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Binghamton Law Blog: Covering Topics from Personal Injury to Estate Planning Law

Medical malpractice claims can follow anesthesia errors

Patients in New York and every other state expect to leave a hospital in better health than when they were admitted. However, the potential for errors is present in any medical process. A significant number of medical malpractice lawsuits follow mistakes made during anesthesia. One of those involves incorrect dosing of medication, which has been found to result from inexperience, unfamiliarity to devices or equipment, inattention, carelessness or haste.

Unintentional flushing of built-up residue through the IV device is one error that affects more children than adults. It can lead to infection along with delivering anesthetic drugs into the veins of the patient. Postoperative pain is difficult to manage, and many opioids can cause addiction or other adverse effects. Chronic regional pain syndrome, vomiting and nausea, and infections can result when drug administration during anesthesia is poorly timed.

Living trusts require revisions to keep them current

New York residents who have established estate plans might find comfort knowing that their living trusts are in place to manage their estates while they are alive and after they die. However, with passing time comes life's changes and events, some of which might affect a living trust. For this reason, occasional reviews of trusts are crucial.

Modifications might be necessary if state laws related to estate planning change or if the person relocates to a state with different requirements for living trusts. Changing family dynamics must be addressed when revising estate planning. Deaths, births and adoptions will require adding new people and removing those who are deceased. Divorce will necessitate changes and so will emancipated children. Furthermore, changed relationships with trustees and guardians of trusts might need to be revised.

Premises liability lawsuit follows painter's fall

When stepping onto someone else's property in New York or elsewhere, whether for shopping, working or another purpose, one would expect it to be free of hazards that could cause personal injury. However, judging by the many premises liability lawsuits that are filed every year, not all property owners take proper care. A painter in a neighboring state recently filed such a claim against five individuals and entities deemed responsible.

According to court documents, a man who was hired to paint the exterior of a restaurant claims the property owner failed to keep the premises reasonably safe. The plaintiff alleges that an employee of the establishment opened an awning without warning, knocking him off the ladder on which he was working. He claims to have suffered multiple injuries as he fell to the ground.

Fatality caused by flying tire might lead to wrongful death claim

For the second time in a month, a New York motorist was killed by a tire that flew off another vehicle. About a month ago, a man was struck by a tire as he was driving in East Babylon on Sunrise Highway. Then, on a recent Wednesday, another driver died in a similar manner while he was driving on Gowanus Expressway, and a wrongful death claim might follow.

This time, the victim was a 64-year-old maintenance worker of the New York Police Department. Reportedly, he was eastbound on the expressway when a tire smashed into the windshield of his vehicle. The impact caused the driver to lose control, sending his SUV into the barrier. Authorities say the tire originated from a truck that was westbound and traveling on the opposite side.

Estate planning involves more than wills and trusts

Estate planning is a subject many New York residents like to avoid -- not realizing that taking care of it sooner rather than later can provide peace of mind to parents and their children. However, professional guidance is necessary to explain the different aspects. Estate planning is not only about trusts and wills. One should combine those instruments with powers of attorney for coverage in the event of the person becoming incapacitated.

A financial power of attorney is appointed to make business and other finance-related decisions on behalf of the principal, and designating a health care power of attorney is equally important. That person will have decision-making authority when it comes to any medical issues. The principal can document predetermined wishes for health and medical situations that might arise.

A brain injury can have an adverse impact on victim's life

A concussion is something most people in New York might associate with contact sports. However, it is a typical car accident injury that happens when the brain smashes against the inside walls of the skull when the head and neck move in a whiplash motion. Few realize that it is a traumatic brain injury that can cause long-term health problems. For that reason, a medical evaluation after any collision is crucial because the sooner a brain injury is diagnosed, the more effective the treatment could be.

If a concussion is left undiagnosed, symptoms that can affect the quality of life can show up weeks or even months down the line. The crash victim could develop concentration and memory problems along with sleep disturbances. A concussion can also affect the senses. Smell and taste disorders can develop, and the victim could become sensitive to noise and light.

Car accidents can cause hidden injuries that must be diagnosed

Drivers on the busy New York roads will always be vulnerable. The chances of being involved in car accidents are significant, and the consequences could cause long-term health problems. Too often, crash victims fail to go for medical evaluations because there are no visible injuries. The problem is invisible injuries may not appear for hours or days after the accident, and they could be life-threatening if internal damage were done to organs.

Some of the most common hidden injuries include those caused by whiplash. Even a low-speed collision can cause the sudden forward-backward motion of the neck and head on impact. This can cause severe stress on the bones in the victim's neck that could result in chronic shoulder and neck pain, along with headaches and pain in the upper back. Whiplash can even cause concussions, shoulder injuries and pinched nerves.

Trusts can protect loved ones with special needs

Advice about how to provide for a loved one with special needs in New York must be considered carefully. Some advisers suggest disinheriting a child or sibling with special needs, for fear an inheritance may disqualify him or her for receiving state benefits. However, that might be unwise when the goal is to ensure the financial stability of the intended heir throughout his or her life. In many circumstances, special needs trusts are an appropriate choice.

Disinheriting that loved one and leaving the inheritance to a sibling or other person to use for taking care of the special needs person might sound wise. However, if that beneficiary dies or becomes incapacitated, that inheritance will be lost for the one who needs special care. There are other ways to preserve the disabled person's public benefits that are typically provided to cover basic needs such as shelter, food and medical care.

Things to consider before filing medical malpractice lawsuit

Reportedly, up to 19,000 doctors are accused of negligent medical care in lawsuits nationwide every year. Many of those medical malpractice claims involve New York doctors. Although the medical malpractice laws enable patients to recover losses and damages resulting from medical care, professional medical care providers are not responsible for all harm suffered by patients.

For a viable claim, there must be proof of substandard care. This could include neglecting to provide proper treatment, the failure to take the necessary action, or providing substandard care that caused injury or death to the patient. It could involve missed, late or incorrect diagnosis, medication dosages, treatment, health management, aftercare or another medical error.

Wrongful death suit possible after car kills teen in crosswalk

A New York family has to cope with the trauma of losing a child who was on the brink of adulthood. While no amount of money can lessen the suffering of parents and siblings under such circumstances, a monetary judgment entered in a wrongful death claim can ease the unanticipated financial burden. The costs of end-of-life arrangements can cause havoc in any family's financial stability.

According to the New York City Police Department, the incident occurred at approximately 10:30 a.m. on a recent Monday. It involved a 17-year-old girl who crossed a street at an intersection. Reportedly, she was in the crosswalk when she was struck by a car. Officers report that they arrived at the scene to find the girl with obvious and severe trauma to her head.

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