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Alton Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Illinois jury awards millions to family after birth error

Expecting parents are always concerned something will go wrong with a child's birth and do everything they can to give their baby the best possible start in life. A large majority of births in Illinois happen without a hitch, but serious injury can happen in the complicated process of delivery.

One common concern among parents and obstetricians is the possibility of oxygen deprivation during the crucial first moments of life. Complications such as cerebral palsy and other permanent forms of brain damage may result from a child not getting enough oxygen in his or her first breaths.

Is shoulder dystocia during childbirth caused by negligence?

In most births, both the infant and the mother emerge from the experience healthy and happy. However, dangerous complications and birth injuries are always a possibility. Shoulder dystocia is one such condition that has the potential to cause serious and even life-threatening birth injuries if left unaddressed.

To be clear, shoulder dystocia itself is not caused by negligence on the part of the delivery team. It is a pregnancy complication in which the infant's head has emerged from the birth canal, but its shoulders become stuck and will not pass through unassisted. Without medical intervention, the condition poses risks to the infant and the mother and can lead to the following birth injuries.

  • Infant brain injury due to oxygen deprivation
  • Injuries to the infant's arms, shoulders or hands
  • Excessive hemorrhaging in the mother
  • Tearing of the mother's vagina, uterus, cervix or rectum

Joliet man files suit over slip and fall in local store

We've all taken a tumble, and we can usually shake it off like a kid tripping on the playground. But some trip-ups can be more serious both in the moment of an accident and for years to come. Injuries can be caused by others' carelessness so easily that Illinois law accounts for owners' and managers' responsibilities to guests.

A Joliet man claims in a recently filed lawsuit that his hometown's outlet of a national retailer was the site of a serious injury. The language of the claim says the man tripped and fell in the store's entry vestibule. The fall caused injuries severe enough to require medical care and the man's absence from work for a time after the accident.

It is costly to live with a disabling personal injury

It might surprise you to know that many victims of personal injury in Illinois do not want to impose hardship on the person responsible for their injuries. This is just as true of motor vehicle accident victims as it is of premises liability victims. Unfortunately, this way of thinking can leave those suffering disabling personal injuries with few or no resources to live a relatively independent life.

When the negligence of another party leaves you disabled, you will face many new and often unexpected expenses. That's why it is crucial to take a more pragmatic approach to your changing circumstances. Instead of making a hasty decision to forego legal action against the party responsible for your injury, you should look at the situation realistically. To help you put the focus where it belongs -- on you -- we would like to show you some of the expenses you may face going forward.

Chicago-area nursing home may be the site of financial abuse

While physical and mental abuse may leave perceptible warnings for seniors and their friends to spot, financial abuse can be the "silent abuse," as nearly no one in a person's life will be able to tell immediately if it is happening. Extortion, theft and other forms of financial abuse of senior citizens costs millions of dollars per year.

A 97-year-old former government employee with a sizable life savings and encroaching dementia turned to a Lincoln Park assisted living facility for her continued safety and security. Within a year, a group of employees at the home allegedly drained the entire fortune through ATM withdrawals, check cashing and online money transfers — all without the resident's permission.

Exploring the rights of nursing home residents

Many people believe that once elderly family members become nursing home residents, their rights as an adult go away. They think that the resident must comply with all requests or demands the nursing home staff makes no matter how dangerous or unreasonable they might be. We cannot stress enough how wrong this belief is.

Aging, ill and disabled people retain their rights when they enter a nursing home or other care facility. In fact, residents acquire new rights that are directly related to their residence in a home. We think it is vital to understand these rights to keep your loved one safe from nursing home neglect or abuse. Here are just a few for you to consider.

  • The right to respect and dignity
  • The right to choose medical treatment and physicians
  • The right to refuse treatment and medicine
  • The right to enjoy privacy
  • The right to own and use personal property
  • The right to remain in control of finances
  • The right to live in a comfortable and independent environment

Doctors may avoid malpractice histories by leaving the state

If doctors are to heal us, they must have our trust. Many patients prefer doctors who have been with them for years because they have put in the time and effort to earn this trust, perhaps by comforting them in some of life's most trying moments.

Mistakes can be made by interns as well as by seasoned doctors and are always possible. Practicing doctors in Illinois and elsewhere in the United States must meet minimum standards for professionalism. In addition, they must also carry significant malpractice insurance to protect their practice in the case of a medical or surgical error.

How often do surgical errors known as 'never events' occur?

You may be lucky enough to go through your entire life without the need for a surgical procedure. On the other hand, you may be like many other people who must prepare to undergo a surgery at some point. Either way, it is important to learn about the things that could go wrong inside a surgical suite just in case you do have to go under a surgeon's scalpel.

A "never event" is a term used to discuss surgical errors that should never, ever happen. While it could be argued that no surgical error should ever happen, never events are so egregious that they typically stand out as examples of gross negligence by a surgeon, other members of the surgical team or the hospital itself. Illinois is home to many prestigious hospitals, but even in facilities with the finest reputation, never events can and do occur. Here are a few statistics to consider:

  • A 2013 study revealed that over 4,000 surgery-related never events occur on an annual basis in the U.S.
  • More than 70 percent of never events reported between 1995 and 2015 resulted in death.
  • A 2006 study revealed that the average hospital might experience surgical errors involving wrong-site surgery once in each five- to 10-year period.
  • The most common surgical error reported as a never event is leaving surgical equipment inside of patients.
  • The second most common surgical never event reported involves performing surgery on the wrong body part, on the wrong patient or performing the wrong procedure entirely.

C-section births can prevent traumatic deliveries

The beginning of a life is a beautiful moment for a family. People become parents, and life changes forever. Ask an expecting parent what he or she hopes for in a child, and the answer is always "I just want a healthy baby."

New parents rely on obstetricians, gynecologists and other physicians to make the right calls that result in a healthy birth. Accidents are very rare in Illinois, but errors can be heartbreaking when they occur. Sometimes, the only recourse is a claim for financial compensation to try and get a life off on the right foot after early trauma.

Personal injury lawyers wear many hats for Illinois residents

When you have suffered an injury due to negligence, you may feel as if no one understands what you are going through. In many ways, this is true because each person is different and each injury is unique. However, you are not as alone as you may feel.

Over our years of service, we have found all victims of negligent personal injury share feelings of injustice and a sense of continuous victimization. We have also found that regardless of whether your injury occurred in a motor vehicle accident, because of medical malpractice or in a work-related incident, having an advocate may be crucial to your physical, emotional and financial recovery.

John J. Hopkins: From Working Iron To
Representing Those Who Work

ALTON —Like any successful trial lawyer, John Hopkins knows the importance of preparation. But he usually doesn’t write out the questions he plans to ask witnesses in depositions or in court.

View Article “I like to react to what the witness is saying—not only what they’re saying, but how they’re saying it,” Hopkins says.

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