Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

June 2016 Archives

Suing a Family Member for Personal Injury

You go to Uncle Joe’s house every Fourth of July for an Independence Day celebration to remember all year. But what if something goes wrong one year and people get hurt lighting fireworks or swimming in the pool?

As your clan expands and more people join the celebrations, the likelihood of injury and accidents increase. Here are some things to consider before you sue Uncle Joe for personal injury and pretty much guarantee that you’ll never attend one of his events again.

Other than a day off, and maybe the barbecue, the best thing about July 4th is the fireworks. While most of us are happy to see a good show, a few amateurs want to wow our friends, family, and anyone within a quarter-mile with our pyrotechnic skill. But the pros are pros for a reason -- normally because they have the experience and safety training (to say nothing of the permits and legal fireworks) to handle munitions-grade incendiary devices without blowing themselves or anyone else up.

So think twice before hosting your own Fourth of July fireworks extravaganza. And, if you need more convincing, here are four of the worst fireworks injuries, from our archives:

For people with type 2 diabetes, Onglyza is a hypoglycemic drug that can help maintain healthy insulin levels. But as with all potentially life-saving medications, there are risks associated with Onglyza use which in themselves can be life threatening. In 2014, the FDA started looking into the link between Onglyza and heart failure, and earlier this year warned that type 2 diabetes medicines like Onglyza “may increase the risk of heart failure, particularly in patients who already have heart or kidney disease.”

Here’s what you need to know about potential side effects of Onglyza, and where to find help if you’ve been injured by your type 2 diabetes medication.

If there's a silver lining in the wake of your car accident, it's that at least you had insurance. But as the saying goes, every silver lining has a touch of grey. Filing a car insurance claim can be complicated and the process can seem never-ending. It feels like your insurance company always wants more paperwork or documentation, and you begin to wonder whose side they're on.

But if you know beforehand what your insurance company will probably want during the claims process, it could take make the system more streamlined and less stressful. Here are some of the things you'll probably need for your car accident insurance claim:

Who Is Liable for Drowning and Accidents in Private Pools?

It's hot out and everyone is ready for a dip in the cool waters of the neighborhood pool. But the local swimming hole is actually your private property and you are concerned about liability if you let everyone use it.

Good -- you should be. You can be liable for all kinds of accidents that happen in your swimming pool, including drowning, even if you don't invite people to use it. Let's consider some situations you should work to avoid this summer so that the pool is a party and not a bummer.

Do I Need a Witness to Prove a Car Accident Claim or Case?

This is another in our series on car accident claims. Many of us experience an accident, but do we really know what do to, how to get help, or what our rights are? This series can help.

If you have been in a car accident, you will need to show evidence of what happened for insurance to coverage the damages. Or, if insurance won't suffice and the accident is severe, you may end up involved in a lawsuit. Whether or not you have a witness to the accident, you can still prove your claim or case.

Witnesses are not the only way that proof is presented, whether a matter is being handled administratively through an insurance claim or legally in a lawsuit. So let's consider what you can do to prove what happened in an accident if there are no witnesses to support you.

Hip Implant System Recalls and Injuries

Unfortunately for those who have replaced hips, being unattached to body parts is a familiar notion. Still, no one expects a hip replacement to have to be replaced due to defects. Yet it happens a lot.

The materials in hip replacements are not exactly ideal for general physical health when they leach into people's systems, which is what they can do. Complaints about leaching metals, hip corrosion, fretting, and other issues have led to lawsuits over numerous types of hip systems used to replace old and worn bones.

Accidents happen, but sometimes they happen because of someone's negligence. And when someone's negligence leads to another person's death, family and loved ones of the deceased person may file what are known as wrongful death lawsuits.

Wrongful death lawsuits can be complicated, and there are several limiting factors when it comes to filing them. So here are five important questions (and answers) regarding wrongful death claims from our archives:

Morning sickness is an unpleasant and unfortunate side effect of pregnancy. And expectant mothers, doctors, and drug manufacturers have long been searched for a cure for pregnancy-related nausea. The trouble is finding a remedy that won't have an adverse effect on the fetus.

GlaxoSmithKline thought they had stumbled upon an answer with Zofran, a drug originally used to combat nausea in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. But a new series of lawsuits claims Zofran causes birth defects, and that GlaxoSmithKline never cleared it for use on pregnant women.

This is another in our series on car accident claims. Many of us experience an accident, but do we really know what do to, how to get help, or what our rights are? This series can help.

It's normally the first or second question that pops up after a car accident, right after "Is everyone OK?" Before you're even exchanging insurance information, you're wondering whether you need to alert the police or highway patrol so they can file an accident report.

Maybe if you've just gotten a love tap at a stop sign you and the other driver (or your respective insurance companies) can sort out the details. But if there's any dispute about what happened, or if anyone has been injured, you're probably better off filing a police report. Here's why:

Queens Teacher Abused by Students Settles Claims for $125,000

You know a school is tough when the teachers complain about bullying and are terrified of the students. Kathy Perez said that is how it was in two Queens schools where she worked. Now she has settled a claim with the New York City Law Department for $125,000.

The claims against the state's Department of Education stem from incidents with her students, both of which landed Perez in the hospital with injuries. The teacher says that her teenage students in Queens harassed her sexually and racially in addition to causing her physical injury.

When Are Nursing Homes Liable for Injuries?

It is a sad reality that those who most need assistance are also most likely to be neglected or abused. For example, recently, two New York nursing home workers were indicted for endangering a patient. They ignored his cries for help while he writhed on the floor.

But even less extreme cases end in injury, if not in criminal cases. Caring caregivers can sometimes be overwhelmed by the difficulty of their jobs and that leads to accidents. Nursing homes are liable to patients who are injured as a result of negligence and there are many contexts for liability in a nursing home. Institutions can be held responsible for a negligent worker, and any individual who is negligent can also be named in a suit.

Whiplash Injury Compensation: How to Make Your Claim

This is another in our series on car accident claims. Many of us experience an accident, but do we really know what do to, how to get help, or what our rights are? This series can help.

After a car accident, you're probably most concerned with your health and safety, not necessarily with compensation for your whiplash injury. But injuries can be costly and you will need to act promptly to get the ball rolling with your insurance company to get help covering medical expenses.

In many states, drivers are required to carry insurance and accident claims are settled under no-fault law, meaning that no one is blamed for the accident and compensation is unrelated to fault. These laws minimize accident litigation and make relatively straightforward claims easy to settle. But wherever you are, when the injury is serious or insurers refuse you coverage, consider litigation. Let's look at first steps and your last resort.

You may have seen the recent headlines about Johnson & Johnson being sued over claims that its baby powder and talcum-based products cause cancer, even getting hit with a $72 million judgment in one case. These lawsuits claim that the use of talcum powder for feminine hygiene increases the risk of ovarian cancer, and that Johnson & Johnson knew of the risk yet failed to warn consumers.

So can you get cancer from using baby powder or talcum powder? And if so, what can you do about it?

It’s more exercise. It’s less pollution. It’s more fun. It’s less traffic. Whatever reason you have to be on your bike, you’re in good and growing company: the number of people working out and getting to work on bicycles grows every year. Unfortunately, with more cyclists come more cycling accidents.

Bike injury lawsuits can be tricky, especially when you’re trying to prove what happened and who’s at fault. Here are a few of the bigger questions, and some answers, regarding bicycle injury lawsuits, from our archives:

Elements of a Major Personal Injury Settlement: A Case Study

You might want to settle a case for over a quarter billion dollars, like Pennsylvania landscaper David Williams did in a recent injury case. But you definitely don't want to go through what he did to get it, or to live the way Williams will have to live for the remainder of his days.

He is confined to a wheelchair and will never walk again, according to the Total Landscape Care blog. Let's look at what happened to him, who he sued, and why they agreed to such a sizable settlement.

Scarlett Lewis, Neil Heslin, and Leonard Pozner, the parents of Jesse Lewis and Noah Pozner, offered to settle their lawsuit against the town of Newtown over the children's deaths in a horrific school shooting in 2012. The parents had sued the town, claiming Sandy Hook Elementary School's security plan was inadequate. Now the parents are offering to accept an $11 million settlement in return for dropping all of their legal claims against the city.

Newtown has yet to accept the settlement offer, but let's take a closer look at what it could mean.

Getting rear-ended can be a frightening experience. You’re sitting there at a stop sign or red light, and out of nowhere, BANG. Even if you’re not seriously injured, you can be emotionally shaken, making it more difficult to figure out what happened, and what to do next.

There aren’t many ways to truly be prepared for a car accident, but there are a few things you can do after one happens that will help. Here’s what to do after you’ve been rear-ended:

We've written a lot about many dangerous drugs, most of which you can get with a prescription. But the world's deadliest drug might be a home-cooked synthetic drug using over-the-counter pills as its base. Called "krokodil" in Russia, the drug is a DIY version of desomorphine -- a powerful, fast-acting opioid -- users can make at home using codeine, iodine, and red phosphorous.

And if that doesn't sound appealing, wait until we get to the side effects: gangrene, meningitis, and skin damage with tissue sometimes falling off the bone. And yes, death. Here's what you need to know about krokodil:

This is another in our series on car accident claims. Many of us experience an accident, but do we really know what do to, how to get help, or what our rights are? This series can help.

You might think about handling a simple fender bender on your own. After all, it’s just a couple quick calls to insurance companies and paperwork from the repair shop, right? But even the most straightforward car accident claims can go sideways in a hurry. For more serious cases where someone is injured, the fallout can be complex and intimidating.

Going it alone can mean forfeiting your legal rights, getting a smaller settlement, or even being found liable for the accident yourself. Here are just a few reasons why you need your own lawyer for a car accident claim:

Should I Get My IVC Blood Clot Filter Removed?

For people with blood clotting issues, the IVC filter, or inferior vena cava filter, can be a help. This medical device is implanted in patients who don’t tolerate anti-coagulants or blood thinners.

The filters are designed to prevent clotting, but increasingly they are drawing attention for the dangers they present to patients. There are numerous lawsuits against the device makers by injured patients and the Food and Drug Administration has issued advice to doctors on monitoring and removal of IVC filters. So should you have yours removed? Let’s look at what the FDA says.

Should Doctors Have to Tell Patients If They're on Probation?

Would you want to know if your doctor was on probation? Would it make a difference in how you received that expert's recommendations? Patients' rights activists think so and are disappointed that this week a California bill was nixed by the senate that would have required doctors to tell patients if they're under state supervision in an easy-to-read one-page document.

The information is already available online, but some say it's not easy to access. Still, California senators rejected legislation making individual disclosures a requirement, reports KQED News. Let's look at what was proposed and why it's controversial.

The technological advances in the medical field can be life-altering and life-saving. Unfortunately, they can also be life-threatening in some cases. Some new medical devices have fatal flaws, and even perfect devices can be deadly in imperfect hands.

Manufacturers of medical devices can be held liable for devices that are defective or cause injury to patients. Here’s a look at three recent medical device lawsuits, from our archives:

Paintball injury: Does Insurance Have to Pay?

It should go without saying that shooting someone in the eye with a paintball gun or any other weapon is a really bad idea. But for some strange reason we have this form of entertainment. To make matters worse, children are particularly inclined to engage in this activity. So what happens when someone sustains a paintball injury? Does insurance have to pay for this?

Recently a judge in Delaware Superior Court decided that State Farm Insurance does not have to indemnify a policyholder in a paintball injury lawsuit. The ruling, reported by CBS News, is based on a provision in the policy that excludes coverage for expected or intended bodily harm. Let’s consider.

Olympus, the maker of a medical scope linked with fatal superbug outbreaks, has announced it will recall and attempt to redesign the faulty scope. The company’s duodenoscope incorporated a design flaw making it virtually impossible to properly disinfect between uses, exposing hundreds of patients to the carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE.

Here’s a look at the type of scopes involved, the risk of infection, and what to do if you’ve been injured by an Olympus scope.

This is another in our series on car accident claims. So many of us experience an accident, but do we really know what do to, how to get help, or what our rights are? This series can help.

Last week, we discussed how compensatory damages for car accident claims are split into two categories: special damages, which cover things like medical expenses, damage to the car, and the loss of income now and in the future; and general damages, which attempt to account for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium.

Here's a more specific breakdown of general damages, including how to recover them after a car accident.

Talcum Powder May Increase Ovarian Cancer Risk in African American Women

Talcum powder, or baby powder as it's sometimes called, seemed harmless enough before. But recently the stuff has gotten a reputation for its connection to ovarian cancer. Now, there is new evidence that use of the powder is strongly linked to ovarian cancer in African American women.

This is reportedly because African American women were targeted by talc manufacturers in advertisements, according to the study's principal investigator. Let's consider what researchers discovered as reported by Reuters Health.

Who's Liable for a Prescription Drug Overdose?

Ever since Prince died of a drug overdose, questions have been raised about drug overdose liability. Prince's deadly dosage was self-administered and his death has been ruled accidental, but that doesn't mean no one will be blamed for it, or that there is no one to sue in some overdose cases.

Let's consider liability for overdoses involving prescription drugs, like that of the legendary musician.

This is another in our series on car accident claims. So many of us experience an accident, but do we really know what do to, how to get help, or what our rights are? This series can help.

Not all injury lawsuits make it to trial. In fact, almost all of them are decided by out-of-court settlements, either with the defendant or an insurance company. But who decides on the settlement amount? How do you know how much your injuries, pain, and suffering are worth, and how do you get the other side to pay?

Here are a few of the factors that determine the amount of car accident injury settlements.

Cannabis Candy Maker Faces First Pot Wrongful Death Suit

Last month, the first ever wrongful death lawsuit was filed against a maker of marijuana edibles, blaming a cannabis candy for a husband's shooting of his wife. The claim is being called a long shot by legal experts, reports the Los Angeles Times. But it is also indicative of what is likely to come as marijuana transitions from an illegal drug to legitimacy. Let's consider it.

What Are the Most Dangerous Household Items?

Everyone laughs at slapstick because, unlike comedy involving language, everyone gets slipping, tripping, and falling. Injury isn't really funny, even if it makes a good joke. But it is universal, which is perhaps why we laugh at it depicted comedically. And it can happen at home, the one place you thought you were safe from tragedy.

The kids are out of school for the summer, and now it’s time to ship them off to a nearby lake so someone else can keep track of them for a few weeks. We kid. You probably love to spend time with the little ones, but recognize the value in getting them out into nature and teaching them to canoe, shoot arrows, and sing campfire songs.

And you also want to make sure they’re safe. Summer camps can be valuable learning experience, and carry their own set of dangers at the same time. Here are some of the most pressing questions, and answers, when it comes to summer camp injuries.

Myths and Realities of Injury Lawsuits

Do you remember the McDonald’s coffee lawsuit, now decades old? In that 1994 case, a woman was scalded by a hot cup of coffee while in her car and was awarded nearly $3 million after a jury trial.

That case has helped to fuel the myth that any injury can get you millions in a personal injury or product liability lawsuit — but it’s a myth. Let’s consider the details of that case and the legal realities.

For women who want a permanent form of birth control, there are few non-surgical options. One of those options is Essure, a coil that can be implanted by a doctor instead of requiring invasive surgery. But Essure implants don’t come without their own risks, including device failure, infection, and hemorrhage.

Here’s what you need to know about Essure birth control implants and what to do if you’ve been injured by one.

This is another in our series on car accident claims. So many of us experience an accident, but do we really know what do to, how to get help, or what our rights are? This series can help.

Damages, in general, refer to the money awarded in a successful civil case. In personal injury cases, compensatory damages are designed to put the aggrieved party in the same financial condition — or as close to it as possible — as he or she was before the injury.

You may have also heard the term “special damages,” which are a subset of compensatory damages. Here’s a breakdown of what special damages are and how to recover them after a car accident.