Archive for April, 2017

Common Types of Birth Injuries Caused by Malpractice

Some of the most common serious birth injuries to newborns are

  • Brachial plexus palsy, which is also known as Erb’s palsy and is usually caused by excessive stretching of the neck during delivery. Damage to the nerves that control movement and feeling in the shoulder, arm and hand leave the child unable to use the affected limb. Daily physical therapy is often needed to fix the problem.
  • Bone fractures due to rough handling or complicated delivery.
  • Cephalohematoma, which is a lump on the top of the head where blood has collected. The condition itself is harmless, but it can indicate other problems caused by the misuse of forceps or a vacuum during delivery
  • Cerebral palsy, which is a lifelong physical and/or mental developmental disorder that can be caused by problems during fetal development or by the improper restriction of air to the baby during labor and delivery.
  • Facial paralysis caused by nerve damage, which can result from mishandling forceps during a vaginal birth or a scalpel during a caesarean section.
  • Intracranial hemorrhage, which is bleeding inside the skull and possibly life-threatening. If a hemorrhage is not detected and stopped quickly during labor and delivery, the baby can die, go blind, become paralyzed, or suffer brain damage.
  • Spinal cord injuries, which, like bone fractures, can be caused by rough handling or birthing complications.

Mothers are also at risk for birth injuries. Women who receive insufficient monitoring and care during labor and delivery can suffer seizures and strokes from spikes in blood pressure (preeclampsia), life-threatening blood loss, or infections from improperly sterilized equipment.

Fortunately, birth injuries occur rarely. Across the United States, only about 5 in 1,000 newborns suffer any physical or brain injury during delivery. Mothers are even safer. U.S. birth injuries rates for women are lower than 1 in 1,000.

When a birth injury does occur, however, it devastates a family. Not only does the mother or child suffer from what could be a preventable medical error, the victim can face a lifetime of pain, physical disability, intellectual deficits, and therapy. When such a tragedy happens in Cleveland, Ohio, partnering with a medical malpractice lawyer to secure compensation and monetary damages represents the best way to achieve justice. In some cases, payments for the emotional distress experienced by the child or the parents may also be warranted.

Proving a Birth Injury Resulted From Medical Malpractice Is Difficult

Succeeding with any type of medical malpractice claim requires proving three things:

  • The health care provider, hospital, or clinic named as the defendant owed you a duty to protect you from harm.
  • The defendant failed to meet that duty by acting negligently or recklessly.
  • The injury you suffered resulted directly from the negligent or reckless act.

Negligence by a doctor, nurse, anesthesiologist, pharmacist, or health care facility comes down to not following widely recognized treatment protocols or adhering to safety regulations. Recklessness could mean providing care while drunk or on drugs.

As an example of how the three criteria for proving malpractice in a birth injury case could be met, think of a baby who had only normal prenatal test results but was diagnosed with cerebral palsy after being born. If evidence shows that the obstetrician who managed the birthing team failed to order sufficient oxygen monitoring or to respond quickly when an airflow problem was detected, a claim for malpractice could succeed. The parent who brought the claim on behalf of the child and an Ohio medical malpractice lawyer would still need to convince a judge or jury that the developmental disorder did not originate in the womb, though.

If you think you might have a birth injury claim, request a free consultation with a Cleveland, OH, medical malpractice lawyer at Agee Clymer Mitchell & Portman. Call us at (800) 678-3318 or schedule an appointment online.

What Types of Accidents Cause Personal Injury?

Personal injuries and wrongful deaths result from many causes. They also take many forms, ranging from cuts and bruises to broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and cerebral palsy. Fortunately, victims have undeniable rights to hold the people or organizations that harm them accountable. Parents can seek insurance settlements for injured children, and a designated family member or estate executor can file a civil lawsuit on behalf of a person who needlessly lost his or her life.

Following is a quick summary of the major types of personal injury and wrongful death cases. If you or a loved one has fallen victim to any of these, you may have a legal champion among the attorneys who practice out of the Cleveland, Ohio, offices of Agee Clymer Mitchell & Portman. Let us know how we can help by calling (800) 678-3318 or connecting with us online. The initial consultation will cost you nothing.

Car Accidents

Car wrecks, truck crashes, and motorcycle accidents likely come to mind most quickly when anyone hears “Cleveland, Ohio, personal injury lawyer.” This is entirely appropriately because people who hurt or kill others by violating traffic laws, driving recklessly, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs should be made to settle insurance claims, pay compensation for medical bills, and pay damages for pain and suffering.

Medical Malpractice

When doctors, dentists, pharmacists, or nurses fail to follow the best practices for patient care, individuals can spend months or years suffering unnecessarily. Too often, medical mistakes kill. Just a few of the errors health care providers make that can justify a personal injury or wrongful death claim are:

  • Prescribing, dispensing, or administering the wrong drug in the wrong way or at an unsafe dose
  • Operating on the wrong body part or person
  • Providing insufficient care during labor and delivery
  • Leaving sponges or surgical implements inside a patient
  • Misdiagnosing debilitating or deadly conditions by not following standard diagnostic guidelines
  • Allowing a patient to fall or injure him or herself by not providing appropriate monitoring and assistance

Hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes also have legal duties to protect patients. Often, a medical malpractice lawsuit will name both a health care practitioner and the facility that employed the individual who committed the alleged error.

Slips & Falls

Homeowners and businesses must ensure the safety of visitors. “Slip and fall” is the catch-all term for this because the stereotypical case involves a customer slipping on an unmopped floor. The key to succeeding with such a claim lies in showing that the danger was known to exist but not fixed, which constitutes negligence on the part of the property owner or legal occupant. For instance, loose railings, broken steps, building code violations, exposed wiring, and heavy objects stored unsecurely overhead can give rise to slip and fall claims.

Dangerous and Defective Products

Companies that make or sell items that injure, poison, or kill consumers can be sued. Proving intent is not necessary. A plaintiff in a dangerous or defective product lawsuits only needs to prove that a problem should have been noticed and corrected before anyone got hurt.

Intentional Torts

In legalese, a harm is called a tort. This means that an intentional tort occurs when a person wants to hurt someone else and succeeds. Examples of intentional tort include:

  • Assault, which covers both physically harming someone and making credible, actionable threats of physical harm
  • Defamation, which covers libel (in print) and slander (spoken) but is very difficult to prove because public figures and dead people cannot be defamed and evidence must exist that the information was both known to be untrue and shared deliberately to cause harm
  • False imprisonment, which cover private individuals as well as law enforcement personnel and only means making it difficult for the victim to leave a place rather than literally keeping someone locked up
  • Fraud in all forms, ranging from counterfeiting and identity theft to Ponzi schemes and credit card theft
  • Infliction of emotional distress
  • Invasion of privacy
  • Theft, which covers taking anything that does not belong to you without permission and without committing an assault
  • Trespassing, especially when the intent is to commit theft or inflict emotional distress


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