The line between medical malpractice and birth injuries can blur together if a doctor acts negligently when tending to a mother giving birth. A doctor must always uphold a certain standard of medical care as a requirement of those practicing in the medical field. When a doctor is negligent during delivery, it can potentially cause severe harm to mother and child.
What should have been a day of joy and celebration may turn into a nightmare and anguish upon realizing that your newborn isn’t perfectly healthy, and that a doctor or medical staff may have contributed to it occurring in the first place.
If you believe that your doctor was careless, ignored symptoms, failed to properly monitor you, or something else during labor and delivery, then it may be time to consult with a legal professional about what you can do to seek justice for what happened.
Common Examples of Negligence
Delivery can be a very complex and emotional time for a mother and her baby. With such an intense thing to go through, it is important that medical staff are prompt in identifying and treating any issues that arise along the way. If they don’t, then the mother and baby may succumb to injuries or fatality. The most common examples of negligence and child birth include:
- Failing to notify parents of an infant’s abnormality before birth
- Failing to diagnose an illness or issue, or identifying the problem too late
- Failing to use birth-assisting tools in a safe manner
- Failing to perform a C-section when needed
- Not identifying when the fetus is in distress and treating it promptly
- Not preventing or adequately controlling hemorrhaging
- Not diagnosing the mother with maternal diabetes and treating accordingly
- Failing to monitor oxygen level of fetus
Failure or Delayed Diagnosis
Doctors may fail to diagnose a condition in the mother entirely, diagnose her with the wrong condition, or diagnose her too late, which then can lead to serious injury. Such conditions may include the mother having high blood pressure, diabetes, or another illness that affects the labor and delivery process, potentially resulting in the newborn getting hurt too. Examples of other conditions that a doctor may delay in identifying or fail to diagnose are listed below:
- Maternal infections
- Prolapsed umbilical cord
- Uterine rupture
- rH incompatibility
- Placenta previa
- Placental abruption
It is also possible that a woman gave birth to a baby, but had taken steps to not procreate. Wrongful pregnancy is when a woman gets pregnant despite using methods to not have a baby, such as sterilization or an abortion. Even if the baby is born completely healthy, the parents can still sue the doctor or medical facility for wrongful pregnancy. That is, if the doctor who performed the sterilization, abortion, or other procedure had not done it properly, which led to the pregnancy.
If you are a mother who endured a birth injury or wrongful pregnancy, then it is recommended that you schedule a consultation with an attorney, like a medical malpractice lawyer from Philadelphia, PA, who is experienced in medical malpractice cases as soon as possible.
Thank you to the experts at the Wieand Law Firm for their input into medical malpractice and the law.
If you are headed into the ordeal of a nursing home lawsuit, you might be apprehensive because you don’t know what to expect. Speaking with your attorney is a great way to obtain more information so you can be prepared for what’s next, but the following are some steps your lawsuit might entail.
After you lawyer takes on the case, he or she will begin to conduct an investigation into what happened to your loved one in the nursing home. In many cases, the misconduct is due to medical malpractice, and the lawyer can determine if that is so with your case. It could take some time for the investigation to conclude, as the lawyer’s team will collect health records, witness statements, physician statements and more.
The Notice of Claim
Before you can file the lawsuit, your lawyer will help you put together a Notice of Claim. The NOC will go to any potential defendants and will notify each that you plan to file a lawsuit. You generally have to get this done at least 60 days before filing.
It’s possible you can avoid going to court by settling the case through negotiations and mediation. It could take some time for you and the negligent party to settle on something that you both feel is fair, but doing it this way could reduce costs, and could also reduce the amount of time spent at trial. The other party could reject everything offered, which could make negotiations hard or impossible, and in that case, a mediator might step in.
If your case goes to mediation, that party is basically trying to help you settle outside of court, as a last-ditch effort. If the mediator can get both parties to come to an agreement, the lawsuit will be settled. If not, you’ll move ahead to court.
In a nursing home negligence trial, there may be witnesses that come forth to present the case before a judge and/or a jury. Trials could take quite a bit of time, but it could conclude in just a day or two as well. The jury or judge will make a verdict at the end of the trial, and that will be the final settlement.
This whole process could take anywhere from 18 months to a few years, depending on the complexity of the case and how cooperative each side is during negotiations. If other victims come forward, it could also complicate the case, making it possibly take longer.
What to Do Today
If your loved one has been suffering due to negligence in a nursing home, it’s time to take action and get your loved one out of there. Contact your nursing home lawyer, like a nursing home abuse lawyer in Tucson, AZ, today to learn what you should do next.
Thank you to the experts at Rispoli Law, PLLC, for their input into nursing home abuse law.
Why You Should Hire an Estate Planning Lawyer
By now, you are probably aware of the importance of having a solid will in place. A will ensures your family is taken care of and your final wishes are carried out. However, you may wonder if you should draft the will yourself or hire an experienced estate planning lawyer to do it for you. While drafting your will is certainly the cheaper option, it may not be the best option. Here are a few good reasons to hire an experienced estate planning lawyer.
States Laws Are Very Specific
What you can or can’t include in your will depends on the state you live in. Different states have different rules about estate plans. If you don’t have a background in estate planning, you might not be aware of all the rules in your state. This can cause you to make a mistake that could render your will invalid. That’s one of the reasons working with an experienced estate planning lawyer, like an estate planning lawyer in Sacramento, CA, is so important. He or she will know about all the estate planning laws in your state and help you avoid mistakes.
Estate Planning Lawyers Can Handle Complex Situations
If you have a complicated family or financial situation, you have yet another reason to hire an estate planning lawyer. Complex situations may include owning a business, being in a second marriage, having minor children, owning substantial assets, and having real estate in more than one state. An experienced estate planning lawyer can help you sort your situation and look out for your best interests.
You’ll Save Time and Energy
Wills are complex legal documents that take a lot of time to prepare. If you don’t have a background in estate planning, it may take you even longer to draft the will yourself, leading to stress and frustration. You may have to take valuable time away from your responsibilities at home to write the will. On the other hand, if you hire an experienced estate planning lawyer, he or she can draft a will for you and save you a lot of time.
Estate Planning Lawyers Offer Objectivity
An estate planning lawyer can also bring a voice of reason to your estate plan. For example, if you’re thinking about leaving your entire estate to your 18-year-old son, your lawyer may advise you to rethink your decision. He or she can offer you unbiased advice and look out for your best interests.
If you’re ready to draft a will, schedule a consultation with a reputable estate planning lawyer.
Thanks to Yee Law Group, PC for their insight into why you should hire an estate planning lawyer.
If you’re going through a divorce and child custody battle, you’re already going through a lot of stress. Getting charged with a DUI can make a tough situation like this even more complicated. If you’re in this situation, it’s in your best interest to consult with a divorce lawyer and DUI lawyer.
Here are some of the different ways a divorce can affect your divorce and child custody.
More Financial Expenses
Going through a divorce and child custody battle is expensive enough as it is. When you have a DUI charge on top of that, you have even more financial expenses to worry about. Court fees, fines and hiring a DUI lawyer can easily cost thousands of dollars. If there are injuries or property damage that resulted from your DUI, you will have even more expenses to worry about.
Increased Emotional Stress
It’s no secret that divorce proceedings can lead to a great deal of emotional stress. You’re upset about your family breaking apart and are unsure of what your life will be like afterward. If you’re charged with a DUI during the process, you can expect to experience even more emotional stress. Your spouse will likely become angry and disappointed, increasing the tension between the two of you. You may also worry about all the legal fees you have to pay and if you’ll have a permanent criminal record or not.
You May Deemed an Unfit Parent
If you’re currently going through a child custody battle, a DUI charge won’t look good to a judge. Even if your children weren’t in the vehicle when you were arrested, the judge may feel like you make poor decisions and you’re not a good influence on your children. He or she may decide to award custody to the other parent.
Revoked Driving Privileges
The judge may likely suspend your driver’s license for a while, even if this is your first DUI. If you can’t drive, you will have a more difficult time picking up your children and spending time with them. The court will consider your ability to meet the daily needs of your children as an important factor in determining child custody.
Hiring a DUI Lawyer
If you were recently charged with a DUI, you likely feel scared and overwhelmed. It’s important to speak to a reputable DUI lawyer in Fairfax, VA about your case as soon as possible. He or she can build you a strong defense and increase your chances of a positive outcome.
Thanks to May Law, LLP for their insight into criminal law and how a DUI can affect child custody.
Colorado’s state constitution upholds that checkpoints for DUI are legal in the state. Because of this, DUI checkpoints are commonly used to help catch people driving under the influence and for the ticket and penalty revenues that often result, particularly in high-traffic times during the holiday periods.
If you are ever at a DUI checkpoint, there are some things you should never attempt to do. Should you make a mistake at a checkpoint and need legal help, remember to contact a DUI lawyer, like a DUI lawyer in Denver, CO, as soon as you can for assistance.
Do Not Break Any Traffic Laws
While you are allowed by law to turn around to avoid a DUI checkpoint you see up ahead, you can never break driving rules to do so. The police will be watching for vehicles that are trying to avoid the checkpoint, so any breach of the road rules will result in you being pulled over and possibly charged with whatever the violation was, even if you are not driving under the influence. Things such as illegal U-turns will only land you in potential hot water.
Do Not Tell Law Enforcement Officers What You Drank
At a DUI checkpoint, one very common question law enforcement officers ask is how many drinks you had that night. The very best answer to this particular question is no answer to begin with. Here, the officers are looking for a reason to stop you at the checkpoint, and if you admit you had even a drop of alcohol, you’re probably going to be asked to pull over for even more questioning. However, if you don’t provide a real answer, they have no immediate reason to have you pull over and no statement to use against you later in court during a DUI case.
Do Not Complain about the Checkpoint or Backtalk the Officer
If you are rude in any way to a law enforcement officer at a DUI checkpoint or you complain about how inconvenient it is, you’re probably going to run into trouble. Always be courteous with and polite to any law enforcement officer you interact with, even when that officer does not act the same way with you. Any time you are rude or disrespectful to a law enforcement officer, you will draw attention to yourself, and this negative attention can result in an arrest or citation. Overall, you have to stay civil and be polite regardless of the circumstances.
Keep in mind that if you feel an officer has crossed a line, you can take action later. Note the officer’s badge number if you can —or their name, at the very least— and let an attorney know about what happened. They will advise you on the next steps to take to address the officer and what happened.
If you find yourself in hot water after a DUI checkpoint, remember that you still have rights. Speak to a DUI lawyer in Denver, CO about what happened as soon as you can so they can work on defending you and your right to drive.
Thanks to the Law Office of Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into what not to do at a DUI checkpoint.
Survival Action vs. Wrongful Death Claims
The death of a loved one can bring inconsolable pain and sadness to all family and friends. If you believe the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s passing are based on intent or negligence from another person or organization, you could file a legal claim for financial and emotional compensation. There are two common claims for these cases that are statutory under state laws: wrongful death and survival action.
What Is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death claims are focused on the family of the deceased and are commonly governed by three common issues:
- Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit? These lawsuits can only be filed by a personal representative of the estate. This is usually the closest surviving relative but can be anyone appointed by the family.
- How does someone get appointed to represent the estate? Generally, the family appoints a trusted member to represent the estate. However, if the family cannot come to an agreement, or there was no will left by the deceased; then the dispute must go to court.
- What damages are awarded in a wrongful death case? Generally, wrongful death damages are financial support for all beneficiaries. These beneficiaries usually include the spouse, children, close relatives and any other people the deceased financially supported. If a family member can prove the deceased supported them financially, they will receive loss of support for several years.
What Is Survival Action?
Survival action lawsuits are essentially personal injury claims after death. These claims, usually begun before death, can be settled on behalf of the deceased. For example, if someone received an injury due to medical malpractice, they could immediately file a personal injury claim. If they died three days later from the malpractice, the case would still continue under a representative for the estate. Like wrongful death damages, survival action claims usually receive financial support; however, the proceeds pass through the estate first to pay off any debts or mortgages. Anything left is then given to the family.
Who Is Liable?
Since most survival action cases begin as personal injury cases, a wrongful death case can usually be filed at the same time. Since the facts of the case and the liability are identical, many courts chose to combine the two. In either case, an attorney must prove that the death was caused by intent or neglect by someone who had “duty of care.” A few individuals that could be held liable for wrongful death or survival action include:
- Drunk drivers
- Doctors who commit malpractice
- Neglectful nursing staff
- Faulty product manufacturers
In both cases, the liable party must be determined. This could be a very complex process and it’s recommended that you have an attorney, like an injury law firm in Indianapolis, IN, on your side. If you have lost a loved one due to intent or negligence, filing for wrongful death or survival action could help offer closure and support during a very difficult time.
Thank you to the experts at Ward & Ward Law Firm, for their insight into personal injury law.
You never know when the unexpected will happen. A phone call may result in the bad news that your spouse was killed in a work accident. Once it all sinks you, it may seem like an immeasurable pit of despair from which to climb out.
There are many things you have to worry about in the wake of a loved one’s accidental death. One of these things is money. Will you have enough to continue giving your children the kind of life they’re used to? Will you be able to stay in the same house or will you have to move in with family? A wrongful death lawsuit may be able to help you recover financially if you prevail. Take a look at some of the types of damages you may recover if the court says the defendant was responsible for your spouse’s untimely death.
Once the court rules in your favor, the damages phase begins. During this time, you have the chance to submit tangible evidence of the economic impact your spouse’s death took and will continue to take on your family. The court may award you the money to cover things such as:
- Medical expenses associated with the accident
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of income now and in the future
- Loss of medical benefits
Losing someone you love takes a toll. When this person dies due to someone else’s negligent behavior, the emotional trauma may create an even greater strain on the body. These non-economic damages include your pain and suffering (and that of your children), the loss of safety your spouse provided and the loss of love and consortium your spouse provided. The financial compensation a judge awards these intangible expenses may vary based on a few factors.
First, the judge may consider the injuries of the deceased and any suffering they may have experienced. Next, the age of the deceased comes into play. Finally, the court may look at the abject behavior of the negligent party in contributing to the death.
When the parties need to present their sides on how much the plaintiff should receive in damages, there may be expert testimony required. These people may weigh in on things like the projected lifetime earnings of the deceased or the emotional impact on children should the surviving spouse have to return to work after staying home for years.
State laws vary on limits and deadlines, so getting a wrongful death attorney in Minneapolis MN to represent your spouse’s estate may help in the long run.
Thanks to Johnston | Martineau PLLP, Attorneys at Law for their insight into wrongful death claims.
The Swedish furniture retailer Ikea has agreed to pay $46 million to the parents of a toddler who was crushed to death by a recalled dresser in May 2017.
The January 6, 2020 settlement resolves a wrongful death lawsuit from Joleen and Craig Dudek, whose son, Jozef, died after Ikea’s popular Malm dresser toppled on top of him in the family’s California home. In 2016, the company reached a $50 million settlement with the families of three other children who died in similar incidents involving the same model of dresser.
The family sued Ikea in state court in Pennsylvania, where the company’s North America headquarters is located, claiming that Ikea knew the dressers were prone to tipping over but failed to warn customers about the unstable design.
According to court documents, Jozef’s father found the boy pinned under the 70-pound dresser in May 2017, while checking on him during a daytime nap. Lawyers for the family said Jozef died later that day of asphyxia caused by compression of the neck.
Ikea began offering free wall-anchoring kits shortly before it recalled the Malm dressers in June 2016, but plaintiffs’ attorneys said the company had not done enough to notify customers who purchased older versions of the furniture before the recall. The Dudeks, who live in Buena Park, California, bought their dresser in 2008 and said they were never alerted about the recall, the lawyers said.
Jozef’s death was believed to be the only one to occur after the Malm’s recall in 2016.
According to the lawsuit, Ikea was aware of the Malm dresser’s defects but never made any changes and continued to sell the model, despite knowing about safer alternative designs that could have prevented it from tipping over.
“Despite actual knowledge of the risk of serious injury or death associated with Ikea furniture, including the Malm line, that failed to meet minimum stability requirements for tip-over prevention, and actual knowledge that most consumers do not secure chests and dressers to a wall, the Ikea defendants chose to market and sell the Malm line in reckless and wanton disregard of the safety of consumers and their children,” the suit said.
An Ikea spokeswoman confirmed the wrongful death settlement in a statement, saying the company had taken steps to raise awareness about potential tip-overs, including required safety training for employees.
“While no settlement can alter the tragic events that brought us here, for the sake of the family and all involved, we’re grateful that this litigation has reached a resolution,” the spokeswoman said. “We remain committed to working proactively and collaboratively to address this very important home safety issue. Again, we offer our deepest condolences.”
Social Security Lawyer FAQ: Can I file for social security if I have a mental illness?
Applying for social security based upon a mental or cognitive disorder can be difficult, especially when the applicant is not represented by a social security lawyer. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a mental illness, and is unable to work because of it, you should consider hiring a social security lawyer like a social security disability lawyer in Wise, VA.
The Benefits of Hiring a Social Security Lawyer for a Mental Illness
If a lawyer believes you or the applicant meets the criteria for the SSA’s mental disability listings, he or she can draft a pre-hearing briefing. This will include the listing criteria and any evidence that demonstrates you meet this criteria.
- In the event your lawyer believes there is not enough sufficient evidence to prove your mental illness, you may be recommended further psychological or cognitive testing.
- If you have a severe mental illness, but have not received ongoing or consistent medical treatment, your social security lawyer might help you to arrange an exam with a psychologist, psychiatrist, or other doctors.
- If you suffer from cognitive impairment, your lawyer may be able to arrange an intelligence test for you, or ask the SSA to provide it to you at no cost.
Your lawyer can prepare you for questions that may be asked by the judge. How the judge perceives you will be an important deciding factor in whether or not you should get social security benefits for mental illness.
Mental Disability Listings
When a social security claim involves a mental or cognitive impairment, a social security lawyer will need to review the Social Security Administrations Blue Book. This book contains the listed conditions and requirements for meeting these conditions. Often, a certain amount of legal or medical knowledge is needed to understand the listings.
A social security lawyer will understand the language of the listing and how to work alongside the medical professional so that a professional medical opinion is sought. In the event, your doctor is unwilling to work with you, a lawyer might help you to arrange to see a different one. A social security lawyer may also help you to:
- Ensure your medical records are up to date.
- All your records are submitted to the SSA.
- Secure opinions from the necessary medical doctors.
- Arrange for tests to be carried out, such as a neuropsychological exam.
- Request statements from friends.
If any unfavorable evidence exists, such as an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it may be possible for a social security lawyer to mitigate the damages as best as possible. For example, if you failed to get psychological assistance or social security disability and you turned to substances to lessen your anxiety and distress about it, your lawyer may be able to include this in your claim.
Speak with a Social Security Lawyer Today
When you hire a social security lawyer, you can increase the chances of your claim being approved by the Social Security Administration. If you are suffering from a mental or cognitive impairment, and need help with your disability claim, call a social security lawyer now.
Thanks to The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt for their insight into filing for social security disability for mental illness.
Car accidents occur in a variety of situations, and they can be attributed to any number of causes, as a personal injury lawyer in Indianapolis, IN can explain. In many cases, it is the reckless driving of other motorists that are to blame, and the specific type of behavior can dictate the type of crash and the extent of the injuries you suffer. The following provides insight into the kinds of car accidents that occur, the behaviors responsible for them, and the injuries you could suffer.
Common Types of Car Accident Collisions
According to the Insurance Information Institutes, more than six million car accidents occur each year in the United States. These result in serious injuries for nearly two million drivers and their passengers, while proving fatal for over 32,000 others. Among the most common types of crashes reported include:
- Front end collisions: These can occur when a driver hits a telephone pole or tree, as well as when they swerve from their own lane, causing them to collide with others on the road.
- Side-impact collisions: Otherwise knowns as ‘t-bone’ accidents, these occur when one driver directly crashes into the side of the other. They often occur in intersections and when making turns.
- Rear-end collisions: These tend to occur in high traffic conditions when one driver hits into the rear end of the vehicle in front of them.
Car Accident Injuries Based on the Type of Crash
Risky driving behaviors put all motorists at risk and make certain types of car accidents more likely. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the following outlines the most common causes. It also lists the types of collisions they are often responsible for and common injuries that can occur as a result:
Disregarding traffic signs and signals: Running red lights or stop signs increases the risk of side-impact collisions, which can result in soft tissue injuries, broken bones, severe lacerations, and back, neck, or head injuries.
Aggressive driving: Behaviors such as tailgating and failure to yield can result in rear-end collisions, increasing your risks for whiplash, broken bones, and head injuries.
Distracted driving: Using cell phones, texting, or engaging in any activity that distracts you from the task of driving increases the likelihood for all types of accidents and injuries.
Speeding: Going over the speed limit or driving too fast for conditions also increases your general car accident risks. The higher the rate of speed, the greater the potential for fatal injuries, such as crushing injuries that result in internal bleeding, and head or spinal cord injuries that can be fatal.
Thanks to Ward & Ward Law Firm for their insight into personal injury cases.