Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

May 2013 Archives

'Google Breakup': A Streetview Invasion of Privacy?

Nobody wants Google Streetview capturing their saddest moments and displaying them on the internet, especially their breakups.

But that's what seems to have happened to this Southern California woman, who had her picture taken at what might as well have been 123 Dumpsville Road.

Is Google Streetview invading your privacy by memorializing your pain on their maps?

7 Dead in Upstate N.Y. Runaway Trailer Crash

Seven people were killed in upstate New York after a runaway trailer collided with a minivan on a rural two-lane highway.

The crash happened south of Syracuse about 6 p.m. Wednesday, when a trailer dislodged and crossed the center line, hitting a minivan carrying eight people. Seven people in the minivan, including four children, were killed, the Associated Press reports.

While officials have yet to determine what exactly caused the accident, something made the trailer come loose. The tragedy serves as a reminder of how important it is to safely secure items being towed, especially as the summer travel season gets underway.

FDA Campfire Stories: 3 Spooky Food Recalls

Camping with family and friends can be great, unless you end up with food-borne illnessdue to a recalled food.

Sure, you’re a Viking when it comes to eating weird and possibly spoiled food (you even ate that tin of expired plankton), but these scary tales of food recalls may have you running for the restroom.

National Bike-Share Program Launched, 5 Safety Tips

Bicycle safety has always been important, but lately with the increased encouragement to use bikes as your main mode of transportation, it's more important now than ever.

While National Bike Month is just about winding down, bike popularity is still peddling on. Bike riding is encouraged now more than ever, especially in our increasingly environmentally-aware society. Not only that, but just this week, the nation's biggest bicycle-sharing program was launched in New York City. According to The Associated Press, it's one of more than 500 bike-sharing systems in the world, but the biggest in the country with over 15,000 eager bikers already signed up for the program.

But, before you start gearing up, here are 5 important safety tips to keep in mind.

Royal Caribbean Fire: 2,200 to Get Refunds

A Royal Caribbean cruise leaving from Baltimore caught fire onboard early Monday at around 3:00 a.m. According to The Associated Press, there were more than 2,200 guests aboard whose trip aboard had to be cut short.

All of the passengers will be flying home from Freeport, where the ship was redirected to for evaluation. Their flights will be comped, on top of the refunds they will receive for this cruise and a certificate toward another cruise in the future.

No medical emergencies have been reported thus far. But, can any possibly disgruntled passengers aboard this cruise take legal action, if they wanted to?

No Car Insurance? What Can Happen?

What can happen if you drive without car insurance?

It may feel like a victimless crime. After all, car insurance is usually purchased to protect the driver. So if you, as the driver, opt out of purchasing insurance, you're making your own choice not to have that extra back-up layer of protection in case you're in a car accident or dispute. Right?

Wrong.

Grilling Out Can Lead to Burns, Lawsuits

Grilling out on a warm day can result in burns and lawsuits, almost as easily as it can result in a well-cooked Polish sausage and asparagus (with the perfect amount of char... mmm...).

Outdoor cooking enthusiasts should take heed of the dangers, and be aware that if they are injured, they likely do have legal recourse.

Here are some real-life examples of what can happen when grilling out goes horribly wrong, and some tips to stay safe:

Driver Impaled on Freeway: Who's Responsible?

It may seem like a scene out of the "Final Destination" movies, but on Wednesday a driver was impaled by a metal pipe on a California freeway.

Authorities found the victim, identified as Michael Cox, 33, dead on the side of Interstate 580 in Livermore, California, after a 2-foot-long metal pipe crashed through the windshield of Cox's car, impaling him, reports San Francisco's KPIX-TV.

Although there is no word yet on where the pipe may have come from, there are many possible parties who may be held legally responsible for the driver's death.

After Slip-and-Fall Injury, 1st Steps Are Vital

The first steps after a slip-and-fall accident are crucial. If you pursue a slip-and-fall injury lawsuit, winning your case will typically involve proving that the property owner is responsible. This means the burden of proof is on you as the injured person.

The main part of proving slip-and-fall liability requires that there was a dangerous condition that caused you to fall, and that the owner knew about it.

If this was the case, here are the initial vital steps that you should take after a slip-and-fall accident:

5 Ways to Sue Over Theme Park Injuries

Theme parks are the perfect place to go on a hot summer day, but they are also the ideal spot for slips, falls, and even drowning that can lead to injury.

So before you slap on your fanny pack and slather on some SPF 30, consider these five common ways you can sue for injuries at a theme park:

Singer Sues McDonald's for Ruining Her Voice

A gospel singer is suing McDonald's, after she allegedly bit into a piece of glass while eating a chicken sandwich served to her at a McDonald's in New York City.

Jacqueline Simpson is now claiming that her voice is ruined. She complains that she can't sing soprano like she used to, and that her voice has been rendered hoarse and rattly, which it didn't used to be. "I have to make a lot of calls for work, and I have to tell people that I'm not a man," Simpson told the New York Post.

McDonald's is no stranger to lawsuits. So how might this one fare?

CDC 'Poop' Study: Why Swimmers Need to Shower

Do you shower before you swim? If not, you're likely contaminating the pool with fecal matter, according to a new CDC study that's making waves.

That's right: Everybody poops, but not everyone cleanses themselves responsibly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that child and adult swimmers alike introduce fecal material into pools without even knowing it, which can spread germs to other people.

During the course of the CDC study, researchers found a variety of bacteria in Atlanta pools they tested last summer.

Hofstra Student Hostage, 21, Killed by Police

A Hofstra student was killed after a harrowing split-second decision by a police officer to pull the trigger during a hostage situation over the weekend.

The student, 21-year-old Andrea Rebello, was being held in a headlock by a masked intruder with a loaded gun to her head, reports the Associated Press. When the gunman took aim at the veteran police officer, the officer opened fire, killing both the intruder and Rebello.

In a tragic situation like this, can the Rebello family seek a wrongful death claim against the police?

Legal How-To: Getting Medical Records for Your Case

Medical records may be the foundation of your injury claim or the linchpin of your defense. But getting medical records for your lawsuit can be difficult.

The following steps will help you obtain those sensitive medical documents in order to win your case and get some peace of mind.

Soccer-Ball Dribbler Killed by Pickup Truck

Activist and soccer ball dribbler Richard Swanson, whose goal of dribbling a ball from Seattle to Brazil inspired fans around the world, died Tuesday after being hit by a pickup truck.

Swanson, 42, was struck while walking on Highway 101 along the Oregon coast. He started out from Seattle on May 1, with the goal of walking and dribbling all the way to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup, the Associated Press reports. Swanson wanted to promote his love of soccer and the One World Futbol Project, which donates soccer balls to developing countries.

The sad news of Swanson's life being cut short also prompts questions about what can be done legally.

Wrestling Camp Sued Over Teen's Brain Injury

A wrestling camp lawsuit blames a teenager's brain injuries on improper supervision. Parents with teens participating in summer sports camps may want to take note.

Zach Varghese suffered severe head injuries when another wrestler dropped him on his head at a camp run by Chattanooga Wrestling Camps LLC in June 2012. The lawsuit, filed by Zach's father last month, seeks $600,000 in damages, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The incident serves as a warning for parents when enrolling their children in summer sports camps and other activities. In case of an injury or accident, is recovery possible? Also, what types of defenses could the sports camp assert?

Police Brutality Lawsuits and Section 1983

Police brutality is both ugly and widespread, but there is some hope in knowing that Section 1983 of Civil Rights Act exists to protect victims from police attacks on their constitutional rights.

Congress enacted 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in order to protect the rights guaranteed to all Americans by the 14th Amendment. Under Section 1983, a victim can file a lawsuit in federal court for police brutality.

How exactly does this work?

Drowsy Driving Lawsuits Have 'A Lot More to Prove'

When it comes to drowsy driving lawsuits, are jurors asleep at the wheel? Some lawyers who've tried such cases say victims often face roadblocks when it comes to proof.

"If you are going to try and make fatigue -- sleepiness -- a criminal legal issue in a motor vehicle accident, you have a lot, lot more to prove," attorney Patrick Bruno told the Associated Press. Bruno successfully defended an alleged drowsy bus driver in a manslaughter and negligent homicide case involving a crash that killed 15 people.

But why are drowsy driving cases so much more difficult to prove?

SoCal Jogger, 63, Mauled by 4 Pit Bulls

A jogger was killed after being mauled by four pit bulls Thursday in Southern California. Law enforcement officers are now on the hunt for the animals.

The Los Angeles County Sherriff's Department issued a warning to stay away from the area in the town of Littlerock, near Palmdale, where the 63-year-old female victim was attacked, reports The Los Angeles Times.

It's not yet clear who owned the pit bulls involved in the jogger's mauling. But if an owner is identified, he or she could face serious charges, not to mention a potential lawsuit by the victim's relatives.

Street Racing Causing More Crashes, Injuries

Street racing is dangerous, it's illegal, and it's on the rise. In many cases, reckless racers are causing crashes, injuries, and even deaths.

In an alleged street-racing crash in California last week, a 57-year-old pedestrian was struck and killed. Police say the 18-year-old driver who hit him was racing another car when he plowed through an intersection, Los Angeles' KABC-TV reports.

This isn't the first or last time that street racing has claimed lives. Fortunately for victims, there are potential legal routes to recovery.

Preschoolers With Special Needs Abused, Lawsuits Claim

The mother of a preschooler with special needs alleges her 3-year-old child was abused by teachers, and has filed a lawsuit in response.

It's the third such lawsuit against Livonia Public Schools, a district outside Detroit. Two other lawsuits, filed last month, allege that three other children with special needs in the same class were also abused.

Especially disturbing, the suits claim that staff members knew about the abuse but didn't do much to stop it, reports the Observer and Eccentric. To combat the growing concern of children with special needs being abused by teachers and staff members, the suit is calling for a different kind of remedy.

Car v. Pedestrian Accidents: Who's at Fault?

Cars and pedestrians are often at odds on the road. But when accidents occur, how do you figure out who's at fault?

In car v. pedestrian accidents, both the driver and the injured pedestrian typically try to blame each other. And with accidents like a recent hit-and-run in Pittsburgh that resulted in a Penn State student's death, you can see why.

In less clear cases, how can you tell which party is legally to blame?

Bride Among 5 Killed in Limo Fire

A night of reverie turned to tragedy when a bridal party's stretch limousine burst into flames. The bride was killed in the limo fire, along with four of her friends.

The limousine's driver was unhurt, and four other passengers who survived were treated for burns and smoke inhalation, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Investigators still aren't sure what caused the limo fire Saturday night. While victims and relatives of the bride who died may be considering wrongful-death or personal-injury lawsuits, the limo company could potentially claim some valid defenses.

Will NY Post Be Sued Over Boston Bombing IDs?

The father of a boy misidentified by the New York Post as a Boston Marathon bombing suspect may soon extract his legal pound of flesh from the tabloid, as he is seeking counsel for a potential lawsuit.

El Houssein Barhoum, father of 16-year-old Salah Barhoum, says the possible lawsuit would seek compensation for the emotional stress and upheaval his family and his son have faced since the erroneous story was printed, reports The Washington Post.

Whether or not the Barhoum family decides to sue, it may be tricky to sue a newspaper.

When Car Insurance Fails: 3 Ways to Collect

Being involved in a fender bender or even a major crash can go from a minor headache to a major pain if your insurance company denies your claim. All hope is not lost, however, and there are still ways for drivers to collect when car insurance fails.

Consider these three options when deciding how to pick up where your car insurance left off:

Tough Mudder Death Is 1st Since Race Began

A Tough Mudder participant died in West Virginia last week, and 20 others were treated at a hospital.

Avishek Sengupta, 28, of Maryland, is the first Tough Mudder participant to die during the popular endurance race since it began in 2010. His drowning raises a grim reality that's typically far from the minds of amped participants, and is buried in the fine print of the event's participation agreement.

With extreme endurance activities like Tough Mudder, Rugged Maniac, and Warrior Dash on the rise, it's important for participants to know what they're "risking" by signing on the dotted line of a waiver.