Attorney Profiles

Sean M. Burke

Sean M. Burke

With more than 25 years of experience as an attorney, Sean M. Burke can help you attain the compensation you deserve after a serious personal injury. He holds an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, and was named Orange County Trial Lawyer Association's (OCTLA) Medical Malpractice Trial Lawyer of the Year for 2005.
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Heather J. Higson

Heather J. Higson

Heather J. Higson became a member of the State Bar of California in 1989, and joined Mr. Burke’s law firm in 2006. She has experience in every area of medical malpractice, from case inception through discover and trial.
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Fog and the Risk of Auto Accidents

August 16, 2017 @ 01:09 PM — by Sean Burke

Windshield damaged in auto accidentEvery time a person gets into a vehicle (either as driver or passenger), there is a potential risk for an auto accident. Auto accidents injure millions of people in the United States each year, resulting in substantial financial losses. Most people can only hope that by making responsible driving decisions and taking all necessary safety precautions, they can keep the risk of an auto accident low. Unfortunately, there are many factors that are out of the control of even the most responsible driver, primarily, weather conditions.

Bad weather can alter the condition of roads and make it difficult for drivers to react appropriately. One weather condition that many drivers have difficulty navigating is fog. Attorney Sean M. Burke understands the risk of auto accidents in fog, and wants his Orange County, CA clients to understand what they should do if they’ve been injured in a car accident in fog.

Fog and Visibility

Fog is a dense layer of condensation that sits much lower to the ground than clouds. This buildup of moisture creates a heavy layer that appears white and hazy. The main concern when driving in fog is visibility. When fog is intense, it can be difficult to see the vehicle directly in front of you. In addition to drastically reducing visibility, fog can also alter a driver’s perception. The following are common concerns when driving in the fog:

  • It can be harder to make out street signs and signals
  • When fog is present, it is not as easy to gauge how fast the vehicles around you are traveling
  • In fog, it is not easy to distinguish between moving vehicles and those that are stationary
  • Depth perception, or estimating the distance between objects, is affected by fog, making it unclear how close your car is to other vehicles

Taking Precautions

Because fog can have such an impact on visibility, it is important for drivers to be especially cautious when fog is present. Taking proper precautions is the best way to minimize the risk of an auto accident when weather conditions are poor. The following tips are especially useful when fog is reducing visibility:

  • Reduce driving speed
  • Increase the amount of space between your vehicle and the one in front of you
  • Avoid using high beams and opt for fog lights instead
  • If conditions are especially poor, consider pulling off the road until the weather has improved

After an Accident

Unfortunately, many drivers make poor decisions when driving in fog, and these can easily lead to an auto accident. Drivers who have been involved in an auto accident should take the following steps:

  • Collect insurance information for all involved drivers
  • Collect the contact information for all involved parties, including witnesses
  • If possible, take photos of involved vehicles and surrounding conditions
  • Contact the police to file a report
  • Seek medical attention for any obvious injuries (even when injuries do not seem to be present, it is a good idea to schedule an exam)
  • File a claim with your insurance company
  • Contact an experienced attorney

Contact Us

If you have been involved in an auto accident, it is important to work with an experienced attorney, such as Sean M. Burke, to ensure your legal rights are protected. Mr. Burke will gather the evidence that is necessary to prove liability, and fight for maximum compensation for your losses. Contact us at your earliest convenience to learn more about your legal options.


Road Rage Can Cause Serious Auto Accidents

August 01, 2017 @ 11:43 AM — by Sean Burke

A crashed carSharing the road with others can cause stress and tension. Unfortunately, some people let the stresses of the road cause them to act out and endanger other people’s safety. When road rage occurs, it can lead to major accidents and serious injuries, leaving those injured with extensive medical bills and lost income. Victims of road rage auto accidents may be able to recoup lost wages and medical expenses with the assistance of an experienced attorney.

At the Law Offices of Sean M. Burke, we are experienced in auto accident and road rage cases in and around Orange County, CA. To find out how we can help you in your road rage accident case, contact our legal team today.

What Is Road Rage?

Road rage refers to the violent anger some feel when driving, and may lead to a person using his or her vehicle as a weapon against others. Road rage is often accompanied with aggressive driving, which can be described as driving in a manner that violates traffic laws and endangers others. When road rage isn't controlled, it can lead to serious accidents, both on and off the road. Some examples of road rage include:

  • Excessive speeding
  • Crossing a double line to make an illegal pass
  • Passing on the shoulder
  • Darting between lanes
  • Making obscene gestures
  • Yelling verbal insults
  • Confrontational body language
  • Blocking another vehicle by braking or swerving
  • Not signaling turns or lane changes 
  • “Brake checking” or suddenly braking in front of someone who's tailgating
  • Changing lanes in front of another vehicle, or “cutting off” others
  • Excessively flashing headlights and honking the horn
  • Following another vehicle and committing a violent act once the vehicle has been parked

What Should You Do if You're a Victim of Road Rage?

If you're exposed to another person's road rage and aggressive driving, it is important not to escalate the situation by engaging in acts of violence yourself. Don't make obscene gestures, yell, or drive in an aggressive manner as this can make the situation worse.

If you have been involved in an accident as a result of another person's road rage, it's important to protect your safety by staying in your car, with the doors locked, and calling 911 for help. Seek medical attention if necessary.

You should also get the other vehicle’s license plate number, make and model of the car, description of the individual, and any other information that may be used to identify the person at fault. Giving this information to law enforcement can help with their investigation of the road rage incident, and help in your accident claim. 

Finally, contact a road rage accident attorney to ensure your rights are protected and the party responsible for your accident is held liable. A road rage attorney can help you receive compensation for your injuries, property damage, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

A Road Rage Attorney Can Help

If you have been the victim of a road rage accident, our road rage attorneys can help. To learn more about your legal options in resolving your road rage accident claim, schedule a consultation with our legal team today.

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Damages in Cerebral Palsy Cases

July 17, 2017 @ 11:00 AM — by Sean Burke

A statue of Lady JusticeThe birth of a child should be a joyous time for a family, but when a birth injury causes cerebral palsy, it can turn a joyous occasion into one of fear, pain, and uncertainty. The law offices of Sean M. Burke helps families facing a birth injury seek compensation and hold negligent parties responsible. Birth injury attorney Sean M. Burke is experienced in obtaining the maximum settlement for damages in cerebral palsy cases in and around Orange County, CA. If you believe your son or daughter's birth injury was caused by medical malpractice, we encourage you to contact the law offices of Sean M. Burke today.

Medical Malpractice May Cause Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy, a condition most commonly marked by issues with muscle coordination, is usually caused by damage to the brain during pregnancy or at birth. Cerebral palsy may occur as a result of an injury at birth, an injury that may be caused by medical malpractice. Cerebral palsy may also be a congenital issue not caused by any wrongdoing on the part of medical staff.

Because cerebral palsy can occur due to congenital causes, when seeking damages for cerebral palsy, it's necessary to demonstrate a birth injury occurred as a result of medical negligence.

Medical negligence or malpractice that may lead to cerebral palsy may include ignoring the signs of oxygen deprivation on a fetal heart rate monitoring device, not responding quickly enough to signs of infant distress, or head trauma during delivery or while in the neonatal unit. When these or similar events occurred in a child with cerebral palsy, there may be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Types of Damages in a Cerebral Palsy Cases

Although no amount of financial compensation can give a child injured at birth the quality of life he or she may have had without sustaining a life changing injury, it can help ease the stress of mounting medical expenses and help pay for long term considerations such as specialized schooling, physical therapy, or home care. Some types of damages that may be sought through a cerebral palsy case include:

  • Medical expenses: Medical expenses for a person with cerebral palsy can easily amount to millions of dollars over a lifetime. Through a cerebral palsy case, it may be possible to obtain compensation for past, present, and future medical expenses.
  • Non-medical expenses: Non-medical expenses may include special vehicles, occupational therapy, specialized schooling, home care, counseling, or alterations to the home.
  • Pain and suffering: The courts may award financial compensation for the pain and suffering an injured child and his or her family may experience as a result of medical malpractice.
  • Loss of consortium: Loss of consortium can be described as a loss of companionship between a parent and child. In a cerebral palsy claim, brain damage may prevent a parent and child from having the type of relationship they would have had if the child had not been injured. Compensation for loss of consortium may be sought in a cerebral palsy case.

Seek the Help of a Birth Injury Attorney

Families of children who have cerebral palsy as a result of a birth injury may not be aware their child's medical issues are a result of medical malpractice without hiring a lawyer. Attorney Sean M. Burke is experienced in birth injury cases and can help the parents of victims of birth injuries collect the necessary medical records to determine if medical malpractice was the most likely cause of cerebral palsy. In such cases, there are often strong grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. If your child is the victim of a birth injury, contact the law offices of Sean M. Burke to learn more about your legal options.


Potholes Can Lead to Major Auto Accidents and Collisions

July 01, 2017 @ 03:30 PM — by Sean Burke
Tagged with: Auto Accidents

A pothole in the roadPoor road conditions can lead to a number of hazards on the road. Potholes are one such hazard. A pothole is a disruption in the surface of a road. Typically a portion of the road will have broken off or been damaged in some way, leading to the formation of a hole in the road. Potholes can vary in size and be located on various parts of the road.

Poor road conditions cause auto accidents throughout Orange County, which is why our lawyers take these matters very seriously. With that in mind, let's consider why potholes are a major danger.

How Do Potholes Form?

Potholes form as a result of pressure from car tires and moisture. When it rains, the moisture can seep through cracks in the asphalt and wind up in the roadbed, which is the underlying layer of material that supports the road. The roadbed is comprised of sand, gravel, and rock. As car tires pass over the asphalt, more water is forced into the roadbed, leading to erosion. Eventually, the asphalt sinks into the eroded portion of the roadbed, and then breaks away.

Potholes can be fixed by being filled in, but many times this can take weeks or months before a pothole is attended to. During this time, accidents can happen.

The Dangers Posed by Potholes

When a driver hits a pothole, they run a risk of a losing control of their vehicle. This can contribute to a single-vehicle or multi-vehicle collision. The dangers are even higher for motorcyclists, who may be thrown from their motorcycle or skid with their motorcycle after losing control.

If the danger isn't from hitting the pothole itself, there are also serious dangers from trying to avoid the pothole. Motorists may swerve very suddenly to avoid the pothole, which can cause its own dangers. A motorist may lose control of their vehicle as they dodge a pothole, or they could collide with another motorist in the process.

Potential Vehicle Damage from Potholes

For some perspective on the dangers of potholes, it's been estimated that hitting a deep pothole causes the same amount of force on impact as getting into a collision at 35 miles per hour. Just driving over a major pothole can lead to tie damage, damage to your suspension, and damage to your vehicle's steering system. In addition, this force can result in injuries to the driver and any passengers in the car.

Who Is Held Liable for Poor Road Conditions?

Usually a city, county, or state is responsible for filling in potholes and maintaining roadways. The difficulty can be in proving negligence in road maintenance and holding the proper authorities responsible. This can be challenging to do on your own, which is why it's so important to work with a skilled attorney.

An accident lawyer can handle the complexities of the legal system and ensure the negligent government agency is held accountable for their actions or lack of action. Your lawyer will seek damages from the government agency to cover medical bills, vehicle damage, and other losses related to the accident.

Contact the Law Offices of Sean M. Burke

To learn more about your legal rights and options following a serious motor vehicle accident, be sure to contact our team of personal injury attorneys today. The team at The Law Offices of Sean M. Burke are here to help you in your time of legal need.

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Auto Accidents and Wrong Way Driving

June 21, 2017 @ 11:00 AM — by Sean Burke

A crashed carWrong way driving accidents can be life changing, causing serious injury, permanent disability, or even death. An experienced auto accident attorney can help those who have been injured in a wrong way accident obtain the maximum compensation for their injuries and other damages. Those who have been involved in auto accidents and wrong way driving and live in or around Orange County, CA are encouraged to contact the Law Offices of Sean M. Burke for help with their case.

The Dangers of Wrong Way Driving

Wrong way driving, or driving against the direction of traffic, can be a deadly mistake. When wrong way driving results in a collision, it can lead to serious injuries or even death. Accidents caused by wrong way driving are particularly dangerous and damaging as they often result in head-on collisions. Head-on collisions are often fatal due to the force of impact caused by the speed of two moving vehicles colliding. Those who are involved in and survive a wrong way driving accident may suffer from minor to serious injuries, including:

  • Cuts and bruises
  • Broken bones
  • Brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Paralysis

Why Does Wrong Way Driving Occur?

Wrong way driving may occur for a number of reasons, such as:

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol: Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can interfere with a person's ability to obey traffic laws, control his or her vehicle, and make good decisions, all of which can lead to wrong way driving.
  • Distracted driving: Not focusing on the road while driving and becoming distracted by such things as cell phone use, the radio, or other passengers, can cause a driver to miss important road signs and cause him or her to drive the wrong way.
  • Driving in an unfamiliar area: Driving in an unfamiliar area may lead a person to drive the wrong way as a result of becoming lost or simply not being aware of one-way roads.
  • Poorly marked road: Street signs that indicate one-way roads or caution against driving the wrong way may be missed due to being obstructed by vegetation or other barriers. In other cases, signage may be lacking or streets may be poorly marked, causing a driver to drive the wrong way without realizing it.

Seeking Damages in a Wrong Way Accident

Those who have been injured in a wrong way accident caused by another person's negligence or as a result of obstruction or lack of signage, may be entitled to compensation for damages sustained in their accident. Damages may include financial compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, loss of income, and damage to property. It's important for those who have been injured in a wrong way accident to contact a car accident attorney to ensure their legal rights are protected while also ensuring they receive the maximum compensation for injuries and other damages.

Contact the Law Offices of Sean M. Burke

If you or a loved one has been involved in a wrong way accident, you're encouraged to contact the Law Offices of Sean M. Burke. Our experienced car accident attorneys will fight on your behalf to ensure you receive the maximum compensation for your pain and suffering.


Auto Accidents at Night

June 01, 2017 @ 11:00 AM — by Sean Burke

Night drivingMost people are in the car multiple times a day, whether driving to and from work or running errands. Although driving makes life easier in many ways, it can be a dangerous activity. Millions of Americans are hurt or injured in car accidents each year. These auto accidents can result in costly expenses, including medical bills, car repairs, and lost wages.

While an auto accident can occur at any time, statistics show that the risk of a car crash increases significantly at night. Auto accidents at night leave many in Orange County, CA dealing with physical, emotional, and financial damages. Experienced attorney Sean M. Burke understands the losses associated with night time auto accidents, and he is prepared to help victims of these collisions collect just compensation for their damages.

Causes of Auto Accidents at Night

The time of day has consistently been shown to have an impact on the risk of an auto accident. According to statistics, most crashes happen after the sun has set. The specific times of day during which the risk of an auto accident is increased are 4 to 6am, 2 to 4pm, and midnight to 2am.

However, it is not just the time that increases the risk of an auto accident. Instead, it is a combination of the condition of the roads, drivers, and general environment at these times. The following factors are the most common causes of auto accidents at night:

  • Driving while tired: When asked, many drivers disclose that they have driven while tired, and the NHTSA (National Traffic Highway Safety Administration) reports that nearly 100,000 police-reported crashes each year are a result of driver fatigue.
  • Poor lighting, or decreased visibility: When the sun sets, it becomes much more difficult to see the road clearly. Poor lighting can interfere with depth perception, color clarity, and peripheral vision.
  • Increased traffic:  During the rush hour time frame (4 to 7pm during the workweek) the roads become much more congested. These busy conditions increase the risk of an accident, and can be further impacted by the setting sun.
  • Greater number of drivers under the influence: Based on accident and arrest reports, there are more drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the nighttime hours, particularly between the hours of midnight and 3am.

Collecting Compensation for Damages

People who have been injured in an auto accident that has been caused by the reckless or negligent actions of another driver have a right to seek compensation for damages suffered. Attorney Sean Burke can gather the evidence that is necessary to prove liability in a car accident so that injury victims can be rewarded for their losses. Depending on the details of each case, victims may be due compensation for losses such as medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Contact Us

If you have recently been injured in a car accident, it is important to work with an experienced attorney, such as Sean M. Burke. Contact us at your earliest convenience to discuss the details of your case and find out how we can ensure that your legal rights are protected.


Auto Accidents Caused by Stop Sign Violations

May 17, 2017 @ 11:00 AM — by Sean Burke

A stop sign at an intersectionAt the Law Offices of Sean M. Burke, we handle cases involving auto accidents of all types, including those that result from drivers running through stop signs. Stop sign violations are so common in the state of California that when people roll through a stop sign anywhere in the nation, it is known as a “California stop.” Unfortunately, all too many of these violations have resulted in serious injuries or even deaths to innocent victims who were abiding the law.

Personal injury attorney Sean M. Burke has devoted his professional life to providing exceptional legal representation to those who have been harmed by the negligent or deliberately wrongful actions of others. He has extensive experience and a history of success in handling claims involving drivers running stop signs and causing auto accidents in the Orange County, CA region. If you or a member of your family has been injured in an auto accident caused by a driver negligently running a stop sign, or if you have lost a beloved family member in such an accident, Mr. Burke can help you in your pursuit of justice.

We urge you to contact the Law Offices of Sean M. Burke to arrange for an evaluation of your auto accident case today.

Common Causes of Auto Accidents Involving Stop Sign Violations

According to California Vehicle Code Section 22450, drivers approaching a stop sign at an intersection must stop either at the limit line, if one is marked, or before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection.  If there is no crosswalk, then the driver must stop before entering the intersecting roadway.

Before proceeding into an intersection, drivers must observe the right-of-way laws and yield to vehicles that are already in the intersecting roadway or that arrived at other stop signs first. If a driver fails to come to a full stop at the appropriate location or to yield right-of-way before entering an intersection, and an accident occurs as a result, then he or she can be held accountable for the losses and expenses that ensue.

The most common causes of auto accidents that involve stop sign violations include:

  • Reckless driving: In some cases, a driver simply fails to notice a stop sign due to inattention, being distracted by a cell phone or other piece of technology, speeding, or some other form of reckless driving.
  • Miscalculation: Sometimes a driver believes that he or she is approaching an all-way stop and proceeds into an intersection, not realizing that the vehicle in the intersecting roadway has no obligation to stop.
  • Inability to see the stop sign: If a stop sign is obstructed from view by overhanging tree branches, a parked truck, or some other barrier, a driver might run the sign. Inclement weather may also obscure the view.
  • Failure to yield right-of-way: Sometimes a driver refuses to yield right-of-way according to California traffic laws and proceeds without regard to other motorists’ safety.

Arrange for an Evaluation of Your Auto Accident Case

To arrange for an evaluation of your auto accident case, please contact our personal injury law firm today.


Running Red Lights Increases the Chances of Auto Accidents

May 01, 2017 @ 11:00 AM — by Sean Burke
Tagged with: Auto Accidents

A traffic signalInjury and accident victims throughout Orange County know that our law firm offers sound legal representation, always fighting diligently for the rights of the injured and their families. We have years of experience in personal injury law and wrongful death litigation, which includes handling lawsuits that involve major auto accidents.

Running a red light can result in serious injuries and even fatalities. These kinds of accidents are all the more tragic since they are easily avoided. Let's look into these matters in greater detail.

Red Light Auto Accident Statistics

The numbers tell a chilling story. According to the Federal Highway Administration, 2.5 million intersection accidents occur every year. These accidents in intersections comprise up to 50 percent of all traffic collisions in a given year. These intersection collisions also account for around 20 percent of all traffic fatalities annually.

Specifically with regard to running red lights, it's estimated that this leads to 165,000 collisions every year. From this number, around 700 to 800 fatalities occur.

Why Running Red Lights Is So Dangerous

When someone runs a red light, this increases the chances of a serious collision occurring. This is especially true of t-bone accidents, which can be extremely deadly if a car traveling at full speed hits someone on the driver or passenger side.

There is also the possibility of hitting unsuspecting pedestrians and bicyclists. They can sustain severe injuries given how vulnerable they are on the road.

Reasons Why People Run Red Lights

There are many reasons why a person my run a red light. These include the following:

  • Being impatient or in a rush
  • Speeding
  • Texting while driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Driver inattention
  • Drunk driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Vehicle defects (e.g., brake malfunctions)
  • Traffic signal obscured
  • Poor placement of the traffic signal
  • Malfunctioning traffic lights
  • Poor weather

Beating a Yellow Light Is a Serious Hazard

A yellow light is a warning to slow down, not an invitation to speed up. Yet time and time again, drivers continue to barrel through yellow lights, accelerating once they see the yellow light come up. This can lead to horrendous injuries and accidents, with drivers pushing their luck as they barrel through an intersection.

Drive with Caution at All Times

It's important that drivers proceed with caution and common sense at all times. Always come to a full stop at intersections, and be sure to slow down when you see a yellow light ahead of you. Before proceeding through an intersection as a light turns green, it can be prudent to look left and right to ensure no one (car, bicycle, or pedestrian) is running a red light while traveling perpendicular to your vehicle.

A combination of common sense and common courtesy can keep everyone on the road safe.

How Auto Accident Attorneys Can Help

Working with experienced attorneys offers peace of mind. While you and your loved ones focus on recovery and moving forward, your lawyer can navigate the legal system and ensure your rights and interests are respected. Your lawyer will also ensure the negligent party is held accountable, whether it's a motorist, a company, or a local government/municipality.

Contact the Law Offices of Sean M. Burke

For more information about your legal options following a serious accident, be sure to contact our team of personal injury attorneys today. We look forward to your visit and discussing these issues in much greater detail.

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Auto Accidents and Backing Out of Driveways: Who Is at Fault?

April 17, 2017 @ 11:00 AM — by Sean Burke

Auto AccidentNearly every driver realizes the risks of driving. Auto accidents happen numerous times a day on roads all over America. These accidents have the potential to cause significant financial, emotional, and physical damages. In fact, many drivers avoid long car rides or driving on unfamiliar roads far from home because they fear being involved in an auto accident. However, statistics show that most accidents occur when a driver is in close proximity to their home.

Considering the amount of time a person spends traveling the familiar roads near their home, this makes a lot of sense. Still, many accidents take place even closer to home than a person would imagine, including in driveways. Backing out of a driveway is a common factor in auto accidents. The Orange County, CA auto accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Sean M. Burke can help you prove liability for the accident and obtain compensation for damages suffered.

Proving Liability

As with any car accident, it takes a lot of careful consideration and evidence to prove liability for a collision that takes place while a driver is backing out of a driveway. When a driver is reversing from a driveway, he or she is responsible for checking mirrors and ensuring the road is free of oncoming traffic or other hazards. However, there are cases in which the driver of an oncoming vehicle can be held responsible for the accident.

If the driver was driving at excessive speeds, backing out of a driveway and failed to pay attention, or made an unsafe maneuver, that driver may be held partially or fully responsible for the accident.

No matter the details of the accident, a driver should never admit fault at the scene. It is important to contact an experienced attorney, such as Sean M. Burke, as soon as possible following a collision. Mr. Burke will listen to the details of the accident, gather evidence from the scene (including witness testimony), and work with experts in the field to build a case proving liability for the car accident.

Damages in Driveway Auto Accidents

Accidents that take place while a vehicle is backing out of a driveway tend to take place at low speeds. However, this does not mean that these accidents cannot result in serious damages. Even low-impact car crashes can cause property damage and physical injury.

Injuries that are commonly associated with these types of accidents include back pain, shoulder pain, and whiplash. Each of these injuries may require costly medical care. When representing the victim of an auto accident, Mr. Burke will consider the full extent of auto accident damages to ensure his clients are justly compensated for their losses.

Avoiding Driveway Accidents

No matter how safely a person is driving, they cannot control the actions of others, so an auto accident is always a risk. Still, by taking the following precautions, individuals can minimize the chances of an auto accident when backing out of a driveway:

  • Give the road your full attention
  • Avoid talking, texting, or other distracting behaviors
  • Check all car mirrors
  • Look over your shoulder several times to check traffic from both directions
  • Be especially cautious to check for small animals and children

Contact Us

If you’ve been involved in an auto accident, it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side. Sean M. Burke has experience and expertise in auto accident cases and will fight to ensure your rights are protected. Contact us at your earliest convenience to discuss the details of your case and find out how we can ensure you are justly compensated for your losses.

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Medical Malpractice and the Improper Administration of Anesthesia

April 02, 2017 @ 11:00 AM — by Sean Burke

Anesthesia bagUndergoing medical treatments or surgeries that require the use of anesthesia can be scary. There is no guarantee that any medical procedure will be a success, but patients do have a right to expect a certain quality of care. Medical malpractice describes situations where patients receive substandard care, which directly leads to an injury or illness. Unfortunately, mistakes relating to the administration of anesthesia do occur.

When these types of mistakes are made, the patient may be left with serious, and often long-term, repercussions. Medical malpractice and improper administration of anesthesia results in significant damages for our Orange County, CA clients. At the Law Offices of Sean M. Burke, we offer legal representation to medical malpractice victims and fight to ensure that our clients are justly compensated for the full extent of their losses.

Anesthesia Errors

Any time that anesthesia is administered, there is a degree of risk. Patients must be aware of these risks and be willing to accept the possibility of complications prior to undergoing surgery. However, it is reasonable for patients to expect that doctors, nurses, and anesthesiologists will perform their jobs correctly and administer anesthesia as intended.

If an anesthesia error occurs due to the reckless or negligent actions of a medical professional, that qualifies as medical malpractice. Below are some of the most common anesthesia errors that are likely to be classified as medical malpractice:

  • Administering too much anesthetic
  • Delivering too little anesthetic, resulting in a state of anesthesia awareness (the patient is aware and/or can feel pain, but may be unable to communicate)
  • Administering the wrong anesthesia drug
  • Failing to check for possible anesthesia interactions with other prescribed medication
  • Delayed delivery of anesthesia
  • Failure to adequately monitor the patient while they are under anesthesia
  • Using defective medical equipment to deliver the anesthesia

Damages Related to Anesthesia Errors

The use of anesthesia alone carries a certain degree of risk, but when mistakes are made, they can result in serious consequences. Possible damages of anesthesia errors include the following:

  • Pain and/or consciousness during treatment
  • Dizziness or nausea
  • Heart arrhythmia
  • Organ damage
  • Asphyxia (inadequate supply of oxygen)
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • Coma
  • Death

Compensation for Damages

When medical malpractice occurs, patients have a right to seek financial compensation for the damages they have suffered. Improper administration of anesthesia can damage the body temporarily or long-term. In either case, the patient will probably experience physical and emotional pain and suffering. In addition, they will likely require medical treatment.

Depending on the specific circumstances of each case, these costs can be extremely high. Other losses may include lost wages or a loss of wage-earning potential, and a decrease in quality of life. Sean M. Burke and his legal team do not take any of these losses lightly. We carefully listen to the details of each of our client’s situations and put together a strong case to prove medical malpractice so that our clients can be justly compensated for their losses.

Contact Us

Medical malpractice cases are complex, and opposing legal teams are often quick to deny all liability. In these situations, the skill and experience of the legal team at the Law Offices of Sean M. Burke is invaluable. To find out how our medical malpractice attorneys can help protect your legal rights, contact us at your earliest convenience.


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Law Offices Of Sean M. Burke

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Irvine, CA 92618

Phone: (949) 287-4191
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Honors & Awards

Sean M. Burke awarded Trial Lawyer of the Year for Medical Malpractice by the Orange County Trial Lawyers for 2009 & 2005

Top 5 Personal Injury Lawyers in Orange County by AVVO and OC Metro Magazine.