Boston Injury Lawyer Blog
Disclaimer - By publishing this information on this Web site, the Boston, Massachusetts law firm of Altman & Altman LLP is not claiming to represent any clients or cases mentioned here. The content provided is designed to inform readers and is not intended as legal advice.

It’s every new parent’s worst nightmare: their newborn baby is injured while in the hospital’s care.

On Tuesday morning, a veteran nurse at Uniontown Hospital in Pennsylvania accidentally dropped a 1-day-old baby while feeding and burping him in the hospital’s nursery. Though the baby suffered from a minimally displaced skull fracture, he is expected to make a full recovery, according to a hospital spokesperson. The hospital is investigating what may have caused the nurse to drop the young boy, but preliminarily suspect that the nurse had become drowsy and fallen asleep, before dropping him.

A hospital spokesperson told to Associated Press that it was unclear to him what shift the nurse was working or how many hours she had been on duty when she dropped the baby. But if it turns out fatigue played a role, the hospital could make changes to prevent similar situations, he said. Continue reading

As of Wednesday, New Hampshire law makers have placed a new law in effect that prohibits drivers from using any hand-held devices. This new “hands-free” regulation has been created in hopes of reducing distraction related crashes. Reportedly there have been 116 fatal crashes over the past four years that can be directly attributed to people driving while distracted.

Have you ever noticed how long it takes you to send a text? Or how frequently your eyes are taken off the road while you change the song on your iPod? New Hampshire law enforcement officials have provided alarming statistics to highlight just how dangerous distracted driving can be. Dialing a phone number while driving increases your risk of getting into an accident by 3 times.  If you are texting while you are driving, you are 23 times more likely to crash your vehicle. Even if you are simply reading a text, you are still taking your eyes off the road for a period of 5 seconds or longer. This may seem like an insignificant amount of time on the grand scheme of things, but in terms of safe driving, 5 seconds could be the difference between life and death. Continue reading

A customer was injured this morning when a wooden trellis that had been hanging from a supermarket ceiling fell and struck him.

According to the Associated Press and authorities at the scene of the accident, the man was checking out at a Pittsfield Price Chopper, when the 50-pound decoration unlatched and plummeted towards him. A spokesperson for the supermarket chain said that an electrician had been working on a lift near the trellis and had accidently caused the securement cable on the ceiling to snap. Several other decorative trellises were removed as a precaution. Luckily the customer suffered only minor injuries, but was transported to an area hospital as a precautionary measure. Continue reading

A consumer advocacy group known as World Against Toys Causing Harm Inc., or W.A.T.C.H., is releasing a report describing which summer toys are posing the greatest safety hazards to children. The annual list provides a detailed collection of items that parents should display caution in using or that should be banned altogether. President of W.A.T.C.H. Joan E. Siff and Director of W.A.T.C.H. James A. Swartz, collect an annual list of toys that have been recalled in order to provide parents with an overview of what could cause potential harm to their children.

In most cases adult supervision is sufficient in terms of preventing injuries. But for certain toys W.A.T.C.H. would advise parents to discontinue use immediately.

One of the toys that require diligent adult supervision is the non-motorized scooter. If your child were to use a non-motorized scooter, it is strongly suggested that a parent or guardian should accompany the child if they are riding near traffic. Proper safety gear is also necessary for any child using a non-motorized scooter or other forms of riding toys. Alarming rates of children, 50,000 under the age of 15, are being hospitalized due to injuries stemming from non-motorized riding toys. Injuries can span from scrapes and bruises to more severe issues such as brain damage or even death. Preventative measures should be taken immediately in order to stop future issues from arising. Continue reading

Communication appears to be key in preventing medical malpractice lawsuits. It’s uncertain whether this is because communication helps prevent medical errors, or because it fosters better doctor-patient relationships. Either way, the statistics are hard to ignore.

 

A Florida study showed that only six percent of obstetricians accounted for over 70 percent of medical malpractice suits during a five year period. Many of these doctors had been sued multiple times. A separate study looked at malpractice lawsuits filed by mothers following their newborns’ injuries or death. The vast majority claimed their doctors would not talk openly with them, tried to mislead them, or hadn’t warned them about neurodevelopmental problems. Continue reading

A video released last week on Good magazine is sending a chilling reminder to parents of the dangers of child swimming accidents.

According to the CDC, 10 people die each day as the result of a swimming-related accident. Two of those deaths, include children ages 14 and under, the CDC says; drowning accidents are the leading cause of death in children between the ages of 1 and 4. In 2012, there the CPSC reported 364 fatal swimming accidents; the majority occurred in residential swimming pools. In more than 50% of drowning incidences, drowning victims who were not fatally injured required hospitalization and further care for severe brain injuries, long-term disabilities (memory problems, learning disabilities, loss of bodily function, etc.)

Factors Impacting Instance of Drowning

  • Lack of swimming ability: Lack of an ability to swim is one of the main causes of fatal or serious drowning incidences. Parents can drastically decrease the risk of drowning by enrolling their children in swimming lessons.
  • Lack of Barriers: Not having adequate protective peripheral barriers around pool or body of water (such as a fence with a locking gate).
  • Lack of supervision: Drowning can happen quickly and quietly, so it is of the utmost importance for parents and caregivers to pay special attention while a child is swimming in a pool.
  • Location: Drowning is more apt to occur when a child is unfamiliar with his/her surroundings. For example, a child is more likely to be involved in a swimming accident if he/she is swimming in a lake but is used to swimming in a shallow swimming pool.
  • Failing to wear life jackets and other protective flotation device: According to the CDC, 88% of victims of boating accidents were fatally injured because they were not wearing a lifejacket. Inadequate use of flotation devices is a factor in fatal drowning accidents.
  • Alcohol/Drug use: Substance use while swimming is NEVER advised. Using drugs or consuming alcohol increases the risk of injury, especially while swimming.

Some Safety Tips Around Water

  • Always Supervise Children When in or Around Water. Elect a responsible adult to supervise children while around water, whether it be the bathtub or around a pool. Adults should always pay attention to children while in the water—that means not being distracted by cell phones or other activities.
  • Use a Buddy System It is never a good idea to swim alone. If you don’t have a “buddy” to swim with, choose a swimming area that had lifeguards on duty.
  • Learn CPR CPR is an invaluable skill to have; in the time it takes for EMS to arrive, you could save a victim’s life.
  • Learn to Swim Take formal swimming lessons to learn proper swimming and safety techniques.
  • Avoid Alcohol 

Swimming Accidents

Swimming accidents can be caused by a number of factors. In addition to inadequate swimming ability, swimming accidents may be caused by premises negligence as well as insufficient safety precautions on behalf of the property owner (such as lifeguards, proper barriers, inadequate labeling of pool depths that could result in diving incidents, etc.)

If you or a loved one was injured in a pool accident and you suspect it was the result of negligence on behalf of the property owner, it is generally within your best interest to consult a legal professional. At the law offices of Altman & Altman, LLP, our team of seasoned attorneys has nearly 50 years of experience handling all types of personal injury cases, including pool and water incidents. We can evaluate your case and determine whether you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries. Call our office today to schedule a free initial consultation. Our team of attorneys is available around the clock to answer any questions you may have and all consultations are completely free and confidential.

 

See the video from Good Magazine here.

A multi-vehicle accident involving a car, van, tractor-trailer, and pickup truck seriously injured a mother and her one year old boy on I-93 this past Friday. The woman’s gray Honda was crushed in the middle of the chain-reaction collision which occurred shortly before 10 a.m.

The young boy had become trapped in his car seat as a result of the crash. Rescue workers and bystanders worked to dismantle the car seat which had folded around him. Jean Paul LaPierre was one of the first to arrive at the scene. He said they could hear the baby crying from deep within the crushed car. Continue reading

Immediately following a motor vehicle accident, those involved may be seriously injured and in a highly emotional state. This type of scenario doesn’t often translate to clear-headed, effective decision making abilities. However, the decisions you make immediately following an accident can have a significant impact on the outcome. Familiarizing yourself with the below tips will help you to be better prepared in an emergency situation. If you are injured or in any way incapacitated, ask someone else to help you collect necessary information, if possible.

MA Motor Vehicle Crashes – Tips For Protecting Yourself After the Accident Continue reading

Every expectant parent hopes for a healthy baby. The vast majority of obstetricians, midwives, and other labor and delivery personnel utilize safe methods and are skilled and knowledgeable in their practice. However, there are exceptions. Unfortunately, birth injuries as a result of excessively strenuous labor, improper or forceful delivery methods, and physician negligence occur every day. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) more than two million significant birth injuries are reported every year in the United States alone. The increase in “planned births” through Cesarean sections and labor induction methods is often blamed for difficult deliveries and related birth injuries. Below is a list of the most commonly reported birth injuries.

Brachial plexus injuries (BPI): There is a bundle of nerves that begins at the upper spine and extends through the neck, shoulder, arm, and into the hand. When these nerves are damaged during the birth process the result can be mild and temporary to severe and permanent disability. Neuropraxia, the mildest form of BPI, involves the stretching of the nerve. Neuroma, on the other hand, is a serious injury in which the nerve is torn and fails to heal properly. The most severe BPI injury, avulsion, occurs when the nerve roots are torn from the spine causing complete and permanent paralysis.

Bone fractures: Broken or fractured bones are often the result of a difficult or complicated delivery. If a medical professional uses too much force while delivering a baby, breaks can occur. The most commonly fractured bone is the clavicle (collar bone). These injuries are usually temporary and can heal on their own or by immobilizing the area.

Perinatal asphyxia: This condition is caused by a lack of oxygen during the labor and delivery process. When there is insufficient blood flow to the fetus or newborn, it can result in difficulty breathing, a pale complexion, seizures, shock, and even coma. This condition can lead to permanent neurological damage.

Spinal cord injuries: With the potential to cause complete paralysis and neurological problems, spinal cord injuries can be extremely serious. Traumatic nerve and spinal cord damage, and meningeal tears are often the result of the improper use of forceps.

Cerebral Palsy: A diagnosis of cerebral palsy is devastating for parents. Occurring in approximately two or three infants per 1,000 births, cerebral palsy can cause weak muscles and muscle spasms, as well as a lack of motor skill development. There is no cure for cerebral palsy.

Altman & Altman, LLC, – Boston’s Birth Injury Attorneys

The birth of a baby should be a joyous occasion. Unfortunately, birth injuries affect millions of babies, and their families, every year. Some of these birth injuries are extremely mild and temporary, but some are not. In addition to physical and emotional pain and suffering, a family may find themselves in serious financial trouble as a result of mounting medical bills and lost wages. At Altman & Altman, LLP., we have have been protecting the rights of accident and injury victims for nearly 50 years. Our compassionate, knowledgeable legal team understands the emotional complexities surrounding birth injury cases. Our goal is to get you the compensation you deserve so that you can focus on your child without the looming threat of financial disaster. Our attorneys have an impressive track record of obtaining compensation for our clients. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.

As the baby boomer generation enters their senior years, the United States is seeing a surge in senior drivers. Many, if not most, of these individuals will continue driving safely well into their 70’s, or even longer. However, statistics show that the risk of accidents increases after age 65, and the risk of fatality increases after age 75. For this reason, there is mounting concern over the influx of older drivers and our nation’s lack of senior-driving regulations.

In Canada, physicians are required by law to report concerns about a patient’s ability to safely drive. Not only does the U.S. not have such a requirement, we barely have any safeguards in place to monitor senior driving. Some states have no specific driving requirements whatsoever for seniors. An 82 year old driver can renew his or her license for the standard four or five year timeframe (by mail) in certain states. In other states, such as California, the license renewal must be done in person after the age of 70, and it must include a written test and eye exam. However, these more stringent rules are the exception rather than the rule. Too often, unsafe senior driving is not discovered until an accident occurs. Continue reading