Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

February 2016 Archives

Fatal Injury: Wrongful Death for Food Poisoning

It is never fun to imagine our loved ones leaving us forever and there is no legal victory that can make up for the pain of a death, especially a wrongful one. That said, if a family loses a member due to food poisoning, a wrongful death claim is available to some members of the clan.

Food poisoning is very common, as are injury lawsuits associated with this particular harm. Fortunately, however, fatal food poisoning is much more rare. Let's look at wrongful death lawsuits in this context, like the recently-settled case against a California restaurant that was blamed for serving contaminated scallops that allegedly led to a death in 2014.

5 Most Common Car Accidents

Car accidents are distressingly common, to the tune of around 5.5 million crashes per year. These accidents kill nearly 30,000 people every year and injure millions more. Sadly, vehicle crashes have become a fact of life.

Some car accidents are more common that others. Knowing which accidents are more likely can hopefully help you avoid them, and the costly damages and injures that occur. So which car accidents are the most common?

When Are Tattoo Parlors Liabile for Injuries?

Tattooing is an ancient art that spans many cultures and has experienced an amazing resurgence in recent years. The rare traditional rite has become quite commonplace, and so too have tattoo lawsuits.

Tattoo parlors can be liable for anything from injury to ink that stinks, but only if the artist is somehow negligent. The ways to be negligent are many, but the one key is that you prove all four elements of the claim. Let’s look at a few examples.

Pedestrian Relief: Suing Cyclists for Injury

You were walking down the sidewalk when — whoosh! boom! — a cyclist zooms around the corner and into you. You fall, you are injured, and you want to sue. Can you?

Yes, you can sue a cyclist for negligence if you are injured and sustain damages. Negligence is generally a valid claim if you are injured by another, although whether a suit will succeed depends on whether you can prove all four elements of negligence.

A jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $72 million to a woman’s family after her death from ovarian cancer was linked to use of the company’s talc-based products. Jacqueline Fox allegedly developed cancer after using Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for over 30 years.

She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer three years ago and passed away last October. Attorneys for Fox’s family say the jury award is the first of its kind, though there are sure to many more.

There Are No Safe Hoverboards, CPSC Says

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning all hoverboard, smart board, and balance board manufacturers that their products could soon be recalled for being too hazardous. Now the CPSC is asking stores and manufacturers to voluntarily recall hoverboards themselves, Mashable reports.

At this juncture, says the agency, there is not a single one of these types of boards for sale that can be considered safe. The CPSC wants manufacturers to take hoverboards off the market until they can be certified safe by an independent testing firm.

Lawsuits for SoCal Gas Leak?

Los Angeles prosecutors have already filed criminal charges against the Southern California Gas company, alleging they failed to report a huge methane leak near the city that spilled some 80,000 metric tons of methane into the atmosphere over the course of the past three months. And the California Attorney General joined a slew of city and county agencies suing SoCalGas in civil court.

But what about the thousands of residents of the area that were sickened and forced from their homes during the gas leak? Could more lawsuits be on the way?

New research has found that taking heartburn drugs could increase your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease or dementia by up to 52 percent. The study looked at drugs like Prevacid, Prilosec, or Nexium, which are known as proton pump inhibitors and are widely available over the counter or with a prescription.

Researchers stopped short of saying PPI's cause dementia, and but concluded that "the avoidance of PPI medication may contribute to the prevention of dementia." But with an estimated 15 million Americans using PPIs regularly, avoiding the medication may be harder than it seems.

Diseased Kidney Transplant Not Negligence, Jury Finds

You need an organ. Doctors warn that it will take a while unless you are willing to risk taking an organ from a less than ideal donor. What do you do? And if something goes wrong, who will you successfully sue?

A Massachusetts case decided last week provides a scary but interesting perspective. Doctors and an organ bank that transferred a diseased kidney from an alcoholic homeless man to a patient in need of a transplant, giving him a rare rodent virus, were found not guilty of negligence in a medical context by a jury last week. The transplant patient died. Let's look at the details, according to ABC News, and why no negligence was found here.

Are Babysitters Liable for a Child's Injuries?

You entrust your child to the care of another and hope the person will treat your kid well. Usually everything works out, but sometimes kids get hurt. It happens, and sometimes an accident is not anyone’s fault.

So you want to know what will happen if your kid is hurt when with a babysitter. Can you sue the sitter? The answer as it so often is in the law is yes, but it depends on the circumstances.

3 Warning Signs That Your Lawyer's No Good

We all have different tastes, and varying notions of what makes a thing great. Some of us tend to the simple yet sophisticated, while others are into ostentation and flair. Just like there is no one way to be well-dressed or well-read, there are different styles of lawyering, and all different kinds of attorneys make good lawyers.

Still, there are some general signs of someone who is, frankly, just no good. If you see these in your personal injury lawyer, you should reconsider representation.

Hot on the heels of a report showing a correlation (not causation, guys, don’t worry) between using Viagra and developing melanoma, comes a growing number of lawsuits against Pfizer, the maker of the erectile dysfunction medication. So many, in fact, that the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation is holding a hearing to consider whether to coordinate all of the national litigation against the Viagra manufacturer.

So what are the risks, and what do you need to know about the expanding litigation?

Social Security Disability Insurance FAQs

So you have been paying into Social Security for years. Unfortunately, you need something from the system because you’re disabled and cannot return to work. But you don’t know much about benefits or how to get them. Here are ten frequently asked questions about Social Security Disability Insurance and how to apply.

Damage to your property can happen in all sorts of ways. Your car or even your home can be damaged in a car accident. The same could happen from falling trees or branches. Your car might even fall victim to a stray golf ball.

No matter how it happens, it may be difficult to get compensated for your damaged property. And insurance may not cover everything. Here’s what you need to know about hiring a lawyer to file a property damage claim.

Drones are all the rage these days, and they can make for a dangerous rage. When they’re not crashing into crowds at tennis tournaments, they’re being shot at by your neighbor.

And in more severe cases, they can cause serious injury when not operated with care. Here are five of the worst of those cases:

Dangerous Detox: High Lead Levels in 'Bentonite Me Baby' Detox Clay

Beauty and health crazes abound but be very careful with what you put on and in your body, whoever is touting it. There are products sold for purification that are actually poisonous. The latest culprit to come under fire is a brand of bentonite detox clay.

Bentonite Me Baby, reports Boing Boing, is a clay touted for internal and external use and sold at Target. It contains dangerously high levels of lead. Although the product is meant to purify consumers of unspecified toxins, it contains lead far beyond FDA limits for ingestion. So what’s the story?

A new round of lawsuits in Florida claims that Monster Energy Drinks failed to warn consumers that consumption of their caffeine-laden sodas could cause heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failure. While just the latest in a series of injury lawsuits against the energy drink company, the suits filed in Florida this month could be merely the tip of the legal iceberg. The attorneys that filed the five lawsuits say they are investigating over a hundred more.

So who are the plaintiffs in the most recent lawsuits against Monster and what are their injury claims? Here's a look:

How Common Are Exploding E-Cigs?

You'd probably be hard-pressed to find a smoker who has not tried, or at least considered, giving up rolled tobacco for electronic cigarettes, more commonly known as e-cigs. These alternative nicotine delivery systems eliminate the smoke from the smoking habit by using a lithium-ion battery to heat an aerosol cartridge that releases an inhalable vapor.

E-cigs have grown popular in the last decade and are often touted as the lesser of two evils when compared to smoking tobacco. Similarly, the e-cig's cannabis cousins -- vape pens -- are also popular for delivering the desired drug without some of the negative health impacts associated with smoking. But there is mounting evidence that smokers are replacing one dangerous habit with another, according to Wired.

For those without the space or money for a full hot tub experience, a walk-in whirlpool bathtubs can be the perfect way to relax. After all, it only takes up the same space as you standard shower and tub setup, and can provide the same recuperative effects as a giant outdoor hot tub.

But how safe are they? One woman's family is claiming her walk-in whirlpool bathtub was "unreasonably dangerous and potentially deadly," after she became trapped for two days and died.

Parents of Lead-Poisoned Girl in Flint, Michigan File Lawsuit

The first individual lawsuit for a child plaintiff poisoned by lead in the drinking water in Flint, Michigan has been filed. The child is a 2-year-old girl who went from friendly and responsive to perpetually irritable, according to the Detroit Free Press, and the lead levels in her blood are nearly three times higher than the baseline for toxicity.

Luke Waid, the child's father, announced on Monday with his lawyers that they filed suit against State of Michigan and Flint officials, including Governor Rick Snyder, former Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley, and former Flint Mayor Dayne Walling. The plaintiff's lawyers explained that they feared the little girl's claim would be lost in the sea of claims by plaintiffs involved in class actions against the city.

One of the biggest cruise ships in the world was forced to cancel its intended vacation route and head back to its home port yesterday. Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas was singing a different tune in the face of hurricane-force winds and giant waves that soaked cabins as high as the fifth deck.

The ship had departed the New York area on Saturday for scheduled to be a seven-night round trip to Florida and the Bahamas. But it is headed back to Bayonne, New Jersey, its passengers and crew a little shaken and stirred, but thankfully not sunk.

4 Tips for Ride Service Safety That Saved 1 Celebrity's Kid

You need a ride and you’re a pretty cool person, so you know that the thing to do today is to call Uber or Lyft, and not a taxi. But do you know what to do to stay safe and make sure you don’t get spirited away by a stranger?

Last week a celebrity daughter made headlines by posting her account of an attempted Uber pick-up in LA that was a fake, according to The Daily Mail. The child of Clerks and Dogma creator, Kevin Smith, received a consolation cake from her director dad for having to experience the trauma of almost getting in the wrong car. Here’s what safety experts told USA Today about what to do if you find yourself in a similar situation (minus the baked goods).

Last week, a California judge sentenced Dr. Hsiu-Ying “Lisa” Tseng to 30 years to life in prison for murdering three of her patients who fatally overdosed. It marks the first time a doctor in the United States has been convicted of murder for overprescribing drugs.

Beyond newfound criminal liability, can doctors be civilly liable for patient overdoses?

One of the essential elements of a personal injury claim is proving your injury and your damages. If you can’t prove how much the injury cost you, you may not win your lawsuit.

So how do you do that? By documenting all of your injury costs and expenses right away, maintaining careful records, and providing everything you have to a good attorney. The absolute first thing you should do after an accident or injury is to take care of yourself — make sure you receive any required medical attention right away. Once you’re safe, here’s how to document your injury expenses before you file a personal injury claim:

Disability insurance can give you a source of much needed income if you’re too injured or sick to work. That’s if it pays out. All too often, Social Security disability insurance claims are denied, for a variety of reasons. This can be a disheartening experience, but it’s important to know that a denial is not the end of the process.

It is possible to appeal a denial of your disability benefits, but the first step in the appeals process is figuring out why your claim was denied in the first place. Here are three of the most common reasons Social Security disability benefits are denied:

When to Sue for Whiplash Injuries

You were in a minor car crash and it did not seem like such a big deal. But as the weeks pass, you notice an ache in your neck and upper back and start seeking treatment. In the process, you learn that you may never recover and that your minor crash is going to be a major pain for some time to come.

Now you have medical expenses that you did not anticipate and are not covered by your insurance and you need relief. It’s time to talk to a personal injury attorney.

The Zika virus began as a non-deadly mosquito-borne illness that caused only mild symptoms in adults. But with the recent discoveries that it can be transmitted through sexual contact and can cause devastating birth defects if contracted by a pregnant woman, Zika is threatening to turn into a global pandemic.

And where sickness and injury arise, lawsuits are sure to follow. So who could be liable if someone is infected by the Zika virus?

5 Reasons to Hire a Workers' Compensation Lawyer

Getting compensation for injured workers is supposed to be relatively easy. Theoretically you can apply without an attorney and succeed in your claim. But in practice workers' compensation is like any government program, complicated and not super clear.

If you feel you need guidance, you are not alone. Many people need help navigating the system, and getting expert help from the start can prevent problems down the line. Here are five reasons to hire a workers' compensation attorney.

Most cases of assault are handled by criminal courts, through trials, fines, and jail sentences. And while that may serve to punish the person who committed the assault, it doesn't always address the needs of the victim. That is left to the civil courts.

Yes, assault victims can sue for money. But how much can they get?

How Landlords Can Avoid Tenant Injury Lawsuits

Your rental property is supposed to make you money every month and this income allows you to do more — go on vacations, splurge on special occasions, and enjoy the life of the landed gentry. But all that could change if you don’t pay attention to conditions on the property and ensure that tenants are safe.

Landlords are sued by tenants and their guests for negligence when injury occurs on a property and there is evidence of owner neglect. To avoid such suits, your best bet is to treat your property like the business it is, insuring it for all eventualities, and being aware of any potentially problematic issues.