Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

November 2016 Archives

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, better known as ADHD, is a recognized medical condition that has seen a rapid rise in the number of annual diagnoses since the early 1990s. Among the primary symptoms sufferers experience is an inability to maintain focus, or attention, as well as impulsiveness.

Since the rise in the number of diagnosed cases, researchers have turned their attention to how ADHD affects drivers. Shockingly, researchers have found that young drivers who have ADHD are more likely to get in a car accident than drunk driving adults.

Property owners often ask: Am I liable if a child is injured on my property? And, like nearly every question concerning legal liability, the answer is always: it depends. Just because an injury occurred on your property, it doesn’t automatically mean you are liable. However, for property owners, and even renters, if any person is injured on their property due to their negligence, then there is potential for legal liability.

When it comes to children, there is additional exposure to liability if your property contains what is known as an attractive nuisance, or you have agreed to supervise a play date or babysit.

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the lining of a person’s internal organs, such as the lungs, stomach, and heart. There is no cure for the disease, and most cases are directly related to exposure to asbestos.

According the American Cancer Society, mesothelioma is a rare disease with approximately three thousand cases diagnosed each year. Individuals who become sick, injured, or die, as a result of asbestos exposure, may have a legal claim depending on how the exposure occurred. It can be extraordinarily difficult to assess the legal claim as mesothelioma may develop decades after the asbestos exposure.

Clearly you would not have lent your car out if you knew the person borrowing it was going to get into an accident. And, clearly, you weren't the one behind the wheel. So other than making sure all the damage gets fixed, the wreck really isn't your problem, right?

Not so fast, my friend. There are some circumstances where you could be liable for another person's accident in your car. Here's what you need to know.

Advancements in gynecology and obstetrics mean that women have access to more quality reproductive health than ever before. But that doesn't mean that all doctors are perfect, or that all medical outcomes are what we hoped for.

So can your gynecologist be legally liable for failure to diagnose an issue, or for prescribing the wrong treatment? Are obstetricians responsible for birth injuries? And how do courts draw the line between a bad OB/GYN and a bad result?

Injury cases are often highly controversial. For example, people often disagree strongly about whether legal remedies are required to compensate for an injury, or whether the person received a fair or excessive amount.

In this context, there are numerous myths surrounding personal injury lawsuits. Here are the top three:

Any time a person is injured, the first thing the injured person should be concerned with is their injury. However, if you are injured while shopping, there may be legal considerations that, if you are able to remember, could be the evidence you never thought you’d need.

When a person is injured in a store, their first thought is rarely about suing the responsible party. However, if the injury happens at a retail store, it’s a good idea to immediately gather some evidence as your legal case could depend on it, and those types of injuries frequently lead to legal claims.

Flu season is upon us, which means quite a few folks will be driving while sniffling, either hopped up on decongestants or hoping they don't have to sneeze while rolling up to a stop sign. (And just so you know, yes, you can get a DUI for driving while on cold medicine.)

But that's not the half of it -- two recent studies found that driving with a cold could be as dangerous as drunk driving. So is getting behind the wheel with the sniffles really as bad as driving after a snifter or two?

When a person is injured while engaging in a recreational activity, the rights to sue another person for their injuries can be limited. Normally, when a person is injured due to the carelessness of someone else, the injured person will have a claim for negligence. In a situation where someone is injured while ice-skating, there may be additional considerations and limitations that apply.

Before considering some of the specific limitations that apply to the ice-skating, there are two general legal principles that could be used as legal defenses to an ice-skating injury:

You may have heard the term 'class action lawsuit' before, especially when it comes to large companies being sued by a bunch of disgruntled customers. While the majority of lawsuits are filed by one party against another single party, a class action allows many parties who are similarly injured or situated to bring one lawsuit, for the sake of consistency and efficiency.

For example, one person injured by a defective car could sue the car manufacturer, but if the defect is widespread and causes many injuries, all of those affected could sue the car manufacturer collectively, under a class action claim. Class actions can be confusing, so here are four of the biggest questions regarding class action lawsuits, along with some answers.

Maybe you're sick of your job, or your boss, and you're looking for a little revenge. Or you've been injured on the job, recovered, and like the idea of getting paid to not work. And there's all this money in state workers' compensation insurance funds, just sitting there.

Any of these scenarios might sound tempting, but how do felony charges sound? As it turns out, the Inspector General of New York takes workers' comp fraud seriously; and you should, too.

Personal injury cases are among the most frequently handled cases by private attorneys for individuals. Injury cases are more challenging for unrepresented parties because they usually do not have the experience of dealing with the big insurance companies or the big insurance company’s attorneys to know how to negotiate the best deal.

Below are 5 of the most common questions people ask about personal injury cases, ranging from the most basic to the most important.

All too frequently, children are injured in driveway backover accidents. These accidents tend to occur when children are playing in the driveway, behind a vehicle. Sometimes the vehicle gets put in neutral or the brake is disengaged on accident by another child playing inside the car. Sometimes it’s a relative, friend, or neighbor who just didn’t expect a child to be sitting down in the middle of their driveway when they decided to back out. However it happens, the injuries can range mild to devastating to death.

When a backover accident occurs, liability may not be clear cut as different situations can lead to some unexpected results. Keep in mind that over 70 percent of backover accidents involving children are caused by parents or close relatives. The elderly are the next largest segment of backover victims, but it is much more rare to find an elderly person playing underneath or directly behind a car. 

In the wake of George Zimmerman's acquittal for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, the Black Lives Matter movement was born. What began as a Twitter hashtag coalesced into a national movement, organizing protests of police killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, among others, and campaigns against police violence and systematic racism towards black people.

These political demonstrations have not always been peaceful, however, and some have resulted in injuries to protesters and police. Two of those in particular have spawned injury lawsuits against Black Lives Matter, claiming protest organizers are liable for police officer injuries.

Car accidents happen every day. Often, when a person causes an accident, their first instinct is to apologize and admit fault. However, in many situations, it is best to just be civil, handle the situation by the book, and even if you are at fault, call the police if tensions rise.

Most states simply require drivers to exchange contact and insurance information so long as there are no injuries, and/or the damage is not significant. You do not have to talk about what happened with the other party. Below are 5 tips to help in case you’re liable in a car accident.

You may not think that driving tired is as bad as driving drunk, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates over 80,000 accidents a year are caused by drowsy driving, killing 846 people in 2014 alone. So if you think you might need a nap, it's best not to drive or pull over if you can.

And if you've been injured in an accident when someone fell asleep at the wheel, you may be wondering how to hold them accountable. While that may seem easy (after all, they're the one who fell asleep) proving fault in court may be a little more complicated.

While the appendix is often described as a useless, vestigial organ, the bacteria-filled sac has the potential to kill if it becomes inflamed and bursts. While it is common for doctors to diagnose appendicitis, which is the inflammation of the appendix, failing to diagnose it can potentially lead to medical malpractice liability. Additionally, when it becomes inflamed, surgery is required to remove it. Anytime surgery is required, there is potential for medical malpractice not just for surgeons, but also anesthesiologists.

Generally, medical malpractice claims require showing that your doctor failed to use the same standard of care that another doctor in the community would have used. This means that even if your doctor made a mistake by not diagnosing appendicitis, that alone may not be enough to substantiate a malpractice claim if other doctors would have made the same mistake.

If you're the victim of medical malpractice, you could be entitled to compensatory damages, which are intended to repay you for a particular loss, detriment, or injury. (These differ from punitive damages which are intended to punish bad actors.) A specific set of compensatory damages covers pain and suffering, and in medical malpractice cases, that can be significant.

But healthcare providers have tried to push back on pain and suffering damages and limit the amount that can be awarded in a medical malpractice case. Here's a look at how much you may receive for medical malpractice pain and suffering.

There’s no doubt that smart phone are addictive. The average smartphone user will check their device almost 85 times per day. While we already know how distracting they are for drivers, a new report suggests that the allure of using smartphones while driving is just a gateway to other bad behavior for teens.

The report, issued by State Farm this summer, explains that teens who had been in a crash are more than three times more likely to report that they browse the internet and watch videos while driving. And if that wasn’t enough, that same group was two to three times more likely to text, take pictures or videos, use social media, and even play games while driving.

Air cannons and pumpkins -- they go together like America and apple pie. Or, if you were attending Delaware's world famous Punkin Chunkin competition, like oil and water. An air cannon at this year's festival exploded, sending debris in all directions and sending one woman to the hospital with critical injuries.

It is certainly a sad setback for the pumpkin-launching competition, which just re-launched itself after a two-year hiatus following an injury lawsuit from 2013.

Even though a therapist or psychologist may not have spent as much time in school as a medical doctor, they can still be held liable for medical malpractice, also known as professional negligence, when they make mistakes in treatment or diagnosis. Although medical malpractice cases involving medical doctors tend to involve bodily injury, malpractice arising from a therapist’s, or psychologist’s, treatment tend to involve self harm, and/or harm to others.

Generally, a medical malpractice or professional negligence case against a therapist or psychologist will be treated similarly to a case against a medical doctor. The patient must prove that a duty was owed, breached, and that the breach caused the injury. In the professional negligence context, the duty owed is a moving target that depends on what the community’s standard of care dictates.

Following up on the announcement earlier this year, the FDA recently issued a press release updating the warnings on fluoroquinolone antibiotics, which, until now, were very commonly prescribed. These antibiotics, including levofloxacin (Levaquin), ciprofloxacin (Cipro), moxifloxacin (Avelox), ofloxacin, and gemifloxacin (Factive), have been associated with disabling and potentially permanent side effects.

Due to the way the drugs were marketed to doctors and patients alike, patients have filed suit against the manufacturer as a result of falling victim to side effects that the manufacturer knew about but did not disclose. While lawsuits have been filed against the drug manufacturers, the medication is still being prescribed, despite the dangers. The new warnings from the FDA make clear that the drug’s use “should be reserved for these conditions only when there are no other options available.”

Ask most Americans which of their five senses they would least like to go without, and chances are they will say, "Sight." Our eyesight and vision is one of our most coveted aspects, and many consider blindness the worst thing that could happen to them.

So it's no surprise that we take eye health and care so seriously, and why optometrists are held to such a high standard of care. And if an optometrist fails to provide eyesight and vision care up to that standard, lawsuits are possible.

A nurse who contracted Ebola from the first U.S. patient to be diagnosed with the disease back in 2014 settled her lawsuit against the hospital she worked in last month. While the details of the settlement remain confidential, typically, when a settlement is announced like this, it means the plaintiff won.

The nurse's lawsuit alleged that the hospital was negligent in training staff to handle an Ebola diagnosis, and failed to provide the proper safeguards for employees. Fortunately, both this nurse and one other nurse that also contracted Ebola at the same hospital, made full recoveries from the deadly viral infection. Unfortunately, as a result of the stress and treatments, both still suffer some lingering effects such as pain, hair loss, insomnia, and nightmares.

It may sound far-fetched, but when you consider that over 2.5 billion people worldwide live within Zika danger zones, wondering if you can get compensated for contracting the virus on the job is a legitimate concern. The Florida Fraternal Order of Police seems to think so, as the police union has requested that Sunshine State workers' compensation coverage be extended to first responders who come into contact with Zika while working.

So will they get it? And what about workers' comp for other employees who contract Zika?

Off Roading Accident Liability

Off roading accidents frequently result in severe injuries and even death. Many off road vehicles, such as ATVs, ROVs, and dirt bikes, provide very little protection for drivers or passengers. When an injury occurs as a result of an off roading accident, liability may be difficult to assess and the injuries can be rather severe.

In an off roading accident involving no other vehicles, frequently the driver of the vehicle will be considered to be at fault. If there were passengers who were injured, they would potentially have a claim for damages against the driver. If the vehicle malfunctioned or crashed as a result of a defect, the manufacturer could potentially be held liable. Additionally, if the land or vehicle were in a condition that made them dangerous to off road on or in, then the respective owners may be held liable for negligence.

The Telegraph is reporting that the World Health Organization will be updating its definition of "infertile" to include single men and women with no medical issues who have been unable to find a suitable sexual partner or sufficient sexual relationships which could achieve conception. Previously, men and women had to demonstrate 12 months of unprotected sex without conception to classify as infertile.

This may seem like a simple shift, and one that could even have the added benefit of giving gay men and women the same priority access to in vitro fertilization resources as heterosexual couples. But not everyone is happy about taking social conditions into account when changing global medical standards, especially those that could alter access to public healthcare funds.

You've won your personal injury lawsuit, which is fantastic. But it turns out you still have some bills to pay, and perhaps to some people you didn't expect. If those bills go unpaid, creditors, insurance companies, or medical providers may try to secure a "lien" against your settlement. A lien is essentially a legal attachment to your property, saying you owe a debt to someone else, and liens against personal injury awards can mean those debts can be paid out of your personal injury settlement first.

So here's what you need to know about liens in personal injury cases:

One of the leading brain surgeons that co-founded the North Shore University Hospital’s Chiari Institute is facing three malpractice lawsuits over surgeries to correct Chiari malformations. The suits all allege that Dr. Bolognese improperly or needlessly performed a surgery to correct a Chiari malformation in each of the three separate plaintiffs.

The Chiari malformation is a rare condition where part of the brain forms under the brainstem where it connects with the neck and spinal cord. The effects of a Chiara malformation are varied from no symptoms at all, to severe. Currently the only treatment is surgery.