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Miami Personal Injury Law Blog

Baby sleep positioners can be dangerous and even deadly

One of the biggest concerns for new parents, especially first-time ones, is keeping their little ones safe while they're sleeping. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, can occur if a baby isn't positioned properly in the crib or suffocates in bedding or stuffed toys in the crib. That's why the Consumer Product Safety Commission advises that "Bare is Best." The CPSC warns against placing thick quilts and pillows in any sleep environment, including bassinets, cribs and play yards.

Some parents, in an effort to keep their child safe, purchase sleep positioners. These are designed to keep babies positioned in a way that won't cause suffocation. Some are flat, while others are slightly inclined and have side bolsters.

Can joint replacement surgery lead to heart attacks?

Hip and knee replacement surgeries are becoming increasingly common. About 1.8 million of these procedures are done worldwide each year. As the population ages, that number will likely rise.

Arthroplasty is not just for senior citizens. Younger baby boomers who suffered an injury in their youth that has increasingly bothered them as they age are having joints replaced. You may remember that newsman Brian Williams underwent knee replacement surgery two years ago to fix a problem "35 years in the making" that was caused by a high school football injury.

Crash victim's parents sponsor vehicle safety watch list

We've previously discussed the massive recall by General Motors that was spurred by problems with the ignition switch that caused the cars' systems to shut down. GM has paid money to victims and family members for crashes related to the ignition issue. These payouts include 124 death claims.

The parents of one young woman who died following a 2010 crash want to save other families from the pain they experienced. She lost control of her Chevy Cobalt when the power steering and anti-lock brakes shut down. The car slid across a wet road into oncoming traffic. The tragic accident occurred on her 29th birthday.

How can manufacturers be held liable for defective products?

If you or someone you love has been harmed by a defective or dangerous product, you may not know just what to do. How do you prove that the problem was the fault of the manufacturer or someone else in the supply chain? Won't they just try to say that you weren't using the product correctly and that you're the one at fault?

Consumers often feel that they have no chance going up against a large corporation. However, with proper legal guidance, you can prove that a product was harmful. By taking action, you can seek justice for yourself and your family and help prevent others from being similarly harmed.

Birth injury or birth defect?

When a mother gives birth to her baby, the only thing she usually hopes for is a healthy baby. If the baby has been subjected to medical negligence, though, or a doctor's error, the happiness of the baby's birth can quickly become devastation.

A birth injury is caused by something that didn't go right during the delivery process; a birth defect affects the baby before delivery. According to estimates, there are about 7 percent of babies who suffer a birth defect, which can be caused by many factors. Some of those factors include:

The dangers of distracted driving by emergency responders

Responsible Florida drivers do their best to safely pull over when we hear or see an ambulance or other emergency response vehicle behind us with lights and sirens on. A recent story about an ambulance driver caught on video using his personal cellphone while taking an injured boy to the hospital made the news because we depend on these drivers to be particularly careful amidst what could be a life-or-death situation.

The ambulance driver in question will face some kind of disciplinary action, according to the fire commissioner of his city, because using one's cellphone while driving an emergency vehicle is forbidden. However, what about all of the other electronics on board ambulances and other emergency vehicles that drivers need to do their jobs?

Malpractice case moves to Florida Supreme Court

Can a physician be held liable if a patient commits suicide? That's a question that is now before the Florida Supreme Court.

The husband of a 55-year-old woman who killed herself in 2008 brought a medical malpractice case against her doctor, contending that he had not fulfilled his duty of care. The Sarasota County woman reportedly suffered from depression. According to the suit, she had called her doctor's office to say that she was suffering from mental strain.

Can Halloween costumes still be dangerous to your child?

It seems like the school year has barely started when Halloween costumes, decorations and candy start to fill the aisles of Florida stores. It's understandable that parents with multiple kids may opt to dress them in costumes worn previously by older siblings. Whether you're re-using a costume from Halloweens past or buying new ones, it's essential to make sure that they are safe.

One primary source of Halloween costume danger is burning. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, since 1980, at least 16 children suffered burns from their costumes. Nearly all of these children were 12 or younger.

How does drunk driving impact the American economy?

Any reduction in drunk driving and the accidents caused by impaired drivers makes the roads safer for all of us. However, it also improves the American economy according to a study on the economic impacts of drunk driving crashes.

A study by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation looked at costs associated with drunk driving accidents, including medical care, property damage, productivity and emergency response. Researchers found that the number of accidents caused by impaired driving dropped by 50 percent between the mid-1980s and 2010.

What 'medical cocktails' can be deadly?

It seems like there is a pill these days for just about everything -- physical and emotional -- that ails us. People are increasingly taking multiple medications every day. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over a quarter of people between 20 and 59 have prescriptions for more than one drug.

While we hear a lot about the dangers of some prescription drugs, which result in over 100,000 fatalities annually, not enough people understand the dangers of taking a combination of medications (a "medical cocktail"), including over-the-counter drugs. That's why it's essential to let your doctor know what medications you take and which you take together.

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