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Memphis personal injury law blog

Absent anesthesiologist faces medical malpractice lawsuit

Most mothers-to-be in Tennessee are likely to have mixed feelings about giving birth. There is the anticipation of the joy the baby will bring, but then also the fear that something might go wrong during the birthing process. This fear was justified for a woman in another state who filed a medical malpractice lawsuit after she says she underwent a surgical procedure without anesthesia.

The surgeon, the hospital and the anesthesiologist are now facing a lawsuit that was filed by a 26-year-old woman and her fiance. Court documents indicate that the woman's pregnancy became problematic during November last year when it went beyond 41 weeks. Staff at the hospital was unable to detect the heart rate of the fetus and decided to perform a cesarean section.

Don't trust your feelings right after a car accident

There are numerous safety precautions everyone should take to lessen the impact of a car crash. One Memphis family learned this when a mother texted a father driving with their child. The mom reminded the dad to use the baby seat, and a few minutes later, the pair was in a traffic collision. Luckily, the baby was all right. 

In low-speed car accidents, you may feel perfectly fine immediately afterward. However, a few minor aches could actually mask soft tissue damage, which is common for whiplash. You severely jeopardize your future insurance claim if you neglect to receive a medical diagnosis immediately after the collision.

Pursuing wrongful death lawsuits could be challenging

Losing a loved one in a car accident is naturally a traumatic experience that causes not only emotional trauma but also financial hardship. An unanticipated death can ruin the financial security of any family. Every year, many wrongful death claims are filed in civil courts in Tennessee by surviving families of people who lost their lives in crashes caused by others who were negligent.

If a fatality in an automobile accident is caused by the negligence, carelessness, recklessness, willful misconduct or aggressive behavior of another party, those left behind might have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This often follows distracted, inexperienced or aggressive driving, impaired driving and failure to comply with road rules. Sometimes, the drivers who cause the accidents are not the owners of the vehicles, in which cases, the vehicle owners can also be held liable. Examples include a teenage driver crashing a parent's car or a big-rig driver causing an accident in a company-owned truck.

Catastrophic injuries kill 9-year-old when tree falls on tent

A tragedy that recently occurred at a Tennessee campground might lead to a wrongful death lawsuit. Reportedly, a 9-year-old girl who was heading to the fourth grade was with her parents on their very first camping trip at the Foster Falls Campground over a recent weekend. Authorities report that a tree fell over during the night and landed on the family's tent.

The young girl suffered catastrophic injuries, and her father reportedly escaped with minor injuries. No other injuries were reported. Another camper says a good Samaritan tried to help as much as possible while awaiting the arrival of emergency services. The girl was rushed to a hospital, but she succumbed to her injuries later.

What to do if you are a pedestrian hit by a car

Pedestrians are much more likely to sustain injuries following a traffic collision than someone else who is inside a vehicle. A report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that in 2015, approximately 129,000 pedestrians had to go to the emergency room for non-fatal injuries. 

You may feel shocked, angry and frightened after a pedestrian accident. However, the actions you take in the immediate aftermath will significantly affect the claims process later. You should try to move out of the street if possible to assess your injuries. Otherwise, keep the driver at the scene and follow these steps: 

Motorcycle accident victims often need orthopedic surgeons

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration says the number of motorcycle riders in Tennessee and other states increases at a significant rate from year to year. Bikers are much more likely to suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries in motorcycle accidents because they are so exposed. The Orthopaedic Trauma Association says that orthopedic surgeons are often called in to treat victims of these accidents, who often require surgery to arms, wrists, legs, feet and spines.

However, the surgeons say they would rather see bikers take more precautions to stay safe, like riding at safe speeds and being alert for debris, slick roads and other dangerous driving conditions. They also recommend that motorcycle riders always wear safety gear and helmets. Safety authorities say helmets reduce the likelihood of fatalities by 37 percent. Authorities also suggest riders leave the super sport type motorcycles for the race track rather than the roads they have to share with other vehicles.

Trenches pose severe hazards to construction workers

In a recent collaboration between the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and other organizations, safety authorities held a trench safety stand down nationwide, including in Tennessee. Many people take power and water supply in their homes for granted without giving thought to the construction workers and utility workers who risk their lives in trenches and excavations to make sure those services are available. Every time a worker enters a trench to lay a pipe, cable or gas line, his or her life is on the line.

For that reason, safety authorities thought it appropriate to raise the level of awareness among construction company owners, contractors and employees. They encouraged employers to use actual trenches during this week to demonstrate potential hazards and safety precautions to prevent cave-ins and other emergencies. Workers were also reminded that they have the right to refuse to enter unsafe trenches.

Who can be held liable for birth injuries?

Medical doctors, anesthesiologists, nurses, health care facilities such as hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and other providers of health care can all be held financially responsible for medical malpractice. Parents in Tennessee whose child suffered birth injuries may have grounds to file a claim against the negligent party. While doctors are typically the first to be named as defendants, hospitals can also be held liable -- either directly or vicariously.

If the negligence of a member of the medical staff of a hospital causes a birth injury, the facility can be held liable for negligent supervision or retention for failing to make reasonable inquiries into the training, education and licensing of the individual. A hospital must always have sufficient numbers of registered nurses on duty, and it can also be held responsible if employees fail to follow a private attending physician's orders. Failure to keep accurate records and neglecting to perform the necessary clinical tests are some of the other potential liability claims.

Construction worker accidents soar in Tennessee

The Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration is concerned about the number of fatalities reported in the state's construction industry. A spokesperson for TOSHA says the two-year period from 2016 through 2017 was the deadliest yet. In the metropolitan area of Nashville, 16 employees lost their lives in construction worker accidents during that period -- more than in any other rapidly growing areas in other states. This is based on the latest information made available by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Two such fatalities have been reported in the Nashville area so far this year. Although construction company owners, contractors and subcontractors are required by state and federal laws to provide safe workplace environments, TOSHA says that noncompliance continues to be a significant problem. The agency says the declining number of safety inspections due to fewer inspectors has led to employers disregarding employee safety in favor of profits. This has resulted in devastating construction site accidents.

Skepticism and caution: Attitudes to adopt after catastrophe

What constitutes a catastrophe? Certain things stand out as clear examples. The World Trade Center attack surely counts as one, as do the mass shootings of recent months. The reality is that a catastrophe can be any occurrence if someone endured sudden and severe injury or perhaps death. In that context, a catastrophic event could be a huge earthquake or as simple as a slip and fall accident.

No one can say when an unspeakable tragedy will occur. When you do suffer one, it can leave you vulnerable in many ways. The question then becomes what should you do to be sure that you protect your rights and avoid as much unnecessary distress as possible?

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