Was Your Baby Starved of Oxygen at Birth?

Posted: May 26th, 2015

baby starved of oxygen, Lake County Personal Injury LawyerStatistically, birth injuries occur in approximately 7 out of 1,000 births in the United States, or about three per hour across the country. Birth injuries can occur at any point throughout a pregnancy, not just during delivery. Moreover, a baby can suffer harm in-utero and it is usually a physical harm or trauma which causes the injury, resulting in long-lasting health and developmental problems.

The most common cause of birth injury to a baby, however, is when he or she does not receive appropriate levels of oxygen. Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), the medical term for a loss of oxygen, can lead to permanent damage to a baby’s brain. Moreover, it can be fatal.

Several factors can lead to HIE including intrauterine asphyxia brought on by circulatory problems such as clotting of placental arteries, placental abruption, or inflammatory processes. HIE is noted to be an “evolving” event of gradual brain cell deterioration caused by an initial negligent act. If an attending doctor improperly monitors a baby’s vital signs/heart rate in order to detect stress, and a brain injury occurs, a medical malpractice suit may be merited.

HIE can lead to permanent harm such as:

  • Cerebral palsy;
  • Brain injury/permanent vegetative state;
  • A lifetime of seizures or organ dysfunction; and
  • Blindness or hearing impairment.

The Right Legal Help

Some things in life are not fair, especially when they could have been preventable. What is fair and justified is seeking compensation for injuries you child has sustained at the hands of a medically trained individual who committed a negligent act.

If your child suffered HIE at birth which led to a serious catastrophic injury or death, the compassionate Lake County personal injury attorneys at Noonan Perillo Ltd. can represent you in an action against an area hospital, medical facility, or doctors’ practice. Call today for a free consultation. Sharing your story might just be the first step in seeking justice for your loved one.

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Terror on the Tracks: Causes for Train Derailments

Posted: May 18th, 2015

train derailment, Lake County Personal Injury AttorneyInvestigators are working feverishly to determine why a recent train derailment, killing eight and injuring hundreds of others, occurred in Philadelphia on May 12. While an exact cause may take several weeks or months to determine, understanding the factors that lead to these types of disasters can reveal many disheartening issues.

Derailment Causes

It is the job of investigators to report the devastating scenes from derailment accidents, and the task of first responders to undertake a search and recovery mission. Recovering bodies and searching for survivors takes first priority. However, once completed, retrieving a train’s ‘black box’ and obtaining train records and manifests are the first steps taken to determine cause for derailment.

The black box, which records a train’s speed, a train’s brake history, and the forward facing cameras help investigators determine the cause for a train’s derailment.

Between 2006 and 2015, a total of 14,156 train derailments were reported by the United States Department of Transportation. Moreover, the National Transportation and Safety Board reports of derailments which have occurred and discusses several issues that have contributed to the loss of life. Illinois has the second largest rail network in the country, and with aging infrastructure, derailments are a real potential risk for passengers.

Possible causes for derailment include the following:

  • Driver impairment, error or distraction;
  • The mechanical condition of a train such as defective or malfunctioning brakes;
  • Problems with a track such as a partial track replacement (or ‘plug’) that is internally defective;
  • Excessive speed;
  • Signal errors;
  • Weather such as heavy rains that cause a washout of part of a track;
  • Uneven load/cargo; or
  • Ineffective safety regulations and redundant systems,that do not compensate for human error.

Injuries and Fatalities

Injuries sustained in a train wreck range from minor cuts and bruises to serious head, neck, and spinal injuries. Sustained injuries, if not fatal, may require lengthy and costly rehabilitation. An attorney can advise you of potential financial recourse.

Compassionate Legal Representation

The law imposes certain legal obligations on common carriers, such as railroads, in order to protect passengers and the public in general. When there is a failure to use reasonable care, such as conductor or engineer negligence, a train defect, engine mechanical failure, or railroad track defects, choosing legal counsel experienced in personal injury litigation is a must. If you or a loved one has suffered catastrophic injuries or died in a serious train accident, please seek immediate legal representation from an experienced Lake County personal injury attorney.

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Cameras in Nursing Homes: The Next Level of Protection for Our Seniors?

Posted: May 11th, 2015

Nursing Home Neglect, Illinois Nursing Home Neglect LawyerAbuse and Neglect

Nursing homes continue to be a popular choice for American families to care for their older relatives. Families entrust their loved ones into these institutions with a certain level of vulnerability. Will their relative be cared for appropriately? Will their particular medical needs be met? Will there be a sense of belonging and compassion to allow your loved one to thrive?

Abuse and neglect or “elder mistreatment” is defined as “intentional actions that cause harm or create a serious risk of harm (whether or not harm is intended) to a vulnerable elder by a caregiver or other person who stands in a trust relationship to the elder.” Mistreatment includes failure by a caregiver to satisfy an elder’s basic needs or failure to protect an elder from harm.

With close to 3.2 million citizens in nursing homes across the country, the incidence of abuse remains high and the statistics in Illinois are no exception. In fact, the Families for Better Care ranked Illinois as the “bottom of the barrel” when it came to national standings.

What is the motivation of those who abuse and neglect? It can be several factors including struggling with personal issues, having a disrespect towards elders, being undertrained or overly worked, or even seeking a pecuniary gain by financially taking advantage of their patients. Whatever the reason, what is most concerning is that those under their care often do not even report incidents of harm and instead become afraid and withdrawn. Therefore, it is essential for relatives to seek out reputable nursing homes.

Surveillance Equals Peace of Mind?

In 2003, an unsuccessful bill was introduced in Illinois, which amongst other provisions would have allowed electronic monitoring in nursing home rooms. The expectation of privacy of residents and employees, and the ability of homes retaining or acquiring capable staff under these circumstances, were to two main considerations that saw its downfall.

However, the tides may be changing as a bill introduced in February of this year, allowing the use of video surveillance in nursing homes, is reopening the debate over whether or not the potential safety benefits outweigh privacy concerns. So while the Illinois senate works to figure out the balance between privacy and resident safety, families can be assured that the State may not let this issue rest after all.

Contact a Compassionate Lake County Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer

The elderly are a vulnerable population, and those who have been abused and/or neglected have a 300 percent higher death rate than residents who have not. If you suspect a loved one has been mistreated in an Illinois nursing home, contact a law firm where this type of litigation is a significant practice area. The Lake County nursing home neglect lawyers at Noonan Perillo Ltd. offer an initial complimentary consultation. Call us today.

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