Injuries That Cause Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder consisting of a number of symptoms that can limit physical movement or speech. In most cases, children are born with the disorder from an unknown cause. In other cases, medical negligence played a role in the development of cerebral palsy before, during, or after the birth.

Injuries That Can Lead to Cerebral Palsy

Injuries that can lead to the development of cerebral palsy usually involve some form of brain trauma. Pregnancy and birth-related injuries may involve:

  • The failure to diagnose or properly treat certain pregnancy conditions, such as a prolapsed umbilical cord
  • The failure to diagnose or properly treat certain physical illnesses or infections during pregnancy
  • The failure to adequately monitor fetal heart rate during labor and birth
  • The mismanagement of the birth of a baby too large for the birth canal
  • Negligent use of medical equipment
  • The failure to perform a Cesarean section once the surgery is deemed necessary

Birth-Related Causes

When a baby’s brain is deprived of oxygen for a period of time, cerebral palsy can result. This can occur during the birthing process, particularly if a baby is too large to travel through the birth canal or if the umbilical cord becomes prolapsed. A prolapsed umbilical cord means the baby’s weight or position compresses the cord, diminishing the flow of oxygen from the mother to the baby.

An emergency Cesarean section may be necessary in these situations. At this point, doctors need to move quickly to perform the procedure in order to stop the oxygen deprivation as soon as possible. If the medical team failed to see the prolapsed cord or properly monitor the fetal heart rate, which can alert them to a problem, the Cesarean section may not be performed in time to prevent the brain damage associated with cerebral palsy.

Pregnancy-Related Causes

If a pregnant woman has an illness or infection, such as chickenpox, meningitis, or rubella, and the condition is not diagnosed or treated appropriately, the infections can cause cerebral palsy in the fetus. Similarly, exposure to certain chemicals during pregnancy can affect the brain development of a fetus. Proper treatment or an adequate warning about the chemical’s potential to harm a developing fetus may have protected the baby from cerebral palsy.

The Bottom Line

Cerebral palsy is not always the result of medical negligence. Sometimes, despite adequate quality prenatal and delivery care, a baby may still be diagnosed with the condition. In other cases, however, medical care was not provided with the standard of care expected by physicians, nurses, and hospitals. The failure to detect potentially harmful conditions for the fetus that could compromise the level of oxygen in the brain leaves a family coping with a life-changing disorder for the rest of that child’s life.

If you believe that your child developed cerebral palsy due to medical negligence, call today or fill out our contact form to reach Carey, Danis & Lowe. Experienced in handling birth injury claims, they will fight for your rights.

The Good Samaritan Law

When an emergency happens, the first responders that arrive at the scene are protected by the Good Samaritan law. This protection is not extended to emergency-room staff. Instead, it provides legal protection to those who are first to respond to an emergency in a volunteer or professional capacity, such as firefighters, ambulance crews, and paramedics.

The Good Samaritan Law

In general, people are not legally obligated to help in an emergency. The Good Samaritan Law is a state law designed to encourage people to help someone in need of emergency care and to keep emergency services intact. Due to malpractice lawsuits, some first responders may feel reluctant to intervene for fear of being sued later on for an unintentional injury or death.

The Good Samaritan Law states that as long as the first responder provides reasonable care to the person in need of medical attention, they are not otherwise held accountable for mistakes the same way hospitals and hospital staff are. Since emergencies often require quick responses and on-the-spot treatment for patient survival, the law recognizes that the chances for error are higher than in a normal hospital setting.

Managing an Emergency

When first responders arrive at the scene of an emergency, it is good practice to approach the injured person and ask permission to provide care. If the person is unable to communicate due to unconsciousness, it is expected that the first responders will assume a duty to rescue and that consent is implied. Thus, any life-saving measures or care should be initiated accordingly.

Exceptions to the Protection of the Good Samaritan Law

There are exceptions to the protection the Good Samaritan Law provides to first responders. In the event that a first responder behaves with gross negligence or recklessness and causes further injury or death to the person in need of medical attention, then accountability will be assigned to the negligent party. Negligence is gauged by the determination of whether another person of the same skill and education in similar circumstances would have responded in the same way or not. Protection may also be affected if the first responder helped with the intention of collecting a financial reward instead of providing care out of kindness.

The Bottom Line

People in emergency situations require immediate medical attention. First responders play an important part of providing care to a patient. The Good Samaritan Law protects first responders from mistakes made during emergency care. Exceptions to the immunity include:

  • Blatant reckless behavior
  • Gross negligent behavior
  • Behavior that causes intentional harm

The attorneys at Carey, Danis & Lowe have experience in malpractice law. They know the fine line between a legally forgivable mistake and medical negligence. If you have been injured and aren’t sure which laws apply to your case, call us today or fill out our online contact form for a consultation with Carey, Danis & Lowe. They care about your rights.

Safe Travels During the Holidays

Traveling during the holidays can fuel the excitement for the pending celebrations and family members that will be at the destination. However, overcrowded roadways, inclement weather, and negligent driving can pose serious risks for increased vehicle crashes. A few simple precautions can reduce your risk of being involved in a holiday accident.

Prepare for Long-Distance Travel

A properly maintained vehicle is more likely to make it to the destination without incident. Before putting the car on the road, have the tires, wipers, fluids, and oil checked, pack emergency supplies, and make sure maps or a navigation system is available for directions. The driver should pull over when studying a GPS or map to avoid distracted driving. Schedule stops along the way to avoid eating while driving or becoming fatigued, which has also been linked to car accidents.

Exercise Caution While Driving

All drivers have a duty of reasonable care to other drivers and pedestrians. Travel during the holiday season warrants even more caution due to driving conditions that are not present at other times of the year. Overcrowded roads, speeding vehicles, and ice and snow can contribute to hazardous driving conditions and increased accidents. To help avoid being involved in an accident, do the following:

  • Drive during less crowded times, such as early morning or late at night
  • Keep a safe distance from a leading car
  • Follow legal speed limits
  • Stay alert and pull over when fatigue may compromise driving
  • Abstain from alcohol and other substances before and during driving
  • Properly secure items in the back of a truck or on a trailer
  • Create an emergency plan with the passengers in the vehicle in case of an accident

Do Not Participate in Negligent Driving

Be a responsible driver. Distracted driving can be as dangerous as driving while under the influence. When driving, avoid:

  • Talking on a cellphone
  • Texting
  • Watching videos
  • Arguing with a passenger
  • Changing radio stations or manipulating the volume
  • Reading maps
  • Turning to talk to someone in the backseat
  • Traveling with an active, loose animal that could interfere with driving
  • Allowing children to toss toys or move about the vehicle

In the Event of an Accident

Despite your best efforts, you may still be involved in an accident due to the negligence of another driver. If you have sustained injuries during your holiday travels and would like to seek compensation, contact Carey, Danis & Lowe. The attorneys at Carey, Danis & Lowe are well-versed in accident laws and can determine the best course of action to take to recover some of your financial loss. Sustaining a personal injury during the holidays can be particularly overwhelming for the victim to handle. Contact us today or fill out our online contact form and the attorneys at Carey, Danis & Lowe will help relieve your stress by taking an instrumental part in negotiating the terms of any compensation to which you may be entitled. With them handling your claim, you can focus on making the most of your holiday.

Understanding Whiplash

A driver sits in his car at a red light waiting for the signal to change, when suddenly his vehicle is struck from behind by another vehicle. The force of the collision is so strong the driver of the first vehicle is jerked backward and then forward in a violent way. After the automobile accident, the driver of the first vehicle emerges from his car with pain and stiffness in his neck. He is experiencing the very first signs of whiplash.

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is an injury to the neck often resulting from a rear-end automobile accident or other trauma to the neck. Whiplash will often occur when there is any kind of forceful impact, causing the head to jerk backward and then forward. It is said that the term “whiplash” is actually derived from the word whip, in the sense that a person’s head is forced backward and forward in the same motion as the cracking of a whip.

The symptoms of whiplash can range from very severe to very mild, depending on the nature of the event causing the injury. It is very common for whiplash victims to first opt for over the counter pain relievers to address their symptoms of neck pain and stiffness. If pain continues beyond a few weeks, patients often find prescription medications and physical therapy helpful.

Symptoms of Whiplash

Most people experience neck pain and stiffness, headaches at the base of the skull, dizziness, memory problems, ringing in the ears, problems sleeping, and general irritability as a result of whiplash. While these symptoms may dissipate within a short period of time, it is highly recommended that the victim see a physician if:

  1. The pain spreads to the arms and/or shoulders
  2. Moving the head is painful
  3. Numbness or tingling is felt and/or there is a feeling of weakness in the arms

What Causes Whiplash?

The most common cause of whiplash is automobile accidents, particularly those involving a rear-end collision. Another circumstance that often gives rise to whiplash is physical abuse. When a person is punched or is shaken, whiplash is often among the resulting injuries. Whiplash is very often caused when a baby is excessively shaken; this is called “Shaken Baby Syndrome.” Another type of activity that can cause whiplash is contact sports. Sports, such as football, involving forceful tackling and collisions of bodies, can frequently cause whiplash.

Who Is Most Vulnerable to Whiplash?

Because whiplash involves a trauma to the neck, women tend to suffer injury more easily and more often than men because a female’s neck is less strong than that of a male. However, because men engage in activities such as contact sports more frequently than women, they too suffer their share of whiplash cases.

Diagnostic Testing for Whiplash

Although diagnostic tests are routinely conducted after an injury to the neck has been sustained, it is very common for tests to show no injury even when the victim is experiencing pain. Such tests include X-rays, CT scans, and MRI examinations.

Treatment for Whiplash

While treatment for whiplash will usually involve prescription medication for pain, injections and muscle relaxants may also be used, if necessary, to relieve muscle spasms. Therapeutic use of ice and heat is also helpful to help facilitate healing of the neck injury. Additional types of therapy include manual therapy, including myofascial release, ultrasound, and stretching and strengthening exercises. When using ice and heat, the best results are usually achieved where ice is applied immediately after the injury has occurred to reduce inflammation, whereas heat will help immediately prior to physical therapy to relax the muscles. As the pain dissipates, stretching exercises will help to restore the full range of motion to the neck.

Contact Us

If you have a whiplash injury from an automobile accident, contact the attorneys at Carey, Danis & Lowe today. The attorneys at our firm are ready to protect your legal interests and to obtain fair compensation for your injuries. Call today or fill out our contact form and we will contact you to arrange for a free consultation.

Trucker Fatigue: Asleep at the Wheel

The push for commercial truck drivers to prioritize productivity rather than employee safety has put drivers behind the wheel who are experiencing extreme fatigue and sleep-deprivation. Driving under these conditions creates hazardous driving conditions that could potentially harm the driver and other motorists on the road. Driving while fatigued and falling asleep at the wheel is the leading cause of commercial truck driving accidents despite new federal regulations designed to promote safer driving on roadways.

New Federal Regulations

In 2013, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued safety regulations for implementation throughout the truck driving industry. Often, truck drivers are pressured to drive for long periods of time to maintain steady productivity. Low wages can also encourage drivers to stay on the road in order to accumulate hours for a better paycheck. The new regulations aim to decrease the traffic accidents involving fatigued drivers. These changes include:

  • Commercial truck drivers may not work more than 70 hours per week.
  • A 34-hour period of rest is required for truck drivers following a 70-hour work week, including sleep for maintaining good health.
  • For every 8 hours of work, the truck driver must take a 30-minute break from driving duties. This provides opportunities to break up long periods of driving and will decrease episodes of unfocused driving.

Legal Ramifications for Disregarding the Federal Regulations

Commercial truck driving companies and drivers will be penalized if driving expectations are not followed according to the safety regulations of 2013. Fines up to $11,000 for exceeding legal driving limits may be incurred. Specific drivers may be forced to pay over $2,000 in fines for repeated offenses.

When fatigued drivers get on the road, they pose significant risk to other vehicles. These trucks can weigh 80,000 pounds and could be carrying hazardous materials. If the driver exceeds the driving limits and falls asleep at the wheel, it could result in a catastrophic accident. In light of the new federal regulations, this behavior could be deemed negligent.

Legal Action

If a commercial truck is involved in a serious accident due to fatigue or falling asleep while driving, and the driver did not heed the new federal regulations, then legal action may be warranted. Victims of this type of accident could be eligible for compensation. The attorneys at Carey, Danis & Lowe are well-versed in commercial driving laws and are proficient in managing accident cases of this magnitude. Laws and regulations are designed to protect the general public, and if the driving industry chooses to disregard the duty to keep roadways safe, then Carey, Danis & Lowe will protect the rights of the victim. People have the right to expect other drivers to exercise caution and drive responsibly, particularly commercial truck drivers who receive special training in operating large vehicles. If an accident occurs with a commercial truck and it is possible that the driver was seriously fatigued, asleep upon impact or if the driver’s cooperation with federal regulations concerning driving limits needs to be investigated, contact Carey, Danis & Lowe today for a consultation. Call today or fill out a contact form for more information.

Types of Medical Malpractice

The concept of medical malpractice may make an interesting twist to a TV drama, but no one hopes to experience medical malpractice. Malpractice, also known as medical negligence, occurs when a medical expert provided inadequate medical care that directly resulted in the physical injury of a patient. Medical incompetence may be the result of inexperience or the careless mistake of a fatigued doctor. Incidents of malpractice can occur in a variety of medical settings and for a variety of reasons.

What Constitutes Medical Negligence?

For medical negligence or malpractice to be established, proof must be available that indicates the inept, inappropriate or negligent behavior of the medical expert that resulted in the harming of a patient. The behavior must fail to meet the expected standard of medical care, meaning another medical expert of similar education and experience would not have deemed the behavior appropriate for the medical circumstances.

Types of Medical Malpractice

Medical errors range in severity and commonality. Thus, some forms of negligence are more harmful and more prevalent than others. Common types of malpractice include:

  • A diagnostic error, such as a delayed diagnosis, failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis: This is the leading cause of malpractice incidents. It can result in inadequate, inappropriate or unnecessary treatments and could put the patient at increased risk of developing a serious disorder if a condition is not diagnosed.
  • Prenatal or childbirth-related injuries, such as cerebral palsy, broken bones or the failure to diagnose a condition in mother or baby: The failure to diagnose may occur during pregnancy or following birth. Not all pregnancy-related complications constitute medical negligence.
  • Errors involving medications, including inaccurately prescribed medications or incorrect dosages: Medication errors are a common reason for malpractice due to the number of people involved with issuing a prescription medication and the ease with which a mistake may be made in writing down a dosage.
  • Surgical errors, such as surgical short-cuts or performing the wrong procedure: Surgeons are often suffering from fatigue and yet they still perform surgeries. It is not uncommon for surgical tools to be left inside a patient or for miscommunication to result in negligence, such as operating on the wrong patient or causing accidental injury.
  • Anesthesia errors that lead to serious impairment or death: If a patient is given anesthesia that the patient’s medical history contraindicates due to an allergy or if the anesthesiologist administers too much medication, catastrophic results could occur.

Taking Legal Action

Medical malpractice is not a one-size-fits-all problem. Each patient deals with individual aspects that makes each case distinct. Due to the complex nature of malpractice issues, the patient will want to obtain the legal services of qualified attorneys who are well-versed in personal injury law. If a malpractice case seems to be developing, contact Carey, Danis & Lowe immediately for a consultation. Carey, Danis & Lowe possess the experience and drive needed to protect a patient’s rights in a medical negligence case. They can make the process easier with their expertise and experience. Call today to have Carey, Danis & Lowe help fight medical negligence or fill out a contact form. They are on the patient’s side and will fight for you.

5 Ways to Prevent a Prescription Drug Error

Taking an incorrect dosage or the wrong prescription medication is not only dangerous, it can be lethal. Although your physician and pharmacist may provide exemplary care, prescription drug errors do happen from time to time. The best way to protect yourself from these kinds of errors is by taking a proactive approach to your healthcare.

How to Avoid a Prescription Drug Error

There are five things you can do to avoid taking a dangerous combination or dosage of prescription drugs:

  1. Keep a List: Make a list of your current medications and dosages. Always keep your list updated whenever there’s a change. All of your regular non-prescription medications and supplements should be on this list, too.
  2. Understand Your Prescriptions: When you receive a new prescription to be filled at the pharmacy, make sure you understand it before you leave the doctor’s office. Understand the reason for the medication, the dosage, potential side effects, contraindications and instructions on how to take it.
  3. Cross-Check with Your Pharmacist: When you pick up a new prescription, ask the pharmacist to explain the dosage instructions, possible side effects and contraindications. Make sure the information from your doctor and pharmacist match.
  4. Keep Everyone Informed of Your Allergies: Any time you receive a new prescription, remind your doctor and pharmacist of any allergies you have to certain kinds of medications. By mentioning your allergies to both of them, you are giving yourself two chances to avoid taking a drug that will cause an allergic reaction.
  5. Talk to Your Doctor about OTC Drugs: Before you start taking any new non-prescription drug or supplement (both nutritional and herbal), clear it with your doctor first. Even though these OTC medications and supplements don’t require a prescription, they could still cause adverse reactions or interfere with other medications you currently take.

Organizing Your Medications at Home

Another way to avoid a needless medication error is by maintaining a tight organizational system at home. This is especially important if you take several prescription drugs each day. Different types of systems work for different people, so find the one that works best for you and stick to it.

For example, some people prefer to put all of their medications in a pill organizer that divides the pills by the day of the week and the time of day. Others prefer to keep all of their medications in the original bottles and use a checklist to record each dose that is taken.

There are a number of ways to remind yourself to take your medication at the correct time and at the proper dosage level. If you often forget whether you’ve taken your pills, ask your doctor or pharmacist for recommendations that will help you to remember.

Contact Us

If you are the victim of a dangerous prescription drug error that should have been prevented, contact the attorneys at Carey, Danis & Lowe today. Our attorneys are here to advocate for you and protect your legal rights. Call today or fill out our contact form and we will get in touch with you to set up a free consultation.

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries or even a fatality after an accident, you might need to enlist the assistance of a personal injury lawyer in order to ensure that your rights are protected. Your case might include complicated legal matters that need to be untangled by a seasoned professional. You might retain a personal injury lawyer for any of several reasons in order to seek a favorable resolution to your case.

Dealing with the Insurance Company and Claims Adjuster

The insurance company might try to offer you a low settlement in order to quickly resolve the case. Worse yet, they might not even want to pay for your injuries. The insurance company could even refuse to talk with you about your case because they blame you for the accident. In these cases, a competent personal injury attorney can show the insurance company that you mean business and that you plan to use the full force of the law in order to obtain the compensation that is rightfully yours.

Severe or Permanent Injuries

If your injuries are extremely serious or permanent, you might need a lawyer by your side to effectively represent you. For example, after a serious accident, you likely will face long-term therapy and ongoing expenses that could last for years or even a lifetime. You might need prescription medications, surgeries, mental health counseling, professional assistance or even round-the-clock care. Our personal injury attorney knows how to calculate the potential expenses associated with these types of injuries in order to determine an appropriate amount of compensation to request in a lawsuit. As the possible amount of your case increases in value, the possibility of a lower settlement amount and wider range of offers increases. Your attorney can fight for compensation at the top end of the scale. These types of cases are much more involved than a case with simple injuries and they require the help of a legal professional.

Medical Negligence and Malpractice

Studies have shown that medical negligence is more common than previously thought. Some of these mistakes can cause a lifetime of pain for the victim due to the incompetence of medical staff. In other situations, defective medical products can cause untold damage to a person. Examples of medical malpractice include medical mistakes, negligence or oversights, birth defects, adverse prescription reactions, surgical errors or vaccination complications. Handling the case will include considering informed consent, the standard of care, expert witnesses and the damages involved in the case. The legal rules and related medical issues are involved and detailed and need to be handled by an informed attorney.

Contact Us

If you are looking for a knowledgeable and competent personal injury lawyer, you will want to retain someone with a reputation of concern and a track record of obtaining favorable outcomes in your case. At Carey, Danis & Lowe, we offer a no-cost and no-obligation consultation so that we can discuss your case and see how we can help you. We only charge you if we recover compensation for you. Call us today to schedule an appointment or fill out one of our contact forms.

What to do if Your Doctor Makes a Mistake

Not all medical errors are able to be prevented. Medical errors may occur even when every foreseeable precaution is made. If you ever do become a victim of a medical error, it is only natural that you will be worried about your current health, as well as any long-term issues due to the mistake that was made. A common problem for many people who have suffered a medical mistake is not knowing what they should do next.

Seek Medical Help Right Away

It is important that you make your health and safety a top priority when you are facing a medical mistake. If you have already suffered from the mistake or negligence from a doctor, you need to report the issue to that doctor and then seek medical treatment from another physician. If you are able to identify the issues early on, another doctor may have the ability to reduce the impact of the medical error.

How Serious are the Injuries You Suffered?

While many people believe that you should be able to easily recognize any type of medical mistake, the fact is that some can be without any type of symptoms, or symptoms that develop weeks or even months after the mistake took place. There are several different categories of medical mistakes:

  • A mistake by a doctor that did not cause any injury to the patient. Not all of the medical errors will cause an injury to patients. This could include the incorrect dosage of a medication or some other issue that does not cause any harm or long-term issues.
  • Minor injuries due to doctor mistake. This includes situations where a misdiagnoses is made by a doctor and then corrected quickly by that same doctor.
  • Serious injuries due to doctor mistake. Even when significant harm takes place to the patient, it may still be impossible to prove it. These issues can be extremely difficult to handle.

File a Report

If you have suffered from an injury or damages due to the mistake or negligence of a doctor, you need to file an official report. However, you need to ensure that you do this in the proper manner. It may be a good idea to contact the hospital for more information regarding how to do this, or even your insurance provider. No matter how small the mistake may seem, you need to file a report, which will help ensure that it does not occur again, to another person.

Seek Legal Help

There is not a reason to hire an attorney for every single case of medical malpractice; however, in some cases this will be necessary. No matter if you hire an attorney for filing a lawsuit or simply seek their advice regarding the issue, they can provide a beneficial partner when pursuing this issue further.

If you have ever been involved in a case where a doctor makes a mistake and need legal help or advice, contact the offices of Carey, Danis & Lowe. There is no reason to suffer alone when there is help available.

The Dangers of Texting and Driving

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, driving a vehicle while you are texting is as much as six times more dangerous than driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. According to the federal agency, sending a text takes the driver’s eyes off the road for an average period of 4.6 seconds. If the driver were traveling at 55 miles per hour, it would be the same as driving the entire length of a football field while blindfolded.

Each year, texting while in a truck or car causes up to 3,000 deaths and over 330,000 injuries each year. This has become the leading cause of accidents and deaths for teenage drivers, taking the place of drinking and driving. However, it is not just a problem with teens, with 47% of adult drivers admitting to texting while driving. Drivers that are texting are as much as three times more likely to be involved with a crash than those who are not texting.

The Epidemic of Texting and Driving

Due to the huge epidemic that has developed around people texting while driving, entire ad campaigns have been developed all around the world in an effort to reduce the frequency it occurs. There have been a number of laws passed in various cities and states, which make texting and even talking on the phone without using a hands free device illegal and subject to both fines and tickets.

Laws Regarding Cellphone Use

Due to the huge influx of accidents, injuries, and fatalities that result from texting and driving, a number of states have issued laws, which include:

  • 10 states, including D.C. have prohibited every driver from using any type of handheld cellphone while in the vehicle.
  • 32 states including D.C. prohibit any novice drivers from using any type of cellphone.
  • 39 states including D.C. have prohibited all drivers from texting while they are driving.

Helpful Tools to Prevent Texting and Driving

For parents who are worried about their teen’s texting while driving, there are a number of tools that are now available. These have been presented by companies that are also concerned with the issue caused by texting and driving. Some of these technology rich tools include:

  • Drivecam: This will monitor a driver’s activity while providing real-time feedback, including video.
  • AT&T Drive Mode: This is a free mobile app for Blackberry and Android devices that encourage anti-texting.

The sad fact is that even with laws in place in the majority of states around the nation, texting while driving remains a huge problem, and one that causes hundreds of thousands of deaths and injuries each year. It is essential that more people become aware of the issue in order to address the problem and keep drivers safe while on the road.

Legal Help is Available

If you are ever involved in an accident that involves texting while driving, it may be important for you to seek legal advice. Contact Carey, Danis & Lowe for advice and counsel regarding your situation.