Understanding Wrong-Site Surgeries

Wrong-site surgery is a dangerous form of medical malpractice and, unfortunately, affects far too many patients every year. Medical malpractice is a broad term, and wrong-site surgery is only one subset of it, but medical malpractice can generally be understood as any behavior on the part of a medical practitioner that could be seen as an omission or mistake and that results in injury to a patient.  Naturally, surgery that occurs on the wrong part of a person’s body can cause all kinds of medical problems, including serious injuries and illnesses. Wrong site surgery is a complex topic, and you can learn more about wrong-site surgery here. However, we have provided an overview of this serious and complex topic below.

Breaking Down Wrong-Site Surgeries

A “wrong site” can refer to any body part, but this type of surgical error is generally divided into three categories. These categories, and examples of each, include:

Surgery on the wrong “side.” — A person was supposed to have surgery on his right eye, but the surgery was performed on his left eye instead.
Surgery on the right “side” but wrong spot. — A surgeon operated on the correct side of a person’s body, but on the incorrect specific location.
Incorrect surgical procedure. — A surgeon gets the side and location correct, but performs the wrong procedure on that body part.

Any one of these mistakes could be costly, both physically and financially. A victim might be left with even more medical ailments than he or she had prior to the incident of malpractice, and might also be facing financial costs associated with further medical treatment needed to correct this mistake.  However, if a medical practitioner like a surgeon makes a critical mistake, like wrong-site surgery, victims may have options for pursuing financial compensation to help them with the many losses they have been forced to endure.

Elderly Woman Dead in Unfortunate Escalator Accident

With all of the world’s dangers daily commuters face today, from speeding vehicles to deadly train collisions, none are more rare and unfortunate than death by an escalator. CBSNEWS posted news of an 88-year-old woman in Long Island who was strangled to death when her clothes caught in an escalator. While on her way to visit her daughter in Manhattan, the woman walked to the train station and took an escalator at the Long Island Railroad Station in Lindenhurst. After falling on the escalator her clothing became tangled and suffocated her.  Neighbors described the woman as a very friendly person. She frequently visited her daughter but most likely never expected her life to end with an escalator accident. As unfortunate as this accident was, such events occur in United States once in a while. Our condolences go out to the woman’s daughter, who must be in shock at this time.

While a full investigation is still under way, there is no clear responsible party yet. Commuters say the escalator was often out of service, while the rail road company says it’s been maintained properly and remained in a “good operating condition”.  No matter the actual cause of this incident, I think we can all agree that this occurrence is downright freaky and left other daily commuters thinking about their safety today. The last thing that crosses our mind when we think about our ultimate demise is suffocating by an escalator. However, these things do happen and when they do, we often try to react to the circumstances instead of thinking about possible dangers proactively.  Does your daily commute involve taking an escalator or two? Mine does, and you can bet that I’ll be thinking twice before rushing my way up the escalator – if not for my own safety then the safety of others.

Injury Attorneys Send a Message for Wrongdoing

Each year personal injury cases pay out billions of dollars to those injured by no fault of their own. Whether they suffered their injuries at home, at work or while on the road these injuries were no fault of their own and result in a rather large personal injury payout to cover medical expenses, loss of work, other financial expenses as well as to provide them with a more financially stable future in as compensation for the pain and suffering they may have experienced as a result of their injury.  While personal injury lawyers usually get a bad reputation from uninformed citizens, they are paramount to keeping large corporations and the medical industry in check.  “Frivolous lawsuits is a term coined by the insurance industry to gain advantageous laws and blame attorneys for high insurance rates” said Matthew R. Clark, an injury attorney for the Clark Law Office based in Lansing, Michigan.  Even if the injured victim is unable to collect the award, a powerful message can be sent to the rest of the world as in the case of Robbie Middleton.

The Largest Personal Injury Case Award in the United States

In the United States the biggest personal injury case award was that of Robbie Middleton who was attacked on his eighth birthday, June 28, 1998, when he was walking through a wooded area in Splendora, Texas. Robbie’s attack was horrific, gasoline was poured over his body and he was lit on fire. A neighbor found the boy and immediately called the police. Surprisingly, having been burned over 99% of his body, Robbie survived his injuries. However he died 12 short years later due to skin cancer than his family’s lawyers argued was due to his burns and skin grafts.  Robbie Middleton’s family sued Donald Collins for this heinous crime, pouring gasoline over their son’s body and lighting him on fire. Shortly after Robbie Middleton’s death a La Grange, Texas jury awarded Robbie’s family with $150 Billion dollars for damages. While Robbie’s family won this personal injury case against Collins he has never been criminally prosecuted for this crime. The family is choosing to use this money to fund the investigation and prosecution of Collins.

This is one of the largest personal injury cases in the United States. The $150 Billion dollars that Robbie’s family was awarded from his personal injury case will not take away the pain and suffering he experienced or ease the pain his family has experienced throughout his recovery and then death, but it will help his family to have closure on what has happened to their beloved Robbie.

Attorneys Tip the Scales in Your Favor

While not every victim wins their personal injury case those that do are offered comfort knowing that what they went through, be it painful and traumatic, it will be financially compensated showing the wrongdoing of the other individual. There have been billions of dollars paid out for personal injury cases, if you have suffered an injury at no fault of your own contact an attorney to seek financial compensation and a form of closure on your personal injury.

Wrongful Death: Avoidable Accidents

Accidents That Could Have Been Avoided

One example of a wrongful death case is the Philadelphia duck boat accident of 2010 that killed two young Hungarian tourists on the Delaware River. The tourist boat was carrying 37 people when it collided with a barge. The accident was avoidable, although the company that operated the popular ride had done little to enforce safety on each voyage. The families of the 16- and 20-year-olds who died in the accident pursued the duck boat company for compensation. The wrongful death cases ended up settling outside the courtroom in 2012 for $17 million.

Another case involved the shooting death of Erik Scott at a Costco in 2010. Scott was an employee of Costco, where he was shopping, rather than working, the day of his death. Scott entered the Costco carrying his registered concealed handgun, when he was told he could not shop with the gun in the store. Scott’s family and their attorney say that when another employee phoned police about Scott carrying the weapon in the store, the caller exaggerated descriptions of Scott’s actions, demeanor and intentions. After Scott reportedly raised his gun at police officers, they shot and killed him. The lawsuit remains pending.  Finally, the most well-known and recent example of wrongful death in the news takes place on the famous Italian cruise ship that sank off the coast of Italy in early 2012. Ultimately, 32 people lost their lives that day, and many more were injured due to the negligence of the ship’s captain, Francesco Schettino. Not only did Schettino navigate the Costa Concordia too close to the reef, but he also failed to follow protocol and abandoned his ship with passengers still stranded aboard.  Since that time, more and more families of the victims aboard the ship have been seeking legal counsel in an effort to recover compensation for physical, emotional and financial losses related to the accident. Although many families of the deceased have already filed suit, many more are expected to come forward in future. The suits are generally expected to name the ship’s captain and the ship’s owner — a subsidiary of Carnival Cruise Lines — as defendants.

What to Do Following a Loss

Knowing what to do if you or someone you know loses a loved one at the fault of another person or company is paramount to recovering retribution for your losses. Financial compensation is legally and rightfully available to the families of wrongful death victims — but only if you take the right course of action. It is important to contact a wrongful death attorney immediately following a loss. A personal injury and wrongful death attorney understands the legal rights of wrongful death victims and will relentlessly pursue just compensation on your behalf.

Five Common Workplace Dangers You Didn’t Know About

When you head into work every day, you probably don’t think about the fact that you could get hurt while you are at work. In fact, the workplace is actually a lot more hazardous than you think. There are many dangers lurking that could injure or even kill you if you are not aware of them. In order to stay safe while you are working, keep these five common workplace hazards in mind.
1. Tripping Hazards

One of the most common types of injury at work occurs when someone falls. There are many things that can cause a fall, but one of the most common culprits is a tripping hazard. This could be a loose electrical cord, a coworker’s foot or a misplaced garbage can. It is always a good idea to keep workplaces clean and organized, with good open circulation space.
2. Wet Floors

Another common cause of workplace falls is a wet spot on the floor. This can happen in a number of ways. The most common cause is a wet floor after it is mopped. Someone could spill a beverage creating a wet spot. Dripping shoes that track in rain or snow could also cause wet spots in the floor.
3. Combustible Dust

This is most common in manufacturing workplaces and construction areas. When things are being made, little particles of dust get thrown up into the air. Under the right conditions, this combustible dust could ignite. These flash fires from combustible dust are potentially lethal, which means that you should conduct regular testing to make sure the workplace is safe.
4. Loud Noises

While this is not a lethal hazard, that doesn’t mean it should not be taken seriously. Loud noises in the workplace can cause permanent hearing damage that will significantly impact the quality of a person’s life. In order to prevent hearing damage, all workers in noisy workplaces should wear ear protection.
5. Lifting Injuries

Another very common workplace injury occurs when people lift heavy things improperly. This is a workplace injury that can happen in nearly any workplace from a manufacturing center to an office. The key to avoiding these injuries is to make sure workers are trained in proper lifting techniques.

How Much Liability Insurance Is Enough in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Maybe you should have blamed the postman. After all, if he hadn’t put your neighbor’s mail in your box, you’d have never walked over there. And if you hadn’t walked over there, you never would have grabbed that broken stair railing. And if you hadn’t grabbed that broken stair railing, you wouldn’t have fallen, shattering your elbow when you landed.  Luckily, your attorney told you, your neighbor has a good home insurance policy, with adequate personal liability coverage to handle your lawsuit. It makes filing a lawsuit a little more palatable.  But by the same token, the situation has you thinking: What if the situation had been reversed? Would I be covered if someone gets injured on my property?  What is covered under a standard homeowners policy?

Standard home insurance policies typically include six types of coverage:

  1. Dwelling coverage protects the structure of your house from such specified perils as wind, hail and fire.
  2. Other structures coverage protects other buildings on the property, including detached garages and sheds.
  3. Personal property and contents coverage protects what’s inside your home – your electronics, clothing and other possessions.
  4. Loss of use coverage helps pay your expenses if you must relocate while your home is being repaired, after being damaged or destroyed by a covered peril.
  5. Medical payments coverage helps if someone is injured on your property and decides not to sue. This part of your policy will cover medical costs.
  6. Personal liability coverage provides protection if you or a member of your household causes an injury or property damage to another and they bring a lawsuit against you. This portion of your policy covers legal fees, court costs and any money awarded to the victim- up to the limits in your policy.

Why add the personal liability coverage limit?

Remember, you’ll still be responsible for any damages against you that exceed your liability limit. That $100,000 limit can be eaten up pretty quickly – particularly if a jury decides to award punitive damages in addition to medical expenses, lost wages and legal fees. That’s why many homeowners bulk coverage up to $300,000 or even $500,000. If you’re still not satisfied that you have enough coverage, you can purchase a personal liability umbrella policy.Face it: An accident can occur on your property at any time. Think about the toys that your kids leave in the driveway or potential hazards that could crop up without your being aware of them.

Remember, you didn’t want to sue your neighbor for his mistake, and someone who has an accident on your property might not WANT to sue, either. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen. You should take steps to be fully prepared if it ever does.  The Insurance Information Institute (III) recommends that you review your policy every six months to make sure it still meets your needs. Now might be the perfect time to review your personal liability coverage and evaluate whether you’re covered as well as you should be.

The Harsh Reality of Birth Injuries

Everyone wants their child to be born safely and without any injuries. Unfortunately, at times, this is not the case. Statistics shows that 29 out every 1,000 children born in the United States sustain birth related injuries. The most prevalent causes of injuries during birth include:

• Prolonged labor
• Small pelvis
• Delayed labor
• Size or positioning of the baby while in the womb
• Negligence from the medical staff assisting with the birth

As depressing as it may sound, children born with birth defects end up living with lifetime challenges and disability, with a good number dying prematurely.

Incidences of Birth Injuries

The most common injuries at birth include nerve damage, bleeding and nerve fractures as well as brain trauma. Additionally, the infant’s skull may swell as a result of the pressure subjected to the scalp during delivery. The bleeding between the skull and its fibrous covering may lead to head injury.  In most instances, these is a likelihood of babies born with the help of forceps, cesarean section or vacuum extraction sustaining cuts on the face or head. Equally, if the positioning of the baby in womb leads to compression of the facial nerve, it is likely that the baby will be born with a deformity.  When the mother experiences delayed or prolonged labor, the baby may sustain injuries to the arms. Again, if the mom has difficulties delivering the baby’s shoulders, fractures to the collar bone may occur.  In other cases, it is critical that the infant is supplied with enough amounts of oxygen. Failure to do so may result in the baby developing complications. In such incidences, it may take resuscitation of the baby to avoid organ damage, coma or seizures.


Problems Associated with Birth Injuries

While not every kid who develops injuries at birth will have complications later on in life, majority suffer from severe conditions such as cerebral palsy, delayed development and inability to learn. Failed attempts to resuscitate a baby at birth may result in death.

Birth Injuries are Avoidable

As gloomy as the reality may be, birth defects can be avoided. Most babies who suffer injuries at birth would have been healthier had the trauma not occurred. As a matter of fact, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) conducted a survey that determined up to 157,000 injuries that occur during birth could be avoided.

When Birth Injuries Occur, What are Your Options?

If your child sustains injuries at birth, he or she may end up being disabled for the rest of their life. In essence, this translates to continual medical assistance for life and the care costs could run into hundreds of thousands of dollars.  In such situations, get in touch with an experienced birth injury lawyer to help establish if the standard of care was breached during delivery. The standard of care stipulates that doctors exercise diligence when handling their patients. If it is determined that the injury of the child was as a result of the doctor’s negligence, the lawyer can help you get compensated for damages and financial loss.  While you may not place any monetary value on the anguish caused by birth defects, financial compensation can help you meet the needs of the child for a long time. Be sure to contact a personal injury lawyer in your locality to discuss the way forward.