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During childbirth, a mother trusts her doctor to make sure that the delivery goes as smoothly as possible, as a difficult delivery can have long-lasting effects on a child’s physical and mental health. For instance, Erb’s Palsy is a condition that can cause lifelong nerve damage and decrease arm function. If a doctor does not help prevent this occurrence, the child’s parents may have a medical malpractice case against the hospital or treating physician. Here is an in-depth look at Erb’s Palsy:

 

Causes and Symptoms

During delivery, an infant’s neck or shoulders may be stretched in different directions during delivery. This specifically happens during a headfirst delivery where the neck and head are pulled toward one side of the birth canal. This strain injures the brachial plexus network of nerves and can cause life-long arm and neck issues. A strong strain to these nerves during birth may result in weakness, loss of motion, lack of arm development, or even permanent paralysis. Statistically, two out of every 1,000 babies suffer Erb’s Palsy as the direct result of a difficult birth.

 

Early Detection is Essential

One of the most important ways to prevent Erb’s Palsy is through early detection. Your doctor should be able to determine whether you fit the at-risk criteria for this condition and decide against a vaginal birth. If your doctor did not warn you of the possibility of this condition and did not suggest a cesarean section, you may be able to file a lawsuit and ask for compensation to cover your child’s future medical expenses.

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Before consenting to a surgical procedure, you have the right to ask as many questions as needed to make yourself comfortable with the procedure and its justification. Though you should feel free to ask any question that comes to mind, here are three of the most important.

  1. What is your experience with this procedure?

You deserve a qualified surgeon who is confident performing your operation, so don’t be afraid to ask how many of these procedures he or she has performed in the past. Surgery is a serious medical event, and you need to feel comfortable that your doctor is skilled and experienced enough to ensure a successful operation and optimal results.

  1. Why do I need this surgery?

Ask your doctor exactly why you need the surgery, what symptoms or illnesses it will correct, and how. Additionally, you can ask about how necessary the operation is and what happens if you don’t have it or if you don’t have it immediately. As a patient, it is up to you to be informed about all your options and the consequences of your decisions. Continue reading →

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In your time of loss, it may be strange to think about damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. However, it may be possible to recoup medical expenses and receive compensation for lost future income as a result of your family member’s passing. Each state has a different statute of limitations on wrongful death claims, so consult an attorney if you suspect that you may have a case. Here are different damages that can be included in a wrongful death action in DC:

Medical and Funeral Expenses

The easiest to quantify damages are those costs that you have already incurred. If your loved one required medical care before his or her passing, your lawyer will always ask for reimbursement of these expenses. The same goes with funeral costs, which are an unavoidable part of the process.

Future Lost Wages

If the victim of negligence and wrongful death was one of the main providers for his or her family, you may be able to collect damages for their future wages. Your wrongful death attorney can help you add up expected future earnings and/or child care contributions that could have added to your household income. Continue reading →

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More than five million people are injured in traffic accidents every year throughout the country. If you’re involved in an accident that leaves you with injuries, follow these steps to get the compensation you deserve.

  • Seek medical attention. If you are hurt, or even if you think you may be hurt, seek medical attention immediately. Getting treatment promptly may decrease the severity of your injuries, and it will also allow you to prove to your insurance company that your injuries were caused by the accident, not a later event.
  • Take pictures of external injuries. Because injuries like bruises and cuts heal quickly, they are difficult to prove to insurance companies or in court without photographic evidence. Pictures will help others understand the extent of your pain and compensate you accordingly.
  • Save all paperwork. As you’re being treated for injuries, be sure to keep all receipts, paperwork, and mail you receive regarding your treatment, so you can prove to your insurance company the financial compensation you deserve. Providing evidence of treatment will also be another way to help others understand the severity of your injuries.
  • Do not sign anything from your insurance company. Your insurance company may try to offer you a settlement that doesn’t entirely cover your medical bills, which you may inadvertently accept by signing paperwork. To avoid being stuck in this situation, do not sign anything from your insurance company. In fact, don’t even cash a check; some insurance companies will interpret this as your acceptance of their proposed settlement.
  • Hire an attorney. After an accident, your insurance company isn’t on your side. They want to pay you as little as possible—probably less than you deserve. Avoid this outcome by hiring a personal injury attorney to help you fight for the compensation you need.

After you’ve been injured in a car accident in Washington, D.C., contact the Rich Firm at 1-888- RICH-LAW (742-4529) to schedule a consultation. Our experienced attorneys can help you win a settlement to pay your medical bills and compensate for your pain and suffering.

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When you pursue compensation for a personal injury you’ve suffered at the fault of another person, you are seeking recompense for many facets of your injury. These damages can be separated into two main categories of compensation: economic and non-economic damages. Keep reading to learn the distinction between these two types and how they affect your ability to recover under personal injury law.

Economic Damages

Economic damages refer to objectively ascertainable losses. These include property damage, past and future medical expenses, the loss of income (both present and future), and other considerations, such as the loss of the ability to use your property or the loss of a business opportunity.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages refer to more subjective facets of an injury. Some examples of these would be the pain and suffering experienced as a result of the injury, emotional distress, damage to reputation, a reduction in the quality and enjoyment of life, or loss of consortium in the event that a spouse is killed as a result of the accident.

Economic damages are much easier to assign a value to in a personal injury case due to their objective values. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, require more extensive investigating and greater effort in arriving at a fair value. Both of these types of damages are recoverable in a personal injury case, and in fact, the non-economic damages often represent a greater amount in a settlement or judgment than economic damages.

After you’ve been injured in an accident, your first priority should be focused on making as whole and complete of a recovery as possible. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure you can recover the compensation you need and deserve is also a very important consideration. If you would like to discuss your case with an attorney with extensive experience in the field of personal injury law, call The Rich Firm at 1-888- RICH-LAW (742-4529). We advocate on our client’s behalf aggressively and diligently. Learn more on our website today!

 

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4 Examples of Heath Care Provider Negligence

By pursuing a career in health care, doctors and nurses commit themselves to a high standard of care for all their patients. While medical professionals are allowed to make mistakes every once in a while, deliberate recklessness is unacceptable, and should be punished by a medical malpractice suit. Here are a few quick examples of health care provider negligence.

Failure to diagnose

Medical professional go through years of training in order to learn how to spot and diagnose well-known ailments. If your doctor fails to diagnose an ailment that any other doctor could identify, he is liable for the consequences of his negligence. An obvious misdiagnosis is another form of neglect that can lead to unnecessary medical bills or even death.

Birth injury

Though doctors are not responsible for the presence of birth defects, they are responsible for unnecessary injuries that occur during the birthing process. If an attending physician’s actions result in oxygen deprivation, for example, the infant could end up with cerebral palsy—a lifetime condition that affects the child’s motor skills. Continue reading →

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Can I Still Recover Damages if I Signed a Consent Form?

Surgeries are performed on thousands of patients across the country every day. While many of these surgeries are successful, enabling the patient to live a more comfortable, productive life, there are times when the doctors and nurses in charge of these operations go outside of the accepted and appropriate methods and procedures for these surgeries, causing pain and suffering to their patients and curtailing their chances of a full recovery. While medical success is rarely guaranteed, going outside the established standards of procedure or beyond the consent given by the patient can cause unnecessary harm and risk to the patient and can give rise to a case of medical malpractice.

What is a consent form?consent form

Most hospitals and doctors provide their patients with a consent form, obtaining approval from the patient for the operation they are about to perform, as well as any other operation that may become necessary. Before signing, the doctor should provide the patient with a detailed description of the operation, the risks it involves, and the risks involved with not undergoing the procedure. This puts the patient in a position to provide informed consent about whether or not he or she wants to allow the doctor to operate. In fact, the only time a doctor is allowed to operate without consent is in an emergency situation or when it would be overly harmful to a patient not to operate.

Can I recover even if I signed a valid consent form?

Under certain circumstances, you can recover damages even if you signed a consent form. For example, if you can show that your doctor inadequately informed you of the risks and benefits of an operation or that they misrepresented material aspects of the operation, you may make a case for compensation. In these circumstances, you may still need to prove that had the doctor adequately informed you, a reasonable person in your situation would not have elected to undergo the operation.

Even with a valid consent form, you can still recover compensation under a theory of medical malpractice. The law does not excuse a doctor from liability, even with consent, if the doctor deviates from the established standards and practices of the profession during your operation. This represents reckless or negligent behavior on the part of the doctor, even if their intentions were in your best interest. You may also be able to prove that the physician went beyond your consent in performing the operation.

You place an enormous amount of trust in those responsible for your health and well-being. When this trust is violated, the resulting injuries can be devastating. If you would like to discuss your case with an experienced personal injury and medical malpractice attorney, call The Rich Firm at 1-888- RICH-LAW (742-4529). We build relationships on trust, integrity, and truthfulness, and we advocate for our clients aggressively and diligently. Call today to learn how we can help.

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Get the Facts Behind Medical Malpractice Resulting in Wrongful Death

Medical professionals are specially trained to keep people alive—that’s why it’s especially shocking when a loved one dies as a direct result of medical care. Though a doctor’s job is far from easy, doctors are held to a certain standard of performance. When a violation of this standard results in death, the victim’s family is entitled to compensation. Here’s a brief overview of medical malpractice resulting in wrongful death:

  • Surgical Error

Though every kind of surgery is inherently risky, surgeons are still expected to perform to the best of their abilities. If a patient dies and it can be proven that the operating surgeon acted in a way that was inappropriate for a medical professional, the family may choose to sue for medical malpractice.

  • Misdiagnosis

Since the body is tremendously complex, misdiagnoses happen all the time. However, certain diseases, such as diabetes and cancer, are well-documented and easily diagnosable. If a medical professional somehow fails to diagnose an ailment that any other doctor would have recognized, the negligent doctor is in a lot of trouble—particularly if the misdiagnosis results in the patient’s death. Continue reading →

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Personal Injury Law: Defining Negligence

If you have been harmed by someone else’s wrongdoing, you may be able to hold the at-fault party accountable in a court of law, thus enabling you to receive compensation for the injuries and lost wages you suffered as a result of the wrongdoing. The legal doctrine of tort law allows you to sue someone for negligence if you suffered personal injury as a result of his or her conduct. Here are the four steps to proving negligence in a personal injury case:

You Were Owed a Duty of Care

The first step to defining negligence is showing that the person who wronged you owed reasonable a duty of care now to harm you. This means the duty to not do something that a reasonably prudent person would not do. For example, a doctor owes a duty of care to his patient and can be held responsible for providing subpar care or for acting in a reckless or careless manner.

The Duty Was Breached

Once you show that the at-fault party had a duty to keep you safe, you must have proof that the duty was breached. In medical malpractice cases, for instance, this can be shown through evidence of surgical errors or other mix-ups.

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Each year, about 4 million babies are born in the United States. However, 24,000 of them suffer from birth injury. What accounts for birth injury? And how to recognize birth injury? The Rich Firm will explain them to you.

birth

   Leading Causes of Birth Injuries

A birth injury is defined as any type of damage or trauma sustained by an infant just before, during, or after birth. This includes a broad spectrum of injuries, including anything from lacerations or bruising caused by trauma during the birth to nerve or brain damages caused by complications such as breech births or oxygen deprivation. Birth injuries can result as the product of natural factors, but unfortunately, medical malpractice is a large contributor. In many cases, the infant will fully recover within weeks, though damage incurred during birth may be permanent or even fatal. These are some of the leading causes of birth injuries.

Infant Size

When a baby is either very large or very small (especially in the case of premature births), injuries become more likely to both child and mother. In the case of large babies, common injuries include bruising or scarring due to the use of forceps and partial paralysis in the shoulder or face due to pressure on the nerves of the child during birth. Continue reading →