What Birth Injuries Cause Cerebral Palsy?

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If you’re preparing to have a child or are already pregnant with a child, you might have started to do some research to help make sure that your child is healthy!

One of the things that you might have come across during your research is the term “birth injury.” In case you’re still not sure what a birth injury is, it is a type of medical malpractice that you – or your baby can suffer – that can end up causing severe and permanent harm to your baby.

A common issue that can crop up as a result of a birth injury is cerebral palsy. Indeed, one of the most common consequences of a severe enough birth injury will cause cerebral palsy in your child.

However, as you may have realized from the wording, there are a few other birth injury possibilities that might also cause cerebral palsy. If, when it comes time to have your baby, you think that you or your baby might be a victim of anything listed in this article, contact another doctor and also contact a cerebral palsy birth injury lawyer. 

You might be eligible to make a settlement claim and gain some money to try and increase your child’s standard of living. 

 

Cerebral Palsy

According to the CDC, “Cerebral palsy is a disorder that affects a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. [It] is caused by abnormal development of or damage to the brain.” 

Some people with cerebral palsy will also suffer from other conditions such as intellectual disabilities, seizures, vision, hearing, or speaking problems, spinal deformities, or joint issues.

It’s bad news all around, and to know that it could be caused by medical malpractice is heartbreaking.

Parts of the brain that lead to the different types of cerebral palsy – photo by Ceimile95, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

 

Causes of Cerebral Palsy

Most cases of cerebral palsy are due to genetics. Unfortunately, if a bad hand of the genetic lottery is the cause of cerebral palsy, there isn’t much that can be done to prevent it. 

However, birth injuries are to blame for about 20% of cerebral palsy cases in children. The main cause of cerebral palsy is a severe lack of oxygen to the child’s brain during development, called neonatal anoxic brain injury, or, even worse, significant trauma to the baby’s head during labor or delivery.

 

Trauma

Sometimes, if a baby is stuck or if the baby is in an odd position that might make for a difficult birth, the doctor might attempt to get the baby from the mother’s womb using forceps or a specialized medical vacuum.

However, both of these carry risks of inducing trauma onto the child, which, if severe enough, can result in varying levels of cerebral palsy severity for the baby.

If a doctor is even the slightest bit too forceful using forceps or in a vacuum delivery, your baby can have permanent and irreversible health issues. A vacuum-assisted delivery  injury lawyer may be what you need if this medical malpractice happens to you and your baby.

BruceBlaus, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

 

Birth Complications

Other complications that might occur during birth can also cause cerebral palsy. Complications such as a placenta detaching, the uterus rupturing, or issues with umbilical cord prolapse . . . all of these can negatively affect a baby and make it hard for them to get the oxygen they need. 

A lack of oxygen in the brain is the cause of most cases of cerebral palsy. It is the on-site medical professional’s job to make sure that, in the event of fetal distress in your baby, they act swiftly – but with care – to get oxygen to the baby as quickly and safely as possible.

Anything less might lead to them being sued under the umbrella of medical malpractice. 

 

Other Causes of Cerebral Palsy

Realize that, if you’re thinking you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice, you will only have a leg to stand on if your baby’s cerebral palsy was caused by a doctor’s negligence.

However, a majority of cerebral palsy cases are – unfortunately – caused by genetic deficiencies. If this is the case, there might not be anything you can do, and there also isn’t anything you can do to prevent it.

But in all other situations, there are things that the mother can do to try and lessen the chance – assuming that the doctors hold up their end of the bargain and don’t cause a birth injury – of cerebral palsy in their child.

Some of these things are:

  • Be as healthy as possible before pregnancy
  • Get vaccinated for certain diseases (such as chickenpox and rubella) before becoming pregnant
  • Try to prevent twins, triplets, quadruplets, etc.
  • Get frequent prenatal care
  • Wash your hands often to try and prevent infections that might put the baby at risk
  • Contact a medical professional if you get sick so they can help you manage the sickness in a way that won’t harm the baby
  • Get the flu shot
  • Compare your blood type with that of the baby and work early to prevent problems that might crop up if the baby is a different blood type than the mother 
  • Try to mitigate risks of potential preterm birth
  • React quickly and in the most efficient way possible if your baby shows severe signs of jaundice
  • Vaccinate your child against certain diseases as soon as doing so won’t harm them 

 

Medical Malpractice

If you’ve done all these things and you don’t have a genetic history of cerebral palsy, but your child still ends up with cerebral palsy, you might be a victim of medical malpractice.

If this is the case, and you believe that you or your baby are victims of medical malpractice, contact a lawyer or other knowledgeable professional who will work with you to get justice for the crime committed against you. A Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury Lawyer will be well versed in the complexities of birth injury malpractice cases and can guide you through this difficult time in order to get the compensation you deserve. Call the experienced team of lawyers at Mceldrew Young Purtell Merritt at (866) 721-8431 or fill out or form here for a free consultation on your case today.

Pros and Cons of Settling your Personal Injury Claim out of Court

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Around 95% of personal injury claims are settled before a court hearing, which shows that it is indeed the preferred option. The truth is that out of court settlements are quicker and simpler to navigate. Trials on the other hand are time consuming, tiring, costly, and unpredictable. Both the plaintiff and defendant save time and money by settling the matter without the court’s interference. However, some convoluted cases are destined to be prosecuted in court, and the plaintiff is able to reap greater benefits. Whether you should settle your case out of court or go to trial, depends on your unique circumstances. 

It is necessary to discuss your case with a professional personal injury attorney before you accept a settlement or opt for litigation. You can start by acknowledging the basic pros and cons of reaching a settlement out of court:

 

Pro: You know exactly what you are getting

When you sign an agreement with the defendant, compensation is guaranteed, regardless of the settled amount. The defendant cannot refuse to pay the agreed sum in the aftermath. When a personal injury case goes to trial, there is no surety of winning for both sides. The jury could sway either way, which makes it a risky affair. If the defendant succeeds at trial, you don’t get anything. 

Con: You might not recover as much as you deserve

Most of the time, the jury sides with the plaintiff and strives to maximize their compensation rewards. You might receive twice as much or more money through court than whatever the insurance adjuster is paying you. Out of court settlements are unlikely to address punitive damages, so you would be missing out on a hefty sum. The amount you attain in the settlement might only grant partial coverage for your damages. 

Pro: Less stress, expenditure, waiting time

Court trials can take years to commence and the proceedings may go on for several months. Moreover, the outcome of a trial is unpredictable, which makes the ordeal even more stressful. The attorney fees for litigation are much higher and the legal costs keep adding up by the extended duration of the case. Personal injury settlements normally wrap up before a court date, which means lower expenses and waiting time. You may receive the payment within a month of signing the settlement agreement, so you can take care of the pending bills. 

Con: You give up the right to sue

Once you accept a settlement offer from the defendant, you lose the right to challenge them in court and demand further compensation. If the defendant’s actions were unethical or malicious, you cannot hold them accountable after taking the settlement. It is likely that they make you sign a confidentiality agreement that prohibits you from exposing sensitive information that concerns their reputation or public image. 

Pro: No room for appeal

Let us suppose that you win the case in court, but the defendant files an appeal. If this happens, the case will linger on and the defendant may eventually succeed in getting out of paying you any compensation. Therefore, all the time and money you spent on your claim will be for nothing. The best thing about out of court settlements is that they are binding and conclusive. 

Pro & Con: The details of the case remain private

When a case enters court, the details of it become public record. Out of court settlements allow both parties to keep the information private. This is certainly a good thing, unless you aim to publicize the defendant’s action or wish to expose their wrongdoings. 

 

What Is Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy In Babies?

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Few things are scarier in this world than bringing a new life into it. As a new parent, you definitely want your child to be perfect from their fingers to their toes, but the fact of the matter is that this doesn’t happen all the time.

Although sometimes babies suffering or missing basic necessities and ending up with diseases might be an issue with them having bad luck with the genetic lottery, other things might have gone wrong.

One of them is medical malpractice. It’s possible that if something happens to your baby, that it wasn’t genetics fault – it was the fault of the doctors who helped deliver the baby.

When it comes to babies and potential medical malpractice, one of the most common issues a baby might suffer from is called HIE, or hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.

 

Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy

HIE is a severe type of oxygen deprivation that can occur in newborns. It happens when the body no longer regulates the air to the brain, meaning that this type of asphyxiation can result in brain damage, disabilities, Cerebral Palsy, and death. These are called anoxic brain injuries.

This is likely not the type of situation you’d like your child to have to live with. Doctors have crafted three different stages that are used to discuss hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.

Stage I

This is considered to be mild HIE. Mild HIE can show up in floppy muscles, fussiness, difficulty feeding, and sleeping, frequent crying, etc. Luckily, most of these symptoms should end up disappearing within 24 hours of birth. Still, it is essential to treat and monitor these symptoms very closely.

Stage II

This is considered to be moderate or severe HIE. If this is occurring in your child it can show up as lethargy, hypotonia (muscle weakness), fewer reactions to reflex stimuli, weak grip strength, trouble breathing, seizures, etc.

As you may be able to guess from the increased severity of the symptoms, it is of paramount importance that these symptoms are monitored and treated as effectively and efficiently as possible. The first few weeks are the most crucial for treating Stage II HIE in babies.

Stage III

This is the most critical of the three stages, and it’s the stage that carries the most danger. If your baby has Stage III HIE, they might show symptoms of falling into a coma-like stupor, no response to external stimuli, difficulty breathing, no muscle tension, vision problems, seizures, an irregular newborn heartbeat, etc. 

The only way to treat a child with Stage III HIE is to keep them properly monitored and treated. However, even with treatment and monitoring, extremely severe cases of HIE may cause permanent injury or even wrongful death.

Parts of the brain where anoxic injuries can lead to the different types of cerebral palsy – photo by Ceimile95, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

 

HIE and Medical Malpractice

HIE may occur naturally in your child. At this point, all you can do is monitor and treat them and hope for the best.

However, it is also possible that a child’s HIE was caused by an accident a doctor made – such as the umbilical cord being wrapped around the child’s neck (preventing it from breathing) and the doctor not recommending a C-section fast enough – in which case, you’ll have a case for medical malpractice.

If you have a child who has a birth injury, getting the legal help that can lead to potential financial aid can make a large difference in how the child recovers during the rest of their life. Because of how touchy these injuries can be, it’s important to act quickly if you think something might be wrong with the child.

Many attorneys specifically work in these cases where a child’s birth injury was caused by a preventable medical mistake. If this sounds like something you’re dealing with, reach out to an anoxic brain injury attorney at (866) 721-8431 and see what your options are.

 

Do You Need An Attorney for Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy?

Birth injury – which HIE falls under – is a specific type of medical malpractice. If you file a claim for a birth injury situation, the verdict (if it goes in your favor) can truly help the child going forward.

When it comes to this particular medical malpractice, whatever birth injury attorneys you choose will do most of the work for you. Experienced Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy Lawyers will do the work of consulting with medical experts, gathering information, and building the case for you, so that you have less to worry about.

Although winning a birth injury settlement case is unlikely to help your child be cured – if they can be cured – the settlement will typically be put into a specific sort of special needs trust that is meant to help the child receive lifelong care. The money will also often be able to gain interest, so you should hopefully end up with more money to help care for your child. Additionally, this money doesn’t count as taxable income for the child, which means that the child’s benefits will be preserved over the years.

Working with a medical malpractice attorney like those McEldrew  Your Purtell Merritt will help you find a way to not have to worry about how you’ll afford your child’s specialized care. Secondarily, it will also add to the system of accountability for medal practitioners to ensure that they are held responsible for any and all mistakes they make. Fill out our form today to get a free consultation on your case as soon as possible.

Motor Vehicle Accidents Caused 20,160 Deaths in First Six Months of 2021: NHTSA

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The year 2020 saw a reduction of cars on the road due to the global pandemic, but also tragically saw a rise in traffic fatalities. Safety officials were hopeful that 2021 would see numbers starting to go down, but sadly, that doesn’t appear to be the case.

New estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are showing that 2021 saw the largest ever six-month jump in car accident fatalities. 2020 saw a staggering 38,680 people that died as a result of a traffic accident, the largest number of fatalities since 2007. And now, 2021 is shaping up to be another record breaking year.

 

2021 Traffic Accidents So Far

The NHTSA has released its Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities for the First Half (January-June) of 2021, and warned that the number of traffic deaths was up 18.4% from 2020. Nationwide, there were more vehicle miles traveled during the first half of 2021, about 13% higher than 2020, or around 173 billion miles.

The current estimate of the fatality rate for the first half of 2021 is 1.34 fatalities per 100 million miles traveled, up from 1.28 per 100 million miles traveled in the first half of 2020. And these numbers have continued to trend upwards since the first update from the NHTSA in September.

 

Why Are Fatal Car Accidents on the Rise?

Although vehicles themselves have continued to become safer, adding new features every year that are designed to prevent accidents, there has still been an increase in overall deaths since 2019. These increases also include a rise in pedestrians killed by motor vehicles, a number which increased by nearly 5% in 2020, a year when fewer vehicles traveled during pandemic lockdowns. 

According to traffic experts, the explanation for the fatality spike is likely due to the fact that there were fewer cars on the road during the lockdowns. With less traffic, congestion was eliminated, which made people tend to drive at faster, and more lethal speeds. Many drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2020 didn’t wear seatbelts, and were more likely to be driving while drunk

 

How Are Agencies Working To Make Streets Safer?

The rise of fatal car accidents has become one of the main focuses of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The NTSB has released a series of safety recommendations, and called on the NHTSA, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) to all collaborate on standards to protect pedestrians and drivers alike. 

The NHTSA released all their data during the second annual National Pedestrian Safety Month Campaign, which focuses on issues that may be responsible for the increases in pedestrian fatalities that the United States has seen over the past few years. The campaign focuses on:

  • Embracing new safety technology
  • Reducing speeding
  • Comprehensive review of roadways, focusing on accommodating pedestrians. 

In addition, the NHTSA has issued their 10th edition of Countermeasures That Work, a guide covering 10 areas of concern on the roadways. Specifically the report covers:

 

What Was the Most Common Cause of a Fatal Accident in 2021?

While data on 2021 is still pending, the NHTSA has data available on 2019. 

  • Drunk driving: Drunk driving claimed the lives of 10,142 in 2019
  • Speeding: Was the next most deadly, claiming 9,478 lives
  • Distracted driving: Was the third most deadly, claiming 3,142 lives in 2019

These three factors have long been listed as the most dangerous factors in determining whether or not a car accident will be fatal.

 

When You Need a Car Accident Lawyer in Philadelphia

Tragically, it appears as though vehicle accidents and fatalities are only going to continue to rise throughout the end of the year. If you or your loved one were injured in a car accident, you likely have many questions about how to proceed with a personal injury lawsuit against the at fault driver.

The experienced Philadelphia Car Accident Attorneys at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt can help you better understand the particulars of your case with a free consultation. Call us today at 1-866-333-7715 or reach out online via our form.  

Driving with Dogs: Some Safety Tips

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It’s not uncommon for us to travel with our constant friends. Cats and dogs frequently accompany their owners in the car, whether they’re going to the vet, performing errands, going on a road trip, or even just a joyride!

Safe driving, like riding without cats and dogs in the car, involves a level of planning and the ability to avoid distractions. Here’s a list of things to remember the next time you’re driving with your pet. There are three different forms of distractions that might happen when driving:

    • Visual distraction
    • Manual distraction
    • Cognitive distraction

When a driver’s eyes are taken off the road, this is known as a visual distraction. When a driver takes their hands off the steering wheel, this is known as manual distraction. Finally, cognitive distraction occurs when the driver’s attention is diverted from the activity at hand. When driving with a pet in the car, any or all of these distractions could occur.

Any type of distraction while driving, even being distracted by a pet, can result in a collision. That is why, especially when traveling with cats or dogs in the automobile, safe driving rules should be continuously enforced.

 

Understand the Rules of the Road When Driving With a Dog

First and foremost, you should be aware of the regulations governing the transportation of animals in vehicles. Because these rules might differ from place to location, it’s even more crucial to do your homework before you go so you don’t end up with a hefty fine. This covers legislation governing your pet’s safe transportation, such as whether or not the dog must be transported in a carrier.

“Dog In Car Stock” by RebaSpike is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Fearful or car-sick dogs should be trained or prepared

Long road journeys present a lot of obstacles, which are amplified if your dog dislikes traveling or gets car sick. You can teach your dog to not be afraid of automobile journeys. You begin by training your dog to eat food from a parked car that has not been turned on. Work your way up to eating in the car while it’s running. Then practice on short journeys that conclude in a pleasurable location, like a dog park. Because this process can take weeks or months, you should begin well in advance of any extended trips. However, with the right training, your dog may come to like vehicle rides!

Car sickness, on the other hand, is an entirely separate problem that you can’t prepare for. You might be able to talk to your veterinarian about drugs that can help ease your dog’s nausea or put him to sleep during long bouts of travel.

 

Always have some food and water with you

You never know what could happen, so keep some dog food and a water bottle on standby to keep your pup hydrated in case of emergency. Keeping a spill-proof water bowl with the dog’s name on it will make it apparent what the dish is for. Allow your pet to have a drink and some food whenever you stop on a long journey, so they are not alarmed if an emergency stop needs to be made.

 

Every few hours take a break

People were not built to ride in a vehicle for eight hours or more, and your pet should not be expected to do so either. Make it a point to stop every two to three hours if you’re on a long journey. Step outside and stretch, then do the same for your pet. Before getting back in the car for a few hours, go for a short stroll to burn off some pent-up energy. This is beneficial to everyone’s health!

“Dog Eats Car” by fsamuels is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Locking your dog in the car is not a good idea

There are a variety of reasons why you should never leave your pet in the car alone. The interior of automobiles can become excessively hot in the summer, suffocating animals. Temperatures might plummet in the winter, causing your pet to freeze. It is prohibited in some areas to leave your pet unattended in a vehicle. 

 

Have fun on your journey!

Traveling with a dog is similar to traveling with a small child in many respects. Because they are unable to care for themselves throughout a journey, you must keep their needs in mind and be proactive in caring for them. Any resulting injuries of cars can be compensated by an Ontario car accident attorney. These suggestions should help you and your canine companion have a lot more enjoyable car rides in the future!

Tips To Prevent Dangerous Accidents in Your Home

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electrical injury baby

Unintentional injuries are one of the leading causes of death worldwide, and are the number one leading cause of death in those aged 35 and younger. Shockingly, about 76% of preventable injury-related deaths occur in the homes and communities. In fact, in 2019, 131,400 died from a preventable, unintentional injury. And over the last ten years, that number has been steadily creeping higher. 

Naturally, you would probably not think about bringing a lawsuit against someone if you or a loved one were injured in your own home. But if you were injured in a slip and fall, or other unintentional way in a house that is not your residence, you may have standing to file a claim against the negligent party. The team at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt can help you understand the claims process, and how you can receive fair compensation for your accident with a free consultation. We’ve also compiled a list of our top tips to prevent dangerous accidents in the home below. 

“ADA 5′ shower units (9) with seat frames and grab bars – $200” by Our United Villages is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

 

Tips to Avoid Dangerous Accidents In The Home

While unintentional injuries can be severe or life threatening, the steps you need to take to prevent them are usually simple. Here are our top tips to prevent injuries in the home:

Prevent Falls:

Falls are the most dangerous and most common unintentional household injury. To prevent falls, follow these tips:

    • Always clean up spills immediately after they occur: Liquids, grease, or other fluids should always be cleaned up immediately after spilling on the ground.
    • Secure rugs: Non skid pads, or slip resistant backings should be present on all rugs on the floor. Double sided carpet tape is also available to secure the edges. Especially watch out for rugs at the top of stairs or near drop offs in the house. 
    • Be mindful of where liquids are placed: Make sure cups with liquid are placed far away from the edge of the table. Watch out for placing liquids on tables that have a tablecloth or runner on it, as a child can easily pull on the fabric causing a spill. 
    • Take extra precautions in the bathroom: Install grab bars in the shower or near the toilet if you live with someone who is unsteady on their feet, such as an elderly family member. Properly installed hower bars or shower stools can help prevent dangerous falls in the bathroom. 
    • Check dangerous areas: Garages and basement are often cluttered and have trip and fall risks. Make sure there are clear paths through these areas and that boxes are stacked safely without the risk of falling over and injuring someone. 

      “How many adults does it take to help a kid down stairs?” by JenCarole is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Prevent Burns:

    • Watch where you place hot liquids: Follow the same steps as above and always be mindful of where you place cups of hot liquid such as tea or coffee.
    • Check your hot water heater: Keep water heaters set at or below 120 degrees to prevent burns from overly hot water. Young children and the elderly are the most susceptible to burns

General Safety:

    • Always keep electronics far away from water: Especially watch out for young children when in the bathroom and keep all electronics far away from the water
    • Stairs: Make sure your handrail runs the full length of the staircase and that there are no area rugs or mats at the base or top of stairs. Make sure outdoor stairs are well lit. 
    • Keep all cleaning products secure: All cleaning products should be stored in a secure and childproof cabinet. A high cabinet that children cannot reach is preferable. 
“Cleaning Product Organizer” by Hey Paul Studios is licensed under CC BY 2.0

 

Getting Help When Accidents Happen

Of course, you may not be able to implement all of these suggestions in a house other than your own. But this short list of tips can serve as a guide for what to look out for when you or a loved one visit another house, as well as help you keep your own home as safe as possible.

You won’t always be able to prevent an unintentional injury from happening, but if you or someone you love were injured because of someone else’s negligence in keeping their home safe, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the experienced team at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt today at 1-866-283-7804 or use the contact form here to find out what your rights are and get a free consultation.

 

Fatal Pedestrian Accidents Increased Dramatically During Coronavirus Pandemic

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Road Crowd People City Traffic Street. Source: Maxpixel.net, shared under a CC0 license

 

The lockdowns of 2020 caused many departures from routine. In the case of pedestrian accidents, these changes in pattern were sometimes tragic.

Vehicle miles traveled in the first six months of the year dropped by 16.5 percent compared with the same period in 2019. Despite this drop, an increase in pedestrian deaths was registered — from 2,951 in 2019 to 2,957 in 2020!

This continuity represents an actual pedestrian fatality rate increase of 20% over 2019. The fatality rate increased to 2.2 pedestrian deaths per billion vehicle miles traveled, compared to 1.8 deaths in 2019.

The pedestrian rights lawyers at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt represent civilians with cases of serious medical injuries or wrongful deaths caused by automobiles. If you were injured due to the negligence of a driver, we will fight for the compensation that you deserve.

 

What Causes These Accidents?

In the first months of the pandemic, traffic was light but enforcement was lax. In addition, many more pedestrians were on back roads near to their houses, owing to an excess of time spent at home and no open destinations to head to.

This may help to explain the per-mile spike in pedestrian deaths in 2020 — but it doesn’t excuse it. 

When pedestrian accidents occur, drivers are often speeding, distracted, or otherwise operating their vehicle in an unsafe manner. These are the most common causes of pedestrian traffic accidents:

  • Drunk or otherwise intoxicated driving
  • Running red lights 
  • Right turns through crosswalks without looking for pedestrians
  • Distracted driving, such as driving while texting
  • Illegally parked cars making it difficult to see pedestrians and bicycles

 

Do Pedestrians Always Have the Right of Way?

Pedestrians harmed in traffic accidents are rarely to blame. If you or a loved one were injured on a sidewalk or at a crosswalk with no traffic signal, the driver was definitely in the wrong. Even if that was not the case, you may have had the right of way. 

Motorists must:

  • Yield to pedestrians crossing a roadway in a marked or unmarked crosswalk when the pedestrian has the right of way
  • Yield to pedestrians crossing a roadway with the assistance of a white/red-tipped cane or a guide dog. Motorists must also pay careful attention when moving past such individuals
  • Exercise “due care” by making use of all available precautions to avoid hitting pedestrians, including honking or giving audible signals when possible

Pedestrians have several responsibilities when dealing with traffic as well. They should:

  • Follow traffic control devices such as red lights, stop signs and “do not walk” signals
  • Cross at marked crosswalks or pedestrian crossings when traffic control devices are present at an intersection
  • When there are no designated crossings, pedestrians must yield the right of way to vehicles

Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries

When a vehicle and pedestrian collide, the results are predictably tragic. Our lawyers have helped pedestrians who have suffered:

These injuries don’t just cause extensive pain and suffering, they also carry staggering medical expenses. A personal injury lawsuit can help you handle the heavy burden brought on by driver negligence.

 

Other Pedestrian Injuries

It isn’t just vehicles responsible for harm to pedestrians. Negligence of all kinds is to blame for many pedestrian injuries each year. 

Slip and fall injuries occur on icy and dangerous sidewalks, in open manhole covers, from falling debris from construction projects, and down slippery stairs. 

Negligent property owners may be liable for some or all of your injuries, including medical bills and other economic damages. If intangible damages occur as a result of their negligence, they may be responsible for these too.

Photo by Nout Gons from Pexels

When to Consult with an Experienced Traffic Accident Attorney

When a devastating accident occurs, it can be hard to understand the next steps. Insurance companies are not on your side. An experienced personal injury law firm like McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt is best equipped to help you navigate this challenging process.

If you or a loved one are injured due to the negligence of a driver, property owner or construction project, don’t hesitate to contact our team of lawyers today. Fill out our form or call 1-866-382-4806.

 

Even More Harbor Freight Jack Stands Recalled

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The very recent recalls of the Harbor Freight Steel Jack Stands have brought to light an alarming safety hazard and source of severe injuries that cause over 4,500 injuries each year according to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NHTSA).

With over 1.7 million Pittsburgh 3-Ton and 6-Ton Jack Stands recalled to potential for severe injury and death from a jack stand collapse remains an incredible risk.  With decades of experience getting justice for injury victims, our jack stand collapse attorneys can help you or a loved one get suitable compensation for their injuries or possible death.  We have always offered a free case evaluation and you won’t pay a dime unless we win.

How Dangerous Are Floor Stand Jacks?

Even without recallable manufacturing defects, jack stands remain a dangerous tool for any business or individual needing to jack a vehicle up for repair.  Over 4,822 people were injured by collapsing jacks annually according to an NHTSA report, with over 96% of the individuals needing to visit the emergency room.  Currently – there is no concise study available on any fatal injuries caused by collapsing jack stands.

Of these 4,800+ injuries, the NHTSA broke them down into the following injury types:

  • 5% – Amputations
  • 40% – Contusions
  • 15% – Fractures
  • 18% – Lacerations
  • 10% – Strains or Sprains
  • 13% – Other Injuries

In over 39% of these cases – the hand, wrist, or fingers were injured by the jack stand collapse.

Our attorneys understand the law surrounding these incidents, and by calling us at 1-800-590-4116 we can help you learn whether or not you have a case with no fees required.

The May 2020 Harbor Freight Jack Stand Recalls 

After years of complaints, the NHTSA finally issued a recall of over 1.7 Million Pittsburgh Automotive® 3-Ton and 6-Ton Heavy-Duty Steel Jack Stands.

Harbor Freight is generally known for producing cheap tools and severe manufacturing defects within their Chinese factory led to the possibility of these stands collapsing suddenly under large loads.  This collapse can result in serious injuries and even death. 

The July 2020 Harbor Freight Jack Stand Recall

Harbor freight put out a new batch of jacks to replace the ones that had to be recalled, however, in July of 2020, just a few months later, the new 3-ton jacks also had to be recalled due to a manufacturing issue. A number of these new jack stands were failing and collapsing as the old batch had, except for a different reason this time. While the exact cause of the manufacturing issue has not been reported, the cause of these collapses is a defect in the welding of the jack stand. In response, the company has issued a recall to cover many of the jacks that people had bought to replace the jacks that had already been recalled.

What Harbor Freight Products Were Recalled?

In March 2020, an initial 454,000 Pittsburgh Automotive 6-Ton Heavy Duty Steel Jack Stands were recalled by Harbor Freight.  Only months later in May 2020, an additional 3-Ton Heavy Duty Steel Jack Stands were recalled due to the same manufacturing defect. In July 2020, more 3-Ton Heavy Duty Jack Stands were recalled, due to an issue with the welding which caused them to collapse.

What Manufacturing Defects Caused These Harbor Freight Jack Recalls?

The first two instances of these product recalls were linked to manufacturing defects within a manufacturer called Jiaxing Golden Roc Tools Co., Ltd.  An analysis of these jack stands determined that the product quality was inconsistent due to aged tooling – and due to this the gears used to keep the load aloft are prone to slippage.  In addition an inconsistent location of the main pawl armature hole also caused a margin of error which further exacerbated the issue.

The latest recall was due to a defect in the quality of the welding of load bearing pieces in the jack. When these welded joints received a heavy load, the stress caused them to snap and the jack to collapse, putting Harbor Freight customers in danger again due to twisting metal and falling loads.

This kind of welding defect could have a number of causes. If the joints don’t get hot enough when they’re formed, several issues could occur. For welding to be done successfully, both of the pieces have to be hot. This is because welding is basically fusing together two pieces of metal, until they become combined on the molecular level, if one of the pieces is too cold, that means it’s material won’t be altered enough to accept the fusing. The outcome of this is that if both pieces aren’t adequately heated at the same time, you’re essentially sticking one piece of metal onto another instead of fusing them together, creating a weak joint.

The failures of the July 3-Ton Jack Stand could also be due to cracking. This is a common defect that happens within the joints of the weld. It happens when the heated metal gets cooled rapidly, causing a build up of stress that makes cracks appear in the metal. A common process, annealing, is used to prevent this kind of issue from happening. By reheating the weld to a lower temperature than the original one and allowing the metal to then naturally cool, the metal refuses but undergoes less stress while cooling. Of course, cutting corners on these product quality steps is one way that suppliers and manufacturers are able to cut costs, unfortunately, the result is that the customer on the receiving end can be put at unnecessary risk.

Weld problems could also be a result of distortions, oxidation, slag, and corrosion, many issues that can be caused by poor quality base metals.

With such a large load depending on these jack stands, even a small defect can have catastrophic responses for those individuals working around the lifted load. 

How Were The Defective Harbor Freight Jack Stands Failing?

If affected by the May defect, the ratchet teeth on the jack stand lifting extension were inconsistency engaging the pawl, which provides the support for the load.  Due to the manufacturing defects these ratchet teeth were not engaging at an appropriate depth which could cause sudden slippage.

While under load, potential shifts in weight were causing these gear teeth to slip suddenly, which would cause the jack stand to collapse and potentially injure any bystanders. 

In the case of the July defect, the top stand that holds the arm of the jack is also the place where the teeth and levering action are located, because of the pyramid shape of the stand, the top of the stand had to be fused by welding. However, because this is where the levering action is located and where the arm meets the base, the area has to absorb a lot of stress, and the welds could not handle it and would fail, causing the entire jack to collapse.

How Can Our Jack Stand Collapse Attorneys Help You?

Our team at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt have helped bring justice to hundreds of individuals that were injured through no fault of their own.  Our team provides a free consultation so we can help you understand whether or not your injuries deserve compensation.  Throughout the entire process – you won’t pay a single dime.  We don’t charge any fee unless we win your case.

If you or a loved one owns or has been injured by a jack stand collapse, don’t hesitate to contact us immediately at 1-800-590-4116 so we can help you determine whether or not you have a case.

Retailing Giants Ending Sales of Inclined Infant Sleepers as CPSC Study Links Product to Over 73 Deaths

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After the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a warning in late October 2019 that inclined infant sleepers led to over 73 infant deaths, major retailers are finally responding and pulling these products from their shelves.

Consumer Reports urged retailers in an open letter they sent to 14 different retailing giants, including Amazon, eBay, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Kohls, that they pull these products from their stores in order to keep consumers safe.

Too many retailers had been skirting the issue by continuing to stock products intended for “snoozing,” “napping,” or “resting,” and Consumer Reports stressed that “It is not enough for the products to specify that they are not to be used for ‘prolonged’ sleep … any kind of inclined sleeping position poses risks to infants.”

The CPSC commissioned the biomechanical research to be led by Erin M. Manned, Ph.D., whose study found that “none of the inclined sleep products that were tested and evaluated as part of the study are safe for infant sleep.”

Which Inclined Sleeper Products Were Causing Infant Deaths?

With over 1,108 incidents reported to the CPSC so far, these types of sleepers have been sold at big-box retailers since 2014, and multiple brands and products have been facing recalls.

These include:

The Fisher Price Rock n’ Play Sleeper pictured above

Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play Sleepers: These were recalled in April 2019 after a CPSC study links the product to over 30 infant deaths over 10 years. About 4.7 million sleepers were eventually impacted by the recall.

Fisher Price Ultra Lite Day & Night Play Yards: Shortly after the first recall, Fisher Price recalled approximately 71,000 inclined sleeper accessories for their Ultra-Lite Day & Night Play Yards.

Kids II Rocking Sleepers: These infant sleepers were also recalled shortly after Fisher Price, with their product being linked to five infant deaths since their 2012 launch. These recalled affected approximately 694,000 units.

Dorel Juvenile Group USA’s Bassinets: Dorel had manufactured multiple infant sleepers sold under the Disney and Eddie Bauer brand names. In July 2019 the Eddie Bauer Slumber and Soothe Rock Bassinet and Disney Baby Doze and Dream Bassinet we both recalled affecting about 24,000 units.

SwaddleMe By Your Bed: Only recalled in January 2020, By Your Bed recalled almost 46,300 bassinets that caused similar issues as other recalled beds.

What About These Inclined Sleepers Is Causing Infant Deaths?

The deaths caused by these inclined sleepers is linked to a number of factors but ultimately the research identified carbon dioxide rebreathing, asphyxiation, and suffocation as causes of death.

Parents.com was able to speak to Dr. Mannen who performed the CPSC study identified a couple scenarios that infants were facing:

Suffocation Due to CO2 Rebreathing: The low breathability of certain materials (even mesh) located to the sides of the infants face can lead to carbon dioxide rebreathing which is a large risk factor for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Babies Rolling on Their Stomachs: In more than 20 of the cases studies the infants had been found on their tummies, and once they are in a stomach down position, they lacked the strength to push themselves into a new position which could lead to suffocation.

Positional Asphyxia In Standard Sitting Positions: In addition to the dangers of a child rolling over, even without rolling, infants were at risk of potential asphyxiation as the heavy head of an infant has a tendency to fall forward due to the steep angle of these inclined sleepers.

Legal Assistance Is Available For The Families Of Inclined Infant Sleeper Victims

If you or a loved one’s child was harmed after being placed in a Fisher-Price inclined infant sleeper or another brand of infant sleeper don’t hesitate to call our lawyers at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt directly at 1-800-590-4116 to learn how we can help you.

If your child has been harmed while sleeping, resting or playing in one of these devices, please don’t blame yourself. You purchased a baby item in good faith, believing it was safe for your child to rest there.

Now it’s time to explore your legal options to determine whether you’d like to pursue legal action against the manufacturer that produced an unsafe product. Please speak with our Pennsylvania Fisher Price Rock n Play law firm today about your options.

Five Killed and 60 Hospitalized After Tragic Pennsylvania Turnpike Crash

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A tragic accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike early Sunday morning left five dead and over 60 injured when a passenger bus with Z&D Tour Inc. lost control around a turn and set off a chain-reaction which involved three tractor-trailers and a passenger vehicle.

Police say that the bus was not able to get around a particularly tight turn, went up an embankment and flipped between the exits for New Stanton and Breezewood.  This set off a chain reaction which led to the horrific amount of injuries sustained, in what the spokesman for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Carl DeFebo called “the worst accident in his decades-long tenure with the turnpike.”. 

UPS confirmed that two of their drivers were killed in the accident:

Sadly, UPS confirms the identities of two of our drivers who are victims of this tragic incident. Daniel Kepner, age 53, had 5 years of service, and, Dennis Kehler, age 48, had 28 years of service. Both were driving together in a tractor-trailer vehicle out of our Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, operating center. Our drivers will be missed and our thoughts and prayers go out to their families. This is all of the information available at this time,”

FedEx and Z&D Tour Inc. have so far declined to comment beyond that they are cooperating with authorities.

Trucking Accidents in Pennsylvania Cause Serious Injuries

There are thousands of fatal accidents each year caused by trucks and tractor-trailers, and sadly Pennsylvania has one of the highest rates of trucking accidents in the US. Victims overloaded local hospitals and staff, having prepared for mass casualty plans, were able to handle the influx of victims, and provide the necessary treatment for their injuries.

Multiple patients had to be treated at Allegheny Health Network’s Forbes Hospital for neurosurgical issues, abdominal injuries, brain bleeds, contusions, and fractures from this Sunday’s accident, and staff from Forbes reported that their training for such an event had paid off.

Trucking accidents can cause serious injuries compared to standard vehicles, and almost 98% of the time a collision occurs between a large truck and a passenger vehicle the passenger sustains catastrophic injuries.

What or Who Exactly Caused The Tractor-Trailer Crash on The PA Turnpike?

While the bus from Z&D Tour Inc. has been identified as the first car in the crash, authorities have yet to determine what exactly caused the pile-up, and they say it can take weeks or months to determine.  While the weather can certainly be a factor, it’s still too early too determine whether it is a factor.

The bus that initially flipped was heading from Chinatown in New York City to Cincinnati.  

Finding The Right Attorney If You Or A Loved One Has Been In A Tractor Trailer Accident

With the severity of injuries that trucking accidents cause to passenger vehicles, it’s important that you make sure your medical costs immediately after the accident, and following the accident are covered.  

At McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt, we understand the complexities that are associated with these catastrophic accidents, and we provide comprehensive counsel to those who have suffered injuries due to trucking or multi-vehicle accidents.  Our team can take care of all types of serious and catastrophic injury claims, including brain or spinal cord injury, broken bones, burns, paralysis, and amputation or loss of limb and remove the stress from your family to help you focus on recovering from your injuries.

 McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt has won over $200,000,000 for our clients in various personal injury cases, and our team has worked directly with dozens of trucking cases involving commercial vehicles.

We take a vested interest in your case and you won’t pay a dime unless we win.  In many cases, we can advance the expenses necessary to help you find treatment and work with medical experts in order to properly diagnose your injuries, and how they’ll impact your life going forward.

Don’t hesitate to contact our team or call us directly at 1-800-590-4116 to speak directly to our team.

 

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