Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

December 2012 Archives

Sandy Hook Lawsuit Would Seek $100M From State

A lawyer is seeking permission to sue the state of Connecticut in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook elementary school shootings. The proposed Sandy Hook lawsuit would seek $100 million on behalf of a 6-year-old survivor who heard the violence over the school's intercom.

Lawyer Irving Pinsky says that he isn't bringing the lawsuit on behalf of his client, whom he calls "Jill Doe," for the money. Instead, he says that he is suing to better protect the children, reports The Huffington Post.

Pinsky says that Doe suffers from sustained emotional and psychological trauma after hearing the shootings over the school's intercom system. During the shootings, a gunman killed 20 children and six adults before killing himself.

Shovel Your Sidewalk or Face Potential Liability

We're just one week into winter, but if you live in a snowy area like the Midwest or the Northeast, you'd better break out your shovels and buy some salt. Because if you don't shovel your sidewalk, you could expose yourself to liability.

As snowstorms are expected to hit (or already have hit) parts of the United States, property owners may face legal obligations to keep their property clean, safe, and ice-free.

If you fail to shovel your sidewalk or other public walkway, and someone slips and falls, you could potentially face a lawsuit. In some states, you may have broken the law too.

Can Newspaper Be Sued Over Gun Owner Addresses?

Following the Connecticut school shooting, a New York newspaper published a story this week called "The Gun Owner Next Door: What You Don't Know About the Weapons in Your Neighborhood."

As part of its story, The Journal News included an interactive map that lists the names and addresses of every gun permit holder in two local counties, reports the Associated Press.

Not surprisingly, the gun permit holders who were "outed" by the newspaper were outraged and even claimed their safety had been jeopardized. But did The Journal News violate any laws or the rights of the gun permit holders?

Do You Need a Lawyer for a Workers' Comp Case?

You may think you need a lawyer for any injury or accident. But do you need a lawyer for a workers’ compensation case?

The whole point of having a workers’ compensation system to handle workplace injuries is to remove these cases from the civil tort system, reports CFO.com.

Yet lawyers are often involved in workers’ comp cases, and some corporate managers suggest that this is leading to unnecessary delay and expenses. Injured workers, however, may beg to differ.

Mugshot Websites Sued Over Takedown Fees

Several mugshot websites are being sued for allegedly trying to profit off the mugshots they publish, which are allegedly hurting the reputations of people who are later found innocent.

According to an Ohio class action lawsuit, mugshot websites like JustMugshots.com, BustedMugshots.com, MugshotsOnline.com, and FindMugshots.com post mugshots of people after they've been arrested. So when you search for a person's name on Google, for example, you may be able to find that person's mugshot on one of these sites, reports NPR.

However, after a person is later cleared of criminal charges, these websites don't automatically take down the mugshots or update their websites. Instead, only after the person pays a fee of up to $500 will the websites take down a mugshot, the lawsuit claims. The plaintiffs argue that this profiteering off of mugshots violates their rights over their own images.

Motorcycle Crashes Cost $16B a Year: Report

It's really no surprise that motorcycle crashes are deadlier and cost more than crashes involving other types of motor vehicles.

After all, there is nothing protecting a rider except what he's wearing on his body. So if a motorcycle hits something or something hits a motorcycle, the consequences are often dire.

However, when a new study came out that quantified the costs of motorcycle accidents, it was surprising to learn just how much deadlier (and costlier) motorcycle accidents are, reports Autoblog.com.

60-Car Pileup Raises Liability Questions

It takes a lot to shut down a major interstate for almost 12 hours, but a 60-car pileup will certainly do the trick. Even after the road is clear, the issue of liability remains.

In an accident involving two or three cars, it's easier to see who's at fault. But just outside Yreka, California, near the Oregon border, a two-car crash on Interstate 5 quickly escalated when other drivers couldn't stop in "extremely icy conditions" on Tuesday, according to news reports.

Figuring out fault in a car accident is vital since that's how insurance will determine who pays. In a situation like this, it's hard to know where to point fingers.

Can Bushmaster Be Sued Over CT School Shooting?

Can Bushmaster be sued over the deadly Connecticut elementary school shooting?

A Bushmaster rifle was reportedly used in the shootings that claimed 26 lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. A Bushmaster rifle was also used in the Washington, D.C.-area sniper attacks in 2002, after which victims and their families sued the company, Forbes reports. The suit ended in a $2.5 million settlement.

The company may soon find itself involved in another lawsuit tied to the elementary school tragedy. This may be true even though there is a federal law that would seem to bar lawsuits against gunmakers for crimes committed with their products, according to Forbes.

Texting and Driving? There's an App to Stop That

Worried about your teen texting and driving? Well, there's an app for that. Several app developers have came up with high-tech ways to allow parents to prevent their teens from texting and driving.

As you know, texting and driving is extremely dangerous. For the uncoordinated, texting correctly can be difficult even when you're sitting stationary at a desk. So imagine how much concentration it takes for a new driver to text while going 60 mph.

Fortunately, app makers have come up with some possible solutions for parents concerned about their teen driving and texting, reports Mashable. Here are a few of the most popular:

5 Ways Surgery Errors Can Lead to Lawsuits

You go through surgery to feel better or to address a pressing medical problem. But sometimes after surgery, you end up in a worse condition.

A lot can go wrong in the operating room, and you may need to consider bringing a lawsuit to get compensation. Considering that you're typically unconscious when the surgery is performed, you may not realize what went wrong until after you've recovered.

So what types of mistakes can happen during surgery? Here are five of the most common surgical mistakes that can lead to malpractice lawsuits:

Can You Sue for Insults on a Receipt?

Three women in Stockton, California, were having a fun girls' night out until they saw the insults on their receipt at Chilly D's Sports Lounge.

At the top of the receipt where the customer's name is supposed to go, the bill said "Fat Girls." When the women questioned their server, he blamed another server who had conveniently left the building. The manager wasn't much help either, although he offered the women a 50% discount, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Unfortunately this isn't the first instance of insults printed on a customer's receipt. But what can victims do about it?

Road Rage Tips: How to Not Get Shot

Road rage incidents are nothing new, with drivers getting shot at and even getting killed over incidents that could have been easily avoided. If the actors in these cases had utilized some road rage avoidance tips, the situations may have passed without incident.

Instead, seemingly minor disputes have led to serious criminal consequences, including murder and weapons charges.

If you don't want to get shot at this holiday season, here are some road rage tips you should keep in mind:

How to File a TSA Pat-Down Complaint

At some point you've likely experienced a TSA pat-down. And regardless of who performed it, the experience was probably not very enjoyable.

It's true that TSA agents perform the pat-downs to protect our safety. But do they have to be so invasive with their touching?

If you think you have fallen victim to an overzealous TSA agent, here are some steps to filing a complaint with the agency, as provided by the TSA itself:

Should You Settle Your Injury Lawsuit?

When an injury happens and someone else is at fault, often the best course of action is to file a lawsuit. But just because you've filed it doesn't mean you need to continue until you get a jury verdict.

It's not about giving up on your claim. It's that you can reach a resolution through either a court decision or an out-of-court settlement. There are benefits to both.

In fact, when it comes to personal injury lawsuits, the phrase "don't settle" may actually be selling you short.

7 Winter Driving Tips to Keep You Safe

It doesn't matter how much it snowed last year, winter driving is always madness as soon as the first flakes fall.

The problem, however, may not be your driving. It's that everyone else on the road is slipping and sliding, which means you have to be ready to react to their poor choices. Even if you're obeying traffic rules, you could still be the one stuck with the bill after the guy in front of you slams on the brakes.

Accidents in winter are often more serious because cars can't slow down as quickly when they skate over ice. So let's prevent the damage and injury by avoiding those accidents altogether. Here are 7 winter driving tips to keep you safe:

Will Casino Bus Crash Verdict Affect Lawsuits?

The verdict is in for last year's deadly Mohegan Sun Casino bus crash. Jurors found the bus driver not guilty of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.

Ophadell Williams was driving the bus when it hit a guardrail, killing 15 passengers. Williams cried when he heard the news but he wasn't entirely acquitted. Williams was found guilty of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a much less serious charge.

Williams' criminal case is decided, but his legal ordeal isn't over yet. The outcome of the trial will affect the civil suits against him.

Spring Break Stabbing Leads to Coca-Cola Suit

Spring Break on South Padre Island is supposed to be a good time. But when a party at "Coca-Cola Beach" got out of hand, it turned into a lawsuit.

Derek Madrigal was attending the spring break party sponsored by Coca-Cola when he noticed a group of men being rude to a young woman. He stepped in and asked the men to stop, but when he did the group turned on him.

The group surrounded Madrigal, beat him with cooler covers, and stabbed him nine times during the party in March. For his injuries, he's now going after Coca-Cola.

George Zimmerman Suing NBC Over 911 Tape

After a few weeks of considering his options, George Zimmerman is suing NBC over their cut-and-paste job of the 911 call he made to police on the night Trayvon Martin was killed. Looks like Zimmerman’s been reading our analysis on whether he should sue.

The lawsuit, as expected, claims that NBC’s manipulation of the 911 call constitutes defamation by portraying Zimmerman as racist. He’s also charging specific reporters who presented the manipulated call on their shows.

NBC has already apologized for what they call an unintentional mistake. But that’s not enough for Zimmerman, who’s taking his claims public.

5 Confusing Car Insurance Terms Explained

If you drive a car, you'll need car insurance, and you've likely been introduced to the world of confusing car insurance terms.

Prices for car insurance can range from less than $100 to well above several hundred a month. Some obvious factors affecting car insurance prices are the type of vehicle you drive and your driving history.

But even considering these variables, you'll see a wide range of products and prices available to you. What distinguishes one plan from another will depend on the fine print, or the confusing car insurance terms. Here are five car insurance terms you should become familiar with:

Bob Marley's Mellow Mood Sickens Students

A Bob Marley drink being sold at a New Jersey middle school of all places is being blamed for sickening several students. Parents may be wondering why the school was selling the drink in the first place, as it is not intended for children.

The drink called Marley's Mellow Mood contains ingredients such as Valerian root and is designed to reduce stress and relieve tension of the consumer, reports New York's WINS radio. There is a warning label on the drink that says some ingredients may cause drowsiness, and that the product is intended for adults.

Apparently undeterred by those warnings, Satz Middle School and Holmdel High School in New Jersey decided to sell the drink to students.

Top 5 Holiday Decoration Injuries to Avoid

Most people imagine getting holiday decorations ready as a fun family activity, but it can sometimes lead to injuries.

There are lots of things that can go wrong when putting up those decorations, and it's just not as much fun if it ends with a trip to the doctor. This year, make a point to avoid the typical injuries that prematurely end an afternoon of holiday decorating.

It doesn't matter what holiday you celebrate. If you plan to spruce up your house a bit this December, then you could be the victim of one of these common injuries:

Dolphin Bites Girl at Sea World

A young girl on a visit to Sea World got a shocking reminder that dolphins are wild animals when she received some painful bites from one of the intelligent sea creatures, CNN reports.

Jillan Thomas, an 8-year-old girl on vacation with her family in Orlando, was participating in feeding the dolphins a few weeks ago. She and other park visitors were warned not to lift the trays that held the dolphins' food.

The reason for that rule became clear just seconds after Jillian held up one of the paper trays. A dolphin leaped out of the water to grab the tray -- and bit Jillian's hand too.