Indiana Injury Lawyer Blog

2015 thanksgiving dinnerAll the attorneys and staff at the law offices of Montross Miller Muller Mendelson & Kennedy, LLP, want to wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving.

We trust that the time you spend with family and friends will be filled with joy and a celebration of all that is good. Take the time to be thankful for all you’ve accomplished and those in your life who mean so much.


longterm careAbout 2 million Americans are living in some kind of nursing facility. When family members decide to admit a loved one into these nursing homes, they expect that their loved one will be taken care of, and that their needs will be met.  Unfortunately, residents at these facilities are very often subjected to abuse and neglect. If your family member currently lives in a nursing home, it is important to visit them frequently, and look for signs that all is not well.

In fact, there are often visible signs of nursing home abuse that should alert you to the possibility that your loved one is not being taken care of as well as you believe, and as well as they deserve.  One should look for bedsores or pressure ulcers as a sign that the loved one is not being very mobile.  A loved one may also be able to pick up signs of neglect if the loved one shows signs of a poor appetite, sudden weight loss, poor sanitation, and poor hygiene.

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oxygen tanksSurgery can be scary.  There are risks related to the procedure itself but none more so than the use of anesthesia.  A patient may suffer anesthesia-related injuries when there are errors made in its administration but many errors occur even after the patient is under anesthesia.

Some of the more common types of anesthesia errors include the administration of the wrong type of anesthesia.  Worse yet is when a patient receives too the wrong dose or too much anesthesia or suffers from anesthesia awareness, when the patient is not adequately sedated.

Failure to identify possible complications or other drug interactions can also occur.  Usually this is a result of a failure to accurately and fully evaluate the medical history of patient.

There also instances when medical personnel fail to adequately monitor the patient during the surgery which can lead to oxygen deprivation.

The effects of anesthesia errors are quite serious and in the worst case, fatal.  The effects can range from dizziness and confusion, blurry vision, seizures, cardiac problems, coma, or even death.  However, the results of an anesthesia error may be not be only physical in nature.  Many times the results of anesthesia errors are psychological. People who have suffered through anesthesia awareness typically go on to suffer from psychotic problems like anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder.

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Baby BedsThere is nothing more traumatizing than being told your newborn baby has an injury.  One of the most troubling diagnoses a parent can hear is that their child may have cerebral palsy.

The term cerebral palsy refers to a condition that is typically a result of a birth injury, either while the child is still in the womb or during the birthing process.  In a majority of the cases, cerebral palsy is caused by a maternal infection during pregnancy. There are a number of infections that could cause cerebral palsy. These include German measles, also known as rubella, and toxoplasmosis, an infection that is caused by eating improperly cooked meat, or spread by a pathogen found in cat feces.

Maternal health complications can also cause cerebral palsy. For example, if there is Rh incompatibility between the mother and infant, the body of the mother actually produces antibodies that harm the blood cells of the fetus. In a case like this, the newborn baby may suffer from a severe form of jaundice, and this could cause brain damage.

Newborn jaundice is a fairly common condition, but in its severe and untreated form may cause serious damage to brain cells, and one of the consequences of that damage is sometimes cerebral palsy.

However, birth injury is a factor in approximately a quarter of all cases of cerebral palsy.

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Halloween safety picAutumn in Indiana brings crisp, fall air, changing and colorful leaves, bonfires, and community and school festivals.  For some, this change in seasonal weather is one of the best on the calendar.  Crunchy leaves under foot, children in colorful costumes, and the smell of fall is a reminder of another season coming to an end.  But the Halloween holiday and the autumn season is about much more than candy, colorful costumes, and carving pumpkins.

Unfortunately for many, this time of year is just another painful reminder of a loved one who suffered a personal injury while participating in the traditional door-to-door candy collection or other festivities. The Halloween celebrations place many children on the streets after dark, at a time they would not normally be present.  To make matters worse, many families travel to unfamiliar neighborhoods to gather as much candy as possible.  The children are not aware of the traffic patterns, busy streets, or dark intersections that put them at greater risk for injury.

According to, Indiana youth are twice as likely to be hit and killed by a car on Halloween than any other time of the year.  While the over-all incidents of injuries has decreased over the years, there are still far too many injuries that occur during the Halloween season, third only to New Years and 4th of July.

Thankfully, there are a number of safety tips that parents can follow to offer a safer Halloween experience for their children.

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robot surgery warningsSeveral hospitals around Indiana have begun to invest in robotic surgeries.  The move is made because of perceived increased efficiency and a range of other benefits. However, there is increasing proof that there are risks involved in these technical surgeries that we haven’t yet fully understood.

Recently, researchers analyzed reports from the Food and Drug Administration documenting more than 10,000 incidents involving robotic surgeries. These incidents resulted in 144 patient fatalities, and more than 1,300 injuries between 2000 and the 2013 – nearly 1,000 injuries a year.  Many of these errors involved pieces of medical tools falling into the patient, which accounted for more than 14% of the incidents. In more than 10% of the incidents electrical sparking caused an adverse incident while the robotic surgery was in progress. In more than 8% of the cases, the robots made sudden unintended movements that caused injuries to the patient. Unintended movements seem to be the most likely to cause serious injuries. They resulted in approximately 50 injuries and at least two fatalities.

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Hospital sterilzeSome of the best practices currently in use for the sterilization of hospital rooms may not work as well as intended. A new study finds that more research is needed in order to develop the best guidelines and practices to sterilize hospital rooms and in the process, and in the process, reduce the risk of serious infections.

The study was recently published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.  The researchers reviewed 80 studies dealing with hospital infection control.  They found that many of these studies did not have a patient-centered approach to understanding whether the practices that they recommended worked well to help patients avoid infections. Most interestingly, there is very little data on the effectiveness of the techniques that were suggested or outcomes that benefit patients.

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phones and apsApp developers have been targeting trucking drivers with a number of very innovative apps that target the special concerns and needs of truck drivers. These apps have increased in popularity, but Indiana trucking accident attorneys, and even the trucking industry, believes that the use of these apps could increase the risk of distractions while driving.

A number of apps specifically targeting truckers have recently been released in the market in the past few years. One such app, The Trucker Path, is based on a Yelp-like service for truckers. The app currently boasts of more than 300,000 active users per month, and offers user reviews of truck stops and truck rest areas.  Another app called CargoMatic allows drivers to check listed local shipments as well as determine whether they have enough space in their vehicle for the shipments. Some apps allow drivers to legally skip inspection stops.

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Brain Injury HelmetIndiana’s high school and college football season is underway and thousands of youth take the field in competitions of shear, brute force and strength. For many fans, football is a highlight of the sports seasons, with crisp autumn air, pep bands playing the school fight songs, and school spirit on full display.  Unfortunately for many players this season, as in seasons past, these young people will be subject to life-altering injuries; not the least of these being a traumatic head injury (TBI).

News reports increasingly inform the public of another player who is sidelined by an major injury or even death.  USA Today focused on this issue last year in their own investigation but the trouble has not diminished, even with increased scrutiny.  In fact, the problem is growing into epidemic proportions and the trouble is greatest at the high school level.  As the USA Today article points out, “High school football players suffer three times as many catastrophic injuries as college players — meaning deaths, permanent disability injuries, neck fractures and serious head injuries, among other conditions, according to a 2007 study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine.”  This report notes that nearly all the serious injuries came from either being tackled or tackling.

In a recent Frontline investigation, it was determined that more than 80% of football players examined after their death were found to have a severe form of brain chronic injury known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE.  This was true whether they played at the elite professional level, college, or even high school level of the sport.

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Selecting a baby’s name is quite a challenge.  It’s a major decision and many parents do not take it likely.  Do parents use a name that has family history?  Do they come up with a name that represents a quality they hope their child will reveal?  Do they use a popular, trendy name?

baby foot generic namesIn fact, many new parents may not be able to decide on a name until after the delivery. But that delay may not be a good idea. According to a new study, hospitals that use a generic baby name system could create problems for the newborns and their parents.

A baby labeled with a generic name, like “baby girl Hobson” or “boy Smith”, faces a much higher risk of medical errors.  Generic names are too similar to each other.  There is a risk that nursing staff could make medication errors. For instance, a baby could be given the wrong medication or the wrong treatment.

As many as 12% of all babies end up in a neonatal intensive care unit. They may stay there for weeks. Throughout this period of time they may continue to be called by their generic names.  This is true even if the parents have picked out a name for their child. Babies in an ICU are very fragile and cannot risk medical errors.

The stakes are higher in a neonatal intensive care unit because the margin for error is so incredibly low. Even a single medication at a higher dose could prove fatal to a newborn baby.

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