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Missoula Personal Injury Blog

Symptoms and treatment of tongue cancer

Some Montana patients have developed cancer in part of their mouth. Tongue cancer often forms in the squamous cells that cover the surface of two-thirds of the tongue. Cancer that forms in the remaining one-third of the tongue, which is located in the back of the tongue, is considered to belong to a group of neck or head cancers.

Tongue cancer can have certain symptoms that can often be mistaken for symptoms associated with regular colds or persistent mouth sores. These symptoms can potentially include jaw or tongue pain, thickening inside the mouth, white patches on the gums, tongue or mouth lining and difficulty chewing or swallowing. Other symptoms could include a sore throat or the persistent feeling of something being caught in the throat.

Daytime headlight usage and accident reduction

Montana drivers may be safer if they keep their headlights on during the day as well as at night. Although multiple studies have indicated that this is the case, just over one-fourth of vehicles manufactured at present have day running lights. Therefore, it has been proposed that there should simply be a law requiring drivers to keep their lights on at all times.

Some of the studies have found an accident reduction rate as high as 10 percent when headlights are used during the day. Their use has reduced pedestrian accidents by 12 percent and motorcycle accidents by as much as 23 percent. This is particularly significant since these are the types of accidents that tend to result in serious injuries and fatalities. The reduction is all due to greater visibility.

Rare malignant bone tumors of the foot easily misdiagnosed

Physicians in Montana might fail to identify rare and potentially deadly diseases like osteosarcoma of the foot. Most cases of osteosarcoma afflict teenagers in other parts of the body, which adds to the difficulty of recognizing the malignant tumor within the foot. This form also typically strikes adults.

Any tumors of the foot are very rare. The vast majority of bone tumors, between 94 and 97 percent, grow elsewhere in the body. Additionally, 75 to 85 percent of foot tumors are benign. They could be painful and require treatment, but they do not threaten health like a malignant growth that spreads cancer throughout the body.

Head and back trauma from car crashes present serious issues

You have been involved in a car accident. Though you may have suspected that this type of situation would likely happen to you at some point in your life, you may not have anticipated that the outcomes would have such serious impacts. Unfortunately, car accidents can easily lead to serious injuries that may have lasting effects and require you to seek medical attention.

Numerous types of injuries could result from car crashes as individuals often go through a great deal of trauma during the event. Some of the more common and serious injuries that result from these incidents relate to head and back trauma.

Risk factors for squamous cell carcinomas

While any Montana resident who has a history of substantial sun exposure is at risk for developing squamous cell carcinomas, there are others who have an increased risk of developing the disease due to genetics. Further, those who have suffered from chronic skin infections in the past may also have an increased risk for squamous cell carcinomas.

When it comes to genetics, those who have fair skin and light hair have the highest risk for developing squamous cell carcinomas. Men are also at least twice as likely to develop this skin disease, though this is in part due to the fact that men generally spend more time in the sun than women. Age is also another factor with most squamous cell carcinomas appearing in those over the age of 50. However, this skin disease is increasingly being diagnosed in those who are in their 20s and 30s. It was also noted that the number of women under the age of 40 who were diagnosed was also increasing.

Steps to compensation after a railroad worker injury

For a Montana railroad worker who suffers an injury on the job, financial hardship is a real possibility. To prevent a bad situation from becoming worse, certain steps should be followed after railroad worker injuries to secure compensation. Whether the worker suffers catastrophic injuries leading to permanent disability or less severe issues causing a few days of missed work, a successful claim under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) can recover the costs of any medical care and lost wages.

Documentation is critical to compensation claims for railroad worker injuries. It's important to note that the injury report can form the basis of the later claim. The usefulness of the report will rely on its thoroughness, so the accident victim is encouraged to write down all possible contributing factors along with a description of all injuries. Independent medical evaluation by the victim's doctor after the initial treatment can also be used to validate claims.

Driver death rates have increased as the economy improves

As the economy in Montana and around the country continues to improve, the rates of motor vehicle accident injuries and fatalities have also climbed. The increase has happened after the rate of driver fatalities had declined by one-third with the advance of newer vehicles that have numerous safety features. The current increase has happened despite those safety improvements.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has issued a report about the increasing rates of driver fatalities that have happened as the economy has improved. In the IIHS study, the researchers found that the driver death rates had increased for 2014 car models to 30 per million vehicle years, which was an increase from the 28 deaths per million vehicle years for 2011 models.

Determining the highest car safety rating

When Montana residents are shopping for a new car, the safety rating each vehicle has received might be a major factor influencing their decision making. However, some residents might not be aware of who issues the safety rating and the criteria used.

Some safety ratings are issued by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a non-profit organization funded by the auto insurance industry. The IIHS evaluates cars, SUVs and trucks to determine their crash worthiness. This is done through a series of five safety tests that check how vehicles respond to a variety of crashes, including small overlap and moderate front crashes as well as the strength of the vehicle's roof and how effective the head restraints are during motor vehicle accidents. To receive a top rating, a vehicle must pass all five tests and receive a rating of good or acceptable for their headlights.

Misdiagnosed patient awarded $28.9 million

Montana residents rely on their doctors to accurately diagnose their medical conditions and prescribe appropriate treatments, and they may pursue civil remedies by filing medical malpractice lawsuits when they are harmed due to the negligent behavior of their health care providers. One such case was resolved earlier in 2017 when a jury in Missouri awarded almost $29 million in damages to a woman who had been left permanently disabled because of a misdiagnosis.

According to court papers, the woman's doctor diagnosed depression and anxiety when she told them that she was feeling fatigued and suffered persistent panic attacks. The woman says that she begged her doctors to order neurological tests when her condition continued to deteriorate, but her physicians ignored her pleas for about five months. The woman's lawsuit reveals that the tests were only scheduled after she became so ill that she was no longer able to control her muscles or move her limbs.

Limits placed on locale of lawsuits against companies

Railroad workers should be aware of a May ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court regarding pursuing damages against corporations. The 8-1 ruling, which specifically applied to two lawsuits plaintiffs had filed against a Texas railroad company in the more amenable Montana court system, placed limits on where corporations can be properly sued.

In 2011, a resident of North Dakota, a truck driver, had sued the railroad company in Montana state court claiming that he had been injured while employed by the railroad company. The plaintiff alleged that he had injured his knee when he slipped and fell.


Towe & Fitzpatrick, PLLC
619 SW Higgins, Ste. O
P.O. Box 1745
Missoula, MT 59806

Phone: 406-203-5148
Phone: 406-829-1669
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