This is part two in a series of three relating to birth injuries in Los Angeles County.

Cerebral palsy, or CP, is a term that is used to describe a group of chronic conditions that result from injury to the brain, usually occurring before, during or shortly after birth. It generally affects motor function – how the body moves. Children with cerebral palsy may have mild symptoms affecting coordination or may be completely unable to control motor function, making it impossible to sit or stand independently.

Med%20Mal%20Los%20Angeles%20Baby%20Foot%202.jpgCerebral palsy can occur when oxygen to the fetus is interrupted during labor or delivery. Monitoring of the baby during labor is done to detect changes in the baby’s heart rate which may signal a problem. If the amount of oxygen the baby is getting is reduced or cut off during labor, the baby’s heart rate will change and its ability to recover from the stress caused by contractions will diminish, signaling a potentially catastrophic injury if appropriate medical intervention is not taken in a timely fashion.

It is the job of the obstetrical nurse to monitor the fetus during labor and communicate any significant changes in the fetal heart rate and tone to the obstetrician in a timely fashion. It is the doctor’s duty to respond promptly if conservative measures (changing the mother’s position, administering oxygen to her, for example) do not improve the fetal heart rate.

If the nurse is unskilled or inattentive, she may not appreciate the fact that the baby is in distress, putting the baby at risk of injury. A doctor who does not respond to a nurse’s concern in a timely fashion also puts the baby at risk. Over time, the lack of oxygen can cause the brain damage that results in cerebral palsy.
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This is the first in a series of three relating to birth injuries in Southern California

Every year, hundreds of babies in Los Angeles County are born into the world seriously handicapped because of medical negligence. Birth injuries are among the most devastating injuries that can occur when a doctor or nurse is careless or inattentive. If a mother’s prenatal course is routine and there is no indication of any problems with the fetus she is carrying, the parents anxiously await their new arrival. They pick out names and dream about the future with their new little boy or girl.

Med%20Mal%20baby-nursery.jpgWhen things go awry during the labor or delivery and the baby is born with brain damage or is otherwise injured, everything the parents hoped for and planned is shattered. The baby may have to remain in the hospital long after the mother is discharged, so there are frequent trips back to the hospital. Preparing the home for the baby’s discharge is no longer about the color of the nursery or the style of the crib. There may be equipment that must be obtained and medical techniques to be learned.

This is part four in a series of posts regarding why someone hurt in a car accident should make a claim with the insurance company.

I recently told the story of a friend that called me because her sister was hit by a car while crossing the street. The sister did not want to file a claim. My friend’s sister felt bad and did not want to impose on the person that hit her or the insurance company. Here is how I explained it:

Car%20Crash%20MoneyGrab.jpgThe minute you were hurt because the driver caused the pedestrian accident, you are entitled to money for what you have been through. It is like you are at a table with the insurance company on the other side, and we suddenly put $50,000 of your money in the middle of the table. It is your money. You are entitled to that money because it is fair compensation for the injuries you suffered. (Obviously, the amount of money will vary depending upon the extent of the injuries).

This is part 3 in a series of posts explaining benefits of lawsuits and insurance claims when people in Southern California are injured in an accident.


People buy insurance for several reasons. Some buy insurance because the law says they have to. Some people buy insurance to protect themselves. If they are negligent and hurt someone in an a car crash (it can happen to anyone), they want to make sure it does not cost them a lot of money which can take away from their retirement, or their kid’s college education fund. Still other people buy insurance because they want to make sure that if they cause an auto accident and hurt someone, the person they injure is taken care of. They want to make sure that they have the means to take care of any injury they cause.

The minute you are hurt in a pedestrian accident, or in any car accident in Southern California, or from any negligence of another, under California law, you are entitled to fair compensation for your injuries. The reality of modern insurance companies, is that you will have to fight to get the compensation that is rightfully yours.

This is part 2 in a series relating to San Fernando Valley Car Crash Claims as a benefit to everyone

I was recently contacted by a friend asking for help. Her sister was crossing the street in Woodland Hills, in a crosswalk and was hit by a car which was coming from Encino. She suffered a significant injury, yet, she did not want to talk to a lawyer and did not want to seek compensation for her injuries. She felt bad for the person that hit her.

Los%20Angeles%20Lawyer%20Neck%20Pain.jpg I explained to my friend that her sister has been brainwashed by the insurance companies, and she has no reason to feel sorry for them. The person that hit her had insurance. California law requires that you have insurance if you drive. The person that hit her was negligent. Generally, when there is a car accident, where a car hits a pedestrian in a crosswalk, the driver is at fault. Therefore, the pedestrian is entitled to be compensated for her injuries. She is entitled to receive medical attention for her injuries. If it was my family member that was hurt, I would want them to get medical care. The driver (or her insurance company), is legally obligated to pay for that care.

This is part one in a series on why Los Angeles car accident victims should be compensated for their injuries.

There are a lot of lawsuits filed every year in Los Angeles County. Many of those cases stem from auto accidents. Yet when we talk to jurors, they all complain that there are too many frivolous lawsuits. If you ask for more detail, most cannot explain why they feel this way, they have simply been told by the media and the insurance companies that there are too many lawsuits.

Certainly not every automobile accident need result in a lawsuit, nor must every injury result in a lawsuit. Sometimes, people are injured simply because they are careless. Sometimes, people are injured because somebody else is careless. In Southern California and throughout the United States, our laws are designed to protect us from the negligence of others. Thus serves two purposes: (1) it compensates the injured; and (2) it encourages people to be safe and protect others.

As car accident lawyers located in Woodland Hills, we review our client’s auto insurance policies all the time. By the time we do so, it is because someone has been in a car accident and has been injured. As personal injury lawyers handling auto accidents in the San Fernando Valley, we are here to make sure our clients are properly compensated for the injuries that were caused by the accident.

Tarzana_Auto_Accident_Keys.JPG Unfortunately, at that point, it is too late to talk about what insurance they should have had.

One of the first steps in helping our clients is looking at their auto insurance coverage. California law requires that all drivers have basic liability coverage of at least $15,000. It is a misdemeanor to drive without insurance. In addition, you are required to notify the DMV if you are in an accident and let them know who your insurance company is. We handle this process for our clients. Without question, this is the easy part, everyone should/must have at least the minimum required insurance coverage of $15,000.

The San Fernando Valley’s elderly population is in serious danger. Of the 419 nursing homes in Los Angeles, only 17 facilities were in full compliance with federal safety standards. Many nursing homes violate standards that create a real risk of injury or death to their patients. Seventy-six percent did not provide adequate staffing for the dependent adults in their care. This has resulted in medication errors, life-threatening bed sores, and failure to timely treat medical conditions at an early stage, put the 34,000 resident of Los Angeles’ nursing homes at an unacceptable risk.

Recognizing that the elder population is particularly vulnerable to abuse and neglect, California “elder abuse” law provides an effective means for holding nursing homes liable for the injuries they cause. When regulators don’t have the resources to enforce laws designed to protect elders, elder abuse lawyers sometimes get involved. Unfortunately, that usually does not happen until a family member is injured or dies.

Elder%20Abuse%20Los%20Angeles.jpgIf you are in a position where you may have to place a loved one in a nursing home for care, there are some things you can do. First, do your homework. There are a number of resources on the internet about nursing homes in Los Angeles County. One is the “Long Term Care County Data Book,” which you will find at Visit several nursing homes and interview the staff. Ask for references. Talking to the family members of other residents will let you know how satisfied, or not, they are with the care at the facility. Finally, contact DHHS to find out whether the nursing home is in compliance with State and federal laws and whether they are aware of any serious complaints about the facility. San%20Fernando%20Valley%20Elder%20Abuse.jpg

Driving in Los Angeles while holding a cell phone is a bad idea. Holding a cell phone to your head not only affects your concentration, but also restricts your ability to check your blind spots and turn the wheel. It is no surprise that there is a correlation between holding a cell phone while driving and auto accidents.

San%20Fernando%20Valley%20driving%20on%20phone%20crash.jpgLast July, a new law came into effect which prohibits talking on a cell phone while holding it. It is worth commenting on this new law because as I drive around the streets I still see people holding their cell phone and talking while driving. I suppose much like when the seatbelt law came into effect, it will take some time before people figure out that this law does have a purpose and it makes sense.

Oddly enough, this law does not prohibit reading and writing text messages while driving. Fortunately, that has been rectified and now it is unlawful to text message while driving.

Los Angeles and all of California, are seeing the same changes in the economy that is seen across the country. Unemployment is up, which means people are losing their jobs.

When you lose your job, it is only natural to think that your employer has done something wrong. They have made a mistake and should not have fired you. The next step is considering whether you have legal recourse against your employer for wrongful termination.

Sherman%20Oaks%20Employee%20Fired.jpgThe first thing you must understand is that California is an “at-will” state. That is, absent a written contract stating otherwise, you have your job at the will of your employer. Your employer may fire you at any time. They may or may not have a reason for firing you. They do not need to have a reason. If they have a reason, almost any reason is fine.