Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

September 2014 Archives

Denied a Job for Past Injuries? Can You Sue?

You should strive to be in your best shape when applying for a new job, but potential employers can't just write you off for past injuries.

Case in point: A patrol officer applicant named Russell Holt sued BNSF Railway Co. after the Texas-based company yanked his job offer when Holt disclosed a prior back injury. The EEOC has now filed a lawsuit on Holt's behalf, claiming that BNSF discriminated against him on the basis of a disability.

Can you sue when you've been denied a job based on past injuries?

If You're a Passenger in a Crash, Whom Should You Sue?

Being the passenger in an automobile involved in an accident can be a helpless feeling, as you have no control or power to avoid the crash.

But when it comes to recovering for your injuries in court, being the passenger in an automobile accident may allow you to recover damages more quickly than those who may have been behind the wheel, as you likely had no fault in causing your own injuries or the injuries of others.

So if you're a passenger in a crash, whom should you sue?

5 Tips for Accidents Involving State, City Vehicles

Getting in an accident with another car is one headache, but your frown may get upgraded to a mega-frown when you hear you’ve hit a city or state government-owned vehicle. Or maybe it hit you.

Don’t worry, you can fight City Hall. Whether you were in an accident with a police car or a trash truck, you do have options when crashes involve government-owned vehicles.

Here are five tips for accidents involving state or city vehicles to get you started:

Comparative v. Contributory Fault: What's the Difference?

When it comes to personal injury lawsuits involving negligence, fault is often shared by both the person who was injured and the person who is being sued.

The law accounts for this shared fault scenario in different ways, depending on the rules of the state in which the accident occurs. Known as contributory negligence, a person's own level of fault in causing his injuries may lessen the amount of recovery possible in a personal injury lawsuit, or bar recovery entirely in some jurisdictions.

How do contributory negligence and its more modern counterpart, comparative negligence, work? Here's a general overview:

What Should You Bring to a Personal Injury Consultation?

When you meet with a personal injury attorney for a consultation, you don’t want to show up empty-handed.

You want to give your potential lawyer all the information you can so she can make an accurate evaluation of your injury case. That won’t exactly work if you leave crucial documents at home or at the hospital.

So make sure you bring these seven types of documents to your personal injury consultation:

Denied Workers' Comp? 5 First Steps to Appeal

Workers’ compensation is the insurance coverage most employers are required to purchase or provide to compensate employees who are injured in the course of employment. It generally acts as a substitute for a lawsuit against your employer (although in some instances you may still be able to file a lawsuit to recover for workplace injuries).

But just because an employer is typically required to provide workers’ compensation coverage doesn’t mean that your workers’ compensation claim will necessarily be approved.

What should you do if your workers’ compensation claim in denied? Here are five first steps to appealing the denial of your claim:

Slip-and-Fall: Do You Have a Case?

As summer slips into fall, calendar-wise, the incoming wet weather in many parts of the country brings with it the risk for a more literally kind of fall: a slip-and-fall injury.

Unfortunately, wet surfaces are just one of the many conditions that can cause a slip-and-fall injury. Outdoor slip-and-fall injuries can be caused by cracked pavement or sidewalks, inadequate lighting, or hidden dangers such as unfilled holes. Indoors, polished or wax floors, torn carpets, worn stairways or improperly maintained elevators and escalators are all sources of slip-and-fall injuries.

But how do you know if your slip-and-fall injury will make for a winnable personal injury lawsuit? Here are a few factors to consider:

Car Accidents: If You Were Speeding, Do You Automatically Lose?

You may assume that if you were speeding before a car accident, you have no chance of winning. But that’s not necessarily true.

Depending on the laws in your state, you can get compensation in your car accident case even if you were violating the speed limit before your accident.

Want to know how? Check out the legal principles governing when speed limit breakers can recover in a car accident case:

Bumped in the Parking Lot? 3 Ways to Recover for Dents, Dings

Many drivers practice what’s known as “parking by Braille”: They keep moving until they feel a bump. And those bumps may be more meaningful for car owners who come back to find their cars dented and dinged.

In the best of all possible parking worlds, some sort of fairy would appear and leave a detailed note on your car — rife with contact and insurance information — every time your parked car was hit. However, back in the real world, you may have to get the law involved in order to get some compensation for your parking lot woes.

Here are three ways to get legal compensation for parking lot dents and dings:

Can You Sue Someone Else's Kid Over Injury or Damage?

When a lawsuit involves a kid, the rules can sometimes be a little different. Being under the age of majority — which is set by statute in most states at 18 — children generally aren’t able to file lawsuits themselves, requiring the help of parent or a guardian appointed by the court.

But what about when a child causes another person to suffer injury or property damage? If you’re injured by the reckless or intentional acts of a child under 18, can you sue someone else’s kid?

Here are three points to consider:

Online Ammo Sellers Sued Over Aurora Theater Shooting

Online ammo retailers have been slapped with a lawsuit over their alleged liability in the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater shooting in 2012.

The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence announced in a press release Tuesday that it was filing suit against websites "that supplied Aurora movie theater shooter James Holmes with ammunition, body armor, tear gas, and other equipment used in his assault." The non-profit and relatives of one of Holmes' victims joined in court to charge these websites with negligently supplying the murder suspect with his armaments.

Do they have a case against these ammo websites?

If a Tree Falls on Your Car, Who's at Fault?

When a large tree limb falls or an entire tree tips over, your car can suffer serious damage.

In some instances, this damage may be covered by your auto insurance policy. In others, it may be covered by the insurance policy of the property owner.

But in the event that the damage isn’t covered by insurance, who, if anyone, can be held legally at fault for damage to your ride caused by a tree?

GM to Pay for 19 Deaths Linked to Ignition Switch Problem

General Motors has offered to pay compensation for 19 deaths caused by faulty ignition switches in the company’s vehicles.

The dollar amounts of the automaker’s offers weren’t announced. But the 19 deaths marked an increase from the 13 deaths GM had previously said were caused by the faulty ignition switches, Reuters reports. The ignition switch flaw, which led the company to recall millions of vehicles earlier this year, can cause a vehicle’s ignition to slip out of the run position, stalling the vehicles and disabling features such as airbags.

What led to the new number of ignition switch-related deaths?

3 Potential Ways to Sue If Your Constitutional Rights Are Violated

As an American citizen, you're entitled to a number of constitutional rights. But what can you do if your civil rights are violated?

Depending on which rights have been violated and by whom, there are several different options for pursuing a civil rights lawsuit.

Here are three potential ways to sue if your constitutional rights are violated:

$150M Lawsuit Over Punch at Kid Rock Concert

The family of a man who suffered a traumatic brain injury after being punched in the head at a 2013 Kid Rock concert has filed a $150 million lawsuit.

The lawsuit filed by 25-year-old Jason McNeil and his wife names concert promoter Live Nation, the security company responsible for crowd control at the concert, and the Darien Lakes Performing Arts Center near Buffalo, New York, as defendants in addition to the man who threw the punch, reports The Buffalo News.

What led to the man's debilitating brain injury and how might he and his family recover for his injuries?

Rental Car Crashes: 5 First Steps to Consider

Crashing a rental car can be a real nightmare, but you can try to prepare for the worst. Not only are there practical tips you can follow, but you should also consider the legal ramifications.

Getting into a crash in your own car creates enough legal problems, but when dealing with a rental agency and your insurance company and the other party, you may be ready to pull your hair out figuring out where to start.

Not to worry, here are your five first legal steps when involved in a rental car crash:

Ex-Clemson Soccer Player Sues Over Hazing, Brain Injury

A former player for Clemson's women's soccer team has filed a lawsuit against the team's coaches and 14 members of the team, among others, claiming that she suffered a permanent brain injury during a hazing ritual.

Haley Ellen Hunt's lawsuit, filed last month in a South Carolina court, claims that as a freshman in 2011, she and other freshmen players were forced to perform "humiliating and demeaning acts" by other players, reports the New York Daily News.

How does Hunt allege the hazing caused her to suffer what ended up being a career-ending head injury?

Calif. Clinic Sued Over Alleged Sexual Assaults by Nurse

A California clinic has been slapped with a civil suit following charges of sexual assault by one of its nurses.

The Avenal Community Health Center, located in Avenal, California, has been accused of negligent supervision of nurse practitioner Jeff Sabino, who was arrested in 2013 and is facing 36 criminal counts including forcible penetration and sexual battery. The Hartford Sentinel reports that one of his alleged victims filed the civil suit to recover for her injury and emotional distress.

What is this nurse accused of that has this California clinic in court?

Dad's T-Ball Bat Lawsuit Seeks $4.5M for Son's Injuries

A New York father has filed a $4.5 million lawsuit against the makers of a plastic T-ball bat that allegedly caused his 5-year-old son to suffer severe facial injuries and permanent scarring.

The lawsuit claims that the Adjust-A-Hit T-Ball set was defectively designed, reports the New York Daily News. Daniel Ducalo was injured when a section of the plastic bat -- which adjusts in length telescopically -- came apart, sending a jagged piece of plastic into the boy's face, causing a wound that required more than 300 stitches.

What will the family need to prove in order to recover for the boy's injuries?

Can You Sue Someone for Not Calling 911?

When someone is injured or in need of medical assistance, calling 911 is typically the best response. But can a person who decides not to call 911 face any legal consequences?

In a lawsuit recent recently filed against Hollywood director Brett Ratner, a woman who was allegedly injured at a party at Ratner's house claims that the director and other party-goers refused to call 911, fearing bad publicity. The woman eventually made it to a hospital, where she received more than 80 stitches; she claims she can no longer work because of her injuries.

So can you successfully sue someone for not calling 911? Here are a few points to consider:

5 Signs You May Need a Medical Malpractice Attorney

The goal of the medical profession is generally to make us feel better when we're sick and heal us when we're injured.

Occasionally, however, medical care can actually be the cause of injuries, both physical and emotional. The job of medical malpractice attorneys is to help those who are injured by medical treatment gone wrong recover for the harm caused by negligent or reckless medical care.

So when do you need to call a medical malpractice attorney? Here are five potential situations to consider:

Okla. Woman Sues, Alleging Fracking-Related Earthquake Injury

An Oklahoma woman who claims that nearby fracking operations caused an earthquake in which she was injured has filed a lawsuit against two energy companies.

Sandra Ladra was watching a college football game at home in 2011 when a magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck, reports Oklahoma City's KFOR-TV. The earthquake dislodged rocks from Ladra's chimney which she claims struck her in the legs, causing injuries to both her legs and knees which her lawyer says will require surgery.

How does Ladra plan on pinning responsibility for her injuries on the defendants, New Dominion LLC and Spess Oil Company?

5 Things a Car Accident Lawyer Can Do (That You Probably Can't)

After a car accident, you may not think that you need an attorney. After all, car accidents happen all the time, and your insurance company's going to handle everything anyway, right?

Don't count on it. Being self-reliant can be a virtue, but in many cases a car accident victim's lack of knowledge about applicable laws and refusal to reach out to an attorney can affect how much compensation a victim receives.

Check out these five things a car accident lawyer can do that you probably can't:

O'Hare Shuttle Bus Crash Injures 14; 1st Lawsuit Filed

One of the 14 people injured in a shuttle bus crash at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has filed a lawsuit against the bus driver and the company that owns the bus.

Talipha Charles suffered broken bones, contusions, and other injuries in the crash, the Daily Herald reports. According to Charles' lawyer, the bus driver was speeding at the time of the collision and failed to stay in the proper lane, causing the bus to crash into a concrete median.

How will these allegations affect both the driver's and the bus company's potential liability for the crash?

Injured at Work? 3 Potential Options for Recovery

Getting injured at work is a pretty common occurrence, but what are your legal options if you get hurt?

According to a FindLaw.com survey, more than one in five Americans said they've been injured on the job. Workplace injuries not only impact you physically, but it can affect you financially as well.

Here are three potential legal options to seek out if you're injured at work: