Personal Injury

Personal Injury

Child Awarded $53 Million for Brain Injury

Your brain needs enough oxygen and blood for it to function regularly. During childbirth, an inadequate supply of oxygen to the infant’s brain can lead to moderate to severe brain injury. Prompt hospital intervention is necessary for the infant to avoid severe or worse, fatal brain injury.

Effects of Brain Injury in Infants

Babies who survive fetal distress during childbirth or immediately after can suffer brain injury which symptoms include:

  • Delays in development of motor skills
  • Neurodevelopmental delays
  • Cognitive problems
  • Epilepsy

In many situations, the extent of a brain injury can only be determined within a few years of the situation that caused the brain injury. Consequently, an infant with brain injury may manifest symptoms when as a child, he or she experiences difficulty with fine motor skills and gross motor skills, has a learning disability, and has poor or limited social skills.

If your child has sustained a brain injury during child birth, your main goal is to seek the best treatment and care for your child, pay all your medical bills and care expenses, and secure your child’s future expenses. Speak to an experienced brain injury attorney as well about your child’s brain injury to understand what your legal options are.

Brain injury arising from fetal distress can be prevented with early detection of fetal distress. Signs of fetal distress include low heart rate, weak or no breathing, poor muscle tone, and excessive acid in the blood. At the hospital, doctors and nurses can perform specific tests and use appropriate equipment to measure fetal heart rate, blood acidity, and meconium staining, allowing for prompt treatment or intervention measures. Without early detection and prompt intervention, the infant is at an increased risk of brain injury.

Damages for Brain Injury

A child who suffered severe brain injury recently won a lawsuit in which a Chicago jury awarded damages amounting to $53 million. More than half of the award covers the child’s future caretaking expenses and future medical expenses. The brain injury case arose from an incident that happened 12 years ago when the child’s mother went to the defendant hospital complaining of her unborn baby’s lack of movement.

The lawsuit alleged that doctors and nurses at the hospital failed to:

  • Detect abnormal fetal heart rate patterns which would show that the fetus was already in distress; or severely deprived of oxygen
  • Carefully monitor the mother and baby
  • Obtain accurate cord blood gases
  • Perform timely cesarean section

Due to hospital personnel negligence, the child sustained severe brain injury and now has severe cerebral palsy. Further, the child is confined to a wheelchair and requires his mother’s assistance to eat, bathe, and get dressed.

Call a Portland Brain Injury Attorney

At the law firm of Dwyer Williams Dretke Attorneys P.C., our attorneys have the depth and experience to handle complex brain injury cases. We will examine medical records, identify the negligent party, and assess the extent of your damages.

We invite you to call us today at (541) 617-0555 to arrange for your free initial consultation. We handle injury and wrongful death lawsuits on contingency fee basis.

“Inattentive Blindness” Causing More Pedestrian Accidents

Oregon’s Department of Transportation said that around 64 pedestrian accidents statewide in the past 5 years were caused by distracted drivers and pedestrians. Although concerns and laws surrounding distracted drivers have increased, very little is said when it comes to distracted pedestrians. People of all ages and walks of life on the streets, on public transit, and riding escalators and elevators, are engaged in the same distractions that lead to fatal car accidents.

Pedestrian Fatalities Rising

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), pedestrian fatalities are on the rise. Almost 5,000 pedestrian deaths and 76,000 injuries with pedestrian/traffic collisions occurred in the United States in 2012. Although no direct ties have been made to distracted walking, it is hard to ignore the rising numbers.

“Inattentive Blindness”

According to research performed by New York’s Stony Brook University, those involved in distractions such as texting were 60 per cent more likely to walk off course than those who were not walking and texting. This occurrence is referred to as “inattentive blindness”. This phenomenon is believed to be part of the evolved human brain being unable to focus on more than one thing at a time, thus making it almost impossible to walk and text.

Multitasking

Common multi-tasking acts in which pedestrians engage include listening to music with sound blocking headphones, reading, texting, and using hand held devices for phone calls. All of these distractions can cause a pedestrian to step out into traffic, collide with other pedestrians or even cause bicycle accidents.

Kuzel et al. (2008b) reviewed collisions involving pedestrians who were distracted by headphones. They found that pedestrians were involved with collisions with all types of vehicles when they were distracted by “auditory activities” at common crossroads and while walking or crossing the street.

Growing Precautions

Many different and often surprising precautions have been taken to help prevent pedestrian accidents, including a jay walking and texting fine of $85 in Fort Lee, New Jersey, and lamp posts in London, England being padded to reduce injuries to distracted walkers.

Avoiding Accidents

To avoid a pedestrian accident the following rules should be followed:

  • Do not wear headphones or at least keep the volume low
  • Do not talk on a cell phone while crossing a street
  • Always remain aware of traffic
  • Stop walking when texting

In Portland, Oregon, Dwyer Williams Dretke Attorneys, PC is familiar with the injuries and dangers associated with pedestrian accidents. Our attorneys have extensive experience in personal injury lawsuits and handle a wide range of cases. If you or someone you know has been injured in a pedestrian accident, we invite you to call our offices today at (541) 617-0555.

Oregon Jury Awards $1 Million in Punitive Damages for Slip and Fall

An 84-year old man was awarded approximately $1.6 million in a slip and fall lawsuit against a supermarket, $1 million of which was for punitive damages. The case stemmed from an incident in December 2014 when the plaintiff slipped on spilt liquid laundry detergent while walking along one of the aisles of the supermarket.

Cause of Plaintiff’s Slip and Fall

On the day of the incident, a bakery worker at the supermarket informed a defendant’s store employee about a spill in the premises. The store employee looked at the spill and then walked back to the back area of the store. Shortly after, the plaintiff walked across the area and fell on the floor. The defendant supermarket maintained that the spilt liquid came from a container of laundry detergent that was leaking from one of its customers’ carts. Video footage of the incident showed the employee returning to the area after learning of the spill, with a bucket of water and a mop, though quite some time after being advised of it.  In the interim, no warnings of the spill were ever given to the customers of the store.

Plaintiff’s Injuries Due to Slip-and-Fall Accident

Due to the accidental slip, the plaintiff said that he broke one of his femurs which required extensive surgery to attach a metal rod into his broken leg. His injuries further required long and painful rehabilitation and physical therapy in order to recover use of his leg.

More than a year after his fall, the plaintiff still experiences pain and discomfort on his injured leg. He said that his affected leg is too unstable that he is no longer able to perform ordinary activities such as pulling weeds in his garden, holding his great-grandchildren, and taking plane rides to see his extended family. He may also have to sell his home as his unstable leg makes it difficult to navigate the stairs.

After 5 days of deliberations, the jury awarded the plaintiff compensation for his past and future medical and therapy expenses, his pain and suffering, and punitive damages.

If you suffered serious injuries in a slip and fall accident on another person’s property, you will need all the help you can get to completely recover from your fall. Talk to an experienced slip and fall attorney who can determine whether another party caused your injuries and the next steps to recover compensation, if appropriate.

In Portland, Oregon, the personal injury attorneys at Dwyer Williams Dretke, P.C. has been helping injured clients recover from their injuries by obtaining financial settlements and awards that they legally deserve. We invite you to contact us online or call us today at (541) 617-0555 to arrange for your free case evaluation.

Distracted Driving Auto Accidents on the Rise in Oregon

Traffic crashes continue to be a leading cause of death in the state of Oregon, which reported around 495 deaths due to auto accidents in 2016. While alcohol and speeding account for many of motor vehicle fatalities, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) said that distracted driving, particularly by using mobile phones is increasingly a common factor in car accidents.

Proposed Distracted Driving legislation

Lawmakers in the state of Oregon have proposed new bills that are intended to discourage the use of electronic mobile devices while driving. Existing law under ORS 811.507 prohibits using a mobile device designed to receive and transmit text and voice communication while driving. And the standing jurisprudence does not apply that law to persons using the phone such as checking social media or mobile apps.

A pending Senate bill seeks to expand the law’s coverage to include social media use, navigation and internet use as well as make any use of a mobile electronic device while driving as a Class A misdemeanor.

Legal Remedy for Car Accident Victims Due to Mobile Phone Use

If you sustained severe injuries due to another person’s mobile phone use while driving, you may also have a civil cause of action against the other driver through a personal injury lawsuit. In an auto accident personal injury case, you may be able to receive financial compensation which can cover:

  • All your medical bills, past and future
  • Lost wages
  • Impairment of your earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Damages for pain and suffering

Role of Auto Accident Attorney

A crucial step in this type of lawsuit involves proving that the other party was using their mobile electronic device while driving and that their negligent use caused the accident and your injuries. This process, however, can be highly complex, requiring an excellent grasp of tort law and litigation procedure. Call an experienced Oregon personal injury attorney to help you.

In Oregon, the law firm of Dwyer Williams Dretke, P.C. has more than 100 years of combined experience in a wide range of personal injury cases including auto accidents. Our attorneys have earned a reputation for relentlessly pursuing the best interests of our clients and preparing strong cases for trial. We work very hard to obtain the full compensation that our client deserves.

We welcome your call today at (541) 617-0555, or contact us online to arrange for a free case evaluation with one of our approachable attorneys. All personal injury cases are handled on a contingency or ‘no win no fee’ basis.

Deadly Auto Accidents Increase in Oregon

Recently released data by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that 35,092 people died in auto accidents last year, 7.2% higher than in 2014. Among all the US cities that experienced large surges in fatal auto accidents, Portland, Oregon had the highest increase, with 71.7% more traffic fatalities.

Common Factors in Auto Accidents

Oregon State Police said that several factors often lead to deadly road accidents, particularly on Oregon highways. The most common causes are:

  • Excessive driving speed
  • Distracted driving
  • Impaired driving

Just recently, 3 people died and 2 suffered severe injuries in a car crash in Oregon City. Investigators said that speed and alcohol were likely factors in the crash. If you or a loved one is involved in an auto accident, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately and obtain appropriate treatment for any injuries arising from the crash.

Importance of Personal Injury Attorney

Many factors can lead to car crashes. If another party’s negligent or reckless driving caused your injuries, you should be able to speak to an experienced auto accident injury immediately about it. Your lawyer can evaluate all the circumstances surrounding your accident, determine the causes, identify the persons with potential liability for it, and provide important advice about your legal options.

Claiming Compensation for Auto Accident

If a potential claim for compensation exists in your case, you may be able to recover economic and non-economic damages against the party who caused your injuries. Economic damages can include:

  • The costs of past and future medical expenses
  • Hospital bills
  • Lost earnings
  • Rehabilitative services
  • Future impairment of earning capacity

Noneconomic damages cover other consequences of your accident and can include:

  • Mental suffering
  • Pain
  • Loss of consortium
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of companionship
  • Inconvenience

Your lawyer can help you gather all the necessary evidence of your accident and injuries, represent you before insurance companies, and if necessary, litigate your claim for compensation before a jury. Your attorney can also help you obtain treatment from appropriate medical providers even if the other party does not carry insurance.

In Portland, Oregon, the law firm of Dwyer Williams Dretke Attorney PC has more than 100 years of combined experience, helping clients recover compensation from auto accidents and other types of personal injury cases. We also handle motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents, slip and fall, and wrongful death cases.

We invite you to call us today at (541) 617-0555 to speak to one of our approachable attorneys about your situation.