Two Major Killers: Drug Poisoning and Car Crashes

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin LLP

Until 2008, the two largest killers were auto accidents followed by drug deaths. The National Center for Health Statistics just announced that 2008 data showed that drug poisoning is now the leading cause of injury death over car crashes. Only 10% of the poisonings were not related to drugs. Sadly, these are mostly preventable deaths. Our firm has seen the effect of auto accidents and has hailed the use of seat belts and air bags. It’s hard to believe that less than a few decades ago car manufacturers were fighting the use of airbags, even though the technology had been available since the 1970s. Without proper belts and airbags, drivers and passengers can suffer from what is called “second impact” injuries or deaths. Our lawsuits involving auto safety matters, sometimes known as crashworthiness cases, often use biomechanical experts who recreate the inertial forces humans experience in an accident with a severe impact. Do not assume the inside of a car is a safe environment.

A significant number of drug-related deaths were linked to prescription pain killers. This is not only drug abusers; many innocent elderly people can overdose on medication due to reduced mental capacities. We have many elderly clients due to Fosamax, Boniva, Actonel, and DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip implant injuries. Our contacts are often with their dedicated adult children who often relate to us the vigilance it takes to care of an older parent who has suffered from a drug injury, especially monitoring dosage of medication.

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