Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

January 2017 Archives

Most of us look at a fender bender and think we don't need a lawyer. Even victims in more serious car accidents will wonder if hiring an attorney is too expensive or worth the cost. And while it's true that lawyers don't often provide legal services for free, not hiring one could end up costing you even more in the long run.

The total cost of hiring a car accident attorney will depend on both the particular attorney and the particulars of your case, but there are some general principles regarding legal fees, so here's a look.

No one goes to a concert or festival expecting to get injured. However, at times concerts can get out of hand and injures do happen. While some might think that concert goers are assuming the risk of concert related injuries, they would be mistaken.

At the 2016 Riot Fest in Chicago, one festival goer was injured when a crowd surfer fell on top of her, fracturing her ankle. The injured attendee has recently filed a lawsuit as a result of her injury. The lawsuit alleges that the venue, along with the promoters and organizers, failed to provide adequate security to control the crowd, and should have stopped the crowd surfing.

While the group Brand New performed, the plaintiff was about 200 - 300 feet from the stage when a large male crowd-surfer was dropped by the crowd, landing on her leg, causing a fracture. Her lawsuit, reportedly seeks $200,000 in damages.

Since the majority of us no-time-for-breakfast commuters will never have the pleasure of eating a full gourmet meal while being chauffeured around in the back of a Rolls Royce, for food to qualify for breakfast, it must be edible with one hand.

Distracted driving has been a problem ever since people started driving. However, the popularity of smart phones has actually forced state lawmakers to deal with the dangers of distracted driving head on. While no state explicitly bans eating while driving, nearly every state has some form of general distracted driving law that can likely be applied to the dangerous practice. Like texting, eating while driving can result in serious accidents.

Hash oil is a popular, and legal in some states, marijuana derivative consumed to help users chill out. Turns out some of the processes for extracting hash oil aren't so cool. Higher Level Concentrates in Astoria, Oregon was using an "open" extraction system, whereby hash oil is extracted from the marijuana using an extraction tube and liquefied petroleum gas to extract THC from the cannabis plant material.

This is all well and good until "invisible LP gas vapors will escape and can quickly fill an enclosed area," and "an explosive mix of LP gas vapors and air formed, ignited, and caused an immediate and violent explosion and flash fire." That's what happened to Jacob Magley, who is now suing Higher Level and 12 other entities and individuals after he was injured in the explosion.

A Denver man has filed an Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuit in the New York Federal Courts after he attended a performance of the hit Broadway play, Hamilton. While ADA lawsuits regarding physical access to public accommodations are not uncommon, this one seems to be turning heads, most likely because anything related to Hamilton creates a pretty big stir.

The plaintiff didn’t have any difficulty getting in or out of the theater, or using any of the facilities within the theater, as is common in ADA lawsuits. Because the plaintiff is blind, his disability prevents him from seeing onstage action like other patrons, and therefore his ADA claim is based on the lack of providing a narrative description of the onstage activities as is common in other theaters.

Though some might think this is another one of those drive-by type ADA lawsuits, those same people need to realize that ADA violations cause real mental and emotional injuries, and can frequently put the disabled at risk of physical injury. An ADA violation is a civil rights violation, and when a person’s civil rights are violated, it causes real harm or injury.

Signs of Daycare Abuse

Most of us would rather not need to work when our children are young, so instead we could spend that time raising and caring for our kids. Unfortunately, a lot of parents don't have that option, and instead entrust their children's health and wellbeing to daycare providers. And sadly, that trust is sometimes violated.

While the vast majority of daycare providers do excellent work caring for children, there are exceptions. Here's what you need to know about keeping your children safe when they're not at home.

On the heels of the lawsuit filed against Apple for the death of 5 year old Moriah Modisette due to an auto accident caused by a FaceTime-ing driver, a class action lawsuit has been filed against Apple alleging that the tech giant prioritized profits over customer and public safety. In the new case against Apple, the driver, Julio Ceja, was rear ended by a driver that was texting on their iPhone.

While the class action does not seek monetary damages for Ceja’s back injury, it is looking to hold Apple accountable for not implementing a driver “lock-out” feature, which they hold a patent for. The allegations in the two lawsuits are closely related in that they both blame Apple for not implementing a feature that would prevent drivers from being distracted by their smart phones’ many distracting features.

The first question in any car accident is normally, whose fault was it? And if one of the drivers involved was tailgating or following the car ahead too closely, that person will generally be liable. Maintaining a safe distance between you and the car in front of you, and being able to stop before hitting that car, are essential elements to using due care when driving.

There are some car accident liability issues particular to tailgating accidents, however. Here are a few.

It's pretty much the last thing you'd want to hear: you have herpes. But how? What happened? When? And, most importantly, who gave it to you?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, around one in six people between the ages of 14 and 49 have genital herpes, most of whom have no outwards symptoms of the disease. So did the person you contracted herpes from even know they were infected? And could that matter in a lawsuit?

Two recent mass toxic injury settlements out of Montana are a stark reminder of the dangers of exposure to asbestos dust. The $24 million is the result of two distinct settlements and resolves asbestos related injury and illness claims for over 1,000 individuals.

Asbestos is a mineral that, despite the dangers, is mined and used in all sorts of products ranging from consumer goods to industrial construction materials. Products containing asbestos include automotive brakes and home and commercial insulation and fireproofing. Exposure to asbestos dust can lead to fatal illnesses including asbestosis, mesothelioma, and cancer.

You probably spent so much time battling back from injury and fighting for compensation last year that you can't imagine having to pay some of your personal injury settlement out in taxes. And, for the most part, you won't need to. But there may be some portions of the settlement or award that may be taxable income, and you may owe some percentage to the IRS.

So here's what you need to know about how a personal injury settlement will affect your taxes.

If you entered a legal dispute with, or were injured by, another person who left the country, you may be wondering what you can do. Your right to pursue a legal claim against the person does not just disappear if they leave the country, but there will be additional steps in the judicial process, and it will likely become more difficult to recover monetary damages.

Generally, legal claims can be filed in state courts in the United States against individuals who have left the state and/or country. If the person being sued does not appear in court to defend themselves, they risk receiving a default judgment. However, there are likely international law issues with enforcing the default judgment abroad if the individual possessed no assets in the states.

Depending on how a child is injured, a parent may want to explore the legal remedies their child has for their injury. While children are generally resilient and can bounce back from most injuries, there may be times when that is not the case. Regardless, a child, like an adult, has the right to live life free of being injured due to the negligence of others, and when they are injured as a result of negligence, they possess a legal claim for damages.

If your child was injured at school, daycare, or kindergarten, your child may have a legal claim depending on how the injury occurred.

According to a scathing Reuters investigation, tens of thousands of infection-related deaths are going unrecorded or uncounted, sometimes due to poor state and federal tracking programs and other times in an effort to mask the true cause of death. One mother was told her newborn died because of sepsis due to prematurity, when in fact her son was the fourth infant in the hospital's neonatal ward to contract methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, otherwise known as MRSA.

And one New Jersey nurse claims she was fired in retaliation for revealing hospital deficiencies in dealing with a staph infection outbreak its own infant intensive care unit. As superbug outbreaks become more and more common, what are hospitals' medical obligations to prevent and respond to such outbreaks, and what rights do hospital employees have?

In life, like in business, sometimes the most rewarding things, involve the most risk. Unfortunately for thrill seekers, there are some pretty serious consequences. In 2015, a 39-year-old Minnesota man was at an AirMaxx trampoline park with his son and wound up paralyzed from the neck down due to jump and fall. The facility had a foam pit that the man jumped into; but he landed on his neck, severing his spinal cord.

Despite having signed a waiver of liability prior to starting to jump around, the man’s attorneys alleged gross negligence, which generally cannot be waived. The trampoline park and plaintiff recently settled the man’s injury case for $3 million during mediation.

A former Team USA doctors for the Olympic gymnastics team, along with the USA Gymnastics organization, and Michigan State University, are currently facing a civil lawsuit as a result of decades of alleged sexual abuse by the one doctor against minor athletes. Nearly 20 former and current athletes have alleged that Dr. Lawrence Nassar sexually abused them while he was conducting medical examinations on them.

The allegations stem back to the 1990s, and include claims that the doctor would grope and molest athletes during medical examinations, and would even digitally penetrate them as part of bogus procedures. In addition to the civil lawsuit, Nassar is facing federal criminal charges for possession of child pornography. The child pornography charges allege that Nassar possessed child pornography from 2003 to 2016. If convicted on those charges alone, Nassar could be facing anywhere from 5 to 40 years in prison.

Auto accidents are scary enough on their own, but when you are pregnant and get in a car crash, the level of fright is rather escalated. It is estimated that nearly 300 to 1,000 pregnancies are lost each year as a result of car crashes. While expectant parents are rarely thinking in terms of liability when disaster strikes, if the expectant parent was injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, both the parent and unborn child may have strong legal claims.

Unfortunately, according to a 2014 study, pregnant women are more likely to be involved in a car accident because being pregnant can result in being more easily distracted while behind the wheel for various reasons.

Depending on the state, a person can be held liable for the injury to an unborn child, or for the wrongful death of an unborn child. Regardless, if an unborn child is injured, or dies, the parent’s own injury claim can assert their own damages as a result of the lost pregnancy.

As the old saying goes, when fighting monsters, a person has to be careful not to become a monster themselves. However, when a person works for a company that forces them to watch videos that are nothing less than monstrous, the company might be responsible for protecting employees’ mental well-beings. A recent lawsuit by two Microsoft employees against their employer is premised on that neglected responsibility.

The two employees are suing because they were pushed too far into the belly of the beast and emerged on the other side with PTSD. The beast in this instance is the internet, and as part of their online safety jobs at Microsoft, these employees were required to monitor online content and review the content that needed to be removed.

The men assert that the content they were forced to view included the most base and vile content imaginable, ranging from child pornography to murder. As a result of viewing this content, both men allege that they have suffered psychologically, and that both now have PTSD as a result of viewing disturbing content.

In some limited situations, an individual can be sued for yelling at or for insulting another person. While the threshold for when an insult or scream crosses the line is rather hazy, there are some clearly defined lines that are helpful.

For instance, if the yelling is threatening violence, or is done in a way where the listener fears for their physical safety, there are likely possible legal consequences. Not only is the act of making a threat of violence illegal in every state criminally (so long as the threat is credible), but it can also lead to civil torts, such as assault, or intentional inflection of emotional distress.

A transgender New Jersey man has filed a sex and gender discrimination lawsuit against St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center after it refused to perform his hysterectomy because it is a Catholic hospital. Jionni Conforti alleges that a hospital nurse originally scheduled the surgery, but was overturned by the hospital's director of mission services, Father Martin Rooney.

Conforti's lawsuit is the latest flashpoint in the battle between equal rights for transgender people and medical practitioners who claim they are unable to perform certain procedures based on religious doctrine.

The controversy over the Bair Hugger surgical warming blankets has escalated beyond expectations. When the federal court initially accepted the case as a multi-district litigation case, there were just over a dozen cases. Now, just one year later, there are nearly 900 cases claiming the Bair Hugger caused surgical site infections. Currently, the parties and the court are working on figuring out which cases will be tried as representative (Bellweather) cases.

Basically, the way the device works has been called into question, despite it being widely accepted throughout the medical industry. The surgical warming blanket system works by essentially forcing warm air into sterile disposable blankets that are placed on a patient's body.

The lawsuits claim that the part of the device that forces the air into the blankets can be easily contaminated, because it sits on the floor, thereby increasing the risk of infection by circulating contamination from the floor into the warming blankets that rest directly on a patient's skin.

We go to the emergency room because we need immediate, competent medical attention. Sadly, not all emergency room staff perform to that standard. Understaffed, mismanaged, or mistake-prone emergency rooms can cause more harm than good, and, like all doctors and medical professionals, they can be liable for medical malpractice.

How do you know if you have a case? Here's a look:

Tech giant Apple is facing another lawsuit that claims they are liable for an auto accident which resulted in a death because the at-fault driver was using their iPhone at the time of the crash. Underlying the claim is the fact that Apple apparently has the technology to prevent drivers from using their iPhones in dangerous ways while driving. This newest lawsuit is also premised upon the same patent used in an earlier lawsuit, which shows that Apple has the technology to detect when a device is being operated by a driver in order to prevent certain features, like texting, from working.

The plaintiffs in the case, the surviving family of the five-year-old child that died as a result of the accident, assert that Apple is at fault because the driver that caused the accident was in the middle of a FaceTime video call when they caused the accident. The plaintiffs’ legal theory, in both new and old cases, is that Apple should be liable because it knew people would use their technology in this dangerous way but didn’t didn’t stop it with a “driver lock-out” feature.

Revenge porn, or posting an ex's sexually explicit photos or videos on the internet, is a nasty and sometimes illegal business. And while state laws and courts have begun cracking down on those who post and facilitate revenge porn, protections for victims are far from perfect.

Take the case of one New York woman, who, while successful at getting surreptitiously recorded sex tapes removed from porn sites, is having a harder time scrubbing her search results from Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Now she is suing the search sites in the hope that removing her name entirely will finally keep the more promiscuous search results from popping up.

A passenger aboard one of Princess Cruises’ ships is suing over a disgusting injury that occurred in the ship’s public bathroom. The lawsuit, which is, at its heart, the result of a slip and fall, claims the cruise company is responsible for the injuries the plaintiff suffered.

The passenger, who was on a vacation with her husband, went to use the public restroom while the ship was docked for repairs to its sewage system. When she reached the bathroom, she discovered that the toilet was overflowing with sewage. Before she could leave, she slipped and fell on the sewage, struck her face on the door, and was knocked unconscious on the disgusting bathroom floor.

Parents with teething babies have sought a myriad of remedies to soothe their children's pain and discomfort (and their own ears as well, no doubt). One remedy which many found effective was the use of dissolving homeopathic tablets and gels that claimed to ease pain and reduce irritability associated with teething.

But last fall, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that the tablets and gels could pose a health risk to children and recommended that parents stop using them. As many as 10 deaths had been linked to homeopathic teething tablets, so could lawsuits follow?

Walmart has long been associated with low prices, but the megaretailer is also becoming synonymous with high crime rates. While Bloomberg recently noted that staff cuts may have contributed to over 200 violent crimes at Walmart locations in 2016 (including attempted kidnappings and multiple stabbings, shootings, and murders), watchdog groups who have been charting crime on company property for the past decade see the same old story.

So are criminals responsible for their own dangerous behavior, or can Walmart be held liable for crime in its stores and parking lots?