Category Archives: Personal Injury

What Is Anesthesia Awareness?

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

When you go to a hospital for surgery, you expect the highest standard of care and for doctors to follow standard procedure. One of the elements of standard procedure for surgery includes full anesthesia to put you to sleep before the surgery.  However, in very rare cases, you do not completely fall asleep during your surgery, recall your surroundings, and/or experience pressure or pain – a phenomenon known as anesthesia awareness.

Definition of Anesthesia Awareness

When you visit a hospital for a surgery, you receive medications to help you fall asleep and reduce pain during the surgery. Some anesthesia also induces paralysis so that the patient does not move during the operation. However, this medication can fail to induce unconsciousness in very rare circumstances. You wake up, become aware of certain events during the surgery, and may even feel pain.

Different people have different levels of awareness. Some may recall brief memories, others may remember specific moments. Others feel a sense of pressure, while others can feel pain. In very rare cases, some patients can experience paralysis but remain awake and feel pain during the surgery. This instance can lead to lasting damage.

Why Does Anesthesia Awareness Occur?

Researchers do not know the exact cause of anesthesia awareness. Causes of anesthesia awareness can range from preexisting conditions to doctor error and medical equipment malfunction. Surgeries that do not use general anesthesia also have higher instances of anesthesia awareness. However, the condition is most common in patients with multiple medical conditions or who are receiving a certain surgery.

Surgeries with high anesthesia awareness rates include emergency C-sections, surgery for traumatic injuries, and certain heart surgeries. In these cases, doctors cannot safely administer the appropriate amount of anesthesia and patients do not completely fall asleep. In addition, anesthesia awareness can occur if the doctors do not administer anesthesia properly. Sometimes, the equipment meant to monitor anesthesia levels fails.

Possible Damages From Anesthesia Awareness

In the most severe cases of anesthesia awareness, patients can leave with lasting psychological damage due to their experiences. You may develop post-traumatic stress disorder due to your experience. You can also develop other mental illnesses, such as anxiety and an unavoidable preoccupation with death. Repetitive nightmares and irritability are also common damages from anesthesia awareness.

Can You File a Lawsuit for Anesthesia Awareness?

In certain circumstances, you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit in California civil court for anesthesia awareness. To do so, your attorney must prove the following factors:

  • He or she must prove that you and the surgeons, anesthesiologists, and other people involved in your case had a doctor-patient relationship. Visiting a hospital for surgery can establish this factor.
  • Your attorney must prove that your surgeon breached a standard of care, and that this breach led to the anesthesia awareness. In these cases, this breach can include improperly setting up equipment, ignoring signs of distress during surgery, or not administering anesthesia properly.
  • Your attorney must prove that a similarly trained and educated doctor would not have made the same mistake and you would have not suffered damages due to anesthesia awareness.
  • Your attorney must prove that you suffered damages because of the anesthesia awareness. In these cases, the damages are likely non-economic such as pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and loss of quality of life. In California, you can claim up to $250,000 in non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases.

Proving a medical malpractice case for anesthesia awareness can be difficult due to the irregular nature of the injury. Many different factors can contribute to this phenomenon, and not all of them involve medical malpractice. To determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit for your anesthesia awareness case, contact a medical malpractice attorney in Bakersfield.

Posted by highrank at 6:47 pm

Can You Sue for Misdiagnosis of Cancer?

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be one of the most traumatic experiences a patient can encounter. In addition, cancer treatments are notoriously harsh and lead to painful side effects. After months of chemo and emotional trauma, learning that your doctor misdiagnosed your condition can add additional pain on top of your experience – and in California, you can pursue legal action against your doctor for the misdiagnosis.

Your Legal Options for Cancer Misdiagnosis

Depending on the circumstances of your diagnosis, you could file a medical malpractice lawsuit against your doctor for misdiagnosis of cancer. If your doctor breached the professional standard of care during misdiagnosis and you suffered losses as a result, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. Contact a Bakersfield medical malpractice attorney to discuss the facts of your case.

With a medical malpractice lawsuit, you can claim the following compensation for damages due to the misdiagnosis:

  • Medical expenses incurred due to the false diagnosis
  • Future medical expenses due to injuries incurred during the course of treatment
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Lost wages due to cancer treatment
  • Punitive damages for reckless, intentional, or especially negligent behavior

How Do Doctors Misdiagnose Cancer?

With training and a proper educational background, you would think that doctors would be able to tell the difference between cancer and other medical conditions. However, many factors can lead to the misdiagnosis of cancer:

  • Unqualified medical staff. When you receive a cancer-screening test, specialists interpret the findings. However, certain hospitals may assign a doctor who does not have a background in cancer screening to analyze the results. This act can lead to cancer misdiagnosis.
  • Oversensitive or malfunctioning screening tools. Screening technology can make significant errors when reading cancer test samples. You may receive a false positive from this equipment and your doctor can misdiagnose you with cancer.
  • Intentional misdiagnosis. While these cases are very rare, certain lawsuits have involved doctors who intentionally misdiagnosed patients with cancer. Usually, the motive for this act is financial. The more treatments a patient receives, the more money the doctor gets from the insurance companies.

Potential Injuries Suffered by Cancer Misdiagnosis

Although receiving word that you do not have cancer may be a relief for many people, you likely already suffered harm as a result of cancer treatment. In addition, you may have an underlying condition that worsened as a result of delayed treatment. You can suffer significantly painful side effects from unnecessary cancer treatments:

  • Appetite loss
  • Hair loss
  • Loss of fertility and sexual function
  • Nerve problems
  • Lymphedema, or fluid buildup in the lymph nodes
  • Anemia and fatigue
  • Chronic pain
  • Infection, including urinary and bladder problems
  • Mouth and throat problems
  • Skin and nail changes
  • Delirium and confusion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Memory and concentration issues
  • Constipation and diarrhea

Proving a Medical Malpractice Case in California

To prove a medical malpractice case in California, you will need to satisfy the following factors:

  • Your attorney must prove that you and your doctor had an established doctor-patient relationship and therefore, your doctor owed you a standard of care.
  • Your attorney must prove that your doctor breached this standard of care through misdiagnosis.
  • Your attorney must prove that a similarly educated and trained doctor would not have made the same misdiagnosis in the same situation.
  • Your attorney must prove that you suffered injuries because of the misdiagnosis.
  • Your attorney must prove that your injuries led to losses, such as medical bills and pain and suffering.

Proving a case of medical malpractice can be difficult. Hiring a medical malpractice attorney is the key to proving these cases. Your attorney can consult with medical experts, gather necessary evidence, and craft a compelling case on your behalf. If you discover a cancer misdiagnosis and need compensation for your losses, contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

Posted by highrank at 6:37 pm

How to Find a Personal Injury Lawyer

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Dealing with a personal injury lawsuit becomes much easier with help from a skilled personal injury attorney in Bakersfield. A personal injury lawyer can take care of complex legal processes on your behalf, and help you fight for full and fair compensation for damages. With a number of advertisements for lawyers on local television and online, however, it can be difficult to find the best personal injury attorney for you. Finding the right one will take establishing your goals, meeting with one or two, and using recommendations.

Identify Your Criteria

Different things may be more important to different clients. One car accident victim may prioritize a law firm that is physically close by, for example, while another could be more open to hiring a national firm from farther away. List your top priorities you would like to find in an attorney. Then, add a few general things every personal injury victim should look for in a lawyer.

  • Experience in the practice area
  • Proven case results
  • Positive client testimonials
  • License in your state
  • Affordable fees

Create a list that will help guide your search for the perfect lawyer. Identify your goals for your case, as this can help you choose. Do you want to achieve a settlement as quickly as possible, or would you be willing to take a case to trial for maximum recovery? If you believe a trial might be an option, you will want a lawyer with courtroom experience.

Get a Referral

Referrals can point you in the direction of a lawyer with an established, reputable history in the community who fits your criteria list. They can come from trusted sources of information, such as friends or family members who have used the attorney or an online lawyer database such as NOLO’s law firm directory. In a directory, you can find detailed information about each attorney suitable for your needs, including the lawyer’s education, philosophy, and experience.

You may also be able to get a referral to a firm from a different lawyer – perhaps one that you have worked with before, but who does not accept cases in the practice area you need. Check with your county bar association for a referral service that may make the names of local lawyers available to you by practice area. Find a referral source the state bar association has approved. Otherwise, you may not be able to trust the information you find, or it may have biases.

Pick Three to Five to Shortlist

Using referrals or an online search, select three to five law firms that fit your criteria. Do this using information on their websites, attorney bios, and firm reviews or testimonials. Then, call each law office and get a feel for the firm. If the person who answers the phone is friendly and agrees that your case is one the lawyer may be able to help with, schedule a consultation. Initial consultations should be free and come at no obligation to hire the firm.

Meet with Lawyers

A lawyer may look great on paper, but might not be the right fit for you or your case. Sometimes, it takes meeting the lawyer in person to ascertain whether he or she is the top choice. Use your free consultations to meet with lawyers and conduct interviews. Come to your meetings prepared, with documents and information about your case and several questions to ask.

Questions can include: “How much experience do you have in my practice area?” “How long do you think my case will take?” and “What is my case worth?” Also ask about fees and processes. Once you decide an attorney is a perfect fit, you will need to create a written fee agreement and sign a contract. You may also need to pay a retainer, or an upfront fee to retain the lawyer. No matter what attorney you choose, he or she should keep you updated as your case progresses.

Posted by highrank at 11:00 pm

Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The free consultation is something most personal injury lawyers offer potential clients, to answer their questions and hear their concerns without cost or obligation. It is an opportunity for accident victims to receive honest answers from legal professionals without any out-of-pocket costs or risks. The information gleaned in a free consultation can determine how the victim proceeds with a case. Asking the right questions can help an accident victim make the most of his or her time with a personal injury lawyer in Bakersfield.

Does the Lawyer Have Experience with Similar Cases?

Experience is key to strong personal injury claim representation. Experience handling cases within a certain practice area can give a lawyer familiarity with the subject matter, as well as connections to related experts and investigators. It means the lawyer has experienced the potential pitfalls a victim may encounter along the way, and knows how to navigate your claim with the highest level of skill. Verify that the attorney has experience handling cases like yours before you hire.

What Kind of Success Rate Has the Firm Had?

You do not want an law firm handling your serious personal injury claim. You want a firm with a proven record of success. Although past results do not guarantee future ones, looking at a law firm’s victories for other clients can prove the firm has what it takes to secure maximum compensation. Take a look at case results on the firm’s website, or ask the lawyer for a list of top settlements and jury verdicts won in the last five years. Verifying wins in your practice area can help you have more confidence in your attorney’s abilities.

Does the Firm Have the Power to Take a Case to Court?

Most personal injury claims settle out of court, without the need for a trial. Hiring a lawyer to negotiate an insurance settlement on your behalf can improve your odds of securing a fair compensation offer without going to the expense or inconvenience of a trial. However, some cases require trials to achieve just results. Look for a firm with the capacity to take your case to court, if necessary. Otherwise, you may have to switch attorneys partway through your case, finding one with trial experience to continue negotiations.

Who Will Be Working on the Case?

Some law firms pass cases off to paralegals, junior attorneys, or assistants, rather than having lead attorneys work on the case. This can lead to communication lapses and lower-quality representation. As a victim, you need to gauge the skill and experience of the person who will actually be working on your case. A firm that uses more than one lawyer per case is fine; it means a well-coordinated group of professionals will handle different aspects of your claim. It is also acceptable for a firm to pass off routine processes, such as paperwork, to less-experienced lawyers.

What Is the Lawyer’s Evaluation of the Case?

One of the main goals of the free consultation is to come away with an idea of where you stand as an accident victim. The lawyer should be able to gather information from you about your accident and let you know if he or she thinks you have grounds for a case. If so, the lawyer should give you a few options you could take moving forward. Finally, the lawyer should be able to estimate the value of your claim, as well as how long it will probably take to settle. Get as much information about your case as you can during the free evaluation.

How Much Do Services Cost?

Many accident victims mistakenly believe they cannot afford the costs of hiring an attorney. However, this is not true if the lawyer operates on a contingency-fee basis. Contingent fees mean the victim will only pay attorney’s fees if the lawyer secures a financial award for the case. If the lawyer does win, he or she will take a percentage of the settlement or verdict as the legal fee. That way, an accident victim never has to pay out-of-pocket for services. Ask the lawyer about his or her fee arrangement, as well as the average percentage charged.

Posted by highrank at 10:55 pm

Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Suffering injuries in a car crash, slip and fall, workplace accident, or another incident can lead to complex and difficult legal matters for the victim. Phone calls from insurance companies, medical bill collectors, and legal fault for the accident are all elements the victim may have to navigate. If you recently sustained an injury because of someone else’s negligence, you may benefit from the services of a personal injury lawyer. Most attorneys offer free initial consultations, so you can receive professional counsel without cost or obligation.

How Serious Are Your Injuries?

Serious injuries temporarily or permanently disable the victim. They can include broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, burns, spinal cord injuries, eye injuries, neck injuries, and loss of a limb. Serious injuries can cost thousands of dollars in hospital bills during treatment and rehabilitation. They can also cost the victim thousands in lost wages. If you suffered serious injuries in an accident, or a loved one died and you wish to file a wrongful death claim, hire an attorney.

A lawyer is important in serious cases, because the victim is facing hefty losses. Rather than settling for less than the case is worth, a victim should hire an attorney to fight for full and fair compensation for major injuries, disabilities, and damages. Hiring a Bakersfield personal injury attorney can help an accident victim get the financial recovery he or she needs to move forward. Personal injury lawyers often work on a contingency-fee basis, so you will not pay for services unless your lawyer wins your case. You will pay from your settlement or judgment, not out of pocket.

Does Your Claim Involve the Government?

You could benefit from the assistance of a lawyer if a government agency or employee caused or contributed to your personal injuries. Claims against the government in California are possible, but they are more difficult than typical injury claims. According to the California Tort Claims Act, lawsuits against the government must come within six months of the date of the accident. This is different from the standard two-year statute of limitations. Missing your deadline generally means losing your right to file the claim. Hiring a lawyer can ensure you do not miss an important filing deadline in a tort claim against the federal or state government.

How Confident Are You as a Negotiator?

Insurance company claims adjusters, or the people who review and evaluate claims, are expert negotiators. They have had training and experience in convincing accident victims to settle for as little money as possible. It is the adjuster’s job to save the insurance company money by minimizing settlements. When a victim does not have legal representation, it is easier for a claims adjuster to take advantage of the situation.

Unless you have experience negotiating settlements with insurance carriers, hire a lawyer to take over negotiations for you. The act of hiring a lawyer alone could result in a higher settlement, since the insurance company knows you have the power to take your case to trial and will try to avoid this. A lawyer has experience going up against large insurance corporations in pursuit of fair financial recovery. He or she could achieve more positive results on your behalf.

Could You Benefit from Experts?

A law firm grants accident victims access to resources and professionals that can be helpful during a claim. These may include subject matter specialists, reputable doctors, investigators, and expert key witnesses. Experts can strengthen a case and help prove the plaintiff’s point. A medical expert on a malpractice claim, for example, can help establish a doctor’s duty of care and explain to a jury how the doctor in the case breached this duty. Most personal injury cases can benefit from the help of professionals. Consult with a lawyer for free about your case, and discover all the ways an attorney could benefit your recovery.

Posted by highrank at 10:48 pm

What Is Meconium Aspiration Syndrome?

Monday, December 31, 2018

Meconium aspiration syndrome is one of the most common life-threatening medical conditions a newborn can experience, appearing in about 5% to 10% of all births. Several risk factors can increase the chance of an infant developing meconium aspiration syndrome, and it is vital for parents to know these risk factors and consult with their doctors closely about any concerns.

How Does Meconium Aspiration Syndrome Happen?

Meconium is the medical term for the first fecal matter a fetus produces in the womb. Under certain conditions, an unborn infant may expel meconium into the amniotic fluid in the mother’s womb and then aspirate it. This can cause a severe infection that can jeopardize the baby’s life. Meconium Aspiration Syndrome most commonly occurs with babies in fetal distress, babies still in the womb past their due dates, and during difficult deliveries.

Treatments for Meconium Aspiration Syndrome

When an attending physician first recognizes the signs of meconium aspiration syndrome, the first step in addressing the issue is to suction the baby’s mouth as soon as possible. This will extract the meconium from the baby’s trachea, and the suction should continue until no trace of meconium appears in the suction device tube. If the meconium causes thick staining or the baby shows signs of distress, then the doctor may insert an endotracheal tube to suction out the last remaining traces of meconium.

A baby who undergoes this treatment will likely need intensive neonatal care. Doctors may administer antibiotics to prevent infection, implement a breathing machine to help keep the baby’s lungs inflated, and use a warmer to maintain body temperature. Light tapping on the baby’s chest can help loosen any secretions for easier removal as well.

In some cases, using suction is not advisable as it can cause a baby to develop pneumonia. If a baby arrives full-term at a healthy size with no signs of fetal distress, then doctors may use a saline solution to clear away meconium staining instead of using deep suction.

Can Malpractice Cause Meconium Aspiration Syndrome?

Difficult labor is the most common cause of meconium aspiration syndrome. A difficult delivery typically means the baby will be moving inside the mother more than usual, and this can make it easier for meconium to dislodge, combine with amniotic fluid, and then become lodged in the baby’s windpipe during delivery. Other risk factors for meconium aspiration syndrome are:

  • Decreased fetal oxygen levels while still in utero
  • The pregnant mother’s diabetes
  • The mother’s high blood pressure
  • Difficult labor
  • Fetal distress

These issues require immediate attention. If an attending physician did not properly monitor the mother’s or the baby’s vital signs and the baby develops meconium aspiration syndrome as a result, the physician committed medical malpractice and is liable for the resulting damages. A doctor may also face liability for medical malpractice for failing to recognize and address the signs of meconium aspiration syndrome in a newborn.

Damages in a Medical Malpractice Claim

Meconium aspiration syndrome can lead to persistent pulmonary hypertension, collapsed lungs, brain damage from lack of oxygen, aspiration pneumonia, and a host of other possible medical conditions. If a doctor causes this condition due to negligence or failure to meet the appropriate standard of care for the patient’s condition, then the doctor is liable for any medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering resulting from treating the baby’s condition.

It is essential for any parents who have had a child experience meconium aspiration syndrome to know their rights and legal options for recovery. Meconium Aspiration Syndrome has the potential to cause lifelong damage to a newborn baby, and doctors who negligently cause this condition or fail to treat it correctly are responsible for the damage they cause. Learn more by speaking with a Bakersfield medical malpractice lawyer.

Posted by highrank at 11:00 pm

How Long Does Post Concussion Syndrome Last?

Monday, December 24, 2018

Concussions are some of the most common traumatic brain injuries in the United States. Although treatable and relatively mild compared to more severe brain injuries, concussions can still cause severe medical complications and leave victims more susceptible to concussions in the future. One of the most problematic possible effects of a concussion is the manifestation of Post-Concussion Syndrome, a medical condition that can entail a host of adverse symptoms.

What Is Post-Concussion Syndrome?

Post-Concussion Syndrome is a very complex medical condition that entails different symptoms for everyone who experiences the condition. It is important to note that Post-Concussion Syndrome applies to the symptoms a person experiences following a concussion and the term does not necessarily describe an exact set of symptoms.

Symptoms following a concussion typically subside within a week to ten days, but they can persist for months or even more than a year. Some reported symptoms are common following concussions.

  • Headaches, specifically tension headaches. It is also possible for a concussion victim to have tension headaches because of a neck injury that occurred at the same time as the concussion.
  • Rest is one of the most important treatments following a concussion. It is possible for a concussion victim to experience dizzy spells from standing up too fast or from remaining standing for too long.
  • A concussion can make a victim feel sapped of his or her energy, and these feelings can persist for some time. Again, rest is a very effective treatment.
  • Irritability and mood swings. A concussion can cause unpredictable changes in a person’s personality, and Post-Concussion Syndrome has a tendency to cause mood swings and episodes of intense agitation.
  • Insomnia and sleep difficulties. A person struggling with Post-Concussion Syndrome may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, and lack of sleep can potentially exacerbate other symptoms.
  • Memory problems. Post-Concussion Syndrome can interfere with memories and cause short-term memory difficulties following the injury.
  • Sensitivity to sound and light. One of the most common symptoms of a concussion and Post-Concussion Syndrome is increased sensitivity to light and sound.

Understanding the Effects of a Concussion

Medical research still has not pinpointed the exact reason why some concussion victims develop permanent symptoms of Post-Concussion Syndrome while others appear to make full recoveries in a matter of days to weeks. Some believe that a concussion causes structural damage to the brain itself which can, in turn, alter several brain functions. The brain may adapt to these changes and alter patterns of cognition and behavior rather than returning to normal after healing, so it is possible for a person to display significant personality changes after a concussion.

It is impossible to accurately predict how long Post-Concussion Syndrome will last for a particular patient. However, research has indicated that people who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, and anxiety are statistically more likely to suffer from long-term Post-Concussion Syndrome symptoms. Social environment, family support, and coping skills also seem to play a role in this.

Managing Post-Concussion Syndrome

Since you cannot predict how long Post-Concussion Syndrome will last for an individual, the best thing to do is to follow the attending physician’s instructions, get lots of rest, and take medications to manage unpleasant symptoms. It is important to track any changes in your condition after a concussion, for better or worse. If you notice some symptoms starting to increase in severity, notify your doctor immediately as this could be a sign of severe brain damage or another medical condition.

It is also crucial for anyone who has had a concussion to do everything possible to limit the chance of additional concussions in the future. For example, if you sustained a severe concussion while playing a team sport and experienced Post-Concussion Syndrome symptoms for several months, this should be a sign that it would be best to avoid returning to that sport in the future. In the event somebody else’s negligence caused your brain injury, speak with a knowledgeable Bakersfield brain injury lawyer to learn about your options for financial recovery.

Posted by highrank at 7:16 pm

What Is the Glasgow Coma Scale?

Monday, December 17, 2018

Traumatic brain injuries are some of the most severe injuries a person can suffer and some traumatic brain injuries result in periods of unconsciousness. The Glasgow Coma Scale is a tool used by physicians to determine the severity of unconscious periods. Long periods of unconsciousness can have a dramatic effect on the health of the brain and it is vital for attending physicians to understand their patients’ situations and the risk of long-term brain damage.

The Glasgow Coma Scale helps physicians understand the severity of a brain injury and the scale uses several metrics to help determine this. In reality, anyone can refer to the Glasgow Coma Scale after another person suffers a brain injury to determine the severity of the victim’s condition. If your brain injury was caused by the negligence of another party, be sure to speak with a skilled Bakersfield brain injury lawyer to learn more about your legal options.

How Does the Scale Work?

The Glasgow Coma Scale measures three aspects of a brain injury: eye opening, verbal response, and motor response. A brain injury can interfere with all of these factors, and the Glasgow Coma Scale helps first responders ascertain the immediate damage following a brain injury.

The person administering a Glasgow Coma Scale test will first judge the victim’s eye opening. If the victim cannot open his or her eyes it qualifies as “not testable” or “none.” If the victim opens his or her eyes in response to pressure, this qualifies as a score of “2,” and eye opening in response to sound is a score of “3.” If the victim’s eyes spontaneously open, this receives a score of “4.”

The next step of the test is measuring verbal response ability. This scale includes:

  • 5: the victim appears oriented in his or her verbal responses.
  • 4: the victim appears confused based on verbal responses.
  • 3: the victim may speak incoherently.
  • 2: the victim makes sounds, but no intelligible words.
  • 1: the victim cannot make any sounds or words.
  • NT: “not testable,” which only applies to individuals who cannot speak regularly, such as infants.

A similar scale exists for motor response, but it extends to an additional level. This scale includes:

  • 6: the victim can obey simple commands such as touching fingertips together or pointing at objects in the distance.
  • 5: the victim displays localizing motor responses.
  • 4: the victim shows normal flexion in motor responses.
  • 3: the victim shows limited flexion in motor responses.
  • 2: the victim displays extension in motor responses.
  • 1: no motor response.
  • NT: “not testable,” which only applies to victims who cannot offer motor responses even in normal circumstances.

Once the person administering the Glasgow Coma Scale test determines scores for all three verticals for a victim, he or she adds the scores together to determine the severity of the victim’s condition. A mild brain injury typically falls in the range of GCS 13 to 15. A moderate brain injury will have a GCS score of 9 to 12, and a severe brain injury will measure 8 or less on the Glasgow Coma Scale.

Treating Brain Injuries

The Glasgow Coma Scale helps first responders determine a patient’s condition so he or she receives appropriate treatment. Severe and moderate brain injuries are the most likely to cause long-term damage, but the reality is that any type of brain injury has the potential to cause lasting damage. Any brain injury can result in cognitive impairment, memory problems, and permanent neurological damage.

Proper use of the Glasgow Coma Scale can help to ensure that a patient receives appropriate treatment for a brain injury in a timely manner. It is also important for anyone who administers a Glasgow Coma Scale test to remember that other factors like pre-existing medical conditions, shock, and drug and/or alcohol use can influence test results. Medical professionals can administer a separate Glasgow Coma Scale test to children who do not have the same motor and verbal capabilities as adults.

Posted by highrank at 6:55 pm

What Is Post-Concussion Syndrome?

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that occurs when a force causes the brain to move inside the skull cavity, striking the insides of the skull. The brain essentially floats within the skull, and any traumatic impact or blow to the head can cause the brain to shift violently within this fluid. After the brain strikes the inside of the skull, the victim experiences a concussion, and the symptoms vary greatly from person to person.

A concussion may result in a brief period of unconsciousness, disorientation, and confusion. Other symptoms can include sensitivity to noise and light, headache, nausea, sensory confusion, and a host of other symptoms. The immediate effects of a concussion may only appear to last a few hours to a few days, but one of the most troubling aspects of concussions is their tendency to cause long-term problems, including post-concussion syndrome. In the event you or somebody you love sustained head injuries caused by the negligence of another party, speak with a Bakersfield brain injury attorney as soon as possible.

What Are the Symptoms of Post Concussion Syndrome?

An individual who experiences a concussion will be more susceptible to concussions in the future, and he or she may also develop post-concussion syndrome. The symptoms of this condition differ for every individual, so a physician may diagnose a patient as having post-concussion syndrome in one of many ways. Some of the most common symptoms of post-concussion syndrome include:

  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Vertigo
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
  • Lapses in memory and/or diminished short-term memory
  • Fatigue, apathy, and symptoms of depression
  • Noticeable personality changes

A physician may look for three or more of these symptoms to diagnose a patient with post-concussion syndrome, and additional screenings such as CT scans and MRIs may help accurately diagnose a patient.

Prognosis for Post-Concussion Syndrome

Post-concussion syndrome has physical and psychological effects, making it difficult to treat in some patients. Rest is generally the most recommended treatment for a concussion, but this may exacerbate the psychological symptoms of post-concussion syndrome like depression, anxiety, and restlessness. Most patients who experience post-concussion syndrome make full recoveries within three months, but some cases can last a year or longer.

No one-size-fits-all approach to treating post-concussion syndrome is available, as the symptoms differ for every person who experiences it. Physicians must develop individualized treatment plans to address the physical and psychological symptoms of post-concussion syndrome for the best recovery experience.

Individuals who experience concussions and the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome should take care to prevent subsequent concussions in the future. Individuals who experience a second or third concussion generally report more severe symptoms, and repeat concussions are more likely to cause long-term damage.

Risk Factors for Concussions

Two of the most common causes of concussions in the United States are motor vehicle accidents and sports injuries. Motor vehicle accidents continue to be one of the leading causes of accidental injury and death in the U.S., and many people who survive serious car accidents sustain concussions. Many contact sports are prevalent in American life as well.

Football, hockey, basketball, soccer, and many other sports carry risks of causing concussions from collisions with other players, falls to the ground, blows to the head from equipment, and many other potential hazards. Athletes, especially younger athletes still in school, should take care to follow their sports’ safety regulations and wear appropriate equipment to prevent concussions.

While you can never predict the actions of other drivers on the road, you can use good judgment to do your part to prevent motor vehicle accidents and limit your risk of injury if an accident happens. Always wear a seatbelt while driving or riding as a passenger and drive defensively. Refrain from speeding and aggressive driving and use extra caution in high-risk areas like construction zones, heavy merging areas, and busy city streets. It’s possible to sustain a concussion from even a mild fender-bender, so safe driving is a great way to prevent these injuries

Posted by highrank at 9:25 pm

How Long Do You Have to Sue a Doctor?

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Whenever you believe you have grounds to take legal action against another party for civil damages, you must first ensure you meet the statute of limitations for your claim. A statute of limitations is essentially a time limit for filing legal claims. Different statutes exist for different types of claims, and the laws concerning these statutes vary from state to state.

A medical malpractice claim is a complex civil action that typically requires a claim review from a medical board before it can proceed, and symptoms from some medical conditions or injuries may not immediately appear. If you are unsure whether your claim will meet the required statute of limitations for your situation, your Bakersfield medical malpractice lawyer should be able to help you determine when your statute of limitations started.

How Does the Statute of Limitations Work?

The justice system recognizes that injured people cannot always take legal action immediately following an injury. In some cases, an acquired injury or illness may not manifest any noticeable symptoms for a long time, making it difficult to pinpoint the exact date a medical condition appeared. However, the justice system also recognizes the need for a system that discourages frivolous or outdated claims that use valuable time and resources. Therefore, a claimant who wishes to take legal action against a medical professional must do so within the appropriate statute of limitations for his or her state. In California, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is three years on the date of harm or one year from the date of discovery of harm.

Discovery Rule for Medical Malpractice Claims

The earliest date that a statute of limitations can begin for an injury claim is the date that harm occurred. This applies when the injury or illness is immediately noticeable, or the cause of the injury is immediately apparent. Several things may “toll” or delay the statute of limitations. The Discovery rule applies to cases involving symptoms that develop over time, or medical conditions that do not immediately display the full scope of harm.

Under the discovery rule, the statute of limitations may begin on the “date of discovery,” or the date the symptoms of harm became visible or noticeable. The court may also apply this statute to the date that a plaintiff should have noticed or discovered the harm with reasonable diligence. For example, if a person experienced stomach pain after a surgical procedure but did not notify anyone or see a doctor for several weeks, the statute would likely begin on the date his or her symptoms appeared and not the date of the diagnosis or the date of the surgery.

It’s important to remember that many states place a statute of repose on medical malpractice claims. These statutes function as hard time limits for taking legal action. For example, a state may have a 10-year statute of repose for medical malpractice claims. This means that a plaintiff must discover the harm from medical negligence and take legal action within 10 years of the date of injury, not the date of discovery. In California, the only exception to the three-year statute is for cases involving foreign objects left in a patient’s body during surgery. These cases must still meet the one-year statute under the discovery rule, but claimants may take legal action many years after the normal three-year statute has passed.

A medical malpractice lawsuit is a very complex legal matter that requires meeting various legal deadlines and filing requirements, so time is a critical factor for anyone who wishes to pursue a medical malpractice claim. A Bakersfield personal injury attorney experienced in medical malpractice cases can help you determine whether your claim meets the applicable statute of limitations for your situation.

Posted by highrank at 9:32 pm