Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

November 2015 Archives

Can I Sue If I'm Injured in a Store Parking Lot?

If you are injured in a store parking lot and it is due to the store's negligence, you can sue. Keeping the parking lot safe is part of the business's responsibility under premises liability law.

But not all injuries arise from negligence. In order for the store to be responsible for your injury, the store must have failed in its duty. That failure need not be direct but the cause of injury can't be disconnected or impossible for anyone to anticipate.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, you may be thinking of filing a lawsuit. And few things are as important to a lawsuit as your lawyer. Finding and hiring the right attorney can seem like a daunting task, especially if you don’t know where to look or what you’re looking for.

If you’re starting here, rest assured you’re looking at the best directory for personal injury lawyers. And with a few tips on what makes a good personal injury lawyer, you can find the right one for your situation.

Can I Sue for a Black Friday Injury?

You woke up before dawn and posted up in front of the store. But you were not alone. When the doors opened, you and thousands of eager shoppers rushed to get inside. In the crush, you were hurt. What can you do?

You can sue for an injury that occurs on Black Friday, just like any other day. All the same rules apply to this frenzied occasion, meaning you will have to prove that injury was caused by someone’s negligence. So let’s take a look at how to prove a claim before you get back to that shopping list.

Can I Sue for Libel in Small Claims Court?

Theoretically, you can sue for libel in small claims court in most states. But there are monetary limits on small claims that would make this an unusual choice.

Small claims courts, as the name implies, generally handle small disputes with limited monetary damages. Some states do not allow lawyers to appear in small claims court but libel cases are difficult to prove and probably will require an expert. So for this and other reasons small claims court is usually unsuitable for a libel claim.

Maybe you thought you were being perfectly safe with that turkey fryer. After all, you put it outside, on concrete, and away from any flammable material. And maybe you watched as this seemingly safe setup still went awry, and the flame from the fryer ignited a leak in the hose from the propane tank to the burner. And maybe you thanked your lucky stars and all the smart propane tank designers that you and all your Thanksgiving guests didn’t ignite in a fiery and delicious inferno that day.

Not all of us have had a brush with death on Thanksgiving to make us think twice about our Turkey Day Safety. But luckily, not all of us need that kind of wakeup call. Here’s how to keep you and your family safe this Thanksgiving.

We’re told that accidents happen, but not every car crash is an accident. While you’re trying to stay safe on the roads, some less scrupulous drivers are trying to scam money out of insurance companies by staging car accidents. (And these scams aren’t just occurring in Asia or Russia.)

Luckily, many of these scams are similar and therefore more easily identified, if you know what to look for. Here are some of the more popular staged car accidents, and how to avoid them.

Can I Sue for Invokamet Side Effects and Injury?

If you were injured by Invokament side effects, you can sue. Liability suits against the drug manufacturer are already taking place around the country. The drug is used to treat patients with Type 2 diabetes, which occurs in over 28 million Americans.

Type 2 diabetes is a condition manifesting in the body inefficiently handling insulin, leaving sugar in the blood stream instead of used by cells as energy. High blood glucose levels lead to blindness, kidney failure, neurologic damage, and necrosis, or death of living tissue, often resulting in amputation.

Is There a Minimum Settlement Amount for Injury Claims?

There is no minimum settlement amount for injury claims. Parties to a lawsuit can agree to pretty much any terms they choose.

But the court will scrutinize any settlement for signs of unfairness or coercion, especially if the difference in power between the parties is significant. So while you can theoretically agree to anything, your attorney will realistically need to be prepared to explain the deal.

A suicide is a tragedy, and after someone takes their own life, we look for reasons why. Most often, those reasons fall to the person’s own unhappiness or mental illness. But that is not always the case. In some situations, it appears that a person has been pushed to commit suicide, or become more suicide-prone than he or she normally would be.

In these cases, could someone else be liable for a person’s suicide? And are there legal claims that cover these scenarios?

Can I Sue for a Recumbent Bike Accident?

There are all kinds of quirky bikes on the market now. Some are tiny and fold into a bag. Some are strange and look like a cross between a lounge chair and a tricycle. The latter are called recumbent bicycles and this odd mode of transportation is growing more popular.

Recumbent bikes have certain advantages — not far to fall, for one! But there are also dangers for recumbent bike riders that other cyclists do not share. The use of recumbents on the road is relatively new and there is no data on injuries and accidents related to these bikes specifically. But we do know why people start using them … and some reasons to give them up.

Those of us lucky enough to live in places without nasty winter weather know well enough not to gloat about that fact. But beyond avoiding sleet, snow, and icy slush everywhere, the best part about avoiding the worst of winter weather is avoiding the worst of winter drivers.

Don't be that worst winter driver. Make sure your vehicle is packed with safety necessities before you leave the house and use some good winter driving habits to avoid accidents this holiday season.

Are Drug Companies Liable for Side Effects?

Medications manufacturers may be liable for injuries from dangerous drug side effects. But there are limits on liability and not all manufacturers are made equal -- makers of generic drugs approved by the FDA can't be sued under state laws.

Still, if you are injured because a drug company, doctor, or pharmacist breached their duty to warn you about a drug's side effects, you do have recourse. A lawyer can help you figure out whom to sue.

Can I Counterclaim in an Injury Case?

You can counterclaim in a negligence case. If someone sues you for injury and you believe that the plaintiff's negligence caused or contributed to the injury, you can sue, too.

Counterclaims are common in car accident cases and, often, it is the insurance company that decides whether to sue on behalf of the defendant. In other injury cases, your defense attorney can help you decide whether a counterclaim is reasonable.

'Mighty' Offers Crowdfunding for Personal Injury Lawsuits

Mighty is a new financing startup that lets people invest in personal injury lawsuits. The idea is that plaintiffs won’t be forced to settle fast because they need cash and that investors will profit from damages awards for which plaintiffs held out. But is this a service that is really needed?

The company’s website says, “Mighty’s mission to empower plaintiffs to get a better deal from the justice system.” Mighty balances the power dynamic between litigants, allowing plaintiffs to go to trial when they might otherwise have to settle, according to Tech Crunch. However, there are some disturbing aspects to this startup, and it is not entirely clear that the model used for arts and entertainment applies to the law.

Airbnb may be disrupting the hotel/short-term rental market, but it’s also disrupting a few ideas about injury liability. And after Zak Stone’s story about his dad being fatally injured at an Airbnb rental, it’s only natural to wonder who’s responsible if someone is injured or killed in an Airbnb.

The law is pretty clear when it comes to premises liability and the duty owed by property owners to visitors on the property. But are those waters muddied by Airbnb’s involvement as a rental company?

Pet Regulation: Are There Dangerous Cat Laws?

Dangerous dog laws have become common, which raises an obvious question. What about cats?

Felines are basically little vampires who scratch stuff, apart from sucking blood. Why seemingly so little concern for them in the law? Do cat people have connects that make their pets exempt from regulation? We turned to the experts at the Animal Legal and Historical Center of Michigan State University to find out more.

Car Accident Lawsuit Timeline

They say that time slows down during a car accident, and everything seems to be going in slow motion. But what about after? With adrenaline, injuries, and police reports, time can fly by. And later, dealing with insurance companies can make it feel like time is grinding to a stop.

This can make it hard to see that dealing with a car accident occurs on a long timeline, as opposed to isolated events. And while every accident is unique, most car accident cases follow a similar timeline.

Will My Case Go to Trial?

Whether your personal injury claim (or any other case) will go to trial depends on many factors. No one will be able to tell you from the beginning what will happen, and that is true even if you do want to settle the suit.

Sometimes you cannot know until the very last moment that a suit will settle. Being prepared for trial is the only way to ensure that you are prepared for any eventuality and that you can push for the best settlement possible. This is true for all types of cases and whether you are the defendant or plaintiff.

Getting injured on the job might affect how you feel about doing that job. But if you decide to quit, will you lose your workers’ comp benefits?

Obtaining workers’ compensation benefits for a work-related injury is generally based on whether the injury occurred while you were working, and not on whether you are still working for the same employer. But filing a claim after you quit could complicate matters.

Most Common Terms in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Personal injury is a subset of torts law, which is a word derived from French for 'a wrong.' Torts are wrongs caused by the negligence of another, and often they are compensable.

In a personal injury suit, you must prove all the elements of negligence. If your claim is successful, you will be awarded damages. Of course, knowing some common terms is not enough to handle a lawsuit on your own. But having a grasp of the basics will make an attorney's explanations much more valuable to you.

Most expecting mothers experience at least some morning sickness. And some of those turn to anti-nausea medication to get some relief. But that can be a problem when the medication has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use by pregnant women.

One study linked some birth defects to the use of Zofran (also marketed as Zuplenz or its generic ondansetron) during pregnancy, and a new round of lawsuits accuses the drug's maker, GlaxoSmithKline, of marketing the drug to pregnant women without FDA approval.

Wrongful Death and Intestacy: How to Collect Damages If There's No Will

When a person is killed due to the misconduct or negligence of another, a representative of the estate of the deceased may sue for wrongful death. But there are limitations on who can sue, and there is some confusion about who can receive damages if they are awarded. Not everyone who qualifies for inheritance under a state intestacy statute can collect wrongful death damages.

The cargo ship El Faro disappeared off the Bahamas on October 1st, and on November 2nd, the U.S. Navy confirmed that wreckage found over the weekend was the El Faro. In the time it took to confirm the location of the ship, five separate lawsuits have been filed: four from victims of the shipwreck’s families, and one from the ship’s owner seeking to block those lawsuits and shield itself from legal or financial liability for the wreck.

So who is responsible when a commercial ship sinks? And can the ship’s owners preemptively block any responsibility?

Can I Sue for a Facial Scar?

You can sue for a facial scar if it is the result of negligence on someone's part. There may also be other bases for a lawsuit. How much a case will be worth and whether it is worth suing depends on how you got the scar and who was involved.

If you went to see a plastic surgeon and the doctor left you with a visible unwanted incision, your case is likely worth a lot of money. This is all the more true if you happen to rely on your face to make money, and that applies to more than just models. But if your scar is the result of a barroom brawl and the perpetrator is in prison, say, it may not be worth your while to sue.

We trust our doctors with our lives. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t have rights as patients. While medical professionals can give us expert advice on our health care, we have the ultimate say on our medical decisions.

At times, we have to be our own health care advocates, and it helps to know what our patient rights are and how to assert them. Here are seven ways to protect your patient rights:

Can I Start a Class Action Lawsuit?

You can start a class action lawsuit under certain circumstances. But you need a class of people with similar injuries that need representation, and a court will have to approve that class.

Class action lawsuits are consolidated cases. They exist for efficiency's sake. But they can be intense and complex. These cases involve an inordinate amount of administration and can be taxing on resources. You will need the assistance of an attorney who is knowledgeable in class actions.