Monthly Archives: November 2014

What is Erb’s palsy’?

When a California mom undergoes a difficult delivery, there is a chance that her infant will suffer from Erb’s palsy. This condition, also known as brachial plexus birth palsy, occurs when the nerves that control the arm are stretched or torn. In many cases, infants who have this condition suffer from arm weakness and have a loss of motion.

Erb’s palsy can have a number of causes, including a difficult delivery, a complicated birth or if the person assisting the delivery exerts force when removing the infant from the birth canal. There are four types of injuries that could contribute to Erb’s palsy: a neurapraxia, a neuroma, a rupture or an avulsion. A neurapraxia, which is the most common injury, is a stretch injury that usually heals within three months. A neuroma results in scar tissue, which can affect the rest of the nerve. A rupture is when the nerve tears and no healing occurs. Finally, an avulsion occurs when the nerve is completely torn from the spinal cord. There is no current treatment for an avulsion.

Depending upon the severity of the injury, there are several treatments for damaged brachial plexus nerves. In some cases, the infant or toddler may undergo physical therapy and range-of-motion exercises, which keep the arm muscles and joints limber. If no recovery is made within a few months, there are several surgical options available. If the infant or toddler is a candidate, he or she may have a nerve graft or a nerve transfer.

If an infant was injured during labor, the parents may have the grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctors and staff who delivered the child. Because all child birth circumstances are different, those who believe that hospital or staff negligence resulted in the injury should seek advice from an attorney.

What are burn injuries?

California residents may be interested to learn that a burn injury is defined as severe skin damage caused by excessive heat, resulting in the death of affected cells. Burns can range from the slight discomfort of touching a too-hot cup of coffee to the life-threatening damage caused by a house fire or propane explosion.

Burns are classified according to their degree of severity. A first-degree burn is the least harmful — while the pain may be considerable, the only physical symptom is redness of the skin. A second-degree burn involves blistering and slight thickening of the skin. A third-degree burn is extremely severe, with thick, leathery skin that is waxy or charred. The rarely discussed fourth-degree burn is even more dangerous, with damage extending into the deep muscle tissue and bones.

First-degree burns can usually be treated at home. Soak the burned skin in cold water for at least five minutes, apply aloe vera gel to the injury and wrap it with loose gauze and antibiotic ointment. Don’t use ice — this can actually make the burn injury worse. Second-degree burns should be given professional medical attention, though they can be treated like first-degree burns with longer water immersion and frequently-changed bandages. Third-degree burns or worse require immediate emergency medical treatment. Call 911 and raise the burned area above your heart until help arrives.

If you have suffered a severe burn injury due to the negligence of another person or organization, you might want to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit. An attorney may be able to help you obtain compensation for the pain and suffering you have endured, as well as recover the considerable costs that months or even years of medical treatment may entail. Every situation is unique, however, and this post should not be considered legal advice.

Source: Health Line, “Burns: Types, Treatments, and More“, November 20, 2014

3 teen girls killed in California Halloween hit-and-run accident

Two 13-year-old sisters and their 13-year-old friend were killed when a hit-and-run driver struck them at a crosswalk in California on Oct. 31. The girls were trick-or-treating in Santa Ana and were crossing Fairhaven Avenue at Old Grand Street when a black Honda SUV entered the crosswalk, striking the girls and throwing them more than 100 feet away from the site of the impact. The SUV then left the scene.

Witnesses found the girls lying in the street after the crash. All three died at the scene. Bystanders called police to report the hit-and-run.

The SUV’s driver, a 31-year-old Orange man, abandoned the vehicle in a parking lot near the scene of the accident and fled. His two children, ages 14 and 17, were with him at the time of the accident. On Nov. 2, police located the man at a motel in Stanton, where he was staying with his children, his mother and half-sister. He was charged with three counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and one count of hit-and-run causing death, all felony charges. He was also issued a citation for driving with a suspended license. His bail was set at $500,000. The man previously pleaded guilty in August to DUI, hit-and-run with property damage and child abuse.

Burial expenses, bereavement periods from work and other expenses following the death of a child often throw households into financial uncertainty, particularly when more than one family member is lost in the same pedestrian accident. Personal injury attorneys are sometimes able to provide victims’ families with advice on the litigation process should they wish to bring suit against negligent drivers.

Source: KTLA, “Mourners gather at Orange County churches for funerals honoring 3 teen girls killed on Halloween,” Ashley Soley-Cerro, Erin Myers and Steve Kuzj, Nov. 8, 2014

Source: ABC News, “1 Arrested in Halloween Hit-and-Run Deaths“, My Taxin and Gillian Flaccus, November 03, 2014

Hit-and-run driver critically injures pedestrian

The California Highway Patrol South Los Angeles division and Long Beach police have launched an investigation into a hit-and-run accident that happened on Oct. 25. At 11:20 p.m., a pedestrian attempting to cross a street near the Linden Avenue and Ocean Boulevard intersection in Long Beach was reportedly struck by a Scion. The pedestrian was taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center after the crash for treatment of critical injuries.

After the pedestrian accident, the driver of the Scion continued to travel before crashing near Willow Street on the 710 Freeway. The accused driver was apprehended by police and is now facing a charge for hit and run. Initial reports about the accident indicated that police did not know whether or not the driver had been intoxicated.

A pedestrian who has been critically injured by an out-of-control driver may suffer devastating financial losses while he or she attempts to recover from their physical injuries. If hospital bills and rehabilitative treatments are not covered by insurance, the victim could end up having to pay these expenses out of pocket. At the same time, lost working hours and damage to earning capacity may add to the victim’s financial strain.

Speaking with an attorney might enable the victim of a pedestrian accident to begin the process of pursuing financial compensation from the driver at fault. In addition to establishing the liability of the driver, an attorney may help the victim to gather relevant evidence to establish how damaging the accident has been to the victim’s personal finances. Depending on the nature of their injuries, the victim may seek compensation for future medical expenses and lost wages in a personal injury claim.

Source:, “Pedstrian critically injured in Long Beach hit-and-run“, October 25, 2014

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