Can Medical Malpractice Cause a Birth Injury?

The birth of a child is usually a happy experience. It is a time to be remembered and cherished by parents, family members and friends. In the United States, the vast majority of children are born healthy and without significant complications.

However, this is not always the case. In some circumstances, children are born with serious injuries or medical complications. Some complications are known risks of childbirth that cannot be avoided. Unfortunately, in some cases, birth injuries are caused by medical mistakes. If your child suffered an injury at birth, you should consult with a Philadelphia birth injury lawyer who can help you investigate the reason for injury. If a birth injury was caused by medical malpractice, your child may be entitled to compensation for his or her pain and suffering, medical bills, future medical bills, as well as anticipated wage loss and other care that he/she may need to accommodate for this injury in the future.

Two common type of birth injuries are commonly caused by medical malpractice are cerebral palsy and Erb’s Palsy.

Cerebral Palsy: This condition is caused because of there is a disruption in the development of the child’s brain, such as lack of oxygen during childbirth, and can result in difficulties with movement and other cognitive impairments. Cerebral palsy can cause symptoms including as tightness of muscles which result in limited movement.

Erb’s Palsy is a medical condition which can be caused by medical malpractice. Era’s palsy results from injury to the network of nerves in the shoulder area that transmit signals from the spinal cord to the hands and arms. Era’s Palsy is also known as Erb-Duchenne Palsy. Erg-Duchenne Palsy is a type of birth injury to the brachial plexus that can be caused by medical malpractice. This is among the most commonplace and severe types of shoulder dystocia injuries.

Erb’s Palsy injuries can occur during the strain of childbirth when the baby’s shoulder gets caught and pulled forcefully behind the mother’s pelvic bone. When the shoulder is trapped in this position, the brachial plexus may become compressed, stretched or torn resulting in brachial plexus palsy.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Wieand Law Firm for their insight into birth injury and medical malpractice.

Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only and is not legal advice.


Establishing Fault in a Truck Accident

It is no secret that the trucking industry is responsible for billions of dollars in revenue each year. Drive down any highway and you will no doubt see dozens of large tractor-trailers traveling right alongside with you. Even city and town roads have hundreds of these massive vehicles delivering goods every day. But it is also no secret that that the trucking industry is also responsible for thousands of truck crashes each year, with many of these accidents resulting in death and catastrophic injuries for the victims.

We have successfully worked for countless victims and their families in obtaining the financial compensation they deserved for their injuries. Each truck accident attorney at our firm has built a solid reputation as skilled negotiators and litigators, willing to aggressively advocate for each client in getting them the compensation they were entitled to for their injuries and losses.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Truck Crashes?

There are a number of reasons why truck accidents happen, but federal data shows that approximately 90 percent of all truck accidents are caused by:

  •       Truck driver fatigue
  •       Speeding by the truck driver
  •       Truck driver operating while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs

The remaining 10 percent of all tractor-trailer crashes are caused by poor road conditions, bad weather, poorly maintained vehicle, and other reasons.

Although the majority of truck accidents are the result of negligent actions or behaviors of the truck driver, these are still complex cases to pursue and require the legal expertise and experience of a truck accident attorney. It is not uncommon for there to be compounding fault.

For example, the crash itself may have been caused by driver fatigue, however, the truck driver may have been under pressure to ignore federal regulations for drive/rest time because the trucking company created an impossible delivery schedule for the driver to adhere to.

Another example would be a truck driver who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash. A truck accident attorney will investigate to see if the driver had history of substance abuse, as well as how often the trucking company performs random drug testing on their drivers.

In each of the above scenarios, not only would the truck driver be at-fault, but the trucking company would, as well.

Why You Should Speak with a Truck Accident Attorney

When a victim has been injured in a truck accident, it is not uncommon for the insurance company to try to quickly settle the case. They are aware that truck accident injuries often end up requiring future and long-term medical care. By getting victims to settle quickly, before the victim may know the full extent and prognosis of their injuries, the insurance company not only leaves the victim without the means to cover their expenses in the future, they also are absolved from any future medical complications that could arise. If you or someone near you is a victim, contact an attorney with expertise such as a truck accident lawyer Central Phoenix, AZ trusts to ensure that you are being compensated fairly.


Thank you to Kamper Estrada, LLP for providing insight on establishing fault in a truck accident.


Can I Receive Medical Treatment Without Health Insurance?

Accidents often occur when you least expect them. Health insurance ensures that when accidents do happen unexpectedly, you have a financial safety net to help with medical costs. Unfortunately, not everyone has health insurance when an accident occurs. Whether in between policies, waiting for a policy to commence or just unable to afford health insurance, an accident victim with no insurance is often faced with difficulties beyond their injuries. If you require medical attention of some sort, you may wonder if treatment is possible without having health insurance.

Whether you can receive treatment without having insurance often depends on the situation, as well as the state legislation. If you have already been denied medical treatment, you should contact a medical malpractice attorney who can help determine if the refusal of treatment was lawful. If a doctor refused to perform treatment that was legally required, you may have grounds for a lawsuit.

Doctor’s Legal Rights to Perform Treatment

The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) states that medical professionals are required to treat injured patients despite their inability to pay. If a victim has injuries that require treatment, then a doctor cannot legally deny treatment. There are, however, some reasons a doctor may legally refuse treatment. The most obvious reason would be that the doctor does not treat the specific condition that is presented. Other common reasons a doctor can refuse treatment to an individual include:

  •         Absence of an illness or injury that needs treatment
  •         The patient has a substance addiction and is requesting certain medication
  •         The patient is considered dangerous and is capable of harming themselves or others
  •         The medical facility or practice does not have capacity of availability for more patients

Emergency Room Treatment

Under the EMTALA, emergency departments are legally required to stabilize and treat patients are required to treat patients regardless of whether they have health insurance. While everyone must be treated, emergency rooms are often busy, so emergency care uses a triage system to determine which patient are in need or immediate care. This can result in long waits for many patients. Some patients may even leave because they feel they did not receive treatment in a timely manner. Though they were not actually denied treatment, it may appear as so if the wait resulted in the patient leaving.

Hiring an Attorney

If you were denied medical treatment and your injury or illness worsens, you may be entitled to compensation. In any case, you should contact an attorney if you were refused treatment. They can review the case to determine whether the denial of treatment was within the legal rights of the medical professional. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you build a strong case and improve your chances of recovering compensation for your illness or injuries. Contact hospital injury lawyers Memphis TN if you need any further consultation or have any questions.

Thanks to Darrell Castle and Associates, PLLC for providing insight on medical treatment without health insurance.


brain injury lawyer Miami FL

Early Signs That a Baby Suffered a Brain Injury At Birth

Brain damage during birth is a serious medical condition that affects countless newborns annually. According to the Brain Injury Association of America and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are a leading cause of permanent disability and death for infants and children. As one of the most serious birth injuries, this type of trauma can affect a child throughout his or her entire life and it may negatively affect the ability to grow and develop normally.


A brain injury can occur for a number of reasons. The baby may have been deprived of oxygen during a prolonged delivery, had the brain compressed in the birth canal, or suffered a blunt force trauma during a delivery that required a forceps extraction. It is important that you recognize the signs of a brain injury — even though some symptoms may not appear for years after the traumatic event.


Early Signs of a Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury


The particular symptoms and their severity will vary with each child. Some symptoms of a TBI may appear shortly after birth and can be detected by observing your child’s behavior and appearance. These signs may include:


  • Abnormal temperament and excessive crying
  • Problems eating
  • Difficulty sleeping lying down
  • Unusual facial features; a large forehead and an abnormally small head
  • Difficulty focusing the eyes
  • Other signs include a deformed spine, seizures, and neck stiffness


Developmental Delays


As your child grows older, he or she may experience developmental delays. Some babies do not begin to smile, crawl, or walk during the typical development time period. Because many babies do not achieve certain developmental milestones at the same time, it is important that you have a physician determine if the delays could be caused by a TBI.


Cognitive delays could include difficulties with attention, concentration, and controlling impulses. Your child may also experience problems with language development as well as the ability to process memories and information. These symptoms may not be readily apparent until the child enters school. The brain injury may manifest as attention deficit disorder, Asperger’s syndrome or autism. The problems can also be perceptual and physical.


  • Perceptual symptoms are difficult to diagnose, but they may include spatial disorientation, changes in hearing or vision and a heightened sensitivity to pain.
  • Physical symptoms may become more apparent as the child grows older. These include headaches, extreme fatigue and sleeping disorders as well as light sensitivity, tremors and paralysis.


Know Your Rights


Brain trauma is a rare event. When it does occur, it is often caused by medical negligence. As a parent, you have a right to know what happened and whether the accident could have been prevented. If your child’s trauma was the result of medical negligence, you may be eligible for a settlement that covers your child’s medical expenses.


If you suspect that your child has a TBI that may have been caused during delivery, it is important that you consult with a birth injury lawyer to fully understand your rights. Birth injury lawsuits are complex and often require a specific expertise. Our experienced legal team may determine the best course of action to help you receive the just compensation that your family deserves.


Contact Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. today for a free consultation at 786-460-7030 or use our contact form here.


Five Reasons Your Airbag May Not Deploy

In the event of a car accident, there can be cause serious repercussions if the airbag does not deploy properly. Airbags are one of the most vital safety features in automobiles. Any defects in the manufacturing or design can result in a deploy failure.

An airbag working correctly can greatly increase the chances of a driver being able to walk away from the car collision. You may be wondering why an airbag may not deploy, especially when it is needed the most. Failure of an airbag to release can happen due to a variety of reasons, including any of the following listed below.

Nature of the Collision

The kind of collision can be a huge factor in whether an airbag deploys or not. Depending on where exactly the car was hit, airbag sensors may not have been triggered. For example, frontal airbags may not release in rollovers, side, or rear car crashes. The location of the impact is more of a determinant of if the airbag will release than the vehicle speed at time of collision. Frontal airbags should deploy in moderate to more severe crashes when the car is hit in the front bumper or corners.

Faulty Airbag Sensors

It is possible the airbag sensors did not detect the impact due to a manufacturer error. An airbag must be tested for defects in design, sensors, calibration, and software. In some scenarios, there may have been a lack of airbag sensors placed in the car to accurately detect the crash. Unfortunately, a manufacturer may have tried to save money by cutting corners when it came to airbag effectiveness and driver safety.

Severed Wiring

Airbag failures can happen if the manufacturer routed wires between areas in the car that are susceptible to being cut off in the event of a car crash. By installing wires into vulnerable areas, it can impair the airbag ability to detect and deploy when needed.

Poorly Designed Electrical Components

Airbag failures may be caused due to poorly designed electrical components and faulty steering column clock springs. This can often be seen in collisions where one or two airbags successfully deploy, but another fails to release.

Flawed Airbag Modules

Flawed modules of the airbag can contribute to airbag firing failure. In some cases, impact signals worked properly and airbags were deployed, but there was no response from the airbag module. This can happen because of design defects, and poor quality control protocols of manufacturers.

Airbag manufacturers and other companies have a legal duty to create safe technology that is intended to save the life of drivers who endure car collisions. When purchasing a car, consumers assume safety equipment including the airbag, has been properly tested and works effectively. If an airbag fails to deploy, it can cause severe injuries such as spine, neck, head and internal injuries. Many people choose to consult with an attorney, like a skilled Milwaukee personal injury lawyer trusts, if their airbag didn’t deploy during a substantial car collision. An attorney can help you decide if your airbag may have failed due to manufacturer negligence.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Hickey & Turim, SC for their insight into car accident practice.

Negligence in a Personal Injury Case

The basis of most personal injury cases is negligence. Essentially, the personal injury case is to establish that an injury was caused by someone else’s fault for the accident. Negligence can sometimes be difficult to understand so it can be easily explained by using duty of care.

Duty of care is simply the responsibility of one person to not injure another person. In order to win a personal injury case, the first point that must be proven is that someone else was negligent. In order for another person to be considered negligent, it must be proven that they were a duty of care in the situation in which the injury took place. Once it is established the other person was a duty of care, the injured person will have to prove how the defendant (the other person in the situation) breached their duty of care. After it can be proven that there was a breach in the duty of care, the injured person must show they suffered injuries directly related to the breach.

In a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff (the injured person) needs to show that something the defendant did or did not do something that failed to reach the expected level of care in the situation. The basis of what is the standard amount of care for each situation depends on different situations. Here are some examples of reasonable care for different situations:

Traffic Accident: Anyone operating a car has the legal obligation to drive their car with care. This includes taking outside factors, including traffic, visibility, and weather, into consideration when operating the vehicle.

Slip and Fall Accident: A business or property owner is legally obligated to keep their building free from known risks and they must remedy any found dangers within a reasonable amount of time.

Medical Malpractice: A doctor has the legal duty to provide the same level of skill and care in a treatment that another reasonably competent doctor or health care provide would act while enduring similar circumstances.

Defective Products: The seller, manufacturer, and distributor of a consumer product have the legal obligation to create and distribute products that do not have any unexpected or unreasonable dangers to the purchasers.

After the plaintiff has been able to establish duty of care, the plaintiff’s attorney needs to show exactly what the defendant did or did not do that made their behavior inappropriate or unreasonable for the circumstance. In some instances, the plaintiff may have taken part in causing their own injuries, along with the defendant’s negligence. In most states if this is the case, the plaintiff’s awarded compensation could be lessened by the amount that equivalates to the percentage that it was their own fault. In some states, however, if the plaintiff is found to be even slightly responsible for the accident, they will not be able to receive any compensation from other defendants. This is known as a system called contributory negligence. The final step in a personal injury case after proving negligence is to show how the plaintiff was injured by the defendant’s inaction or action.


If you have any questions about negligence in your case, contact a personal injury lawyer Cheyenne, WY, residents recommend for aid.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Cannon Hadfield Stieben & Doutt for their insight into personal injury law.


Will Homeowners Insurance Cover a Slip and Fall Accident?

If a person is injured in a slip and fall accident on residential property, the homeowner may be held liable. In such case, the homeowner would be responsible for compensating the victim for any injuries and damages suffered in the accident. Liability, however, depends on numerous factors and can vary by situation. If liable, home insurance may cover the accident. Certain limitations and exclusions may apply so it’s important to learn the terms of the insurance policy.

Premise Liability

A homeowner has a duty to provide some safe premises to every person that enters the property. This is what is referred to as premise liability. Any area of the property that is open or likely to be visited by a person should be free of any unsafe or hazardous conditions. If a slip and fall accident were to occur, the homeowner can be held liable if:

  1. They are responsible for the unsafe condition.
  2. They knew or should have known about the condition.
  3. They had enough time to correct the condition.

Premise liability is still dependent on a few other factors, such as the status of the person entering the property. For example, someone invited onto the property is owed a greater duty of care than a trespasser. In some states, however, a homeowner can be held liable for the injuries of a trespasser on the property under certain conditions.

Homeowners’ Insurance

Homeowners insurance will typically step in when legal action is brought forward after a slip and fall accident and the homeowner is found liable. The only exception is if the fall was caused purposely or maliciously, in which case the insurance company will usually not cover the fall.

Types of Accidents Covered by Homeowners’ Insurance

Most injuries and property damage will be taken care of by liability coverage within the homeowners’ insurance policy as long as negligence by the homeowner is proven. Accidents that are likely to be included in liability coverage include those caused by:

  •         Wet or slippery walkways
  •         Stairs that are not up to building codes
  •         Stairs with loose boards, foreign objects, no handrails, shallow or uneven steps
  •         Flooring, rugs, or carpet that are uneven, frayed, loose, have holes
  •         Broken or uneven sidewalks or walkways

What to do After a Slip and Fall Accident

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident at another person’s home there are several steps to take if you intend to recover damages. A successful claim requires proof of the accident, the cause of the accident and the injuries that occurred from the accident. You should first document the accident and the scene of the accident, especially the specific condition that caused the fall. This can be done by taking photos, videos and writing down the events that led to the accident. It is also wise to obtain any witness testimony of the accident. In addition, you will need to gather all medical records and bills regarding the injury. It is important to hire a slip and fall accident lawyer such as the Personal Injury Lawyer Salt Lake City UT locals turn to who can help you build a strong case An experienced lawyer will help you take the necessary steps to increase your chances of obtaining compensation for your injuries and damages.


Thanks to authors at Rasmussen & Miner for their insight into Personal Injury Law.

Reasons You Need an Attorney for a Deposition

When a person considers the court process, it is common for them to envision it in the traditional sense of judge, jury and trials. In fact, court proceedings can require far more steps than what is typically played out in the news or on television.

Pre Trial Depositions

Depositions are part of a pre trial testimony that calls an expert witness to testify regarding the case. Court reporting companies are responsible for transcribing the contents of the testimony during a deposition; which usually will occur in an attorney’s office or conference room. There are pros and cons to a person going through the deposition process. One challenge being that the witness will be committed to the position or recommendation they make during a the duration of the legal process. One benefit to a deposition is that it could bring up a conversation regarding settlement. You will be asked if you would like to have an attorney present because pre trial depositions are considered to be legal proceedings. You may have to endure this process whether you are a defendant or plaintiff in a lawsuit. The outcome of your trial could be impacted negatively if there are inconsistencies in your statement. Although you have the ability to represent yourself, it is not advised to proceed with a deposition without legal representation. There will be questions asked of you by the opposing counsel that may be difficult to answer. Being able to prepare for deposition with practice questions and being coached through the process by an attorney will be helpful.

Witness Testimony

You should consider hiring an attorney to represent you if you have been called as a witness for a case. This is simply a way of protecting your rights, regardless of whether or not you are directly involved with the case. Your family, your employer and yourself could be impacted if you do not have an attorney present to represent you. Questions can be tricky and designed specifically to trip you up, because you must testify under oath, it is important that you are prepared for testimony. An attorney will be of great help because anything you say can be used against you.

Support from Your Employer

It can be an intimidating process to be called to testify. You can ask that your employer pay for legal counsel if you have been summoned to court to testify on part of your employer. Since you are testifying to the benefit of your employer, your employer may comply because it is in their best interest. They may either reimburse you once you have testified or directly pay an attorney.  

If you have questions contact one of the court reporting companies Washington, D.C., respects to get help.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Veritext Legal Solutions for their insight into depositions.


Birth Injury Lawyer Fort Lauderdale FL

Brachial Plexus Injuries in Newborns- Bad Luck or Medical Negligence?

By Andrew Needle

Needle & Ellenberg, P.A.


Brachial plexus injuries in newborns can be catastrophic, life altering, life long, physical impairments for the new born. Brachial plexus injuries (commonly described as a “palsy”) have an incidence of 1.5 cases per 1000 live births and have not declined despite recent advances in obstetrics. Brachial plexus injury is the classic injury following shoulder dystocia. In a shoulder dystocia, the fetal shoulder gets stuck under the mother’s pubic symphysis. Birth weight is believed to be the most important fetal factor for shoulder dystocia. A birth weight higher than 4.5 kg carries a ten-fold risk increase for brachial plexus injury. Gestational diabetes is frequently related to this causing a more massive fetus with a thicker body making transit past the pubic symphysis more difficult. Other maternal risk factors include obesity, a short stature, and a history of prior shoulder dystocia deliveries.


Medical description of the brachial plexus injury goes back to ancient times with the modern description dating to the latter part of the 19th Century. The brachial plexus consists of the nerve roots of spinal cord segments C5, C6, C7, C8, and T1. Brachial plexus injuries usually fall into the two major groups of Erb’s palsy and Klumpke’s palsy. The Erb’s Palsy involves injury to the upper trunk of the brachial plexus (nerve roots C5 through C7). This palsy affects the muscles of the upper arm and causes abnormal positioning of the scapula: “winging”. Muscles of the wrist that are controlled by C6 may also be affected. The Klumpke’s palsy involves lower trunk lesions from nerve roots C7, C8, and T1. This is the more severe of the injuries causing the elbow to become flexed and the forearm into a palm up position with a claw like deformity of the hand. Only a limited sense of the degree of injury can be assessed by physical exam and clinical observation of the baby’s movement limitations; and the full extent of the injury and the specific locations of the lesion causing injury can only be determined by surgical exploration of the brachial plexus at the time of a reparative procedure.


There is a school of thought that all brachial plexus injuries during birth are avoidable and are the product of either excessive traction on the baby’s head by the obstetrician or the use of fundal pressure by labor and delivery nurses which further jams the shoulder into the pubic symphysis in combination with excessive traction. Multiple techniques are available to the obstetrician  or mid wife to free the shoulder without exerting undue and excessive traction stretching, pulling, and even avulsing the nerve roots.


As a likely response to the avoidability of the brachial plexus injury and the consequent lawsuits for the deviations from the standard of care by the delivering health care professional, beginning in the late 1990s, medical researchers looking for ways to defend against the claims began developing an alternative causation theory for obstetric brachial plexus injuries. This so-called intrauterine causation theory opines that the intrauterine forces during delivery cause the brachial plexus injury—as opposed to the traction used by the health care provider on the fetal head. It has been traditionally thought that most brachial plexus injuries result from stretching of the nerves of the brachial plexus during delivery.


The competing theories have had implications for parents whose child has been delivered with the injury in the form of greater contest of medical malpractice claims and the need by the claimant’s attorney to “de-bunk” this junk science created to excuse the negligent physician or mid-wife. These cases should only be handled by experienced medical malpractice attorneys fully familiar with the injury and its causes.

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Has Your Vehicle’s Airbag Been Recalled?

Following Takata’s announcement in 2013 that some of their airbags were defective, tens of millions of vehicle’s airbags have been recalled.  These airbags have been found to be incredibly dangerous, with at least 11 known deaths and 184 injuries in the U.S.

These airbags are known to have faulty inflator and propellant devices that, even in minor fender benders, can defect and fire shrapnel into the car’s cabin.

Look through this list and check if your vehicle’s make and model have been affected.  You can also check your VIN here as another precaution:

If your vehicle is affected, please contact your local dealer for an immediate replacement.  Stay safe and raise awareness to your friends and family to check their vehicle as well.


car accident lawyer Miami FL

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, contact a car accident lawyer Miami FL trusts, Needle & Ellenberg, P.A.