Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

October 2015 Archives

Anyone who’s been in a car accident, and many people who haven’t, know that whiplash injuries are scary and painful. Neck muscle and ligament damage from sudden head and neck movements can take some time to manifest, and even longer to heal.

Whiplash might be the most common car accident injury, and it may be possible to get compensation if you’ve suffered whiplash in a car accident. But compensation can be a complicated procedure.

Pediatricians Group Says Climate Change Threatens Kids

Climate change uniquely affects children's health and is an increasing threat, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The group issued a statement in the journal Pediatrics warning of the dangers of climate change to kids particularly.

"Warming of the planet is unequivocal," the AAP writes, taking those who doubt the environmental shifts exist head on. It began, "There is wide consensus among scientific organizations and climatologists that these broad effects, known as "climate change" are the result of contemporary human activity."

Top Reasons Doctors Get Sued for Malpractice

People do not expect their doctors to be perfect. But they do expect them to communicate clearly. When they don't, patients are more inclined to sue, according to Ultra, a helathcare insurance underwriter that manages physician risk.

Communication is the most important aspect of any relationship. The physician-patient relationship is no exception. Often, we reveal aspects of ourselves or our bodies to doctors that we would not show anyone else. So, it is perhaps not surprising that when things go wrong and physicians are not forthright, patients are more likely to fight back.

Earlier this week, the World Health Organization announced that unprocessed red meat and processed meats like bacon, ham, and sausage are carcinogenic. The WHO report said that eating just 50 grams of processed meat a day could make you 18 percent more likely to get cancer, specifically colorectal cancer.

While the WHO also said the risk of developing colorectal cancer is relatively low to begin with, what if you do get cancer? Could your meat diet be to blame?

Trick-or-treating, haunted houses, scary costumes, and ghoulish decorations — there’s always a little danger to Halloween. That’s what makes the holiday fun. What doesn’t make it fun is actual danger, coming from our costumes themselves.

Hopefully you’ve got your costume all picked out, and, hopefully, you won’t find it on our list of the most dangerous Halloween costumes:

Can I Sue for Blood Clot Filter Injuries?

Yes, you can sue for injury due to an Inferior Vena Cava, or IVC, blood clot filter. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration has received hundreds of complaints about IVC filters and the two major manufacturers are facing lawsuits from injured plaintiffs already.

Complaints about IVC blood filters abound and any number of complications may result from their use. Let’s review device basics and some common complications and claims associated with these controversial blood clot filters.

The image of lawyers as ambulance chasers is as old, and as pervasive, as the idea of lawyers as sharks. In fact, referring to attorneys as ambulance chasers is so common it’s not surprising that some people might think lawyers are literally chasing ambulances, looking for their next client.

The short answer is no — lawyers aren’t running after ambulances. And here’s why:

Can I Sue for Mirena IUD Complications?

If you had the Mirena intrauterine birth control device implanted and were injured as a result, you may indeed sue. You will be joining a slew of other women across the country who filed complaints against Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, the company making Mirena.

Thousands of women are suing Bayer in state and federal courts for a range of complications associated with Mirena IUDs. The complaints include claims that the device migrates in women's reproductive systems, pierces fallopian tubes, causes miscarriages after removal, and leads to infertility.

Sadly, there are many things that can keep us from doing the work that we love. Disabilities like ADD and ADHD, carpal tunnel syndrome, cancer, and even seasonal affective disorder can substantially limit obtaining, performing, and keeping a job. But what happens when our disability claims are denied?

Here are some frequently asked questions, and answers, regarding denials of disability insurance claims:

Defective Products: What's My Case Worth?

You bought a product and got hurt due to a defect. What should you do now?

Look to product liability law for relief. This is the area of the law that holds companies accountable for damages due to product defects. No one can say what your case is worth without serious examination, but here are some basics to consider.

Most personal injury lawsuits barely make the papers. But these three made the silver screen.

In choosing the biggest injury cases, you could go by the dollar amount of the settlement or the jury verdict. But we decided to go with three that were so big that Hollywood came calling. Here are the three most famous personal injury lawsuits:

Can I Sue for a Railroad Crossing Accident?

Yes, you can sue for injury stemming from an accident at a railroad crossing. However, your lawsuit will only be successful if someone was negligent. Railroad crossings are generally hazardous and sometimes accidents just happen. Railroads are only liable for incidents that stem from their negligence.

So, if you do what some commuters in California have done recently and abandoned your car on the tracks, do not expect to successfully sue for damages. If, however, you have all the elements of a negligence claim, your suit may succeed.

Let’s see what you need to do to prove negligence if you are injured at a railroad crossing.

In most personal injury cases, the main point of contention is proving who was at fault for an accident or an injury. But just as important is proving the injury itself and the extent of the harm. Damages are an essential element of any injury claim and even if you can prove another party was negligent, you won’t be entitled to any recovery if you can’t prove your injury.

Depending on your circumstances, this could be as simple as an x-ray of a broken hip after slipping and falling in a store. Other injuries may be much more complex or hard to demonstrate. Here are some considerations for how to prove an injury:

Can I Sue My Doctor for Opiate Addiction?

You can sue your doctor if you become addicted to opiates -- commonly known as pain killers. But only if your doctor was negligent in prescribing the pills.

Physicians owe their patients a certain standard of care. If they fall below it and patients are harmed, doctors are liable. This applies to prescriptions, just like any other aspect of treatment. Medicine is not a perfect or precise science, however, and not everything that goes wrong is due to negligence.

Parents love laundry detergent pods for their convenience. Unfortunately, kids love them, too, because they are brightly colored and wrapped like candy. More and more children are poisoned by laundry pods every day.

If your child is injured by ingesting a laundry pod or laundry detergent, can you sue? And if so, whom?

Can I Sue My Personal Trainer?

You can sue your trainer for a personal injury. Accidents and injuries that arise from the negligence of someone who has a duty of care to you, qualify for a lawsuit. But not all injuries are caused by negligence.

As long as all the elements of a personal injury claim can be proven, damage caused by your trainer’s negligence can be treated like any other personal injury matter. So, let’s review the elements of negligence and see how they apply to personal training.

The universe can have some funny timing. The one time you’re driving without insurance, and boom — you cause a car accident.

Maybe your insurance had just expired or you were between policies. And maybe the person slammed on their brakes right in front of you or you lost control on an icy patch of road. Either way, being at fault for a car accident when you’re uninsured can be a scary prospect, so what should you do next?

Surgical Site Infection Lawsuit FAQ

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1-3 percent of surgeries result in an infection. Here are some frequently asked questions about surgical site infections and the law.

Liability in a Bar Fight

Most nights out are fairly uneventful — you have a few beers, a few laughs, and you make it home safe. Other nights, not so much.

Depending on the kinds of watering holes you frequent, bar fights are relatively rare, as are bar fight injuries. But what happens if you get caught up in a brawl and get hurt? Who’s liable for your injuries in a bar fight?

Can I Sue for a Foreign Wrongful Death?

If a loved one dies overseas, you may be able to sue for wrongful death in the United States. The overseas element will, however, add a level of complexity to an already complicated litigation.

You can argue that an American court has jurisdiction over a foreign defendant. Foreigners are subject to suit in the U.S. based on ties to this country, and sometimes suits are even filed here by foreign plaintiffs against foreign defendants based on incidents that occurred abroad. Still, establishing jurisdiction is procedurally intense and not at all obvious. You will need a lawyer.

Suing for Mortuary Neglect

Losing a beloved friend or family member is grief enough — we don’t need our sadness compounded by funeral home or mortuary mistakes. We put our trust in professionals for interment services that our loved ones will be handled with care and dignity.

So what can you do if, by negligence, intent, or fraud, they betray that trust? Here are ways you can sue for mortuary neglect:

Do I Have a Personal Injury Case?

A great way to make a lawyer crazy is to ask the question in this headline. You may indeed have a personal injury case. But a good lawyer will not determine the merits of your case without detailed exploration.

If you have been injured, and if that injury seems to stem from someone’s negligence, chances are good that you have a legitimate personal injury case. Each case varies, however, and there are slight variations in the law from state to state, so it is not wise to make broad generalizations.

Our churches bring us together and lift us up in spirit. Every now and then, though, our bodies pay the price. Whether by accident or someone else's fault, injuries at church-sponsored and church-related events happen. And when they do, determining who's at fault can be difficult and determining if you can and want to sue can be even harder.

Here are some legal considerations if you've been injured at a church-sponsored event:

You're just sitting at a stoplight and BAM, you're rear-ended. Not just that, but you get pushed into the car in front of you. Does that mean you're liable for the other car's damages? How do you figure out who is at fault for a multi-car pileup?

There are a few options, depending on the law in your state:

Can I Sue for Diabetes Medication Side Effects?

You can sue for diabetes medication side effects. But you can't sue the drug maker under state law if it is a generic Food and Drug Administration-approved medication. That doesn't mean there is nothing you can do. It just may impact the claims you can make depending on the drug you have taken.

Suing for pharmaceutical drug defects is common and falls under personal injury law. The drug manufacturer is not the only target of the suit. You may also file a claim against the prescribing physician or the pharmacy that filled the prescription.

There’s one rule for daycare facilities: keep our children safe. And for the most part, they do. But every now and then, accidents happen. Many of the accidents that happen are preventable.

Here are the three most common injuries children suffer at daycare, and how to prevent them:

You thought you were being safe, and now you’re worried about STDs and a pregnancy. If a condom breaks during sex, the last thing from your mind might be a lawsuit.

But assuming the broken condom was an accident and not part of birth control sabotage, you may be able to sue for a broken condom. Here’s what that lawsuit may look like and who may be liable:

Spotting Settlement Mills and Fast Food Lawyering

Settlement mills are high-volume personal injury law firms that advertise heavily and resolve claims mechanically. Avoid these firms like the plague although their national ads might make them a familiar name.

The phrase “settlement mill” was coined and popularized by Nora Freeman Engstrom, a Stanford Law School professor who researches the intersection of torts law and ethics. She writes extensively about how these firms resolve legal matters mechanically at the expense of client rights. It’s not a heartening tale but should be taken to heart.

Doctors Can Be Liable for an Appendicitis Misdiagnosis

Failure to diagnose a condition is a basis for a medical malpractice suit. The more common the condition and the easier to diagnose, the more likely it is that missing it constitutes malpractice. This general principle applies to appendicitis, too.

Appendicitis is a common condition but it is not always easy to diagnose. Abdominal pain can be a sign of many things, not just appendicitis. What that means in terms of medical malpractice is that, although the condition is common, a misdiagnosis is unfortunately not completely uncommon.

Winter is fast approaching, and with it comes icy and dangerous sidewalks. Slip and fall accidents injure millions of people every year, and many of them occur on poorly maintained or hazardous sidewalks.

So who's responsible for keeping sidewalks safe? And what can you do if you're injured on a sidewalk?

Two recent deaths of high school football players have shifted some parents’ focus from head injuries to abdominal injuries. From heat stroke to sickle cell trait to concussions and now the rupture of internal organs, the dangers of playing football seem to increase every day.

But are abdominal injuries avoidable in high school football, or just the cost of playing the sport?

Sadly, far too many motor vehicle accidents happen between cars and pedestrians. In most of these cases, the driver is at fault, and an injured pedestrian will sue the driver for damages.

But in some cases, the pedestrian acted negligently and may have contributed to an accident. When that happens, can a motorist sue a pedestrian?

Is It Worth Suing for Defamation to Protect Your Reputation?

Sticks and stones may break bones, but words will never hurt you. Or will they? When someone says something that damages your reputation, it might be worthwhile to sue for defamation.

"It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation and only one bad one to lose it," according to Benjamin Franklin. Defamation law recognizes this. Specifically, it allows people who have been unjustly publicly badmouthed to defend their good name.

False Imprisonment in Healthcare

False imprisonment is the intentional unlawful confinement of a person against their will. It comes in many forms and does not require physical restraint necessarily. When it happens in the medical context it is particularly scary.

In healthcare, false imprisonment happens when a patient is held involuntarily in a hospital, nursing home, other health facility or institution, or even in an ambulance. A critical element of the claim is consciousness of confinement. In other words, the person held had to reasonably believe they could not leave.

Liability in a personal injury case isn’t always clear-cut. Sometimes, those of us who feel like victims can end up being sued ourselves.

Every case is different, but there are some common themes to defending a personal injury lawsuit. Here are a few:

Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs in the USA

Bringing home the bacon is dangerous business for some American workers. A report on perilous jobs in the US measures that risk. For those who may face injuries at work, it's important for you to understand your workers' compensation benefits.

The ranking below is generated annually using figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on workplace fatalities and is generated by CareerCast. It is based on two factors: personal perils and general hazards faced by those around the worker.