Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

April 2013 Archives

5 Things You Shouldn't Do After a Car Accident

Car accidents can easily turn even a calm person into a cauldron of rage and resentment. But even with poor impulses, there are a handful of things you shouldn't ever do after a car accident.

Insurance and patience can solve many of your car accident woes, as well as remembering what not to do or say. Here are a few suggestions:

'Catfishing' Leads to Lawsuit at Ball State Univ.

Thanks to the Manti Te'o hoax, everyone knows what the catfishing lawsuit at Ball State University involves: an online soulmate, a string of conversations, an innocent victim, and pranksters behind it all.

But in this catfishing suit, there's a catch: It's not the victim who's suing. Citing a violation of their First Amendment and due process rights, two students who "catfished" their roommate are suing Ball State for suspending them because of the prank.

Do the roommates have a case?

LAPD Settles With 2 Shot During Dorner Manhunt

Two women "mistakenly" shot by LAPD officers during the Dorner manhunt reached a $4.2 million settlement with the city of Los Angeles this week.

Maggie Carranza, 47, and her mother Emma Hernandez, 71, will receive the settlement as compensation after LAPD officers opened fire on their truck with the two inside, reports the Los Angeles Times. The officers were on the lookout for ex-cop Christopher Dorner, who was the subject of an intense manhunt in February.

The money is some comfort to these women, who are recovering from their injuries. But there are other innocent victims who are waiting for justice after being hurt by reckless police officers.

TX Fertilizer Plant Explosion: 2 Lawsuits Filed

The Texas fertilizer plant explosion that killed 14 people, injured 200 and destroyed dozens of homes last week has led to two lawsuits. They're likely the first of many.

The plant in West, Texas, near Waco, caught fire April 17, and as first responders arrived on-scene, a huge explosion occurred. As expected, the plant's owner is now being sued -- by a single mom and by several insurance companies.

At the center of the explosion, and the lawsuits, is the definition of an inherently dangerous condition.

Where Should You File Your Lawsuit?

If you've suffered an injury, you may be tinkering with the idea of suing the party at fault. But where should you file your lawsuit?

First, you should wait until you can take a deep breath, unclench your angry fist and consider whether filing a lawsuit is the right decision.

If you've done that -- or just want to pursue a lawsuit with an angry fist -- the next step is to figure out which court is the most appropriate to hear your case. Here are some general considerations:

'Cinnamon Challenge' Warning: Hundreds Injured

Parents can now add "cinnamon" to the list of things they should warn their kids about, a new study suggests.

The so-called "cinnamon challenge" is a popular dare that involves swallowing a spoonful of ground cinnamon without drinking water. Pediatricians are worried, because a new study shows the "cinnamon challenge" has resulted in injuries and chronic health issues.

But with all the peer pressure and health risks involved, could a "cinnamon challenge"-related injury lead to a heaping spoon of lawsuits?

Aurora Wrongful Death Suits Move Forward

Victims and relatives of last summer's Aurora movie theater shooting can sue the theater's owner for liability and wrongful death, a federal judge has ruled. But not all claims are moving forward.

U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson ruled that claims of negligence against Aurora theater owner Cinemark USA cannot proceed. Jackson's ruling affects 10 lawsuits filed in the wake of the massacre.

The idea that any theater could have been prepared for the actions of a lone gunman may seem ludicrous, but the case made by the plaintiffs has strong foundations in Colorado law.

How Do You Sue a School District?

Suing a school district may not be the most common way to resolve an issue with school administrators, but it is a course of action school employees, parents and families can take under certain circumstances. If a school violates someone's rights or causes injury or harm, the injured party can seek compensation.

Generally, suing a school district is an uphill battle for plaintiffs and involves a complex legal process. The first of many steps a plaintiff will need to take is to determine the grounds for the lawsuit against the school district.

What Is Qualified Immunity?

Qualified immunity shields public officials from damages for civil liability so long as they did not violate an individual's "clearly established" statutory or constitutional rights.

The immunity is available to state or federal employees, including law enforcement officers, who are performing their jobs. As a result, if a state or federal employee violates an individual's federal constitutional rights, that employee is protected from liability if he or she did not violate rights spelled out by a "clearly established" law.

Why are these protections available? The goal of the immunity is to allow state and federal employees to perform their responsibilities without fear of being sued by individuals who may suffer injuries.

Audrie Pott's Family Filing Wrongful Death Suit

The family of Audrie Pott -- who committed suicide after she was reportedly sexually assaulted and a photo of the act was shared with classmates via text messages -- is planning to file a civil action against the three boys arrested.

The three teenagers are now expected to face a wrongful death suit on top of the criminal charges.

How to Prove Emotional Distress

Proving that you suffer emotional distress can be extremely difficult. Unlike broken bones or other injuries, you may have no X-rays or other medical documents to point to.

Instead, emotional distress is largely psychological. And while the suffering can be as great, if not greater, than physical injuries, plaintiffs can have a hard time proving to a court they are entitled to damages given the difficulty of proof.

For those considering a claim for emotional distress, here are some ways you may be able to prove your claim:

What's More Dangerous Than Texting and Driving?

A new study found that daydreaming and driving may be far more dangerous than texting and driving.

The study conducted by the Erie Insurance Group claims that those who let their minds wander and daydream as they drive actually pose a five times greater risk than those drivers who simply use their mobile phones and drive, reports Yahoo!

A spokesperson from the group called the results “disturbing.”

4-Year-Old Shoots 6-Year-Old: Who's Liable?

A 6-year-old boy was accidentally shot in the head with a .22 caliber rifle by his 4-year-old neighbor in Toms River, New Jersey. The shooting came days after another 4-year-old accidentally shot and killed the wife of a sheriff's deputy in Lebanon, Tennessee, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The accidental shootings raise questions about whether parents of small children can be sued for their children's actions.

Lawsuit Over Lead in Baby Food Products

An environmental group filed a lawsuit against several of the country's largest baby food manufacturers over lead in their products.

The Environmental Law Foundation claims that companies like Gerber, Del Monte Foods, Beech-Nut, and others produce baby food with a low level of lead in them. While the lead may not be toxic, the environmental organization wants these companies to place warning labels on the products, reports CBS News.

The lawsuit was filed in California and would require such labeling in California only.

Mom, Tasered While Pregnant, to Get $55K

The city of Chicago will pay $55,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by a woman who claimed she was Tasered by police when she was eight months pregnant.

Last June, 31-year-old Tiffany Rent says she was shocked by police after she pulled into a handicapped spot in front of a Walgreens, reports NBC News. She got out of the car to readjust one of her two children in the car when a police officer starting writing her a ticket.

Rent allegedly tore up the ticket and threw it at the officer. Rent then allegedly refused to give her identification to the officer and attempted to drive away. That's when the officer used his Taser on the young pregnant woman in front of her two children.

Frozen Pizza, Snacks Recalled; 7 Hospitalized

About 10 million pounds of snack foods including frozen pizzas, mozzarella bites, Philly cheese steaks, and others have been recalled after reports of an E. coli outbreak. Two dozen people in 15 states have become ill after eating the snacks, according to the FDA.

Rich Products Corporation of Buffalo, New York, is pulling all products produced at a Georgia plant. The recalled products are stamped with "best by" dates from January 1, 2013 to September 29, 2014, reports NBC News.

It's believed 3 million pounds of recalled products are still in the marketplace.

Man Dies While Getting Wisdom Teeth Removed

A San Diego man died while getting his wisdom teeth removed. His family alleges medical malpractice.

Getting your wisdom teeth removed may be one of the most common types of surgery. After all, almost everyone will have their wisdom teeth removed at some point.

However, tragedy hit 25-year-old Marek Lapinski. As he was undergoing the routine procedure in March, he reportedly began to cough. Medical personnel gave him the drug propofol, and Lapinski then went into cardiac arrest, reports the Los Angeles Times.

'Mudding' Injuries: Who's Stuck Paying the Bill?

Springtime means it's time for "mudding" in many parts of the country. But when mudding-related injuries and property damage occur, who gets stuck with the bill?

Mudding is basically off-road driving through wet meadows, fields, streams, and other muddy areas. It's often characterized by spinning tires and throwing off mud, as well as tearing up grass and other vegetation.

While some may find mudding a good way to blow off steam, it can also be dangerous and lead to lawsuits. So who may be held liable for mudding damages or injuries? Generally speaking, look to the following parties:

3 Potential Ways to Sue a Repo Man

If you've fallen behind in paying your bills, you may have had an unpleasant visit by a repo man. You should know that repossession men are not government authorities, nor are they associated with the police. In certain situations, you can even sue a repo man for damages.

The laws regarding what repo men can and cannot do are typically provided in state statutes. So depending on where you live, you may want to talk to an attorney to see if the repo man violated any laws.

Generally, some ways to potentially sue a repo man can include:

Okla. Dentist HIV Scare: Can Patients Sue?

An oral surgeon in Oklahoma is accused of using unsanitary practices and possibly exposing his patients to hepatitis and HIV. Now many are wondering if the dentist can be sued if a patient contracted HIV or some other disease due to the doctor's alleged carelessness.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health is offering free screenings for the 7,000 patients who saw Dr. W. Scott Harrington over the past six years, reports The Oklahoman.

Hundreds of people were tested over the weekend after officials announced that poor hygiene practices at Harrington's two clinics in Tulsa and Owasso created a public health hazard. Former patients are being checked for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV.