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Counting 2018's fatal motor vehicle accidents has already begun

A new year has just begun. Many people here in Colorado and around the country view this time of year as a fresh start and hope that this year will prove to be better than the last. This also goes for those who keep track of data such as the number of fatal motor vehicle accidents that occur around the state.

Apparently, last year's traffic fatalities here in Colorado broke records set in previous years. Law enforcement officials may have hoped that number would drop in 2018, but recent events are not promising. Only days into the new year, three people already lost their lives on the roads of the state's second largest city.

Compound fractures are a real possibility in pedestrian accidents

Walking just about anywhere here in Denver means that you will eventually be either next to traffic or crossing a street. You look both ways and do what you can to keep yourself safe, but you cannot always account for what a motorist will do. If a car strikes you, you could suffer any number of injuries. For example, compound fractures are a real possibility in pedestrian accidents.

A compound fracture, also called an open fracture, occurs when a broken bone pierces through your skin. Not only could an injury like this take a significant amount of time to heal, but it also leaves you vulnerable to infections, compartment syndrome and contamination. It is also possible that the bone will not heal properly. The sooner you receive medical care, the greater your chances are of avoiding these potential complications.

Potential complications of surgical mesh

As scientific advances make new medical treatments possible, it is easy for those with serious medical needs to place all their hopes and fears in one treatment or another. Unfortunately, these treatments often come with entirely new complications that take time and effort to work through.

In the meantime, many patients receive treatments that may create greater problems than the ones they solve. One such treatment that commonly causes serious complications is the use of surgical mesh to address pelvic floor disorders.

Fatal motor vehicle accidents take good Samaritans, too

When Colorado motorists witness or come upon a collision, many will stop to provide any assistance they can to those involved. While doing so, they often end up in harm's way since many accident scenes are in the lanes of travel. For some, what starts out as lending helping hands results in fatal motor vehicle accidents.

This is what happened to a 54-year-old Colorado woman on a recent Wednesday morning. According to the woman's husband, as he and his wife traveled Interstate 76, they came upon a vehicle in the roadway that struck a deer. They stopped to help the motorist. The remains of a deer were found close to the scene.

$28 million victory for victims of Xarelto blood thinner

Consumers harmed by the blood thinner Xarelto (rivaroxaban) won a significant victory in a Pennsylvania court earlier this week. A Philadelphia jury issued a $27.8 million verdict against the drug's manufacturers, Bayer AG and Johnson & Johnson. The award included $26 million in punitive damages.

Millions of Americans take Xarelto. The drug is commonly prescribed to decrease the risk of strokes and blood clots in patients with atrial fibrillation. It's also used to prevent deep-vein thrombosis following high-risk procedures such as hip and knee surgery.

Jury says defective hip implants caused harm to patients

Advancements in medical technology have improved the lives of thousands of people around the country, including many here in Colorado. However, some of the devices that are placed inside patients have defects that end up causing harm to patients. One such device manufactured and distributed by Johnson & Johnson and its DePuy Orthopaedics unit has been the subject of numerous lawsuits. In fact, one federal court jury sitting in another state recently determined that defective hip implants caused injuries and substantial harm to the six patients who were the subject of a lawsuit.

In fact, this is the third jury to side with patients regarding the Pinnacle hip implants distributed by the well-known company and its orthopaedics unit, despite the companies' assertions that clinical data supports the use of the devices. The implants in question are metal on metal, which the company claims lasts longer than those made with other materials. However, some patients have experienced significant pain and injuries from the implants.

Marijuana use could lead to fatal motor vehicle accidents

There is evidence that the legalization of recreational marijuana use here in Colorado has led to people believing it is legal to drive while under the influence of it. This could not be further from the truth. Driving after using marijuana could lead to fatal motor vehicle accidents just as easily as drinking and driving, texting and driving or driving drowsy.

Unfortunately, that fact is not as well known as it should be. Research indicates that approximately 33 percent of teenagers think that it is okay to drive after using marijuana since it is now legal. Some adults are under the same impression. They forget that alcohol is legal as well, but it is not legal to drive when one's blood alcohol level is more than  the statutory prohibition.

Colorado motorcycle accidents often have deadly consequences

While motorcyclists have the same rights on the road as the operators of other vehicles, drivers often pay less attention to motorcyclists. Unfortunately, given the difference in size and protection between a motorcycle and a car, motorcycle accidents are far more likely to be serious or even fatal for the biker. A fatal motorcycle crash occurred recently in Colorado, with tragic results.

A Colorado community is still shaken by the loss of one of its members, a 69-year-old motorcyclist recently killed in a hit-and-run. The woman, a long-time biker, was out riding her motorcycle with her husband and a group of friends. As the riders stopped for a red light, she was hit from behind.

A car crash can lead to a traumatic brain injury

It doesn't matter how much caution you take when you're behind the wheel, you never know if another driver will make a mistake that causes an accident. This can be as simple as another person sending a text message when he or she should be paying attention to the traffic and road conditions.

While a car crash can lead to a variety of injuries, a traumatic brain injury is one of the most serious.

Alcohol is suspected in many fatal motor vehicle accidents

Despite knowing its dangers, many people here in Colorado and elsewhere continue to drink and drive. This more than likely explains why Colorado police often suspect alcohol in fatal motor vehicle accidents. The sad thing is that -- whether alcohol plays a role in a crash or not -- people lose their lives.

One Colorado city's police department suspects that alcohol may have played a role in a crash that occurred on a recent Friday night shortly before 8 p.m. The two vehicles involved were traveling in opposite directions on U.S. 85 at the time. A car veered into the oncoming lane of travel and slammed into a van.

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