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New Haven Personal Injury Law Blog

Who can be held responsible for a birth injury?

Injury at birth can plague a child forever. Therefore, immense care needs to be taken to ensure that a child is not injured either before or during the birthing process. Unfortunately, every now and then an infant is injured and that injury may have long-term consequences for that child and his or her parents. Connecticut laws permit an infant's parents to seek legal recourse if their child is injured at the time of birth due to someone's negligence.

Like other medical malpractice lawsuits, the parents of an infant who sustained a birth injury can hold a doctor, a hospital, a medical staff as well as other health care providers or pharmaceutical companies responsible for their child's injury. However, their claims of negligence toward the child have to be established in court in order to obtain compensation.

Types of damages awarded for medical malpractice in Connecticut

Like other personal-injury lawsuits, medical malpractice lawsuits in Connecticut can result in the awarding of economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include money that is awarded for monetary losses or expenses that a victim of medical malpractice has incurred or would incur in the future because of a defendant's negligence. On the other hand, non-economic damages include money that is awarded as compensation for non-monetary losses and injuries that a victim has suffered or would suffer in the future because of a defendant's negligence.

The economic damages are generally awarded for the following reasons:

  • Medical care and expenses incurred for treating injuries, which are result of the defendant's negligence.
  • Lost wages lost due to an injury caused by the defendant's negligence.
  • Loss of future earnings if it is established in court that the defendant's negligence caused that loss.

NFL brain injury compensation scheme criticized

Most followers of sports, whether in New Haven, Connecticut, or elsewhere, may know that athletes are highly vulnerable to a range of injuries. While most of these involve physical damage to the limbs or torso, it is also possible that a player suffer a concussion from an impact on the head during the course of a game. This is as likely to happen in a game of football as any other sport, with the National Football League taking heed of the issue.

However, a scheme recently proposed by the NFL, which aims to compensate players' for suffering concussion on-field, has been criticized as not taking full cognizance of the effects of concussion. Specifically, while the scheme offers payouts for those suffering from memory impairment and some forms of neuromuscular disease, it does nothing for players who suffer from various other effects of traumatic brain injury.

Know more about your spinal cord injury to speed up recovery

The abrupt impact of a collision can result in serious damage to vital body parts, including the spinal cord. In many cases, an injury to the spine is likely to result in a partial, if not permanent, disability, which can be devastating for the individual, even from a psychological perspective. This makes understanding the injury highly significant as this can help either recover from or around the disability.

A spinal cord injury, as residents of New Haven, Connecticut, might know, tends to affect any of a number of nerves that proceed along the spine to the various limbs and transfer signals to and from the brain. Thus a loss of function in the arms of legs can be one consequence of a spinal injury. The period of recovery can be long and require much external assistance, both in the form of physical aids like wheelchairs or walkers and also through psychiatric therapy to counter anxiety or depression-related problems.

Two-car accident sends two to hospital in Connecticut

A two-car crash in Connecticut recently injured two people, requiring both to go to a local hospital. According to reports, the head-on collision happened in Goshen, Connecticut, an hour after noon and was captured by CCTV cameras in nearby businesses. While one of the victims was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Torrington, the other had to be airlifted to a medical facility in Hartford after being extricated from his vehicle.

News reports state that two Subarus, one red and the other white, were involved in the crash and that both vehicles were totaled as a result of the car accident. The police reviewed the surveillance video and found that the accident happened when the white car struck the red car head on as the white car was making a right turn. The white car was traveling east at the time of impact and the red car was stationary at a stop sign but its nose was slightly over the line. Skid marks stretching over quite a few yards suggest that the force of the impact was significant.

ACOG and AAP guidelines to prevent neonatal encephalopathy

Connecticut residents understand that an injury at the time of birth can have serious consequences for the rest of the child and parents' life. A number of measures are in place to prevent such injuries but in spite of that, birth injuries continue to occur and can harm the brain of a child even before birth. In order to address this concern, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a set of guidelines in 2014 that urge doctors to investigate every possible factor that may contribute to an infant's brain injury at the time of birth.

Earlier guidelines, which were released in 2003, focused on understanding the effects of the lack of oxygen during birth and whether it was the cause for neonatal encephalopathy. In the new guidelines, the ACOG and AAP recommend that a doctor conduct a detailed study of a mother's medical history, obstetric factors and identify problems in the placenta. The ACOG and AAP also suggest neonatal hypothermia treatments to minimize long-term brain damage among infants.

Statute of limitations for medical malpractice in Connecticut

Medical negligence or medical malpractice is defined as an act or omission by a medical practitioner toward a patient, which results in the patient suffering injuries or damages. A medical practitioner may include a doctor, nurse or even the hospital. Connecticut has strict laws against medical malpractice.

Medical malpractice lawsuits typically rely on a three-pronged test. First, the victim must prove that the medical practitioner owed a duty of care to the victim. Second, the act or omission by the medical practitioner resulted in negligence of the duty of care. Finally, the victim must further prove that it was due to the negligence of the medical practitioner that the victim has suffered the injury.

What is a spinal cord injury in Connecticut?

Spinal cord injury is a major cause for concern in Connecticut. Many spinal cord injuries may lead to severe long-term partial or total disability. Spinal cord injuries may be caused by many different sources. Two of the main causes of spinal cord injuries, head injuries and neck injuries are car accidents and sports injuries.

Spinal cord injury may be defined as any injury of the spine. The courts, however, generally do not consider congenital defects or injuries when evaluating spinal cord injury lawsuits. The spinal cord is essential to the human body. The spinal cord is situated within the spinal bone column. It consists of bundle of nerves, which emanate from the brain and then branch out peripherally. Thus, the spinal cord is the nervous system that is responsible for transmitting all brain signals to the body. Any injury or impairment of the spinal cord could seriously impair the motor and nervous systems.

Connecticut car accident suspect charged, surrenders

Anyone living in New Haven, Connecticut, is probably aware of how frequently car accidents occur. While there are laws in place to catch drivers disobeying road regulations, there are many cases in which the negligence of one person causes a great deal of harm and grief to others. Sadly, even witnessing or reading about a car crash does not always convey the seriousness of the mistake committed by the driver responsible for the tragic accident.

A resident of Farmington, Connecticut, recently turned himself in to local police after discovering that he faced several charges, including manslaughter. The charges pertain to a head-on car collision, which occurred earlier this year and resulted in two deaths. According to police, the man was driving while intoxicated and speeding when the accident occurred. Additionally, he was also operating a vehicle even though his license was suspended.

Understanding the seriousness of medical malpractice

There are many reasons why a person may need to see a doctor and seek treatment, as residents of New Haven, Connecticut, probably understand. Often, a medical issue requires medication for a fixed amount of time, after which the patient will be well again. However, sometimes, more intensive treatment may be required. Either way, the attending doctor needs to use the doctor's experience and make a decision about the type of therapy that is appropriate under those circumstances.

When making a decision, there is potential for the doctor to ignore, intentionally or otherwise, some aspect of the patient's case if the cure does not work as hoped. In fact, the treatment may end up aggravating the problem or causing other complications. The doctor's error, however inadvertent, may be fatal for the patient. From the patient's perspective, this may be considered a case of professional misconduct, and there are laws that punish doctors for such medical malpractice, such as suspending the doctor's license to practice medicine.

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