Seattle Personal Injury Law Blog

Fractures and broken bones among infants

It is an unfortunate fact that babies in Washington can suffer broken bones and fractures during the delivery process. Parents may be able to tell if their baby has suffered a broken bone if there is intense swelling, the baby cannot move the limb or the baby is continually crying.

Fractures have largely the same symptoms, but one may additionally notice redness, bruising and deformity around the affected area. The most frequent forms of fractures are clavicle fractures. In a clavicle fracture, the affected shoulder will droop lower than the other, and a lump may appear there a few weeks after the injury. Such fractures are often the result of a rough, stressful childbirth.

Overview of Erb's palsy

Erb's palsy is one form of brachial plexus injury that may arise during birth. The brachial plexus refers to a network of nerve fibers emanating from the cervical and thoracic portions of the spine that intertwines as it reaches out to the armpit region. It then becomes a network of nerves as it enters the arm. Washington residents should know that the brachial plexus controls movement in the shoulders, arms and hands.

What happens in a case of Erb's palsy is that the nerve fibers are stretched due to the head and shoulders being moved in opposite directions. This can occur with shoulder dystocia, the condition that arises when the baby's head is deviated away from the shoulder to allow the shoulders to clear the birth canal. Erb's palsy also develops during C-section deliveries.

Neonatal stroke, its signs and its treatments

Expectant mothers in Washington should know that newborns are just as likely to suffer a stroke as the elderly. Specifically, about 1 in 4,000 babies experience it. Stroke is caused by oxygen deprivation due to an obstruction in a blood vessel, and neonatal stroke occurs in the first 28 days after birth. Perinatal strokes occur within seven days of birth.

The mother's health can affect the risk of neonatal stroke. For example, that risk goes up if the mother has a disorder in her immune system, clotting problems, congenital heart disease or diabetes. Placental abruption and placental infection also make a stroke more likely. The cause of neonatal stroke is not always obvious, though. Children of uncomplicated pregnancies and normal deliveries can still develop it.

Research gaps may contribute to birth injuries

Science has come a long way in helping pregnant women. Scientific research has made it possible to identify, prevent and treat numerous medical complications that could harm a mother or baby. But there are still significant gaps in medical research that leave many doctors and their patients confounded.

When a pregnant woman has a medical problem that does not have a body of research behind it, doctors sometimes use guesswork to determine a course of action--which can lead to birth injuries.

Bounty hunters inflict injury and death on innocent bystanders

Bounty hunters, technically known as bail bond recovery agents, receive scant oversight when they seek licensing from the Washington Department of Licensing. State law does not prevent people with criminal histories from receiving licenses as bounty hunters. Agents frequently have convictions for drunk driving, domestic abuse, disorderly conduct and theft. These agents also have an almost unrestricted ability to enter homes without warrants and apply force when capturing fugitives. n some cases, bystanders to their actions suffer serious injuries or even death.

The mother of a son who had jumped bond for a burglary charge was shot in the face with rubber bullets by a bounty hunter when a team of agents stopped her vehicle. She now lives with scars on her face and post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from the attack.

What rights do crime victims have in Washington?

If you have been the victim of a crime, you may feel many emotions, including anger, fear and even a sense of betrayal. You may feel as though society has let you down. But you do have rights. Although no one can make you feel as if the crime never happened, these rights are designed to help you get through the difficult aftermath of a crime.

 

Birth injury settlements are higher than ever

There's an interesting trend in birth injury cases that Washington residents should know about. While the infant mortality rate and the number of babies injured during birth are both decreasing, the number of birth injury claims is increasing with higher settlements being reached.

The CDC states that there were 3,945,875 live births and 23,161 infant deaths in the U.S. in 2016, the latest year for which complete data is available. Birth injuries were ranked the fifth leading cause of infant death for that year, behind congenital issues, low birth weight, premature delivery and sudden infant death syndrome. However, between 2000 and 2006, avoidable injuries to mother and baby decreased by about 20 percent.

Types of nursing home abuse and their warning signs

Deciding to move your parent out of their home and into a care facility can be a tough decision. You want to be able to depend on the staff at the facility to take care of your parents when they cannot do it on their own anymore.

Unfortunately, not all facilities treat the elderly in an appropriate manner. In Americans over the age of 60, one in 10 face abuse. There are multiple different forms of abuse and also ways to spot each type.

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