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Settlement Provides Paralyzed Child With $1.9 Million

In 2014, the life of a child was forever changed and all because a doctor failed to make the correct diagnosis.

After reading this blog, see more on Child Injuries Caused By Defective Products.

6-Year-Old Paralyzed After Doctor Fails To Diagnose Cancer

In February 2014, the parents of a six-year-old girl arrived at the pediatrician with a very sick child. Upon examination, doctors found that she had a high fever and a severely distended stomach - to the point where her mother described her as looking “pregnant”.child patient

Her doctor diagnosed her with constipation, prescribed a laxative, and told her parents that she would get better once she passed some stool. But she didn’t get better, she only got worse.

A few days later her parents made the decision to take her to the ER where she was admitted for hospitalization. There, her doctors determined that she had acute leukemia which required immediate treatment. Luckily, her doctor’s were able to find a bone marrow match and she was cured of her leukemia, however, prior to the diagnosis, the malfunctioning blood cells stuck together to form a clot and cut off the blood flow in her lower spine, paralyzing her from the waist down. She is expected to require the use of a wheelchair for the rest of her life.

Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Filed Against Pediatrician

The child’s parents filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the pediatrician on her behalf, alleging that if she had received treatment just a few days before the clot wouldn’t have formed and she wouldn’t have been paralyzed.

The parties agreed to settle out of court for a sum of $1.9 million, which has been placed in a trust fund for the child.

Her parents hope that this money will help to pay for new wheelchairs as she grows, lift equipment, and any other medical care she might require.

Cancer Misdiagnosis A Common Occurrence

handicap signCancer can attack any part of the body and there are literally hundreds of symptoms that a patient might present with. While a doctor may not be required to know how to treat every single type of cancer, they must have enough knowledge to order the correct tests so that a correct diagnosis can be obtained and the patient sent to a specialist for treatment.

Unfortunately, many doctors make the mistake of assuming that their patient’s symptoms are caused by another disease and don’t order tests which could ultimately diagnose their patient's cancer. When this happens, a patient’s cancer is left to grow unchecked, frequently metastasizing to other parts of the body and putting their life on the line.

The most common cancers that doctors fail to diagnose include:

Ovarian Cancer

Symptoms of ovarian cancer can include things like abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, feeling the need to urinate frequently, and back pain, all of which can easily be mistaken for muscle strain, IBS, or a urinary tract infection.

Breast Cancer

While growths are often easily identified in the breast, many are ignored and diagnosed as a benign calcification or fibroma.

Pancreatic Cancer

Did you know that nearly 40% of all patients with pancreatic cancer had their gallbladders removed before receiving their cancer diagnosis because the symptoms of these two conditions are so similar?

How Do I Know If I’m The Victim Of Medical Malpractice?

While this question can’t be answered without first reviewing the case, the following questions may provide you with an indication of whether or not a medical professional who treated you commited medical malpractice:

  1. Did you fully discuss all symptoms with your doctor?
  2. Did your doctor dismiss your concerns?
  3. Were you ever referred to a specialist for a more thorough evaluation?
  4. What tests did your doctor order, if any?
  5. Did your doctor discuss all conditions that may be causing your symptoms and explain why they ruled any of those conditions out?

If you believe that your doctor failed to follow the standard of care, contact our law firm today for a free case evaluation.

How Much Does It Cost To Work With A Med Mal Attorney?

Clients often stall before calling our law firm because they are already struggling to pay their medical bills and are afraid they won’t be able to afford an attorney. That’s why our experienced and passionate lawyers work on what is known as a contingency fee.

This means that any fee we collect will be taken directly out of the award or settlement we obtain on your behalf. If we don’t win your case, we don’t get paid. It’s that simple.

See our next article here:

After a six-week trial, a jury determined that a 16-year-old girl should be awarded $17 million for the brain damage that her parents alleged happened when a doctor made a terrible mistake.

To see what other types of  New York child injury lawsuits our legal team handles, visit:

Doctor Removed Ventilator Too Early

Nine years ago, when the plaintiff was only seven years old, her parents took her to the emergency room where reviewing an x-raydoctors determined that she was suffering from severe pneumonia. Unfortunately, the illness had progressed to the point where a portion of her lung was damaged and needed to be removed. Due to the serious nature of her condition, after surgeons removed the damaged portion of the lung, she was kept sedated so that she could heal and rest. While under heavy sedation, patients are put on a ventilator because they are unable to regulate their airway.

Ten days after her surgery, a pediatric pulmonologist decided it was time to remove the ventilator but made a crucial mistake - he didn't properly wean her off of the sedation first. Shortly after the ventilator was removed, she stopped breathing and her heart stopped.

The medical staff performed life-saving measures and were able to bring her back, however, she was completely unresponsive for 35 minutes. During this time, her brain was deprived of oxygen and she sustained damage to her thalamus.

How A Damaged Thalamus Changes Life

Today, the teenager struggles to perform everyday tasks.

The damage to her brain means that she has difficulty in processing new information and learning new skills. So while she is able to go to school, she has to work at last twice as hard to accomplish the basic things her peers are able to do without thinking.

The reality is that in addition to the years of medical care and therapy that she was already undergone, she will continue to need assistance for the rest of her life. This is why she and her parents chose to pursue legal action so that she could obtain the compensation she needs to live a full and independent life in the future.

Traumatic Brain Injuries Cost Millions To Treat

This plaintiff isn't alone. Throughout the state of New York, hundreds of people are diagnosed with brain damage each year, caused by:

To treat their injury, many patients require an average of $200,000 - $300,000 in medical treatments in just the first year. Over a lifetime, costs can reach millions of dollars.

Keep in mind that brain damage frequently prevents the victim from being able to work or enjoy activities that they previously enjoyed which means that in addition to changing their entire lifestyle, a regular source of income is missing. This is why so many accident victims choose to file a lawsuit against the party whose negligence caused their injury.

What Is Negligence?

According to the law, negligence occurs when one party fails to act in what would be considered a reasonable manner. For example, it is reasonable to expect that someone who is drunk would call an Uber or ask a sober friend to drive them home. It is not reasonable to expect that they would get behind the wheel of a car.

When negligence occurs, those who are hurt have the right to file a lawsuit in order to recover compensation for their losses. Losses may be monetary like medical bills and lost wages or they can be non-monetary such as physical pain and suffering and emotional trauma.

Our Legal Team Can Help TBI Victims Recover

After a traumatic accident, it might seem like talking to a lawyer or filing a lawsuit might be too much stress to handle, but our law firm is here to shoulder the burden and make sure our clients get the compensation they need to move forward.

If you or a loved one are interested in learning more about how we can help, contact our law firm now. Time is of the essence - in each case there is a statute of limitations that applies, meaning the victim only has a short period of time to file.

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It was a sunny day in Elma, NY and one family was enjoying their afternoon by riding around on ATVs. They didn’t imagine for a second that tragedy would strike in the blink of an eye. But it did.

Our child injury law firm in New York handles similar cases and can assist you if your child has been injured in a traumatic accident. Contact our legal team to schedule a confidential appointment.

ATV Flips Onto A Child

In April of 2017, a 12-year-old boy was riding an ATV. He was attempting to go up a hill when the wheels of the ATV struck a tree root. Instead of simply failing to move forward, the vehicle flipped and rolled back onto the boy. Despite the fact that he was wearing the appropriate protective helmet, he was diagnosed with a serious brain injury after being rushed to the Buffalo’s Women A parked ATV that could flipand Children's Hospital.

He was placed in intensive care and put on life support because he was unable to breathe on his own. A few days later, his family announced that he wouldn’t recover and they had made the heartbreaking decision to take him off of life support and donate his organs so that others could live.

Sadly, this victim isn’t the first - this accident occurred just after an adult man was found pinned under an ATV who also succumbed to his injuries and just before an adult woman was killed, a teenage girl was killed, and another teenage girl was seriously injured, all in ATV accidents.

ATV Accidents: An All Too Common Occurrence

While these vehicles, which by their very name are supposed to be “all-terrain”, may seem safe, they aren’t. In just 2015, emergency rooms saw more than 98,000 cases of injury due to an ATV accident and almost 30% of all of these patients were under the age of 16.

This number doesn’t include those who were instantly killed during an accident.

Most ATVs are not equipped with a roll bar or even a safety belt, so when the vehicle unexpectedly rolls over, there isn’t much to stop the heavy machine from crushing anyone who is caught beneath it. Most victims sustain a serious head injury, spinal injury, or broken bone.

What Rights Do An ATV Accident Victim Have?

Most people don’t realize that they may be eligible to pursue legal action after their accident. However, if another party’s negligence caused the accident, they may be held liable and the victim may be able to obtain the compensation that can help them pay for medical bills, lost wages, and more.

How Could Someone Else Be Negligent?

Just because the victim was the one driving the ATV doesn’t mean another party’s negligence didn’t contribute to the accident. Negligent acts and parties may include:

If it can be determined that negligence occurred, the victims or the loved ones of a victim who has passed may be able to file an ATV accident lawsuit against the responsible party.

How Much Does It Cost To File?

At Banville Law, we don’t want our clients to feel like they are unable to pursue legal action because of cost. That’s why we work on a contingency fee.

This means that any fee we recover from you is taken directly out of money we obtain for you through either a carefully negotiated settlement or successful verdict. We discuss our fees up front so there are no surprises. If we don’t win your case, you pay us nothing.

Car accidents happen every day in New York and it’s not uncommon for emergency responders to arrive and find a gruesome scene awaits. Twisted metal, cars that don’t even look like cars anymore, and victims with serious injuries can leave even the most experienced with nightmares. But the worst accidents involve a child being hurt or killed.

If your child was injured in a similar incident, contact our child injury lawyers today.

A Young Life Taken

No one can anticipate when an issue might arise in their car. However, there are certain safety steps that every driver should take when they realize that an issue may place them in harm’s way or disrupt the flow of traffic. That’s exactly what one man did when the hood of his Pontiac Vibe unexpectedly popped up and obstructed his view of the road. In order to protect himself, his wife, and their two sons, he immediately checked the road behind him, as well as the two lanes on either side. He saw no other cars approaching and so he slowed down and put on his emergency blinkers.rear-end accident involving a child

Emergency blinkers are used to indicate that a car is experiencing issues and will need to slow down and potentially pull over. Other drivers should see this and respond accordingly, allowing the car in distress to make the changes necessary to keep everyone on the road safe. But on this day, the only other vehicle on the road was being controlled by a man who was under the influence of narcotics.

Before the family could even maneuver their vehicle to the side of the road, the other driver, in a Ford F250, slammed into the back of their Pontiac, sending them spinning out of control.

The damage done to the victims was catastrophic. The father of the vehicle sustained spinal fractures and head trauma which left him with chronic headaches, memory loss, and aphasia. The mother, who was in the passenger seat, also sustained head trauma and spinal fractures. She was also found to have multiple rib fractures. Their younger child broke his femur which left both of his legs in a cast for almost two months, as well as head trauma that caused him to have seizures. Their older child, sadly, sustained the worst of the injuries, including blunt force trauma that caused him to bleed internally. Despite being quickly airlifted to the hospital and undergoing emergency surgery, he succumbed to his injuries an hour and a half after the accident.

Not surprisingly, all three of the surviving family members have also suffered from severe depression - not only because their family member died but because they went through the trauma of seeing him sustain his fatal injuries.

The driver who hit them was working for a masonry company at the time of the accident. When police performed a field sobriety test, he failed three out of five tests. He also refused to take a drug test. After being questioned, he did admit that he was on a drug called Suboxone, which is used to treat people who are addicted to narcotics. However, he claimed that he had taken the drug more than 24 hours prior to the accident and that he had simply been reaching for an object which caused him to take his eyes off of the road.

After Their Loss

While there is nothing in this world that can replace a child who was taken far too soon, car accident victims do have legal options. In this case, the family pursued a lawsuit against the driver of car accident where driver was speedingthe Ford and his employer, alleging that the driver was negligent for getting behind the wheel while under the influence, speeding, and for failing to pay attention to the road. They also claimed that his employer was negligent because they allowed him to drive for the company despite the fact that he had a previous DUI and the company's own policy indicated that this was against the rules.

Their legal team was able to preserve evidence from the truck, a “black box” which records data while a vehicle is in operation, much like the recorder found on airplanes. This information showed that the truck had been going nearly 20 miles over the posted speed limit of 55mph for at least 20 seconds prior to the impact and that the brakes had only been applied about 0.06 seconds before he hit the family.

During the trial, a toxicologist testified to the fact that the drug he had admitted to taking contained buprenorphine, which has a half-life of anywhere between 24 - 60 hours depending on the person who took it. This means that there was no doubt that he was still intoxicated at the time of the accident.

After a careful review of the facts, the jury determined that both of the defendants were at fault and awarded the family $32 million for their losses.

Are All Car Accident Awards That High?

No, no two cases are the same and so, therefore, the awards for each case are different. When determining how much to award a plaintiff in damages, the court must take into consideration what they actually lost and what they may be expected to lose in the future due to the need for ongoing medical care.

How Long Does A Trial Take?

The actual trial can take anywhere from days to weeks depending on the evidence that is presented. However, most cases resolve before ever going to trial through careful negotiation and settlement.

See our next article: Child Injuries Caused By Defective Products

The family of a six-year-old boy is very pleased with the outcome of a personal injury lawsuit filed on his behalf.

For related stories, see: Jury Finds Driver Under The Influence Responsible For Accident That Killed A Child

How He Became A Burn Victim

The plaintiff, his grandmother, aunt, sister, and several cousins were having a meal at a Chinese restaurant where they ordered tea. While they were enjoying their time out, the server delivered the tea and placed it on the table’s lazy susan. At one point during their meal, the lazy susan turned which resulted in the teapot tipping and landing directly on the boy.

The scalding liquid caused second and third-degree burns on his hands, groin, genitals, and thighs. He was rushed to a local hospital where he received initial treatments but was ultimately transferred to a burn center, where doctors performed multiple skin graft procedures. During these procedures, skin was taken from his back and buttocks and grafted onto his burns.

Despite his doctor’s excellent care, one of the graft locations failed to heal and he had to undergo a second procedure where they took skin from his thigh to cover the wound on his back. The result was damage to his skin which nearly doubled the area damaged by the burns. He was left with scarring on his stomach, back, thighs, groin, buttocks, and chest. His medical expenses at the time of the suit had totaled more than $230,000 and he is expected to require additional treatments in the future for scar revision, skin reorganization, and more skin grafts.

The Complaint

The burn victim's mother filed a lawsuit on his behalf against the restaurant, alleging that the defendant had been negligent in the location on the table where the teapot had been placed and that they had served the beverage in excessively hot temperatures.

To back up their allegations, the plaintiff’s legal team presented evidence showing that the restaurant had previously dealt with multiple situations where hot tea had fallen from a lazy Susan and burned a patron. They also determined that employees were supposed to take steps to prevent this from happening, including using a silicon pad to steady the teapot, making sure to place the teapot on the center of the lazy Susan or on a stable part of the table, and using ice cubes to cool liquid before delivering it to a table. An expert also testified that in order for the tea to create the serious burns that the child suffered from, it would have had to have been in excess of 180 degrees.

In response, the defendants argued that the grandmother and aunt should have provided the child with better supervision.

The Award

At the end of the trial, the jury determined that the defendants were 100% at fault for the accident and awarded the plaintiffs $998,500.

What Does This Award Compensate The Plaintiff For?

This award, also known as “damages” will compensate the plaintiff for multiple things, including monetary expenses such as medical expenses and non-monetary losses like pain and suffering and emotional trauma. In this case, it is likely that a portion of this award does, in fact, cover the pain and suffering experienced by the child since he required extensive medical treatments which left a large amount of scarring.

The Importance Of Preserving Evidence

Whenever someone is involved in an accident, like being covered in a hot liquid which leaves them with serious burn injuries, it is important that evidence from the scene of the accident be preserved. This may include photographs of the scene, the contact information of any witnesses, and the medical notes documenting the cause of the injuries as well as details regarding the severity of the injuries. Be sure to also document any communication from the defendant or an insurance company.

Keep reading: Settlement Provides Paralyzed Child With $1.9 Million

Nearly 233,000 children in the United States were injured as a direct result of accidents involving toys and other children’s products, in 2007. Parents presume that when they buy a toy or other children’s items that the manufacturer has taken the necessary steps to ensure the safety of their products. It can be heartbreaking for a parent to watch their child in pain or suffering. Companies that make children’s items need to take better precautions during the manufacturing process to provide a quality product that will not cause injury or death due to their negligence.

Our child injury attorneys in NY help parents and their children with cases related to defective toys. Contact our legal team to learn more.

Injuries Sustained From Defective Toys

Children who have been injured experienced tremendous pain from burns caused by defective anti-flammable additives and by defective devices that overheated or caught fire.

broken toy

Choking because of small parts breakage or falling off, accounts for many of these injuries. Lead paint poisoning caused thousands of children to experience severe vomiting and other effects as a result of lead content. CDC has more about lead poisoning and tips with what to do if it occurs. Strangulation, suffocation, and other cases resulted in death or serious injury. Riding toys are the most notorious when it comes to both toy-related fatalities and injuries.

You Have A Right To Legal Action

These are only five examples, there are so many more. More than three billion toys and games are manufactured and sold each year. While parents need to be vigilant, manufacturers need to make changes in their safety precaution procedures.

Manufacturers don’t have a list of people that purchase their products; unless they provide limited guarantees and registration cards on certain products, (even then many parents don’t register the item). When they learn of a problem with their merchandise, it is after one or more child has already suffered injury. They then issue public recall notices to consumers, but parents don’t always catch every recall. They have no idea of the danger their child may be in. Manufacturers need to be held accountable for children’s safety due to of their negligence. Parents also need to know that they can seek legal help from a personal injury lawyer with knowledge of child injuries.

Continue reading cases related to child injuries:

Laurence P. Banville
Date Published: August 6, 2018
Laurence P. Banville is the managing partner of Banville Law. As an experienced personal injury attorney, Mr. Banville helps clients recover compensation from those responsible for his clients' injuries. Our firm is located in New York City, serving clients from the five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island.
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