• Tip from a Cleveland Nursing Home Injury Lawyer: Be Cautious When Signing Documents

    Posted on January 31st, 2014 admin No comments

    Any lawyer will tell you to be careful what you sign your name to on a dotted line, but a Cleveland nursing home injury lawyer will be especially wary. Ask Paul Ormand, who signed his father John Mitchell into a nursing home following a severe stroke in 1999. When his father suffered a bad fall and died as a result, only then did Ormand realize he had waived his right to sue when he signed the admission papers.

    Ormand had unknowingly signed a mandatory arbitration agreement, which severely limited his right to sue the nursing home. Any complaint against the nursing home was required to be addressed through arbitration, not a court of law. “I thought it was deceptive, and I was pretty angry that I’d been tricked into signing something that I didn’t know what it was,” says Ormond told NBC news.

    Arbitration agreements may nullify your right to file your grievance with a nursing home in a court of law. They are generally promoted as a way of saving on time and legal fees, and they typically do, but frequently favor the nursing home. Arbitrators are technically supposed to be free of bias, but those with a reputation of siding with patients are typically shunned in the industry.

    Unlike court proceedings, which are public, arbitration agreements are subject to the laws of confidentiality and typically only in the interest of the nursing home. They essentially prevent families from filing for malpractice or suing the nursing home.

    Before signing any agreements or contracts with the nursing home, first consult a legal representative specializing in nursing home injury. Be proactive in protecting your loved one before they are even admitted. It’s best to be prepared than to be sorry about it later.

  • Ask a Cleveland Attorney: The Most Common Identifying Signs of Birth Injury

    Posted on January 10th, 2014 admin No comments

    Birth injuries can occur during pregnancy, labor and delivery, though most occur during the birthing process. Some are simply natural birth defects caused by a missing chromosome, for example, while others are the direct result of medical malpractice. It’s important to identify a birth injury as early as possible, most importantly for the health and welfare of the child, but also to gather the freshest evidence in order to build the strongest case possible. Here are some of the most common signs of birth injury. If any of these apply, consult a doctor as well a professional birth injury attorney in Cleveland.

    • Cerebral palsy is one of the most common types of birth injury. Symptoms vary, and many are not evident until well into a child’s development. Signs can be delayed milestones, such as rolling over or being able to hold the head up. Other signs include abnormal movements, swallowing problems, or difficulty in speech development. Cerebral palsy is not always a result of negligence, but many times it is, particularly in the instance of a delayed or faulty C-section that causes oxygen deprivation. Though it can be difficult to detect early on, it’s best to get a diagnosis as soon as possible. If you have any concerns, have your child tested by a doctor and consult a legal advocate specializing in birth injury.
    • Other common birth injuries include a fractured collar bone, shoulder dystocia/brachial plexus/Erb’s Palsy, which is typically evident in a fractured or dislocated arm. Arms may appear floppy with a lack of muscle tone.
    • CPR or resuscitation during a birth can be another strong indication of birth injury.
    • If your child develops seizures during the first 48 hours of his or her life, this can also be evidence of birth injury that may have resulted from malpractice.

    Of course, only a physician can ultimately determine if a birth injury has occurred. Naturally, have your child checked by a doctor outside of the medical network where you gave birth to avoid a conflict of interest. Then consult a lawyer specializing in birth injury cases to establish if you have a case that should be persued.