Close up of newborn baby's feet.

Top Medical Mistakes That Cause Birth Injuries in Newborns

Welcoming a baby into the world should be a joyous occasion. For some parents, however, there can be complications that turn this beautiful event into a traumatic one. 

If a medical professional was negligent or caused harm to your baby during the birth, it’s possible to get compensation to cover medical bills and reimburse you for the pain and suffering you’ve endured. Consider these common medical mistakes that could cause birth injuries to your newborn.

Use of Too Much Force During the Delivery

If a newborn’s shoulders get stuck in the birth canal, they could end up with shoulder dystocia. This is a medical emergency that not all doctors quickly recognize, and it can result in the doctor pulling too hard during labor. 

Continuing to pull could result not just in injuries to the mother, but also in injuries to the newborn, including damage to the brachial plexus nerves. This could potentially cause Erb’s palsy, weakening or even paralyzing a child’s arms or hands. 

Failure to Properly Monitor Mother and Infant During Labor

Carefully watching the mother and infant throughout the entirety of the labor is essential for the health of both. Healthcare providers have to monitor maternal blood pressure, fetal heart rate, and all other vital signs to be able to spot any symptoms of distress. 

Not noticing fetal distress can lead to the baby being deprived of oxygen. This could lead to significant injuries, including brain damage. 

Improper Use of Vacuum Extractors or Forceps

Complex deliveries many times require the use of devices like forceps or vacuum extractors to help the baby’s passage through the birth canal. Using these tools, however, requires a medical professional who has the right skill and precision necessary to keep both the mother and baby safe. 

Using too much force during this process could lead to severe neck and brain injuries in newborns. 

Delayed Delivery

A labor that goes on for too long is dangerous for both mother and baby. The doctor has to recognize nonproductive labor and has to take steps to speed up the process, like beginning medication-induced labor or ordering an emergency C-section. If they don’t, permanent injury can occur to both the mother and baby. 

Failure to Diagnose Dangerous Conditions or Illnesses Before or After Birth

During and after pregnancy, it’s crucial for the healthcare provider to monitor for material or fetal conditions and illnesses. If any signs appear, the doctor has to offer appropriate treatment.

In women who develop gestational diabetes, for example, initiating necessary interventions as soon as possible is essential to avoid the baby suffering from brain injuries like cerebral palsy. Another example is if the doctor fails to pay attention to the symptoms the mother feels, and the result is a birth injury. 

Medication Errors

In some instances, expectant mothers could require supplements or medications to help their baby develop correctly. If the doctor prescribes the wrong medications or the incorrect doses of the medication or supplements, it can lead to injuries to the baby. This includes the use of medications that are known to cause birth defects. 

Getting Help From a New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer

If your baby suffered injuries or has birth defects that are the result of medical negligence, you may be able to get compensation. It’s essential to turn to a personal injury lawyer with experience in medical malpractice to obtain the justice you deserve. 

At the Hunt Law Firm, we can provide guidance through this difficult situation. Schedule a free consultation with the Hunt Law Firm to speak with a skilled Northern New Mexico medical malpractice lawyer today.

Surgeons performing a surgery under medical lights.

Surgical Errors and Your Rights as a Patient

Despite all of the technological advances and oversight in an operating room, errors still occur. If you’ve undergone a surgical procedure and the surgeon or any other medical professional made an error, you have rights. Learn more about what kinds of surgical errors are common and what you can do to get the help you need. 

Surgical Errors and Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is a broad term encompassing any negligence by a healthcare provider that harmed a patient. Surgical errors fit under the umbrella of medical malpractice. 

They’re mistakes that take place during surgical interventions and can include everything from operating on the wrong patient or body part to leaving a surgical instrument in the patient’s body. 

Surgical errors, like other types of medical malpractice, cause physical harm as well as emotional distress, leading to higher medical expenses and more. 

Common Types of Surgical Errors

Leaving a foreign object in the patient is a very common surgical error. It can occur in a disorganized or chaotic operating room or if the surgeon and staff are inexperienced. Leaving items like scalpels, gauze, or anything else could lead to discomfort, further injuries, and infections. It can result in the person needing another surgical procedure to remove the item. 

Another common error is surgeons performing the procedure on the wrong body part. Wrong site errors usually occur because of communication problems or negligence. They can result in patients losing healthy organs or limbs. 

Receiving the wrong dose of anesthesia is another serious surgical error. Having too much anesthesia can be highly detrimental, even putting your life at risk. Having too little anesthesia can leave you awake for the procedure but unable to communicate. 

Another type of surgical error is unnecessary injuries during the procedure. If the surgeon or other team member cuts or punctures an organ or other part, it could lead to infections and further need for medical care. 

Performing the wrong operation is another issue. Mixing up patients can lead to people getting the wrong procedures, impacting their recovery and usually meaning they have to go through another surgery. 

Filing a Claim: Your Rights as a Patient

If you’ve suffered because of a surgical error, you have the right to file a claim. It’s essential that you act quickly because New Mexico has a statute of limitations for malpractice lawsuits of three years. These three years begin the moment the malpractice occurs, not the moment you discover it. 

To have the best chance at receiving the compensation you deserve, turn to medical malpractice lawyers. They can gather the necessary evidence that proves your case by acquiring medical records, gathering witness statements, consulting with medical experts, and more.

One of the challenges you will face as you file this claim is to prove that the error occurred as a result of negligence. Because patients have to sign a form that recognizes the risks associated with surgery, the defense can claim that the error fits within that degree of risk. An attorney can help you prove it was negligence. 

Turn to Hunt Law Firm for Help

Going through a surgical procedure is stressful enough, but realizing that the surgeon committed a mistake can leave you with emotional and physical trauma. You don’t have to go through this on your own. In New Mexico, you have rights as a patient. 

At Hunt Law Firm, we’re here to help you get the compensation you deserve for going through this trauma. Contact Hunt Law Firm today to speak with one of our medical malpractice attorneys in Northern New Mexico.

Man with hands on head in distress.

Emotional Distress Damages in a Personal Injury Case

Suffering an injury because of someone else’s fault can leave you with not just physical harm but emotional trauma as well. In particular, emotional distress can severely impact your work, your relationships, and your quality of life. 

Have you suffered property damage, injury, or emotional harm in an accident that wasn’t your fault? If so, you have the chance to get compensation for the emotional distress you’ve suffered. 

Understanding Emotional Distress Damages

The purpose of emotional distress damages is to reimburse victims for the emotional and psychological toll that the event has taken on their lives. An accident could affect you emotionally in many ways, potentially leading to:

  • Problems sleeping
  • Depression
  • Severe mood swings
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Changes in appetite
  • Uncontrollable crying
  • Fatigue

Emotional distress damages are subjective because everyone who goes through an accident reacts differently. This makes proving that you’re experiencing them a complex process. You have to demonstrate that the distress came about as a direct result of the accident and that it has significantly impacted your life.

There are two main types of emotional distress: negligent infliction of emotional distress and intentional infliction of emotional distress. 

Negligent infliction of emotional distress 

Negligent infliction of emotional distress occurs when the defendant commits an act that unintentionally causes you harm. In this case, people who were in the vicinity of the accident could also file a personal injury claim, even if they were not physically injured.

For example, suppose that a married couple was out walking, and a drunk driver hit one of them, causing their death. The other person could file for emotional distress damages even though they weren’t hit. 

Intentional infliction of emotional distress

This type of distress occurs when the defendant recklessly or intentionally inflicts emotional distress on someone else. Examples include constant racial slurs, sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, and any conduct that threatens your physical safety. 

Providing the Right Evidence

To substantiate your claim of emotional distress, you will need to provide evidence. Gathering evidence is not always easy, especially if you’re dealing with physical and psychological trauma. That is why turning to a personal injury lawyer is the right step. 

A personal injury lawyer will guide you on what kinds of evidence could make a difference. For most people, witness testimonies from family, friends, coworkers, employers, and others who knew you before the accident and who have contact with you now can help. 

Expert testimony is also important. You can turn to mental health professionals like therapists, psychologists, counselors, and more for this purpose. In some instances, your personal injury lawyer may help with upfront fees for these professionals if you can’t afford them. 

If you’re taking any kind of medication to manage the psychological damage you’ve experienced, getting medical records that show this is also important. Another option is to offer a journal or diary that records the moods, thoughts, and emotional distress you’ve experienced since the accident. 

A new type of evidence that can help is your fitness and sleep tracker. They can show how your heart rate and sleep patterns have changed since your accident. 

Working With Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers

Because proving emotional distress damages is such a complex process, it is always important to reach out to a personal injury lawyer who has experience with these kinds of claims. With the right lawyers by your side, you have the chance to get the compensation you deserve.

At Hunt Law Firm, we have 20 years of experience helping those who’ve suffered because of someone else’s negligence. You shouldn’t have to foot medical bills, repair costs, lost wages, and the costs of any other damages you have suffered. Get a free consultation in Northern New Mexico by turning to us at the Hunt Law Firm.

Elderly woman receiving back exam from doctor.

How Does Medical Treatment Affect Your Personal Injury Case?

Many people hesitate to receive medical care after being involved in an accident that was someone else’s fault. This can be dangerous to their health since it could result in worsening injuries, and it can also hinder the process of getting compensation for those injuries. 

Physicians can have a powerful impact on a personal injury case. If you’ve been in an accident that was someone else’s fault and have suffered injuries, you need to turn to medical professionals for help. 

Medical Treatment Helps Establish Necessary Care

Turning to medical experts leaves a record of the kind of injuries you have sustained and the treatments you may need to undergo in the future. This impacts the kind of compensation you can claim. 

The duration of the treatments you need also factor into your compensation claim. Someone who may need physical therapy for a year or more will usually be able to claim more compensation than someone who only needs a few sessions of chiropractic care. 

Gaps in Treatment Can Devalue the Claim

Keep in mind that there shouldn’t be any gaps in treatment for the injuries you’ve sustained because it can end up devaluing your claim. That’s why it’s so important to reach out for help as soon as the accident occurs. 

Once you begin treatment, you should continue until it is complete. Sometimes, a gap is unavoidable, but it always looks better if you’ve kept all your treatment appointments. 

Medical Treatment Offers Medical Records

For you to be able to claim compensation for medical treatments, you have to prove that you received them. Going to reputable medical professionals allows you to get the records you’ll need. When you visit the physician, let them know that you’re filing a personal injury claim so that they’ll keep the most thorough records possible. 

You need to keep all records of your medical bills and ask for copies of your medical records. Your personal injury lawyer will need these for your case. 

Not Following Medical Recommendations Hurts Your Claim

If your doctor orders you not to work or not to engage in certain activities, you must follow their instructions. Insurance adjusters watch you closely once you file a personal injury claim. They may check your social media or anything that is public domain, so if they see that you are not following your doctor’s orders, this could harm your claim. 

Do pre-existing conditions affect personal injury claims?

Pre-existing conditions can make personal injury claims more complex. Having clear medical records is important to delineate what injuries resulted from the accident and which were not. 

If you have a pre-existing neck injury, for example, you may still be able to get compensation if the accident worsens the condition. Having medical records from your doctor about ongoing treatment and how the accident impacted the existing problem makes a huge difference. 

Hunt Law Firm: Offering Reliable Guidance

Being in any kind of accident can be traumatic, but it can all be much more difficult if you’ve received an injury that requires medical treatment. It’s essential that you turn to medical professionals right after being in an accident. They can offer the right diagnosis and treatment plan, so you and your lawyer can ask for compensation. 

At Hunt Law Firm, we provide the guidance you need when filing a personal injury case. We have two decades of experience helping clients navigate the complexities of personal injury claims in Northern New Mexico. Contact us at Hunt Law Firm today for a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers.

Desert road with broken pavement and gravel.

How Is Responsibility for an Accident Caused by Road Damage Determined?

Car accidents may occur every day, but they’re not solely caused by reckless drivers. Sometimes, road damage may be the primary causal factor in a crash, for instance, but at the same time, determining responsibility in accidents like these can be complex. 

The process of investigating how and why a road was damaged and who should pay for the resulting crash can be difficult. As such, it’s important to get a car accident lawyer involved immediately if you’re hoping to prove liability and recover injury compensation after a road damage crash. 

Understanding Road Damage Crashes

Road damage can take many forms, with some of the most common including the following:

  • Potholes
  • Cracks
  • Uneven surfaces
  • Crumbling edges
  • Infrastructure issues
  • Construction work 

These issues can — and often do — significantly contribute to accidents that lead to vehicle damage, injuries, and even fatalities. While most car accident cases focus on the actions of one of the drivers, road damage crashes involve an additional layer of complexity. 

Identifying Liability in a Road Damage Car Accident

Determining liability in a road damage-related accident requires an in-depth investigation in which the victim’s lawyer must establish that the road damage was a direct cause of the accident. Doing so involves gathering evidence such as: 

  • Photographs
  • Eyewitness testimonies
  • Road maintenance records
  • Past reports of the damage, if any

In most cases, safely maintaining roads is a responsibility that falls on local or state governments, though in some cases, a private entity might be responsible for the road’s upkeep. When construction work is a factor, determining liability can grow even more complicated. 

Regardless of the entity that ultimately holds that responsibility, one of the most important elements of establishing it is proving that the road damage was a known issue, along with proving that there was a failure to promptly respond in a way that would protect the safety of drivers. A lawyer will need to determine whether the road damage had already been reported and whether any steps were taken to address it promptly prior to the events of the crash.

How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

As stated, proving liability in a crash caused by road damage can be difficult to accomplish, and in order to succeed at obtaining compensation out of such a claim, you need the aid of an experienced car accident lawyer who has won similar cases in the past. 

A skilled attorney will know how to conduct a thorough investigation, gather evidence, and build a strong case. They’ll understand the legal challenges that surround road damage crashes and be able to assess — right from the start — whether there’s enough evidence involved to build a winning case. 

While proving liability in a road damage accident can be a challenge, that’s not the only complexity these cases entail. Since road maintenance usually falls upon a government entity, your case may involve seeking compensation from a local or state government, and injury claims against such legislative bodies come with their own set of challenges and compensation limitations.

As such, if you need to recover damages to cover items like medical bills and lost wages and benefits, it’s crucial to find a car accident lawyer with the skills and experience needed to win a car accident claim centering around a damaged road.

Need a Car Accident Lawyer in New Mexico?

For over 20 years, Hunt Law has successfully recovered car accident compensation for injured clients across New Mexico. Our experienced team of car accident attorneys understands the challenges a road damage crash entails, and we’re ready to review your case and identify your next steps. 

Contact Hunt Law today to schedule a consultation with an experienced New Mexico car accident attorney.

Factory worker with hand stuck in large gear.

What Are the Leading Causes of Crush Injuries?

Crush injuries often have severe and lifelong consequences for an individual, and because they often occur in the workplace, additional complexities arise when it comes to recovering adequate compensation. 

With that being said, if you are in need of crush injury compensation, it’s in your best interests to first understand what crush injuries are, how they occur, and the possible compensation victims receive for them. The safest way to ensure you recover the crush injury compensation you need is to consult a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after you’re injured.

What are Crush Injuries?

Crush injuries occur when some form of immense force or pressure is exerted on a body part. They can involve nearly any body part, at that, though some of the most common include the following: 

  • Hands
  • Feet
  • Arms 
  • Legs
  • Torso

Such extreme circumstances generally cause permanent damage to any of the following components of the crushed body part:

  • Bones
  • Nerves
  • Muscles
  • Blood vessels

A crush injury is often one of the most difficult types of injury to treat, as there are often limited ways in which a medical team can assist. 

Unfortunately, complicating matters further is the fact that crushing injuries can result from a variety of accident types, and the circumstances under which a crush injury occurs have a direct impact on whether the injured person qualifies for compensation.

How do Crush Injuries Happen?

Crush injuries can happen in a variety of ways, though motor vehicle accidents and workplace accidents are two of the most common sources. 

Car accidents often lead to crushing injuries, given the high likelihood of one of the drivers becoming trapped between the two vehicles. In certain crashes, like rollovers, it’s also possible for a driver to become pinned to the ground by one of the vehicles, and given that even the smallest cars weigh thousands of pounds, it’s easy to see how a body part could easily shatter under a vehicle.

As for crush injuries that result from workplace accidents, construction zones, manufacturing plants, and industrial workplaces commonly use machines, vehicles, and other types of equipment that are mobile or have moving parts. When equipment malfunctions or a worker is caught in the wrong place, the result is often a crush injury.

Why You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer

Crush injuries generally lead to the need for injury compensation. Even if a full recovery is possible, healing from a crush injury is a lengthy process, during which the victim is likely to incur medical bills and lose out on the wages they need to cover their living expenses. 

When an injury is severe enough, a victim may never be able to return to work, meaning they’ll need to seek either compensation for their anticipated future income or some type of disability benefits.  

However, obtaining crash injury compensation isn’t always easy, and the outcome of the process depends on the circumstances leading to the injury. For example, if you are an employee and were injured on the job, compensation will likely come through your employer’s workers’ comp policy. In such a case, you want a worker’s compensation lawyer to handle your claim, ensuring you aren’t offered a lower payout than you deserve. 

If you were injured in some other type of accident, like a car crash, or if you are a contract worker not covered by worker’s comp, the process becomes more complicated, as you’ll need a personal injury attorney working to prove liability, identify case value, and negotiate a settlement with the responsible party. 

Call a New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Hunt Law has been fighting for injured clients across New Mexico for over 20 years. Our case results show that we know how to obtain the results our clients need, so do not hesitate to call us today to schedule a consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer.