Archive for December, 2014

NTSB Says Most Private Plane Crashes Caused by Pilot Error

December 22nd, 2014 at 7:00 am

general aviation pilots, pilot error, private plane crashes, small private planes, Westport wrongful death attorney, fatal airplane crashMonth after month, there are reports of private plane crashes—usually with no survivors. Not only do these crashes prove fatal for the occupants of the air craft, but far too often there are on-the-ground victims who are either killed or seriously injured when a plane crashes to the ground.

Two weeks ago, a mother and her two children were killed when a small plane crashed into their home in Gaithersburg, Maryland. According to reports from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the home burst into fire and the victims were trapped inside. The 36 year-old mother’s body was found huddled and holding the bodies of her seven-week old and three year-old sons. Additionally, all three occupants of the plane were killed in the crash. The plane was only one mile away from its destination when it crashed.

In 2011, the NTSB reported that 94 percent of all fatal plane crashes were categorized as general aviation. The general aviation category includes all small private planes, whether the aircraft is being flown by an experienced pilot or an amateur pilot. The agency’s statistics show that there are seven accidents per 100,000 flight hours in general aviation. For commercial aviation, those statistics are 0.16 accidents per 100,000 flight hours.

The majority of general aviation accidents involve pilot error, and the NTSB notes that most of these accidents are preventable. Many of this country’s 220,000 general aviation pilots do not have enough experience or training when experiencing situations such as bad weather. In fact, when an incident happens, they panic.

The head of the NTSB says that general aviation safety has now become top priority and the agency has implemented “safety alerts” and training videos in an effort to help educate general aviation pilots. The goal is to substantially decrease the number of general aviation accidents that occur annually, which currently number 1,500. Almost 450 people are killed in these accidents every year.

If you have lost a loved one in a fatal private plan crash, or a different type of accident caused by another person’s negligence, contact an experienced Westport wrongful death attorney to discuss the legal recourse you may have against the responsible party.

What Causes Facial Droop?

December 18th, 2014 at 7:00 am

Connecticut malpractice attorney, Connecticut medical malpractice, Connecticut Medical Malpractice Law, negligence, Westport medical malpractice attorney, facial droop, surgery, botched surgeriesThe parents of a child who underwent a procedure to remove a benign growth received a $1.5 million settlement when the procedure went wrong in 2012. The child, six years old at the time of the operation, did not receive an MRI prior to the surgery, as was the recommendation of a consulting radiologist. The radiologist suggested the MRI as a way to determine whether or not the growth truly needed to be removed, as the procedure to do so carried great risk. The parents of the child noticed a problem with facial droop immediately after the operation, though the attending surgeon insisted that the droop was merely a result of routine bruising and swelling. When it did not resolve, the parents, though legal professionals, accused the surgeon of being negligent. The case was settled out of court—one week before the trial would have been held.

According to, facial droop is a condition which results in a sagging face and is caused by loss of facial muscle tone. Several natural causes can lead to facial droop, and include a malfunction of facial nerves which result in the distortion of normal facial structure.

The facial nerve is one of 12 cranial nerves that emerges directly from the brain and is considered high risk for complications. According to HealthHype, botched surgeries are a main cause of facial droop. Common procedures that can go wrong and result in droop include tumor resection anywhere along the facial nerve, surgery of the parotid gland, acoustic neuroma resection, mastoid surgery, tonsillectomy, and some dental procedures.

Another common cause for facial droop, which may be the fault of a medical professional, is birth trauma. According to The New York Times, the incorrect use of epidural anesthesia or improper use of medication to induce labor can lead to facial droop. The Times reports that facial droop affecting the lower part of the facial nerve is the most common type of facial nerve palsy resulting from birth trauma.

If you or someone you know has experienced facial droop as a result of a medical procedure, you may be eligible for compensation. Do not go through it alone. Contact an experienced Connecticut medical malpractice attorney today.

The Cost of Misdiagnosis and What it May Mean for Families

December 15th, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Connecticut medical malpractice attorney, cost of misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medical error, medical misdiagnosis, misdiagnosis, Westport medical malpractice attorneyOne of the most common situations involving medical malpractice is the delayed or misdiagnosis of a patient. A well-publicized report published by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) revealed that as many as 98,000 people die in hospitals annually as a result of preventable medical errors.

Astounding statistics such as these raise adequate concerns among patients who may wonder if their medical providers are taking appropriate actions in favor of their or their family’s health. Patients are dependent upon their medical providers to proactively address concerns regarding suspected illness or injury.

A December online report from the Daily Mail confirmed the death of an eight-month-old baby as a result of meningitis due to the doctor’s failure to respond to the mother’s concerns. The doctor assigned to the case diagnosed the baby’s condition as only a virus even after she suffered a seizure and high temperature. This type of medical error occurs more often than doctors or hospitals would like to admit. Last year, a Connecticut family faced a battle of misdiagnosis between doctors resulting in lost custody of their daughter as she was left admitted to the hospital.

When misdiagnosis occurs, people’s lives are put in danger. A diagnostic error includes:

  • Failure to make use of indicated tests;
  • Failure to act upon results of testing or monitoring;
  • Error or delay in medical diagnosis; and
  • Use of therapy or tests not up-to-date with current medical standards.

Patients may face expenses to seek additional medical testing or receive care after an initial misdiagnosis. They may also report missed wages due to an inability to work. To say a delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis is costly is an understatement. Extra incurred expenses add up to at least $17 billion and as high as $29 billion a year in hospitals as reported by IOM.

Patients who are victim to a delayed diagnosis may miss the opportunity to prevent certain medical conditions from worsening or to find a remedy in a more timely manner. As experts in their field, doctors are responsible for providing the best possible care to their patients. When this responsibility is compromised, so are the lives of patients.

If you have been injured and suffered harm as a result of a delayed or failed diagnosis in Connecticut, contact an experienced Westport medical malpractice attorney today.

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