Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

December 2014 Archives

Top 5 Workers' Compensation Blog Posts of 2014

Although employers and regulators are constantly finding ways to make the workplace safer in general, the unfortunate reality is that on-the-job injuries still do occur and workers’ compensation is as necessary as ever.

When a worker is injured on the job or in the course of employment, that worker may be eligible for workers’ compensation, the insurance system that provides benefits to injured workers. Though this may seem relatively straightforward, there are an array of issues and important questions that accompany every potential workers’ compensation claim.

What were some of 2014’s most popular blog posts about workers’ compensation? Here are the Top 5:

Top 10 Personal Injury Blog Posts of 2014

The 2014 year was like many before it, full of injuries, dangerous defects, and personal injury lawsuits.

FindLaw's Injured wants its readers to know what legal options exist for those who are injured or placed in dangerous situations, and 2014 has not failed to educate.

So let's look at the 10 most popular Injured stories for 2014:

Safeway Sued Over Calif. Woman's Listeria-Related Death

The family of a California woman who died after being becoming infected by listeria has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the grocery chain Safeway.

In the lawsuit, the woman's family alleges that 81-year-old Shirlee Jean Frey bought caramel apples contaminated with listeria at a Safeway supermarket in Felton, reports The Associated Press. The brand of apples Frey allegedly purchased were recalled last week after being potentially linked to an outbreak of listeria that has sickened 29 people in 10 states, including Frey.

What does the family need to prove in order to prevail in their wrongful death lawsuit?

Injured at an Office Party: What Are Your Legal Options?

Many workers look forward to closing out the year at an office party. But what happens when an office party mishap results in a serious injury?

A Utah man was recently hospitalized following an egg nog chugging contest at his office holiday party, reports The Associated Press. The man reportedly downed an entire quart of non-alcoholic eggnog in 12 seconds. In the process, however, the man inhaled a portion of the egg nog and suffered a lung infection. The infection required three days of hospitalization.

What are the legal options for those injured at an office party?

Keurig Recalls 7.2M Coffee Makers; 90 Burn Injuries Reported

Keurig is recalling nearly 7.2 million of its MINI Plus Brewing Systems after reports that the machines have caused dozens of burn injuries.

The recall includes about 6.6 million MINI Plus Brewing Systems in the United States and another 564,000 in Canada, reports USA Today. The recall was issued after the company received more than 200 reports of hot liquid escaping from the machine, causing at least 90 burn-related injuries.

What should consumers know about the recall of this potentially defective product?

Ore. Ski Resort Liability Waiver Ruling: 5 Things You Should Know

Skiers and snowboarders may want to take note of a recent ruling by the Oregon Supreme Court regarding ski resorts and blanket liability waivers.

In a somewhat unusual decision, the Oregon high court ruled in Bagley v. Mt. Bachelor Inc. that the liability waiver preventing a paralyzed man from suing the resort over his snowboarding injuries was legally unenforceable. The Oregonian reports that this may change the entire ski industry, as many resorts make use of similar waivers.

So what five things should you know about this ski waiver decision?

Can You Still Sue for Injury If There Was a Sign?

As part of an overall increased awareness of the potential to be sued for personal injuries, many businesses and property owners are choosing to display warning signs for potentially dangerous conditions on a property or inside a building.

But what happens if you are nevertheless injured by what a warning sign is actually warning you about, such as slipping on a wet floor where a “Caution: Wet Floor” sign was posted, or being bitten by a dog despite a posted “Beware of Dog” sign?

Can you still sue for injuries if there was a sign? Generally, yes, but it may be more difficult to successfully recover for those injuries. Here are a few examples of common warning signs and their possible effects on a potential lawsuit:

Top 3 Injury Questions From FindLaw Answers: December 2014

You've got questions... we've got answers. If you have not yet asked or answered a question in FindLaw's Answers community, what are you waiting for? This amazing free resource supports a dynamic community of legal consumers and attorneys helping each other out. Simple as that.

We see a lot of great questions in our Answers community every day. Here's a look at the Top 3 recent questions from our personal injury boards:

1. Should a company that manufactures football helmets be liable for the injuries sustained by a player?

Should You Hire an Injury Lawyer Even If You Plan to Settle?

Settlements may seem as easy as signing an agreement and being handed a check, but you might still need an attorney by your side.

Why? Well as it turns out, there are various legal issues that can go wrong or unnoticed during the settlement process. And while you may hope for the best, an attorney can actually safeguard your interests.

So why would you hire a lawyer even if you plan to settle?

Should You Take Your Injury Case to Small Claims or Hire a Lawyer?

Under certain circumstances, the plaintiff in a personal injury case may choose to pursue a lawsuit in civil court or opt to take the case to small claims court instead.

But which should you choose? Both options of course have advantages and disadvantages. And though small claims court may not be an option in all cases, in many cases it may offer a less expensive, less time-consuming path to recovery.

What should you know when deciding whether to take an injury case to small claims court or to hire a lawyer to file a personal injury lawsuit?

John Crawford's Family Sues Walmart, Police for Wrongful Death

The family of John Crawford III is suing Walmart and the Beavercreek, Ohio, police department for wrongful death after the 22-year-old father was shot and killed in August.

Crawford was shot by a Beavercreek police officer responding to a 911 call about a man with a gun at Walmart; Crawford was holding a BB gun that he'd found unattended in the store. A grand jury in September declined to indict the officer or his partner for the fatal shooting. The Washington Post reports that Crawford's family is seeking more than $75,000 in damages.

Why is Walmart being sued over Crawford's death?

Can Independent Contractors Get Workers' Comp?

Workers’ compensation is the insurance system set up to provide benefits to employees injured on the job. But does workers’ compensation also provide coverage for independent contractors?

Generally, independent contractors are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. But independent contractors who are injured on the job should not automatically assume that they will be unable to receive benefits. In some instances, employees may be misclassified as “independent contractors.” In these cases, an injured worker that is able to prove that the circumstances or his or her employment are such that he or she should be considered an employee may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

What factors are used to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor?

GM Ignition-Switch Defect Update: 42 Death Claims Approved

GM has agreed to compensate 42 claimants for deaths related to an ignition-switch defect, part of more than 2,000 death and injury claims that have been filed against the car manufacturer so far.

Victims and their families who were injured by the faulty ignition switch have until January 31 to submit their claims, which will be categorized based on the severity of the injuries, reports GM anticipates that total compensation related to the ignition-switch defect will run anywhere from $400 million to $600 million.

What should car owners know about this GM injury claims process?

Injured on an Airplane: How Can You Recover?

We tend to think of the worst when thinking of injuries related to airplanes. But while a deadly crash is one risk of air travel, what's far more likely is a mild to serious injury in-flight.

Falling bags, forcefully pushed service carts, and even pilot error can lead to injuries like you might experience on solid ground.

So how can you recover when you're injured on an airplane?

Can You Be Negligent and Still Win an Injury Case?

In a personal injury lawsuit involving negligence, it's not always true that the person being sued was the only one at fault in causing the accident.

Often, the person who was injured was also partly negligent in causing his own injuries. Called contributory negligence, this fault on the part of the plaintiff can potentially be used as a defense by the defendant.

But is contributory negligence a complete defense to liability, or can a person who is negligent still win an injury case?

Can You Sue If You Slip and Fall in a Movie Theater?

Movie theaters are no stranger to dramatic falls, earth-shaking explosions, and even bloody assaults. But we generally expect those dangerous events to take place on the screen and not in the aisle.

But with the floors lined with imitation butter, and lighting less than adequate, it requires no spoiler alert to say that anyone can suffer a slip-and-fall accident at the movies.

So can you sue if you do slip and fall at a movie theater?

Is Suing a Restaurant Your Best Course of Action?

Although a subpar meal isn’t likely to be sufficient grounds for a lawsuit, there are some circumstances in which a customer may consider pursuing legal action against a restaurant.

At a TGI Fridays in New York, a holiday promotion featuring drone helicopters adorned with mistletoe hovering over patrons provides an example of such a circumstance. A photographer was injured when she was struck by a drone’s rotor blade in the nose, suffering a cut, reports Brooklyn Daily.

It’s not clear if the woman injured by the drone is considering legal action. But whether an injury is caused by a drone, by food poisoning, or by a slippery floor caused by a spilled drink, what is generally required for a lawsuit against a restaurant?

Can You Sue Someone for Slapping You?

When someone slaps you, you don’t have to take it. No no, we don’t mean that you go all “Dynasty” on your attacker; you have legal options.

Part of the problem with being a slap victim, though, is that you have to prove that you actually suffered damages. And the hot sting of your cheek may not be enough.

So can you sue someone for slapping you?

Can You Handle an Injury Case On Your Own?

If you are involved in a personal injury case, you always have the option of representing yourself.

But just because you can, doesn’t necessarily mean you should in all cases. There are many different stages of a typical personal injury lawsuit, and depending on the type of claim and the facts of the case, you can very easily get in over your head if you’re not careful.

So, can you handle an injury case on your own?

Doctor Removes Wrong Kidney: A Reminder About Wrong-Site Surgeries

The human body typically bears only two kidneys, but a California surgeon has been placed on probation for removing the wrong one from a federal inmate.

In 2012, Dr. Charles Coonan Streit, a surgeon at St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton, California, erroneously removed a healthy kidney from a 59-year-old incarcerated male. According to the Orange County Register, Streit was supposed to remove the tumor-ridden left kidney from the patient, but left the CT scans of the kidneys back at the office.

What's Dr. Streit liable for and what should patients know about wrong-site surgeries?

Can You Get Worker's Comp for Getting Hurt on Vacation?

Worker’s compensation provides benefits to workers who are injured, even if they are injured away from the job site. But does worker’s compensation kick in if a person is injured while on vacation?

One Australian woman successfully filed a claim for worker’s compensation after suffering an injury while having sex in her hotel room. In that case however, the woman was on a business trip. And U.S. worker’s compensation rules aren’t necessarily the same as those of Australia.

So what about injuries suffered on a vacation?

Who's Liable in a Crash When a Vehicle Fails to Brake?

Drivers may worry that if they failed to brake before colliding with another car, they will be responsible for the damages.

But sometimes a vehicle can fail to break for reasons other than driver error — perhaps it was the result of poor maintenance or even a manufacturing defect. These factors must be considered when determining liability for a crash.

So who is liable in a crash in which one or more vehicles failed to brake?

Workers' Comp and Medicare: Can You Get Both?

For an older worker hurt on the job, a potential workers’ compensation claim may have an added wrinkle: Medicare.

Medicare is the federal health care program that provides medical benefits to those 65 or older, as well as some people younger than 65 who are on disability. Workers’ compensation, on the other hand, provides benefits to those who are injured on the job, including paying for medical treatment for work-related injuries.

So what happens when a worker may be eligible for both?

Slip and Fall at School: How Do You Sue?

Children may sometimes think they are invincible, but even children can suffer serious injuries in a slip and fall accident.

When these accidents occur while a child is at school, a personal injury lawsuit may be brought to recover for the child’s injuries. However, there may be several additional steps required in order to prevail against a government agency such as a public school district.

What do you need to know about slip and fall injuries that happen at school?