too good to fail. However, simply coming up with an idea isn't enough to know whether or not a single product or service could create the foundation of a successful company. At some point, the founder has to be able to follow through on that idea. This takes an ability to manage a company's finances and everything else that comes with owning a business.

It is important to understand that an idea doesn't have to be exciting to be profitable. In some cases, it isn't a good idea to attempt to create a new market for a product. This is because some investors say that they would rather spend money on companies that come in after a market has already been defined for it as opposed to those that try to create new ones.

Scientists explore causes of brain injury

Whether acquired through a car accident, sports trauma or another type of injury, concussions can be life-changing for people in California. While it is widely known that concussions can result from impacts to the head, there is less information about how to prevent concussion or identify the types of impact that are more likely to cause this damage. Researchers used data recorded from football players and computer simulations of the human brain to attempt to identify why concussions happen after certain injuries but not others.

The researchers found that concussions and other forms of mild traumatic brain injury were likely to occur when a particular area inside the brain, called the corpus callosum, shook more strongly than the surrounding tissue. However, they also noted that due to the physical complexity of the brain, there was no clear relationship between different types of head impacts and these types of internal injuries. Researchers noted that gaining a greater understanding of the biomechanics of the brain could help to treat and prevent brain injury.

Study shows distracted driving is on the rise

A recent study revealed both good and bad news for Nevada motorists. People are more aware than ever of the dangers associated with distracted driving. Unfortunately, individuals continue to engage in behaviors they know to be dangerous. Officials are struggling to find solutions to an epidemic of distracted driving largely fueled by ubiquitous smartphones and exacerbated by traditional distractions, such as eating while driving.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently completed a survey of 2,613 licensed drivers aged 16 and up. Participants were questioned about traffic observations as well as their own driving behaviors. In contrast to a similar study examining accident reports listing distracted driving as official causes of crashes, the AAA study found distracted driving to be increasing. The prior study was conducted by the federal government and was limited to official incident reports, which AAA believes is responsible for the disparity. Investigating officers often have difficulty isolating distractions as the cause of accidents for a variety of reasons that include a lack of candor from those involved.

Humans and the safety of autonomous vehicles

Nevada drivers who are concerned about road safety may be interested to know that human influence could have a negative impact on autonomous vehicle technology. According to a computer professor from Arizona State University, the vehicles are unsafe because they are programmed to copy humans.

The professor is conducting a study that's funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Science Foundation. The focus of the research is cyber-physical systems designs that can ensure how the systems will behave in a certain situation.

Analyzing the effects of conversations on drivers

All Nevada drivers are banned from using hand-held cellphones and texting. While most people are aware that these activities are distracting and can increase the risk for car and pedestrian accidents, some may not know the full details. This is where a meta-analysis published in Human Factors can come in.

It turns out that any conversation whether on the phone or with another occupant can be distracting to those operating a vehicle. Though more engaging conversations would distract drivers to a greater degree, the presence of a conversation itself would degrade the driver's awareness of the environment.

Traffic deaths caused by many factors

Nevada drivers probably know that speeding and drunk driving are high risk behaviors that contribute to auto accidents, but they may be surprised to learn about some of the other factors contributing to traffic fatalities. Safe driving requires a comprehensive approach to safety that includes taking precautions before getting behind the wheel along with attentiveness after getting started.

Distracted driving is a major cause of traffic accidents. Most people tend to think about smartphones and other electronics when the subject of distracted driving is presented, but drivers were getting distracted long before they could use a phone in traffic. Eating and drinking while driving are classic examples of in-car distractions. Looking too long in the rearview mirror or staring at signs or storefronts along the road are also considered unsafe driving practices. Failing to take precautions for inclement weather events also increases risks for drivers. Being prepared to take extra time on icy or wet roads is a hallmark of safe drivers.

Critieria for an SBA loan

Small business owners in Nevada and elsewhere may find that an SBA loan is an ideal way to acquire working capital. These loans can be used for almost any purpose, and they also come with reasonable repayment terms and interest rates. However, not just any company can qualify for such assistance. In order to meet the requirements for securing a loan, a company generally needs to have been in operation for two years or more, a credit score of 620 or higher and more than $100,000 in annual revenue.

However, businesses with credit scores of 680 or higher generally secure the best rates. During the application process, a business owner may need to submit personal financial information, such as a tax return. The SBA may also ask to see a business plan as well as a profit and loss statement as part of the loan application process.

Common premises liability issues

When an individual is injured at a commercial property, the owner could be held liable for damages. There are many potential liability issues that could make a Nevada property unsafe. For instance, a carpet that is not laying flat can cause someone to slip and fall. Cables or wires that are not properly stored could also pose a trip hazard. It's important to note that premises liability lawsuits tend to be among the most expensive types of claims to resolve.

The aforementioned slip-and-fall examples are generally considered to be inadequate facilities claims. Another possible option for an injured victim is an inadequate warning claim. An example of such a claim would be not warning a person that a floor was wet or that someone is walking through an automatic door. Regardless of why a person slips and falls, property owners should take care to avoid accidents that could lead to personal injury claims.

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