brain injury attorneys in South FloridaIf you’re like most parents, the birth of your child was probably one of the happiest days of your life. But for parents whose newborns were born with a brain injury, their joy can quickly turn into panic and despair. Here are some of the brain injuries that can occur at birth, along with how a birth injury attorney can help you.

Oxygen Deprivation

One of the main causes of brain injuries at birth is oxygen deprivation. Also called “birth asphyxia,” oxygen deprivation can occur when a baby isn’t properly monitored during labor and right after birth. Some of the main causes of oxygen deprivation are blocked air passages, umbilical cord problems, and prolonged or disrupted labor (causing an infant to stay stuck in the birth canal for too long).

Head Trauma During Birth

Trauma to the head, occurring during delivery, can be the result of hypoxia (decreased oxygen) and ischemia (a decrease of blood flowing to an infant’s brain). Head or brain trauma can be caused by medical negligence and can lead to severe medical problems.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy, which can occur before, during, or after birth, is the most common brain injury that is linked to birth trauma. It can also be caused by developmental issues before birth, such as fetal infections in the womb. In some cases, cerebral palsy is the result of oxygen deprivation during labor or the delivery process. This chronic central nervous system disability involves abnormal posture and uncontrollable movements.

Erb’s Palsy

The brain injury known as Erb’s palsy, which can occur from a difficult or abnormal labor during childbirth, entails arm paralysis. Erb’s Palsy can be the result of a head-first delivery when an infant’s shoulders are pulled too excessively during delivery. It can also be caused by a feet-first or breech birth when a baby’s raised arms are stressed during delivery.

Common Symptoms of Brain Injuries at Birth

  • Physical symptoms—While some babies suffering from brain damage don’t display any physical signs, others do. For example, some infants who have brain damage have abnormally large foreheads or small skulls. Others may have deformed spinal cords, distorted facial features or eye focusing difficulties.
  • Developmental delays—Some infants with brain injuries don’t show physical symptoms but are behind their peers in developing basic skills. Examples may include being slow to crawl or smile. On the other hand, consider that babies develop at different rates, so it’s important to consult your pediatrician who can determine if any delays in development are caused by brain damage.
  • Behavioral signs—Excessive crying and wailing can be a symptom of brain damage, along with extreme fussiness and not wanting to eat.

Get Help for Your Child’s Birth Injury

Do you suspect your baby’s birth injury may have been caused by medical malpractice? If so, it’s critical you get sound, professional legal advice. Families who are victims of medical malpractice have the right to get compensation from those responsible for their babies’ injuries. Please call (954) 334-1276. Our Meldon Law South Florida attorneys are highly experienced in handling personal injury lawsuits throughout Florida and are very proud of the results we’ve achieved. Our birth injury claim attorneys are passionate about ensuring our clients receive full compensation for their losses. Please contact Meldon Law online to schedule your initial consultation and learn more about how we can help you.

Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer in Gainesville FloridaWhen you’re facing life with a spinal cord injury following a serious accident, chances are, your first thought isn’t about the associated expense. Unfortunately, living with a spinal cord injury is expensive. Spinal cord injuries don’t just limit your activities and impact your quality of life. They can also leave you struggling to pay your bills or even to make ends meet. If you’ve sustained a spinal cord injury, make sure you’re prepared for the continuing expense associated with those injuries.

Limited Earning Potential

One of the biggest costs of living with a spinal cord injury is the limit it can place on your earning potential. Where once, your earning potential was essentially unlimited, following your injury, it is limited by what you’re able to do. If you’ve been paralyzed, you may not be able to complete some of the job responsibilities that were once easy. If you’re living with pain, your hours at work may be limited or your mind may be impacted by the pain medications you need to keep functioning. Living with a spinal cord injury may mean that you face significantly lower earning potential than you did before your injuries.

Medical Care

Medical care is one of the biggest immediate expenses of living with a spinal cord injury. Not only do you face the initial cost of your medical care, including hospitalization, surgery, and rehab, you may also need to pay for:

  • Wheelchairs and other assistance devices
  • In-home care or aides as you learn to function more independently
  • Medications
  • Long-term potential health issues, including increased risk of illness and infection

Home and Vehicle Modifications

Is your home fully accessible from a wheelchair? If it’s not, you may be looking at a number of expensive modifications following your spinal cord injury. Modifications for your injury may include:

  • Modified vehicles with wheelchair accommodations
  • Lowered countertops
  • Wider doorways
  • Ramps and elevators
  • Modified showers and other items

Other Increased Expenses

Living with a spinal cord injury is expensive enough in terms of simple modifications. There are also, however, several unexpected expenses that may creep in along with your injury. These may include:

  • Travel expenses as you visit specialists and other doctors who are able to help provide care for your injuries
  • Increased entertainment expenses, since you’re unable to participate in many of your former activities
  • Accommodation expenses, such as the increased need to eat out as you’re unable to cook for yourself

Get Legal Help Today

Living with a spinal cord injury is an extremely expensive proposition, from your initial medical expenses to your ongoing life expenses following your injury. Estimating those initial expenses involves working effectively with your attorney, since it can be difficult to fully define the way your injuries will change your quality of life. If you’re facing life with a spinal cord injury, make sure you have the legal help you need. Contact Meldon Law today online or at (954) 334-1276 to schedule your free consultation to learn more about the legal services we provide.

Criminal Defense Lawyer in Palm BeachFlorida drug possession laws make it a misdemeanor to possess up to 20 grams—less than an ounce—of marijuana. But that doesn’t mean a possession charge for such a small amount of pot can’t result in significant penalties. Even getting busted with a tiny amount of marijuana can land you a sentence of up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. And, while Palm Beach County has partially decriminalized possession of up to 20 grams of marijuana, giving police officers discretion to let people off with a citation and fine, Palm Beach residents nevertheless have continued to face arrests for small-scale marijuana possession.

In this post we discuss some of the aspects of defending against a marijuana possession arrest after a traffic stop in Palm Beach County.

Pretrial Diversion

For starters, a charge of possessing 20 grams or less of marijuana may qualify for pretrial intervention in which you can enroll in a drug education and monitoring program. If you complete the terms of the program successfully, then your possession charge may be dismissed.

What Prosecutors Need to Demonstrate

When pretrial diversion isn’t available or advisable, and you need to mount a defense against a possession charge, keep in mind a prosecutor will need to prove certain facts to make a marijuana possession charge stemming from a traffic stop stick. These facts typically include:

  • There was “probable cause” for the traffic stop
  • You had knowledge marijuana was in your vehicle
  • You had control over the marijuana while it was in your vehicle

To defend yourself, you may be able to show:

No probable cause

Law enforcement must have what is known as “probable cause” to conduct a traffic stop. In truth, the threshold for probable cause is pretty low, because the police can almost always come up with some way a person appeared to have been violating a traffic rule. So long as the police can point to some valid reason to pull you over, even if it wasn’t the actual reason, they can usually get over the probable cause bar.

That doesn’t mean there’s probable cause in all cases, though. If there is reason to believe the police pulled someone over without probable cause—such as for “driving while black” or to harass a female driver— any discovery of marijuana in the car may be ruled invalid. So, it’s always important to pay attention to what the police said and did leading up to a marijuana possession arrest in a traffic stop, and to explain those circumstances to your lawyer as soon as possible.

No Knowledge of Presence of Marijuana

As a driver, you may be accused of possessing any marijuana found in your vehicle. You may have a defense against the charge if can demonstrate you had no knowledge the marijuana was there. For example, if you borrowed the car from a family member, or a friend you’re riding with brought the pot into your car without telling you.

No Control of Marijuana

The police will assume that you exercised control over any marijuana found in your car. But, that isn’t always the case. If the pot was in your friend’s pocket until just before the cop walked up to your window, or it was in your trunk in your friend’s backpack, you may be able to demonstrate the drugs were not under your control, and so, you shouldn’t be charged with possession of them.

Talk to your Criminal Defense Lawyer

Anything you discuss with your criminal defense lawyer is confidential. Don’t shy away from telling your lawyer what you knew and didn’t know about marijuana found in your vehicle. The more your lawyer understands about what you knew about the presence of the pot, and understood was going on before, during, and after the police found it, the better chance you have of finding a defense to a marijuana possession charge.

If you have been stopped and cited or arrested for marijuana possession in Palm Beach, do not make any further statements to law enforcement and contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. Your future and your freedom could depend on it.

For skilled, diligent, tough criminal representation in Palm Beach, contact Meldon Law online or by phone at (352) 614-4007. The sooner you contact us, the better your chances of protecting your rights.