Surgical Error: An Alarming Reality in the US

By on 6-18-2014 in Injuries

Those who are truly committed in the medical profession know that timely and effective treatment, accurate diagnosis and correct medication are the basics of quality care every patient is entitled to. These are some of the reasons why some hospitals and health providers keep only reliable staff and medical professionals in their roster, because operators of these institutions know that quality treatment is what patients need and what they are supposed to provide.

Many hospitals, doctors and other medical professionals, however, have been recipients of a great number of legal claims for damages because of medical malpractice. An article on the website of the Law Offices of Paul Levin defines medical malpractice as the legal term that refers to the injuries committed against patients; injuries that can have minor or life-altering effects, such as a prolonged illness or a life-threatening condition, respectively.

Medical malpractice is an alarming reality in the US and in all parts of the globe and so many of those who are involved in the health care business are guilty of negligence or carelessness when dealing with the patients they accept under their care. The Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services reported, in 2010, the death of 180,000 patients in Medicare alone. A study published in the Journal of Patient Safety says, however, that the total figure can be more than double – between 210,000 and 440,000.

One of the worst errors committed by medical practitioners is surgical error. This includes, but is not limited to, surgery on wrong site, surgery performed on a wrong patient, incorrect surgical procedure, wrong dosage of anesthesia, post-surgical complications and improper suturing. Errors may not be intended, but one cannot deny the fact that many of these errors lead to more serious health conditions which can totally alter a patient’s life; some mistakes even lead to a patient’s untimely death.

Surgery is usually taken as a last remedy, considered only when all other forms of treatment fail. Though a risky procedure, a patient can but just put all his/her trust on the surgeon and the surgical team. It would be a major violation of such trust if any wrong happens during or within a certain period of time after the procedure.

Jessica Rutzick & Associates, P.C., a law firm based in Wyoming, gives a clear view on its website of the effects of an injury, especially a serious one. It mentions not only the physical and emotional trauma an injury causes in a patient, but also the financial burden it can create. In justice to victims of medical malpractice, the law allows them to receive compensation, from the guilty party, which will cover their present and future financial needs and losses.

If you have been a victim of medical malpractice, contacting a Atlanta personal injury lawyer is probably the next best step to take. An attorney will be able to help you through this difficult time with professionalism and compassion.

Fathers Getting Child Custody

By on 4-03-2014 in Family Issues

Child custody that goes to the father is an important issue – fathers generally wish to protect their relationships with their child. Most fathers think that when divorce occurs, the custody of the child will immediately go in favor of the mother, and while this is what often happens, the court also provide the same  rights in regards to viewing who is more fit for child custody. Knowing your rights and responsibilities as a father during the whole divorce process could be vital when it comes to child custody.

In recent years, there has been a dramatic shift in the legal system regarding child custody, and these are mainly from advocacy groups as well as fathers who believe in gender equality on child custody. Presently, courts considered many factors that could affect who would receive custody of the child, and the long-believed notion of mothers being the best caregiver is slowly being set aside. Moreover, courts nowadays believe that both parents should be present in the child’s life, and would prefer to give shared custody or equal visitations to both parents.

One of the best ways to ensure fair child custody or agreement is by discussing about it with the future ex-wife, even before going to court. When a settlement has been both agreed upon, the court would more than likely agree to it, lowering expenses and lessening the stress ad turmoil that the divorce gives. In cases where both parents can’t come into an agreement regarding child custody, the court will decide on the matter. The court will also be the one to determine the types of custody and visitation rights that will be given.

For a father to win the custody of their child, they must be able to prove that the mother is unfit to support and care for the child. Unable to do so would cause the court to grant joint custody. Courts take into consideration a number of factors to determine who would get custody of the child, and often the relationship between the parent and child is considered. Having proper evidence on your positive role on your child’s life, as well as witnesses and other supporting documents could be vital in ensuring you, the father, will win the custody of your child.

Updates on Risperdal Lawsuits

By on 3-19-2014 in Injuries

There are currently in excess of 420 cases filed against Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., a division of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) for its mismarketing of the atypical antipsychotic drug Risperdal.  Of these cases, about 130 are for the abnormal enlargement of breasts in young males on the drug, a condition called gynecomastia. J&J had settled many of these cases out of court, and the bill is rising for the beleaguered drug company.

Recently, a $2.2 Billion settlement agreement was struck between the US federal government and J&J. The lawsuit covered several point against the drug company, including mismarketing of Risperdal as treatment for elderly patients suffering from dementia, for which is had never been approved, and for children between 1999 and 2005, for which only got approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006. The Department of Justice also alleged that J&J had a monetary arrangement with the largest nursing home pharmacy Omincare Inc to dispense not only Risperdal but also Invega, another antipsychotic drug, for off-label use.

To date, J&J has settled state-led lawsuits in Arkansas, South Carolina and Louisiana and individual cases in Texas and Philadelphia. Risperdal multi-district litigation (MDL 296) is currently underway in the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas, also in Philadelphia.

But it is far from over.

Recently, there has been documentary evidence uncovered that indicate J&J had deliberately withheld clinical trial findings that earlier indicated risks of Risperdal that are only now being revealed because of patient complaints. Even as the trials showed that certain populations may be contraindicated for Risperdal use, the drug was being aggressively marketed to those same populations. While the findings were far from conclusive, the attitude of J&J and Janssen management was less than forthcoming.

This could be the basis for a whole slew of new Risperdal lawsuits, even as sales continue to drop because of the controversies. If you or someone in your family suffered injury from using Risperdal, consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to assess the case.

Situations that Render a Premise a Dangerous Property

By on 3-01-2014 in Injuries

Slip and fall accident is one of the top causes of serious injuries in the U.S. Based on information sourced from the National Safety Council (NSC) Injury Facts, more than 8 million victims of this type of accident are registered every year.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), some of the most serious effects of a slip and fall accident are fracture to the hip, torn muscle and ligament, knee injury and broken bones (wrist and/or elbow), and the ones who are most prone to it are people at least 55 years old. Though it may just be a simple accident to many, it is enough to alter an elderly victim’s life, making him/her incapable of further enjoying years filled with worthwhile activities.

According to the website of the Burch Law Firm, slip and fall accident can occur on any dangerous property, that is, where there are trip hazards that are not noticeable, exposed wires, uncovered metal or wooden pegs, unnecessary clutter, no warning signs, especially on wet surfaces, uneven floors or walkway, moss-filled floors, inadequate lighting along walkways, unstable surfaces, no railings or guardrails, exposed wires, and so forth. It can happen in hospitals, inside a church, inside a mall or a restaurant, beside a pool, in the office – practically, anywhere, where the owner of a premise is negligent or careless enough as to allow accident-causing elements to remain in his/her area of responsibility.

Sadly, many lack concern in cleaning their own mess, and still many more do not have the initiative to clean their premises – to make sure that everything is safe. If they do not want to tidy up things for others’ sake, then, at least, they should get rid of any hazard for their own safety. Always, the victim of such lack of concern, carelessness or negligence, is someone who is totally unaware of a possible slip or trip hazard.

Injuries resulting from a slip and fall accident are called personal injuries. Under the law, the person or party liable for such accident is always the property owner. Thus, owners should be aware that after an accident because of their negligence, a claim lawsuit is sure to follow. If this describes your current situation, contact a Bakersfield Personal Injury Attorney today to learn the next best steps for you to take.

Brain Injury – One Serious Effect of Irresponsibility on the Road

By on 2-27-2014 in Injuries

Any type of personal injury that directly affects the human brain is always a serious matter as it can cause severe effects, such as unconsciousness, amnesia, disability, comas, or even death. Personal injury, most commonly, is the consequence of an accident resulting from an act of carelessness, recklessness or negligence, of an individual, a business firm or a government entity.

There are different possible causes of a personal injury, including a simple slip and fall, defective products, exposure to hazardous materials, medical errors, vehicular accidents and so forth. Some personal injuries are severe, resulting to prolonged disability or even the victim’s untimely death. But whether severe or minor, personal injuries always lead to costly medical treatment and financial loses, especially if the injury causes a person to miss, or be incapable of, work. Thus, under the law, victims of this type of injury have the right to receive compensation from the liable party to cover present and future damages.

Brain injury, also called traumatic brain injury (TBI), is an extremely serious personal injury. It is caused by a very violent blow to, or a strong jolt of, the head, usually because of a fall (head first), a sporting accident, an explosion, violence and, most especially, a car accident. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), of the more than one million people in the US who are treated for brain injuries annually, more than 50,000 die.

From the causes of brain injury listed above, car accident is held as its major cause. Clearly aware of this fact, the Waco-based Law Offices of Vic Feazell, P.C. states in an article posted on its website that ensuring that we do not endanger others’ lives with our reckless behavior is our legal and moral obligation.

Many drivers, however, seem to be oblivious of this primary road duty, for why else do many continue to drive even when drunk or go over the speed limit or continue to use their cell phone while driving? Vic Feazell continues to say that, because not all drivers live such duty at all times, the price, that is, road accident, occurs every day.

Child Custody and the Issue of Inheritance

By on 2-22-2014 in Family Issues

As modern societies have increased the formation of more complex types of family relationships, laws governing the family have also increased, besides becoming more intricate. Divorce, for instance, is one issue that leads to many other matters the need to be settled either by the divorcing couple or by the court, if the couple cannot come to agreeable terms; matters, such as alimony or spousal support, division of properties, assets and debts, (if the couple has a child, then) child custody and child support, and now, another concern that is becoming more common, inheritance claims.

Child custody is probably the most complicated divorce-related issue that needs to be settled, that is, if both parents refuse to surrender their custodial right to each other. But since there is no fixed law that governs all U.S. states, as most of the factors considered by family law courts differ from one state to another, except for one – that whoever the custodial parent will be should be based on the best interest of the child, many other factors come into play, including being a fit parent. Whatever decision a court makes, after hearing and evaluating all pertinent matters that will affect the child’s future, is made as part of the divorce decree. This divorce decree identifies the custodial parent, the non-custodial parent’s visitation rights and who will provide financial support.

During the latter part of the 1800s, however, custodial right was solely awarded to fathers due to inheritance issues and the Property Law. The Tender Years Doctrine changed this tradition at beginning of the 19th century. This doctrine, which presumed that mothers naturally did much better in taking care of young children, lasted until the 1970s.

Regardless of who gets custodial rights, children, and even grandchildren, under certain limited conditions, are entitled to claim a share in their parent’s property, after the death of that parent. This claim to an inheritance is possible, overriding even, in some cases, what the deceased parent’s wills and trusts say. Inheritance disputes, though, are often highly contentious and controversial, that having a probate lawyer, who is well informed in inheritance laws and procedures, is often necessary.

Cocaine in the U.S.

By on 2-18-2014 in Criminal Laws

A drug-related offense is always a serious matter and its effects can last beyond hefty fines and a long time behind bars. It can alter and even damage a person’s professional goals, as well as his or her private life, as it can cause lots of restrictions and inconveniences that may hinder him or her from living the kind of life he or she wants to live. Besides such, Cape Cod-based lawyer James Powderly, goes on to say on his website that, with the federal and local governments bent on catching drug offenders, more are expected to be caught and charged.

Acts that fall under a drug charge include manufacture, distribution, selling, possession, and use of illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia. In the US, the second most widely used illegal drug, after marijuana, is cocaine. Cocaine is classified as a Schedule II drug by the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) of the United States due to its high potential for abuse; for certain purposes, however, doctors may administer it to patients. (CSA, which was signed into law by the US Congress in 1970, serves as Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act; it is a federal drug policy that regulates the importation, manufacture, distribution, possession and use of certain substances.)

The use of cocaine in the US became widespread, first among textile mill, railroad and factory workers during the latter part of the 1800s. It was even supplied by employers to their laborers, especially to African Americans whom employers saw as better physical workers, to keep workers alert and able to render longer working hours for increased productivity.

Today, cocaine is also known as “a rich man’s drug,” due to its common use by people from the middle to the upper class. To party lovers and college students, however, the name “party drug,” has been associated to it. Though famous around the globe, the U.S. remains to be the world’s largest cocaine consumer. And one reason why many continue to be drawn to this drug is the instant sense of bliss that it provides, which can make a user alert, talkative and confident – things alien to the user under normal circumstances.

Such feelings, though, get replaced by irritability, anxiety and depression as the drug’s effect wears off; thus the tendency is to use it again, but this time, in larger amounts, putting the user at great risk of having an overdose, the drug’s main health hazard.

The severity of the punishment imposed on those guilty of acts involving cocaine depends on the amount of drug found in their possession. Possession of cocaine, even in small amounts, can result in at least a $10,000 fine plus imprisonment. More than 500 grams of cocaine possession can result in 5 – 40 years imprisonment or 20 years – life and a fine that can amount to $2 million if serious injury or death is traced to this highly addictive drug.

It will take a really good defense to get someone off the hook and, thus, save that someone’s future. Not all lawyers are capable of standing against the challenges of a drug-related court case, though. It will take a fast-thinking, well-trained and experienced lawyer who will be able to present a good argument on behalf of the accused.