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FT. LAUDERDALE

PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY

What Does Medical Malpractice Look Like?

What Does Medical Malpractice Look Like?

When doctors and other medical professionals make mistakes, the results can be devastating. But when is a mistake legally actionable? Medical malpractice is a type of professional negligence that occurs when medical professionals fail to conduct themselves in accordance with the relevant standards of care. Under Florida law, the standard of care in medical malpractice cases is that level of care, skill, and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers. Not every mistake made by a medical professional rises to the level of malpractice. To be actionable, it must be a mistake that a reasonably prudent healthcare provider in a similar position would not make. That said, certain kinds of medical errors are considered medical malpractice more often than not. Common ones are discussed below. To learn more or to discuss a medical error that harmed you or a family member, call us today to talk with a Ft. Lauderdale medical malpractice lawyer. Surgical Errors Surgical errors are particularly egregious mistakes that typically constitute medical malpractice. These errors include leaving surgical instruments or sponges inside of a patient’s body, performing the wrong procedure, wrong-side surgery, or operating on the wrong patient. After many surgical errors, patients require significant corrective surgeries to fix the mistakes, or they may suffer irreversible losses, such as when doctors amputate the wrong limbs. Medication Errors Medication errors are an extremely dangerous form of medical malpractice that can have devastating results for patients. For example, if a patient is prescribed the wrong medication, it can result in a condition being left...
Four Things to Do After a Florida Bicycle Accident

Four Things to Do After a Florida Bicycle Accident

Statistics indicate that Florida is one of the most dangerous places to ride a bike in the United States. Every year, a significant number of people in the Ft. Lauderdale area is injured through no fault of their own—and often as a direct result of the negligence of motorists who fail to give bicyclists the consideration they deserve. Fortunately, in many cases, Florida law entitles bicycle accident victims to recover compensation for the losses they sustained, including their medical expenses, lost income, loss of quality of life, and physical and emotional pain and suffering. To recover, however, victims should take certain steps—four of which are detailed below. For more information or to discuss the specifics of your accident, call us today to speak with a Ft. Lauderdale bicycle accident lawyer. If You Can, Gather Information About Your Accident The most important thing you should concern yourself with after a bicycle accident is your physical well-being. As a result, if you are injured, ignore this step and proceed straight to the hospital. If you are able to do so, however, collect as much information about the accident and the people involved as you can. Examples of the kinds of information to collect include: The names of the drivers involved in your accident Their insurance information The license plate numbers of the vehicles involved Contact information from people who may have witnessed your accident Seek Medical Attention It is imperative that you seek medical attention after a bicycle accident—even if your injuries did not require emergency medical treatment. Sometimes injuries that initially seemed like minor bumps and bruises are actually much more...
Car Accident Injuries Can Be Life-Changing

Car Accident Injuries Can Be Life-Changing

Any injury from a sudden car accident can disrupt your life. You may need to cancel your plans for the day and head to the emergency department. You may have to miss work for doctor’s appointments, medical procedures, physical therapy, or because your injury prevents you from performing your job for a period of time. You may have to briefly refrain from athletic or other recreational activities that you enjoy. While any disruption of your life can be frustrating, some car accidents result in injuries that permanently change your life. Legal claims under these circumstances can be much more complex, as the damages sought can be substantially higher and proving future losses may require the help of experts and other resources. The following are some examples of permanent car accident injuries, and if you have sustained any permanent injuries, you need the help of a highly experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. Common Injuries From Crashes That Can Have Permanent Effects The following are some injuries that have the potential to be catastrophic and result in lifelong effects for victims: Traumatic brain injury (TBI)—While some TBIs are relatively mild and victims make a full recovery in a few weeks, other brain injuries are categorized as “severe” and can have permanent effects. First, a severe TBI can often cause a coma, which can last for months and keep a victim hospitalized. Increased intracranial pressure due to hemorrhaging or swelling of the brain can also require ongoing hospitalization. People with severe brain injuries may have permanent cognitive and physical impairments that can cause many challenges at work, school, or...
Efforts to Curb Fatigued Truck Driving Are Halted

Efforts to Curb Fatigued Truck Driving Are Halted

In 2016, an investigation in the aftermath of a deadly train accident in New Jersey identified that the operator of the train had a medical condition called sleep apnea. When treated properly, the effects of sleep apnea can be controlled. However, when sleep apnea goes undiagnosed or untreated, it can result in severe fatigue throughout the day. Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) authorities believed that the operator fell asleep at the controls and warned of the necessity of testing all train operators for sleep apnea to ensure they received the required treatment. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) agreed that all commercial truck drivers should also be tested for sleep apnea. The FMCSA estimates that 13 percent of truck drivers who crashed were determined to have been overly fatigued and regular testing for sleep apnea is one way to curb fatigued driving for commercial drivers. Under the Obama Administration, these agencies set out to propose regulations that would require such testing for train and truck drivers as part of their license approval and renewal. However, on trend with the new administration’s cutback of federal regulatory action, the FRA and FMCSA have now announced they are no longer trying to enact new rules regarding sleep apnea testing. Many safety advocates and experts have spoken against this decision, stating it puts motorists at an unnecessary risk of fatigued driving accidents. How Sleep Apnea Can Affect Driving Ability Most people associate fatigued driving with truckers who violate hours of service rules and drive extended shifts. However, even if truck drivers stay within the limits of allowed driving shifts, there are other reasons...
Is There a Hidden Cause of Fatigued Driving in Truck Drivers?

Is There a Hidden Cause of Fatigued Driving in Truck Drivers?

Because they spend hours and days on end behind the wheel, a major concern regarding truck drivers is fatigued driving. When a driver becomes seriously fatigued, the effects can be similar to intoxication, as a driver will lose the ability to focus on the road, will have slower reflexes, and will have lessened decision-making skills. In addition, if a truck driver falls asleep behind the wheel, a massive vehicle that potentially weighs 80,000 pounds will be barreling out of control down the highway, possibly taking out anything in its path. A main culprit of fatigued driving is the long hours on the often monotonous highway. In response to this, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enacted and enforces strict hours of service limitations, which restrict the number of consecutive hours or days a truck driver can be working without taking a certain period of rest. However, even with hours of service regulations, truck accidents continue to occur due to fatigued drivers. Recently, the FMCSA has been paying closer attention to a health condition that may be contributing to fatigued driving among commercial drivers – obstructive sleep apnea. What is Sleep Apnea? Sleep apnea is a condition that reportedly affects approximately 22 million people across the United States. The condition causes a pause in breathing during sleep and these pauses can happen hundreds of times in a single night. When the person stops breathing, they will wake up briefly to restart their breathing. This means that people with obstructive sleep apnea may involuntarily wake up as much as 30 times per hour during the night and such disruptive sleep can...
Common Causes of Distracted Driving that Result in Collisions

Common Causes of Distracted Driving that Result in Collisions

Distracted driving1 is a major contributing factor in many automobile collisions. In an effort to gain insight into the common types and causes of distracted driving and the resulting accidents, Erie Insurance did a study of all fatal collisions in the US that took place in 2010 and 2011 in which the driver was distracted.2 The results were stunning. In 62% of the fatal accidents studied, the distraction was solely the fault of the driver. Namely, the driver was just inattentive or “lost in thought.” The other 38% of drivers were distracted by external factors. This comprehensive study outlined the major causes of distracted driving and shows their likelihood to contribute to an accident. Cell phone use – The biggest external factor in distractions that Erie found was cell phone use, occurring about 12% of the time in fatal collisions involving a distracted driver. Cell phone use includes talking on the phone, listening to something on the phone, texting, and dialing. Florida has specifically tried to address this issue with its ban on texting and driving3 and many automobile manufacturers now produce vehicles that allow for hands-free phone use to attempt to address the safety issue created by people paying more attention to their phone than the road. Using these hands-free devices and waiting to respond and send texts until you’ve reached your destination are your best bets at avoiding this risk. Outside person, object or event – The next biggest distractor, occurring about 7% of the time, is where the driver is paying more attention to something outside of the car than to the road. Frequently referred to...
Common Causes of Birth Injuries

Common Causes of Birth Injuries

Having a baby is often an exciting yet stressful time for new parents. The stress of raising a child can be substantially magnified if you learn that your child suffered an injury at birth. Even minor birth injuries can require medical treatment, which will result in more medical bills in addition to the expenses of your labor and delivery. More serious birth injuries can result in impairments and disabilities with which your child may struggle their entire lives. Furthermore, serious birth injuries can mean a lifetime of medical and personal care and limitations on work and activities. If a birth injury occurs due to medical malpractice, you have the right to hold your negligent1 doctor liable for all of the costs – monetary and otherwise – of the birth injury. Improper Testing During Pregnancy As part of prenatal care, doctors often should perform a variety of tests to determine the health of both the mother and the fetus. These tests can identify whether a mother has health conditions that need to be managed or addressed, can help predict any possible complications during the birth, and can determine whether the baby has any life-threatening or otherwise severe birth defects. If a doctor fails to perform necessary tests or does not relay test results back to the parents, it can constitute malpractice if any birth injuries result. Failure to Monitor Vital Signs During Labor Hospitals have equipment that can monitor a baby’s and mother’s vital signs during the labor process. If it appears that one of their heart rates are falling or if there are signs the baby is not receiving...
TBI 101: Traumatic Brain Injuries & Their Effects

TBI 101: Traumatic Brain Injuries & Their Effects

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that according to the most recent available data, as many as 1.7 million people sustain traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) every year. The groups with the most common occurrence of TBI are very young children, older adolescents and elderly adults over 65 years old – three of the most common population demographics in the state of Florida. Given that TBIs can occur very abruptly, with minimal warning, it is generally a good idea to familiarize yourself with the symptoms and also with the potential liability for such injuries, especially if you or your loved ones fall into those age groups. Most TBIs Are Minor But Serious By far the most common type of TBI is a concussion, which as most people know can range from very mild to life-threatening in terms of the amount of damage done. The concerning aspect of concussions is that they can occur in a variety of different ways, engaged in a variety of different activities, including some that one would not imagine to be that dangerous. It can be possible to not even be aware of a mild concussion for quite some time if you are not aware of the risk of injury from whatever activity you are engaged in – for example, tripping over a crack in a sidewalk and landing in exactly the wrong way may lead to a mild concussion, but because such an injury is not very foreseeable, it may go some time without being reported. It is important to keep in mind, however, that even a minor TBI can lead to significant neurological...
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident in Florida

What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident in Florida

Florida is a fantastic place for motorcyclists to enjoy the scenery and the wind in their hair (or helmet). Unfortunately, statistics demonstrate that Florida also has the highest number of fatal motorcycle accidents than any other state in the U.S. Anyone who hits the road on a motorcycle is at risk of crashing and sustaining serious injuries, and it is important to know what to do in the aftermath of an accident to protect your rights. Get Medical Attention and Keep Up with Your Treatment Motorcycle accidents often cause severe traumatic injuries to motorcyclists, as they have little protection from another vehicle or the ground. In some cases, it may be immediately obvious that a motorcyclist is in serious condition and needs to be transported by an ambulance to the hospital. Even if you are uncertain of your condition, you should always allow medical personnel on the scene to decide whether such transportation is necessary for you. If you do not need an ambulance ride, it is still important that you go directly to the emergency department if you are feeling any signs of injury, such as soreness, stiffness, or even a headache. It is critical that any injuries – even relatively minor ones – be diagnosed right away so you can receive the treatment you need and minimize complications. Getting diagnosed as soon as possible can also make an insurance claim or lawsuit simpler as your medical records can clearly indicate the cause, nature, and severity of your injuries. When a doctor recommends a course of treatment, you should stick to it. Too many people fail to follow...
Rise in Car Crashes Over Labor Day Weekend

Rise in Car Crashes Over Labor Day Weekend

Summer brings three major national holiday weekends – as well as a significantly increased risk for serious car accidents over those weekends. Reports indicate that more traffic fatalities occur over Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Fourth of July weekends than almost any other time of year across the United States. With Labor Day weekend coming up, it is important to understand the risks of crashes and serious injuries and to know what to do if an accident disrupts your holiday weekend this year. The following are only some reasons why there is an increase in crashes over Labor Day weekend. Road Trips Many families pack up the car and take off on a road trip for what many consider to be the “last hurrah” of summer. After Labor Day, the focus for many households is likely on school and other obligations until the winter holidays present another distraction. Therefore, Labor Day is an optimal time for a quick road trip to visit family or friends, to camp, or to simply explore a new place. However, road trips also come with the risk of accidents due to the following: More traffic on the highways often means more crashes Drivers may be unfamiliar with the area and may make errors that cause collisions Some people may not adequately inspect or maintain their vehicles and a long trip can lead to malfunctions and loss of control Road trips with the family often bring many distractions in the car and distracted drivers can easily crash into your vehicle No matter how safe you are on your road trip, you cannot control the actions...

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