Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

September 2013 Archives

Chicago Train Crash Injures Dozens of Commuters

A mysterious Chicago train crash that left dozens of people injured is also raising legal questions. An empty commuter train was parked in a service yard and somehow ended up on a rail line, then collided into an oncoming train early Monday, CNN reports.

At least 48 people were injured. Luckily, they are all believed to have only minor injuries.

Investigators are in the process of determining what exactly happened by looking at surveillance video and interviewing workers. As the investigation continues, victims will have many questions that may affect their ability to get compensation for their injuries.

For example:

Dad, Sons Rescued From Canal After Multi-Car Crash

In the midst of after-school traffic, a multi-car crash caused a car to flip over into a canal in Florida, leaving a father and his two sons trapped in their water-filled vehicle.

Fortunately, all three came away from the accident without life-threatening injuries. They were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Though the crash involved multiple vehicles, one driver will likely be held solely liable for any injuries that resulted from the accident.

Workers' Comp: What Injuries Are Covered?

Worker's compensation, known more commonly as "workers' comp" or "workmans' comp," provides a system by which employees and their families can submit claims for injuries, illness, and even death that is connected to their employment.

The purpose of worker's comp procedures is to ensure that employees can receive compensation for work-related injuries without resorting to suing their employers.

But as many workers discover, only certain injuries are covered by the workers' comp system.

Are Car Accident Police Reports Admissible in Court?

In personal injury cases, car accident police reports can be useful tools to determine the circumstances of the accident and get a preliminary assessment of fault.

Car accident police reports are often used by insurance companies, as well as by parties involved in mediation or settlement negotiations.

But are the car crash police reports admissible in court as evidence? The answer depends on many factors. Here are a few you’ll want to consider:

440K Preventable Hospital Deaths Per Year: Study

A new study suggests preventable hospital deaths may be far more common than most people realize. As many as 440,000 people die may each year from preventable medical errors, and not the illnesses that landed them in the hospital in the first place, researchers estimate in the Journal of Patient Safety.

Some of these preventable mishaps include simple but grave errors such as a sponge being left inside a surgical patient, improper medication being injected, or equipment being contaminated, Forbes reports.

If a hospital's preventable error led to injury or death, victims and their relatives may be able to sue. Their legal options may include allegations such as:

Who's Liable for Police Chase Injuries?

Three teens in a stolen car were involved in a serious accident following a high-speed police chase in San Diego earlier this week, raising potential questions about liability.

Racing at an estimated 60 miles per hour, the driver of the stolen Honda Civic slammed into an SUV after running a red light. The occupants of the SUV sustained minor injuries; the three suspects were more seriously hurt.

But who's liable for police chase injuries?

Police Killing of Jonathan Ferrell: Lawsuit Likely

The police shooting of Jonathan Ferrell is under increasing scrutiny since the ex-college football player's death on Saturday. Ferrell's family is now being represented by an attorney with experience in wrongful death cases.

The Charlotte Observer reports that criminal charges in a use of deadly force case are rarely charged "so swiftly," with investigations typically taking weeks at least, according to police experts.

Since criminal charges on are the fast track, will Ferrell's family be as quick to file a civil lawsuit for wrongful death?

After Colo. Flood, 5 Legal Issues to Address

After the disastrous Colorado flood, there are many legal issues that still remain. Evacuations are still underway after last week's severe flooding that, as of Tuesday, had left eight people dead and at least 1,600 homes destroyed, Reuters reports.

President Obama declared the area a major disaster over the weekend, and has set aside federal funds and resources to aid the state in its recovery. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) also issued a news release summarizing some of the federal aid programs available.

Here are five legal issues that Colorado flood victims may need to address:

Can You Be Sued for Not Stopping to Help?

When you come across a person in distress -- y'know, the person drowning, choking, bleeding or burning (in the literal and not Alicia Keyes kind of way) -- can you be sued for not stopping to help?

In some situations, when you turn a blind eye to a person in danger, you may need to cope with pangs of guilt -- and lawsuits, too.

Here's what everyone, especially Good Samaritans, need to know:

Greyhound Bus Crash in Ohio Injures 34

A Greyhound bus crash in Ohio over the weekend led to dozens of passenger injuries.

The crash occurred just before 4 a.m. Saturday, when the bus veered off Interstate 75 north of Cincinnati and flipped onto its side into a cornfield. At least 34 people, including the driver, were injured, but fortunately there have been no serious injuries or fatalities reported, according to USA Today .

The cause of the crash is still unknown, and authorities are currently undergoing an investigation to determine what happened. What questions still need to be answered to determine potential liability?

Recycling Truck Causes Multi-Car Crash, Explosion

A recycling truck crash in Seattle was a scene of fiery chaos on Tuesday, with a total of five vehicles damaged in the mayhem.

According to The Seattle Times, two vehicles caught fire when the recycling truck slammed into them near Seattle's Pioneer Square. Luckily, there were no serious injuries or fatalities.

As the dust clears on this multi-car wreck, who might be held responsible for the damage?

Disabled Girl's Pic Used Without Permission: $5M Suit

The Aleh Foundation, a high-profile Brooklyn-based non-profit, is facing a $5 million lawsuit for allgedly using a disabled girl's photo for a donation drive without permission.

The Aleh Foundation allegedly used a photo of Ayala Yakobzon -- a 5-year-old who was born with spina bifida and is paralyzed from the waist down -- to solicit donations. Yakobzon's family claims that they never gave permission to use Ayala's photo, and they never received a dime from the foundation.

But did the charitable foundation do anything unlawful?

Can You Sue Over Anti-Gay Slurs?

Hateful slurs and epithets are something that no person should have to endure based on his or her identity, and both state and federal laws can allow victims to sue over anti-gay slurs.

Since protections for gays and lesbians against sexual orientation discrimination is an ever-changing patchwork of legislation, here are a few common examples that illustrate how a civil lawsuit can provide justice for hate speech:

5 Common Ways to Lose a Personal Injury Lawsuit

There are a variety of ways to shoot yourself in the foot (literally and figuratively) and lose a personal injury lawsuit.

From contributing to the accident to failing to take important legal steps, there are certain factors that can destroy your personal injury claim in court.

Here are five common ways to lose a personal injury lawsuit:

Carnival Ride Malfunction Injures 18 in Conn.

A carnival ride malfunction at a Connecticut fair injured 17 children and one adult on Sunday.

A circular swing called the "Zumur" suddenly lost power and halted the swing's momentum, causing riders to collide into each other and crash to the ground.

Fortunately, only one victim was hospitalized. But under what legal theories could the victims potentially sue for their injuries?

Drugged Driving Crash Causes Explosion in Colo.

A drugged driving crash in Colorado ended in an explosion last week. Pieces of the car flew into the air as it burst into flames, after being rear-ended. According to Colorado Springs police, oxygen canisters in the trunk of the car caused the explosion.

The driver who allegedly rear-ended the car was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs, Denver's KMGH-TV reports. The driver in the car that got hit broke his vertebrae.

If you've been injured in a crash caused by a drugged driver, here are some general considerations:

Doctor Sued Over Prank on Unconscious Patient

Talk about a prank fail -- like, an epic fail. A California doctor is being sued by his coworker-slash-patient after he plastered her face with stickers in the shape of a mustache and tear drops (like prison tattoo teardrops, but yellow...) while she was under anesthesia. A nurse's aide then took a photo.

Unsolicited advice to Dr. Steven Yang and every other doctor: Don't "punk" your patients. Ever.

In the most unsurprising news ever, the anesthesiologist was sued by patient Veronica Valdez for allegedly violating her privacy.

Drug 'Molly' Blamed for Deaths; Who's Liable?

The popular club drug "Molly" is being blamed for at least three deaths in Massachusetts and New York as summer comes to a close, leaving the liability for the fatalities open for debate.

Clubs and Boston and NYC have been host to "Molly" overdoses during both music festivals and concerts, and police say the uptick of fatal overdoses may be due to "a bad batch" of Molly being sold in the Northeast, reports The Christian Science Monitor.

Bad batch or no, relatives of the overdose victims may be gearing up to file wrongful death suits with several defendants in their sights.

Veteran Misdiagnosed With HIV Sues Hospital

A Kentucky-area veteran is suing a hospital that treated him nine years ago claiming that the medical provider misdiagnosed him with HIV in 2004.

Bobby Russell, 43, has been taking medication to combat HIV ever since a doctor at the University of Kentucky Medical Center (UKMC) diagnosed Russell as HIV-positive, despite the fact that other tests had come up negative, reports the Huffington Post.

Misdiagnosing someone with a life-threatening disease is not only an appalling medical mistake, but most likely medical negligence.

Are 1st Responders Liable for Rescues Gone Wrong?

When first responders come to the rescue, yet only make matters worse, can you sue them for your injuries? In many states, first responders are protected by sovereign immunity. In jurisdictions where it is possible to sue a first responder, the right is typically limited.

All in all, suing a first responder for a rescue gone awry is no easy feat.