Michael J. Kowalski Recognized in Best Lawyers in America© 2022 List

Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

WILKES-BARRE, PA – August 18, 2021 – Michael J. Kowalski, a partner in the Wilkes-Barre personal injury law firm of Distasio & Kowalski, LLC, has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© for 2022. This is his fourth straight year listed in the renowned publication. He was recognized for his work in the areas of medical malpractice law and personal injury litigation.

Attorney Kowalski specializes in cases of medical malpractice, birth injury, auto and truck accidents, nursing home negligence, and other medical negligence. He has appeared before state and federal courts throughout Pennsylvania on behalf of seriously injured accident and malpractice victims.

Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence.   The Best Lawyers in America rankings are based solely on peer-review surveys in which tens of thousands of attorneys confidentially evaluate their colleagues. It is the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

Distasio & Kowalski LLC

Located in Wilkes-Barre, PA, Distasio & Kowalski LLC, specializes in birth injury, medical malpractice, auto & truck accidents, personal injury, and wrongful death.

For more information on Distasio & Kowalski LLC, please visit dklawllc.com or call 570-970-5400.

 

 

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Distasio & Kowalski Attorneys Named 2021 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers

Thursday, July 8th, 2021

Distasio & Kowalaski LLC is pleased to announce that attorneys Daniel J. Distasio and Michael J. Kowalski, partners in the personal injury firm, have been named Pennsylvania Super Lawyers for the 13th consecutive year. Both have been top-rated in the category of Personal Injury Attorney.

“We are honored to have been chosen by our peers for this recognition which distinguishes attorneys who achieve and maintain the highest standards within their respected fields,” commented Daniel Distasio and Michael Kowalski. “We feel fortunate to represent clients within our community and are focused on providing legal representation that is professional, ethical, and compassionate.”

Super Lawyers

Super Lawyers rates lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high level of peer recognition and professional achievement. The objective is to create a comprehensive and diverse listing of outstanding attorneys. Selections are made on an annual state-by-state basis via a rigorous evaluation process. Each year, no more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state receive this honor bestowed by Super Lawyers magazine. The annual selections are made using a multiphase process that includes nominations, independent research, peer reviews, and evaluation by practice area. Attorneys are evaluated based on peer recognition and achievements including verdicts/settlements, representative clients, experience, honors/awards, pro bono and community service, and other outstanding achievements among other criteria.

Distasio & Kowalski LLC is located in Wilkes-Barre. The personal injury firm specializes in Auto & Truck Accidents, Medical Malpractice, Birth Injury, and Wrongful Death. For more information on Distasio & Kowalski LLC, please visit www.dklawllc.com or call 570-970-5400.

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Michael J. Kowalski selected one of America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators® for 2021

Tuesday, May 25th, 2021

Distasio & Kowalski LLC is proud to announce that Michael J. Kowalski, a partner in the firm, was selected among America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators® for 2021. Less than one-half percent (0.5%) of active attorneys in the United States are selected for this honor. Attorney Kowalski was one of only 100 attorneys in Pennsylvania selected for this distinction which recognizes the best trial lawyers in the nation. It is his 5th consecutive year for selection. Attorney Kowalski was chosen for attaining a high level of excellence in medical malpractice litigation and personal injury litigation.

America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators® is meant to identify and highlight the accomplishments of the nation’s most esteemed and skilled litigators in high-stakes legal matters. Because of this, inclusion is by invitation only and is limited to the Top 100 professionals from each state in each category of practice. In addition, those chosen exhibit excellence and the highest ethical standards in their respective professions.

To be considered for op 100 High Stakes Litigators®, an attorney must have litigated a matter with at least $2,000,000 in alleged damages at stake or with the fate of a business worth at least $2,000,000 at stake. A multi-phase selection process includes third-party research and statistical analysis of a candidate’s professional experience, legal achievements, significant case results/verdicts, community impact, peer reputation, client satisfaction, notable honors, and community impact among other factors specific to the profession. In the end, the selection process ensures that attorneys selected for this honor reflect the highest ideals and ethical standards of the legal profession.

Contact Distasio & Kowalski Personal Injury Firm

Distasio & Kowalski LLC is a personal injury firm located in Wilkes-
Barre, PA. The firm specializes in cases involving Medical Malpractice, Birth Injury, Auto & Truck Accidents, Personal Injury, and Wrongful Death. the Distasio & Kowalski team are highly experienced litigators focusing on personal injury cases.

For more information on Distasio & Kowalski LLC, please visit our website or call 570-970-5400. Learn more about America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators.

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Brachial Plexus Childbirth Injuries

Monday, November 16th, 2020

Birth trauma refers to damage of the tissues and organs of a newborn baby. Although many newborns might have minor injuries during birth, sometimes the injuries are more severe and include serious nerve damage.  Brachial plexus birth injuries refers to damage to the brachial plexus nerves that occurs at birth, and may be related to a difficult labor and delivery.

The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that begins at the spinal cord in the neck and delivers messages from the brain to the shoulder, arm and hand.  These nerves control muscle function in the chest, shoulders, arms and hands, as well as sensation in the upper limbs. A brachial plexus birth injury occurs when the baby’s neck is stretched, compressed, or awkwardly twisted. A quick or emergency delivery resulting in the baby being forcibly pulled out can result in a brachial plexus injury.  The nerves may stretch or tear during a traumatic delivery. Although nerves have some ability to heal on their own, it depends on the severity of the damage.

The most common type of brachial plexus injury is called Erb’s palsy. Babies with a brachial plexus injury may have difficulty moving their arm or lack feeling in their arm. Damaged nerves may result in symptoms from minor weakness to partial or complete paralysis depending on the severity of the injury. A less common injury that affects the lower brachial plexus is called Klumpke’s palsy. This typically affects only the muscles in the hand and is not common in babies.

Four types of brachial plexus nerve injuries

  1. Neuropraxia – This is a stretch injury and is the most common. The nerve is stretched but not torn. These injuries will typically heal on their own in time.
  2. Neuroma – This is a more serious stretch injury that damages nerve fibers and results in scar tissue. The scar tissue may press on the healthy nerve and create discomfort. Long-term recovery is typically only partial, not complete.  
  3. Rupture – This a stretch injury that tears or ruptures the nerve. This type of injury will not heal on its own. Surgery is required to re-attach the nerves.
  4. Avulsion – This type of injury is the most severe type of nerve damage and occurs when the nerve fiber is torn from the spinal cord.

For severe brachial plexus injuries, prompt surgical treatment might be needed to attempt to regain function.  Without it, permanent disability may occur. In the most severe cases, the damage may be permanent. Chronic pain can also be a long-term result of a brachial plexus injury.

Erb’s Palsy birth injury

Erb’s palsy may occur during delivery when excessive pressure is put on the baby’s head, neck or shoulder because of difficulty delivering. The symptoms of brachial plexus injury can vary based on severity and extent of damage. Erb’s palsy is the result of the upper brachial plexus being paralyzed. The risk of a baby developing Erb’s palsy is greatly increased if they develop shoulder dystocia during delivery. Shoulder dystocia is a condition where the baby comes through the birth canal at an awkward angle and a shoulder becomes stuck on the mother’s pelvis. Erb’s palsy can include paralysis or limpness in a baby’s arm, limited or no movement in hands and fingers, and loss of sensation in hands and fingers.

Symptoms of Erb’s Palsy

  • Weakness or numbness in arm.
  • Limited motion in the shoulder, arm, wrist or hand.
  • Arm hanging by side and rotated inward.
  • Partial or total paralysis of the arm.

Potential Causes of Erb’s Palsy / Brachial Plexus Injuries

As we mentioned above, brachial plexus nerve injuries typically occur with traumatic or difficult deliveries. This may include a large baby, a breech birth or prolonged labor. A doctor delivering quickly may use excessive force to pull the baby from the birth canal resulting in a stretching of the baby’s neck. This can also result from excessive pulling on the shoulders during a head-first delivery, or by pressure on the infant’s raised arms during a feet-first delivery. Risk factors associated with brachial plexus injuries include improper use of birthing or extraction tools, prolonged labor, breech delivery, large baby, small or abnormal maternal pelvis shape or excessive maternal weight gain.

A baby’s arm that is limp can usually indicate a brachial plexus injury. Proper diagnosis requires a complete neurological exam to determine which nerves have been impacted and the severity of the injury. Treatment may include anything from physical therapy to improve movement in the muscles and nerves or occupational therapy to improve joint function and muscle tone to surgery in the most severe cases.

Brachial Plexus injuries during childbirth

The main cause of Erb’s palsy is damage to the nerves during childbirth. Brachial plexus injuries are avoidable. An obstetrician must proceed with extreme caution when risk factors are present during delivery. For instance, failure to recognize that a caesarean section should have been performed due to the baby’s size, use of excessive force or pressure on the baby’s head, neck, or shoulder during delivery, or improper use of delivery instruments, such as forceps or vacuum extractors, may indicate an error on the part of the doctor.

Often, Erb’s Palsy injuries are the result of preventable medical errors during delivery. Medical professionals have a duty to ensure you and your baby are provided a certain standard of care. Birth injuries may come with lifelong limitations for your child, crippling medical costs, and lasting emotional stress. If your infant has suffered a brachial plexus injury or has been diagnosed with Erb’s Palsy that you believe may have been caused by medical negligence, you should consult with an experienced birth injury attorney to explore your options and help recover compensation for your child’s injuries. The Distasio & Kowalski birth injury attorneys have seen the toll birth injuries can take on a family and we are here to help.

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Michael J. Kowalski selected as one of America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators® for 2020

Tuesday, September 1st, 2020

Michael J. Kowalski, a partner in the personal injury firm of Distasio & Kowalski, LLC, was recently selected among America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators® for 2020. Kowalski was selected for excellence in medical malpractice litigation and personal injury litigation.

Selection to America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators® is by invitation only. It is limited to the Top 100 professionals from each state in each category of practice who best exhibit excellence and the highest ethical standards in their respective professions. This honor is meant to identify and highlight the accomplishments of the nation’s most esteemed and skilled litigators in high stakes legal matters. Less than 1% of professionals in the United States are selected for America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators®.

To be considered, an attorney must have litigated a matter with at least $2,000,000 in alleged damages at stake or with the fate of a business worth at least $2,000,000 at stake. A multi-phase selection process includes third-party research and statistical analysis of a candidate’s professional experience, achievements, significant results, community impact, peer reputation, consumer satisfaction, and other factors specific to the profession. The selection process ensures that attorneys selected for this honor reflect the highest ideals and ethical standards of the legal profession.

Located in Wilkes-Barre, PA, Distasio & Kowalski LLC, specializes in cases involving Medical Malpractice, Birth Injury, Auto & Truck Accidents, Personal Injury, and Wrongful Death.

For more information on Distasio & Kowalski LLC, please visit www.dklawllc.com or call 570-970-5400.

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