Apr 30, 2017

Posted by | Comments Off on Holding a Cruise Ship Liable due to a Medical Malpractice Committed by Its Medical Staff

Holding a Cruise Ship Liable due to a Medical Malpractice Committed by Its Medical Staff

Before 2014, cruise ships were (sort of) enveloped and protected by an aura of immunity from medical malpractice lawsuits. Back then, many medical malpractice lawsuits were dismissed even before trial began. Courts always decided in favor of cruise companies, exempting them from any legal responsibility, even if the medical team that these have on board fails to give patients the exact and timely treatment they need, and telling patients that they should not demand from ships’ doctors and nurses the same level of medical care as on land; furthermore, ship doctors and nurses are beyond the direct control of cruise lines since they are private contractors.

This aura of immunity from medical malpractice is a result of decades of court decisions that have consistently acquitted cruise liners from medical negligence/liability. One case example, which cruise companies often use as a shield, is the 1988 Barbetta v. S.S. Bermuda Star lawsuit, wherein the court ruled that the duty of a carrier is to make sure that it employs a competent and duly qualified doctor; failure to do so would be violation of its duty. However, if the doctor hired eventually commits an act of medical negligence, then it is he/she alone, not the carrier, who will be held accountable for his/her negligent act.

An incident that occurred onboard one famous cruise ship in 2014, however, led judges to reconsider the soundness of exempting cruise ships from any medical liability, based on the following:

  • Doctors and nurses are presented as ship personnel or employees and that their wearing of the cruise ship uniform is direct proof of this;
  • Today’s cruise ships have advanced laboratories, intensive care units and technologies which will easily enable their medical personnel to link with medical experts on shore through live video conferencing; and,
  • Cruise ships take pride in their onboard medical center, making sure that this is included in their promotional materials.

As explained by cruise ship negligence attorneys, the unnecessary risk of injury suffered by many cruise passengers at the hands of a ship’s incompetent medical staff can and should think about pursuing legal action against the cruise company that hired them. The law governing cruise ships, though, is not only complex; a lawsuit can also be filed only in the court specified at the back of the passenger ticket, besides the need to file it within a certain period (usually a year after the accident occurred). These legal concerns may be addressed better with the help of a qualified and seasoned cruise ship negligence attorney.

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Feb 8, 2017

Posted by | Comments Off on Erb’s Palsy is a Result of a Medical Practitioner’s Failure to Act Responsibly or Exercise Proper Care

Erb’s Palsy is a Result of a Medical Practitioner’s Failure to Act Responsibly or Exercise Proper Care

The increasing number of medical malpractice lawsuits filed against hospitals, doctors and other health care providers is currently one of the growing concerns in many U.S. states. Though doctors owe their patients quality care through timely and correct diagnosis plus prescription of correct and effective medication, medical malpractice still happens and it only continues to increase every year.

Medical errors worsen a patient’s condition besides possibly cauing in him/her a new illness or injury. There are thousands of medical mistakes reported yearly and so many more go unreported. One of the most painful mistakes a medical professional can commit is that which results to birth injuries, for this particularly inflicts severe pain to couples and to all the members of a family, instantly turning what is supposed to be a joyful occasion into a heartrending one. Some of the most common injuries during birth include brain and spinal damage, infections, cerebral palsy, subconjunctival hemorrhage or rupture of small blood vessels in the eyes, caput succedaneum or swelling of the head’s soft tissue, and brachial plexus or erb’s palsy.

The brachial plexus, in particular, is a group of nerves located near the neck which enables the fingers, hand and arm to feel and move. Stretching it during a difficult delivery, wherein the person assisting the delivery exerts force by pulling the baby from the birth canal and stretching the nerves at the same time, is the primary cause of erb’s palsy, which causes paralysis to an arm.

Erb’s palsy is nothing more than a result of a medical practitioner’s failure to act responsibly or exercise proper care during delivery. Though pulling the baby from the birth canal is sometimes necessary, especially if the baby is quite big, during a breech delivery (feet come out first), or during a prolonged labor, care must be observed and exercised to make sure that no injury is inflicted on the newly born.

Erb’s palsy can be corrected even through a non-surgical treatment. A daily physical therapy or shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand exercises, as instructed by a physical therapist, will prevent the baby’s joints from becoming permanently stiff, a condition also known as joint contracture. But, despite its being correctible, it still renders the medical practitioner, whose carelessness caused the injury in the first place, to face the consequences of his/her careless act.

As pointed out by the Russo, Russo & Slania, P.C. law firm, “Dealing with your child’s birth injury that was caused by the mistakes of a doctor or other medical practitioner can be frustrating and difficult. In any case, medical professionals who cause children to develop any type of birth defects need to be held responsible for their actions and the harm they have on unsuspecting families.”

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Jan 3, 2017

Posted by | Comments Off on Avoiding Unwanted Penalties due to a DUI or DWI Charge

Avoiding Unwanted Penalties due to a DUI or DWI Charge

The level of tolerance to alcohol differs from one person to another: this means that a habitual drinker may stay much more sober than a casual drinker after both consume four bottles of beer. Regardless of tolerance level, though, so long as you consume 4 bottles, your BAC or blood alcohol content will read 0.08 grams/deciliter, the limit set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for all drivers all across the United States. Anyone who drives with a BAC of 0.08 % or higher can be charged with a serious offense, which is driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI).

DUI and DWI, also known as operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI) can be a potential cause of a serious car accident. Drivers who drink and, then, drive simply have no concern for the safety of all others on the road, whether motorist or pedestrian.

According to the NHTSA, drunk-driving is among the four major causes of road tragedies in the U.S., which number to more than five million annually. The other three are reckless driving, speeding and driver error, which includes distracted driving and failure to use a seatbelt.

The punishment imposed on individuals charged with DUI / DWI has been made much stiffer over the years; even the BAC reading has been lowered to 0.08% from 0.10% before the 1980s. These were made in the hope of reducing the number of fatal car crashes on US soil. Thus, higher fines, longer jail terms and a felony offense (for second time offenders) await those who will be caught in violation of the law.

In Westchester, particularly, DWI is a considered a very serious crime; the punishment given to offenders are, therefore, among the harshest both in the state and in the nation. Westchester DWI attorney Richard Portale is aware of the grave effects a DUI or DWI conviction can have on anyone’s life, but though he agrees that drinking and driving cannot and should never be mixed, he does not believe that everyone caught should be charged with DUI or DWI. A highly-skilled DUI or DWI lawyer may be able to provide strong legal representation that will work to avoid unwanted penalties.

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Apr 26, 2016

Posted by | Comments Off on Dog Bite Injuries and How to Deal with Them

Dog Bite Injuries and How to Deal with Them

The state of Massachusetts follows the “strict liability” statute when it comes to dog bites; and under Chapter 140 Section 155 the owner will be held responsible for any injury caused by their dog, including, but not limited to bites. Injury claims are seldom filed under the general rules of negligence, where the victim will have the burden of proving the negligent or reckless action directly caused the injury. Regardless of the nature of the dog (whether it has acted aggressive before or if their breed in known to have aggressive nature), the owner will be held liable despite taking any reasonable steps to keep the dog under control.

Due to the Massachusetts statute enough to cover dog bites and other dog-related injuries, it is vital for plaintiffs and their lawyers to be aware of what claim they have filed under since negligence claims need a different set of details and proof, and would provide dog owners different options of defense. Furthermore, the dog owner may face criminal liability if there is strong evidence that the owner encouraged or permitted the animal to attack or hurt another person. According to the website of Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, criminal cases are very different from a civil one and the penalties often include fines, community service, probation, and even imprisonment.

There are many ways that the dog owner can defend themselves when it comes to dog bite claims. Among the most popular is where the victim is a trespasser in the property (provided they were not performing any legal duties while on the property). Another defense used is when the victim was caught doing what is considered a civil wrong or another tort. Lastly, when the dog was provoked for an attack, then the dog owner may not be liable for the injuries. It is therefore crucial for the plaintiff to understand the type of claim they will file and the needed evidence and possible defenses that the dog owner may use.

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Aug 8, 2015

Posted by | Comments Off on The Importance of Wearing Motorcycle Gear

The Importance of Wearing Motorcycle Gear

Motorcycles are fun, fast, look cool, and are incredibly dangerous. They leave the riders exposed to the weather and provide zero protection in the event of a crash. According to the URL www.pohlberkattorneys.com, motorcycles pose a very, very serious safety risk to every rider due to their lack of protection in the event of an accident. Take note of the ‘every rider’ bit. There is no safety in ‘knowing what you’re doing’ and ‘driving safely’, because even if you’re the first motorcycle rider in history to never crash on your own, there are other people on the road who can make you crash. Having the right gear can let you walk away from serious collisions, rather than having to spend months and thousands of dollars in a hospital.

The helmet. It is the only legal safety requirement and is the gear used most often, for good reason. It protects your head from bashing against the ground too hard by providing cushion that absorbs shock and allows your cranium to decelerate at a safe speed. It will prevent serious trauma to your brain, too, which can be difficult or impossible to recover from. Bonus: the visor will prevent bugs from splattering on your face as well.

Gloves. Your hands are a necessity. You probably use them every day, and it would be life altering to lose one, both, or even just a few fingers. Humans instinctively try to catch themselves when they fall, meaning that your hands will likely be the first thing to make contact with the ground when you crash. This means that palm sliders are a great thing to invest in; they will let your hands slide across the ground rather than ‘sticking’ and applying the force all at once. Don’t forget about weather resistance as well – your hands will get mighty cold if left exposed in the wind.

Pants, suits, and jackets. Asphalt, pavement, gravel, or any other material that you may be riding on when you crash is rough. I mean that literally – when you land, any exposed skin is going to get shaved off. To give an example, as a general rule you will lose about 1 mm of skin for each mile over 30mph you’re going. At 55 mph, you will lose an inch of skin and flesh. Let’s keep that attached by investing in some good, padded, weather proof coverage in the form of pants, suits, and jackets.

Boots. Similar to your hands, your feet are rather necessary and it would be unfortunate to lose one. Ankles are easy to twist doing normal activities, and it is likely that during a crash your bike, someone else’s bike, or a car is going to hit or run over your feet at least once. However cool you thought it was when you were twelve, being stuck in a wheelchair or using crutches is not fun. Get a good pair of boots with a thick sole, support for your ankle, and the structure necessary to prevent your foot from being crushed.

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Apr 16, 2015

Posted by | Comments Off on Cerebral Palsy: Facts, Types, and Causes

Cerebral Palsy: Facts, Types, and Causes

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability suffered by children in the United States. In fact, about 1 in 323 children are estimated to have been diagnosed with some type of cerebral palsy. Also referred to as ‘CP’ in the medical community, cerebral palsy is caused by abnormal brain development that typically results from the lack of oxygen received by the brain.

Children with cerebral palsy experience serious symptoms that usually have significant effects on their ability to move and maintain balance. These symptoms and their severity usually vary on what type of CP a patient has been diagnosed with. Patients typically manifest symptoms that characterize one of these three types. However, some patients can also suffer from a combination of the different categorized symptoms.

Patients with spastic cerebral palsy experience muscle stiffness caused by increased muscle tone. Meanwhile, dyskinetic or anthetoid cerebral palsy is characterized by uncontrolled writhing movements in the upper and lower extremities. This type of cerebral palsy can also cause patients to have a hard time controlling their tongues and faces, making it difficult to talk and swallow. The third type of cerebral palsy is called axiatic and causes issues with balance, posture, and coordination.

Any of these symptoms can be acquired or congenital. Acquire cerebral palsy involves symptoms caused by brain damage that occurred after a child is born. On the other hand, congenital cerebral palsy refers to brain damage that’s already present at the time of the birth. Such damage is typically caused by complications that happen during the mother’s pregnancy. In rare cases, they can also be caused by negligence or malpractice in the part of the medical provider. For example, a doctor who fails to properly monitor fetal stats during the process of labor and delivery can miss the fact that the baby isn’t receiving enough oxygen and inadvertently cause brain damage that leads to CP.

According to the website of an Atlanta accident attorney from The Ausband & Dumont Law Firm, in these instances, parents can pursue legal action against the medical professional who has neglected to prevent such birth injuries. It would be best to seek out legal counsel from experienced medical malpractice attorneys to learn more about the best course of action.

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Feb 8, 2015

Posted by | Comments Off on Zofran Lawsuit Information Hard to Come By

Zofran Lawsuit Information Hard to Come By

There are so many conflicting claims regarding Zofran that victims are at a loss about what should be done. Zofran is a highly antiemetic approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and prescribed for patients undergoing chemotherapy, post surgery, and radiation therapy. It is designed to suppress the urge to vomit by blocking the development of nausea. It was never approved for use with pregnant women suffering from severe forms of morning sickness, also referred to as hyperemesis gravidarum. Zofran manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has so far paid $3 billion in criminal and civil penalties for marketing the product for use with pregnant women.

Some studies claim that there is no evidence to show that taking Zofran in the first trimester of pregnancy can lead to birth defects, while others state that there is evidence that it crosses the placental barrier in significant concentrations after just three doses per ora. Two papers used the same data (one study extended it by covering a longer period and more subjects) and came to opposite conclusions regarding adverse fetal outcomes from the use of Zofran. Zofran studies appear to agree on one thing, however: Zofran increases the risk of developing potentially fatal heart arrhythmia and other cardiac complications.

Among the birth defects associated with Zofran are cleft lip, cleft palate, and congenital heart defect. The fact that Zofran has adverse effects on a patient’s heart has not been disputed. If an adult patient’s heart can be damaged from using Zofran, it would be logical to assume that there is a possibility that a fetus can absorb enough of the drug through the placenta to affect its own heart’s development.

There is no doubt that the impact of Zofran on an unborn baby requires further investigation. If you have used Zofran and suspect that it may be the reason for your child’s birth defect, consult wth a Zofran lawyer in your area about it. The lawyer should have access to the latest lawsuit information available to help you understand your options.

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Sep 26, 2014

Posted by | Comments Off on Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws

Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws

The federal government has enacted different laws aimed at protecting and promoting the rights and interests of all employees (whether actual or hopeful) in the US, regardless of the employee’s position, gender, age, religion, nationality, ethnic background, race or sexual orientation. Thus, no employee should be the object of biased treatment that could deny him/her whatever he/she deserves, including retention of employment, promotion, participation in company-sponsored trainings for the development and growth of employees, just pays, salary increases, awarding of fringe benefits, bonuses, performance incentives, and so forth; job applicants likewise, should never be denied employment due to discrimination.

Some of the laws that make workplace discriminatory acts illegal include:

  • The Equal Pay Act (EPA), which was enacted in 1963and which stipulates that individuals assigned to jobs that are performed in the same workplace and requires the same amount of responsibility, skills and effort, should receive the same wage, regardless of their gender.
  • Civil Rights Act (Title VII). This law that was passed in 1964 prohibits all acts of discrimination, regardless of basis (such as religion, color, national origin, race or sex). It also holds unlawful any act of retaliation against an individual: who complains about discriminatory practices in the workplace; decides to be part of an investigation or lawsuit; or, files a discrimination charge. Religious practices that do not delay or decelerate business operations are also protected by this law.
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). This 1967 decree protects the rights to employment of individuals aged 40 and above. Thus, the law orders that older workers should never be discriminated so as to find it hard to remain in or, when displaced, regain their work. They should also never be discriminated when applying for employment.
  • The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978. This law is actually a modification on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 0f 1964; it holds unlawful any act of sex discrimination due to pregnancy, childbirth and like conditions. The Act does not require employers to provide “health insurance benefits for abortion, except where the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term, or except where medical complications have arisen from an abortion.” (http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/pregnancy.cfm) Employers, though, are free to provide abortion benefits to their female employees if they want.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This law, which the US Congress passed in 1990, is America’s first absolute civil rights law that addresses the needs of individuals with disabilities, prohibiting any form of discrimination in employment, public accommodations, public services, and telecommunications.

These anti-discrimination laws, their amendments and the others not mentioned above, are enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the law enforcement agency of the federal government that was established by the US Congress on July 2, 1964. Besides enforcing these laws, the Commission also investigates, mediates and settles complaints on discrimination, file suits against employers on discrimination charges (on behalf of victims), and make amendments on the existing employment laws.

Some of the amendments made by the EEOC in the Civil Rights Act were the illegalizing of sex-stereotyping of gays, bisexuals and lesbians (in 2011) and the expansion of the protection to gender identity and transgender status (in 2012).

With all the laws and the EEOC’s commitment to the task of strictly implementing them, employment discrimination should be things of the past. This is not the case, however, as many employers (and sometimes middle managers and even co-employees) are so obstinate as to observe employment laws and crafty enough to hide their unlawful acts. Unless someone cries foul or decides that he/she has had enough, acts of discrimination will only continue.

Victims should know that the law is on their side and, with the help of top caliber lawyers, especially those from the firm of Cary Kane LLP, they have better chances for a good argument and defense that will protect their interests and uphold their rights.

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Aug 25, 2014

Posted by | Comments Off on Check Out These Wonderful Tips On Selecting A Lawyer

Check Out These Wonderful Tips On Selecting A Lawyer

Some of the most difficult times of your life will arise out of time spent in court. Make things easier on yourself by choosing someone to represent you that can make a strong case for you. Read this article to choose the right lawyer for any situation you may find yourself in.

If you believe that you might have a legal case it is a good idea to seek a legal consult before pursuing any action. Many law firms offer a free consultation so make sure that you take advantage of this. This allows you to try out a couple different law firms before deciding on a lawyer.

You’ll have to agree with your lawyer on a good meeting time. You do not want a lawyer who meets you once and then disappears for months at a time. Make sure you establish a schedule soon so that you can prevent these sorts of problems.

There are some cases where you can represent yourself without an attorney, but most of the time you should get one. There are many things that a layman does not understand about the law, which is why you should hire a lawyer. You don’t want to lose your case due to a lack of common legal knowledge when you could have hired someone.

Before you hire a lawyer to take your case, make sure that you look into their credentials. Inquire what law school they graduated from and the states that they took the bar in. This will determine where they are allowed to practice law. You can also look into previous cases that they have won or lost.

There are lawyers for many specific kinds of cases, and despite any jokes, lawyers should be interested in justice. Instead of increasing the stress surrounding your situation, make things go smoothly. Remember the tips in this article so you can choose the best lawyer for you and get out on top!

For more information on choosing an attorney for injuries, visit http://www.pohlberkattorneys.com.

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Apr 1, 2014

Posted by | Comments Off on Estate Planning and Updating Your Will

Estate Planning and Updating Your Will

Every now and then there are events in our lives that happen that could require us to change our estate plans. Marriage, children, divorce, death, and many other circumstances could affect the already-existing estate plan, and updates on state and federal taxes could also cause you to update it. Moreover, your present financial situation could call for reevaluation regarding your will, and making certain changes become necessary. Here is a rundown on how certain situations could force you to change or update your existing estate plan.

In an event of divorce and birth, it would best to update your will. The rifts that caused the divorce could be enough to make you think twice about giving a certain property or asset to your ex-spouse, and childbirth requires constant updating in every time you have a child. There are states that disregard any provisions for your ex-spouse that is written in the will, but will follow through with the rest that is written there. Estate planning should also be updated when other events such as re-marriage, beneficiary’s death, and even the death of an executor or administrator occurs.

It is advisable to check state laws, because there are certain states that require a statutory share of the estate to the surviving spouse, and if your estate planning does not go with the states’ statutory requirement, you would have to provide a credible pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement signed by both you and your partner that specifies why you could avoid it. This is particularly necessary for those who have entering into a second marriage that have children in their previous marriage. If you wish to have your children from your previous marriage to inherit your assets, you should update your estate plan, otherwise your children with your current spouse will be the ones who will inherit them.

Additionally, your net worth may change over time, making it crucial to update your estate plan to fit the needs of incorporating estate tax planning. Tax laws are also changing, so you might need to check how it affects your estate planning as well. Estate planning is also affected by your current desires, and these can shift in different directions as time goes by. Although you might think that you have already prepared yourself and your loved ones by having an estate plan, but you should make sure to update it in accordance to the present times and needs.

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