January 12, 2022

Determining Who Is at Fault in Personal Injury Cases 

The most crucial determination in a personal injury case is which party is at fault for the plaintiff’s injury, and therefore liable for paying damages to compensate the plaintiff. The plaintiff’s attorney will often decide who is at fault when determining which parties to sue. The attorney will investigate the case and all of the potentially at-fault parties. The defendants will likely dispute their fault, and so the plaintiff must prove that the defendant is responsible for their injuries. This is often done using a negligence theory, but a lawyer may recommend a few alternative approaches if necessary.

Proving Fault Through Negligence 

Many personal injury claims arise through someone’s negligence. Negligence occurs when someone fails to use the standard of care expected of a reasonable person and causes harm to another person in doing so. Negligence has four legal elements, and a plaintiff must prove all four to prevail in a negligence claim. These elements are duty, breach, damages, and causation. 

First, the defendant must owe a legal duty to the plaintiff, such as the duty vehicle drivers owe to other motorists to exercise reasonable care while driving. Second, the defendant must have breached that duty, for instance, by texting while driving. Third, the plaintiff must have suffered actual damage due to the defendant’s breach, which usually includes medical bills, property damage, pain and suffering, and lost income. Lastly, the defendant’s breach must have been the cause of the plaintiff’s injury. If the plaintiff can prove all four of these elements, they will succeed in showing that the defendant was at fault for their injury, unless the defendant successfully proves an affirmative defense. 

Alternate Ways to Prove Fault in a Personal Injury Case

A lawyer shares that some personal injury cases do not involve negligence. In such cases, the plaintiff can prove the defendant’s fault through other methods, including showing intentional conduct by the defendant, establishing negligence per se, or proving that strict liability should apply to the case. 

Intentional conduct occurs when the defendant acts voluntarily with an intended result or with substantial certainty that a particular outcome will occur. Intentional conduct is used to prove fault in cases arising from acts such as assault and battery.

Negligence per se occurs when the defendant has violated a statute. The defendant will be automatically liable for the plaintiff’s injury if the injury is the type the statute was designed to prevent. The plaintiff is a part of the class of people that the statute was designed to protect. For example, suppose a person is driving recklessly and injures a pedestrian. In that case, the pedestrian can sue under a negligence per se theory because the defendant has violated a reckless driving statute.

Strict liability is a theory of liability under which the plaintiff does not have to establish the defendant’s negligence to prevail and recover damages. Strict liability is applicable when the defendant engages in an abnormally dangerous activity. If the defendant injures someone in the course of this activity, they will be liable even if they exercised reasonable care. Strict liability is also often applied to product liability and animal bite cases. 

Thanks to Eglet Adams for their insight on fault in personal injury cases. 

December 30, 2021

Overview: Common Types of Personal Injury Cases 

Personal Injury Lawyer

Personal injury law governs when an injured person may receive compensation for harm caused by another’s wrongful acts, whether intentional or negligent. As explained by our friends at Eglet Adams, there are several common types of injuries that give rise to personal injury claims. 

Car Accident Cases

Car accidents are the most common type of personal injury case in the United States. Car accidents usually occur because a driver is acting negligently, by not following traffic laws or not driving carefully. A driver or pedestrian who is injured by another driver’s carelessness can sue the driver in a personal injury lawsuit. A plaintiff in a personal injury case stemming from a car accident will have to prove the traditional elements of negligence: duty, breach, causation, and damages. 

Slip and Fall Cases 

Property owners have a legal duty to ensure that their property is reasonably safe so that entrants to the property are not injured. A plaintiff who is injured on another’s property and wishes to sue in a personal injury action will have to prove that the property owner should have recognized and removed or repaired the dangerous condition that caused their injury. Alternatively, the plaintiff can show that the property owner actually created the dangerous condition that caused their injury (for example, by leaving a hazardous obstacle on a walking path) and that it was reasonably foreseeable that someone would trip and fall because of the dangerous condition. Other examples of dangerous conditions that can lead to slip and fall cases are potholes, uneven walking surfaces, and objects protruding from walking surfaces. 

Dog Bite Cases 

Dog owners will usually be responsible for bites or other bodily injuries that their dogs cause to others. Depending on the state, the owner might be held strictly liable for injuries caused by their dog even when their dog has not bitten or shown any propensity to bite a person before. Other states have “one bite” rules, under which owners are only liable if they have a reason to know that their dog is aggressive or has a propensity to bite others. 

Defective Product Cases 

Products must be safe for their intended use, and when a consumer is injured by a defective product, they may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the manufacturer of the product. Strict liability typically applies to product liability cases, but a plaintiff may also bring a case under a negligence theory. A product can be defective in its manufacturing, design, or marketing. A plaintiff in a defective product case will have to prove that the defect caused their injury. Additionally, a plaintiff cannot prevail in a defective product case if they were injured while misusing the product. 

Intentional Tort Cases 

Intentional tort cases are unique from other personal injury cases because they are not premised on another person’s negligence, but rather their intentional harming of another. Common examples of intentional tort cases are assault, battery, and trespass. A victim of an intentional tort can file a civil personal injury lawsuit against the perpetrator to compensate them for their injuries, in addition to the criminal charges that the perpetrator will likely face. 

Having a personal injury lawyer through the process can prove to be beneficial for the outcome of the case.

December 29, 2021

Does an ACL Tear Mean Surgery is Necessary?

Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have torn your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), then you may be concerned that your only option for recovery is surgery. It is understandable that surgery may not be your first option, but it is important to seek help from a medical professional when you believe that you have torn your ACL so that you can get an accurate diagnosis and learn more about the different treatment options that may be available to you. While surgery may be the best option for your situation, you may also need to combine it with other forms of treatment so that you can recover fully. Unfortunately, ACL tears are very common when it comes to injury accidents, especially car accidents. If you are concerned about paying for surgery after an accident, you can speak with your doctor about getting necessary medical records when you are hoping to file a personal injury claim. 

How do I know my ACL is injured? 

It can be easy to tweak parts of your knee, so you may be wondering how you know if you have injured your ACL. A few signs to look out for are:

  1. Pain around your knee
  2. Swelling in and around your knee
  3. Popping that came at the time your knee was injured
  4. Difficulty or an inability to walk, bend, or move around

What kinds of treatment options are there? 

Depending on how bad your injury is, your doctor, like an anterior cruciate ligament injury surgeon from an office like Premier Osteoarthritis Centers, can discuss which treatment options will be best for you. For example, if your pain is mild and you do not live an especially active lifestyle, your doctor may examine you and determine that RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) may be right for you. If your knee is stable and you are showing signs of improvement, you may heal just fine with physical therapy. 

On the other hand, if your pain is severe, you live an active lifestyle, and your knee is unstable, your doctor may recommend surgery as the best option for you to get back to your lifestyle. After surgery, you will likely have some physical therapy to go through to ensure that you have not only healed but that your knee comes back strong and with good motion and mobility. This can be especially daunting when you are concerned about medical bills and a personal injury claim, but it is important to get the appropriate medical documentation. 

Should I wait to see how my knee does before seeing a doctor? 

You may wish to wait for a week or two to see if your pain begins to subside. While this can be a good indication of the severity of your injury, if your pain persists for more than a few weeks, you should seek medical attention as quickly as possible. Want to learn more about how knee surgery can help you? Reach out to a local office today. 

December 23, 2021

What Happens After a DUI?

What Happens After a DUI?

If you asked an individual to define what a DUI was they will likely answer “driving under the influence.” Many will also assume this is only limited to alcohol. That answer is shockingly inaccurate. There has been an incredible number of individuals who have been charged for a DUI without ever having any alcoholic beverage at all. 

Sometimes an individual may have had one drink and decided to operate a motor vehicle. Unfortunately, if you have a mishap on the road, you can be stopped by law enforcement and potentially charged for driving under the influence. DUI arrests happen a greater number of times than not, yet they are not all generally for a single alcoholic drink. The term DUI means driving under the influence, not driving under the influence of alcohol. This implies that the substances that you may have been under the influence of may range from alcohol to drugs to other substances. 

Individuals that have been accused of a DUI will more than likely need to pay a fine as a result. Some accused individuals will be ordered to appear in court to determine if they are required to place a gadget in their vehicle for a specific timeframe to regulate their vehicle’s ability to operate based on their alcohol level.

As an attorney, like a DUI attorney from a law firm like The Lynch Law Group understands, the more an individual is arrested or cited for a DUI, the more they are set to pay greater fines and endure more terrible outcomes than their first DUI offense. There is a possibility that an individual might even receive prison time. 

When a cop pulls you over in your vehicle for a possible DUI, they will oftentimes request that you step out of the vehicle to take a field sobriety test. The field sobriety test is taken to test your ability to successfully complete a variety of things. For example, walking in a straight line while reciting the alphabet in reverse. Law enforcement also has a device that is known as a breathalyzer. The cop will request that the accused individual blows into the device and it will tell them what that individual’s blood alcohol content is. On the off chance that the breathalyzer shows that your blood alcohol content was over the legal limit, the police will place you under arrest for driving while under the influence.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for driving under the influence, contact a local attorney to discuss your legal options.

November 6, 2021

What is an Intracerebral Hemorrhage? 

What is an Intracerebral Hemorrhage? 

You may be wondering why you would need a lawyer for an intracerebral hemorrhage. Maybe wondering what that even is. A lawyer is needed when this type of brain bleed happens due to someone’s negligence, most often a medical professional who didn’t catch the symptoms in time. This type of brain bleed can lead to permanent brain damage or even death if not treated in time. 

Let’s start with what this type of brain bleed is. 

Intracerebral Hemorrhage

“Intra” means within. The cerebral part of the name means your brain. The hemorrhage part is bleeding. So when you see this it just is the medical way of saying that there is bleeding inside your brain. This is a very dangerous thing as when you have blood inside your brain flowing freely that means there is damage. When this happens by anything other than an injury it is considered a type of stroke. Here are some quick facts: 

  • This type of hemorrhage happens when a blood vessel bursts in your brain 
  • The typical cause is high blood pressure 
  • The first symptom is normally a headache 
  • You can become confused or go into a coma
  • Doctors will treat the problems that caused your bleeding first 

Intracerebral hemorrhages are caused by a blood vessel bursting in your brain. Which is most likely to happen because of high blood pressure. Because high blood pressure weakens your blood vessels it is important that your doctor find ways to help. Now there are other cases as to why a hemorrhage would happen, cocaine use, being born with abnormal blood vessels in your brain, severe head injury, brain tumors, or using too much blood-thinning medicine. 

Symptoms of Intracerebral Hemorrhage 

When an intracerebral hemorrhage happens the symptoms normally come on suddenly. It typically starts with a bad headache, most people mistake it for a migraine, while being active. Older people may not have a headache or if they do it is often mild. Here are other common symptoms: 

  • Weakness or numbness on one side of the body
  • Trouble speaking
  • Confusion
  • Feeling sick to your stomach or throwing up
  • Seizures 
  • Passing out 

These symptoms come on fairly quickly. It is why it is considered a type of stroke. This type of bleeding is so serious that about half of the people who have it die in the first few days. Most survivors have long-lasting brain damage. 

Not every patient is going to show the classic signs and symptoms though. That is why it can go unnoticed and be left untreated. If the proper tests aren’t administered, like a CT scan, the bleeding can go without being noticed. Often this type of bleeding is fatal if not treated correctly. 

If you or a loved one have suffered from an intracerebral hemorrhage then talk to a brain bleed lawyer like, Davis & Brusca, LLC for more information about what to do next. 

July 29, 2021

Do You Need Witnesses for Your Personal Injury Claim?

Personal Injury Lawyer

Medical malpractice, on-the-job injuries, car accidents, and a number of other situations can cause personal injuries. If an injury is severe enough, it could lead to expensive medical bills, lost wages, and ongoing physical and mental health problems. As a personal injury lawyer can explain, if you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, it helps to know whether there are witnesses who can vouch for your situation.

Witnesses Who You Know

Many times, an accident happens in front of someone you know, or the person you know sees you directly afterwards. If a friend or relative saw the accident, he or she can attest to the nature of the injury and whether you seemed to be in legitimate pain. Go over the facts with them as soon as possible after the accident, noting anything of importance while the memories are fresh. This way, you can write a statement if it becomes necessary and ask your witness to sign it.

Witnesses You Don’t Know

Sometimes, a stranger sees your accident and can provide information as to what caused the accident or how you were injured. Return to the scene of the accident to find out if people who live or work in the immediate area saw what happened. This is especially helpful for car accident cases. If you find a witness who saw enough to indicate that someone else was at fault, you’ll need to gather information from him or her.

First, get the witness’ name, address, phone number, and email address. Some people will be hesitant to provide information to a stranger, so don’t push if someone won’t give you an address or phone number. You’ll also need to write down what he or she saw andwhere the witness was when it happened. Ask if your witness is willing to sign a written statement if necessary. 

Expert Witnesses

Sometimes, a personal injury case requires an expert witness. An expert witness is someone who did not see the accident but who has specialized training or knowledge that relates to the situation. Typically, an expert witness is a health expert who can provide insight into your physical injuries and their prognosis, a mental health expert who can show how your accident affected you mentally, or someone who is an expert in accident reconstruction, manufacturing, or engineering. Sometimes, even an economics expert is helpful because he or she can demonstrate the long-term effects of the accident on your financial future. Rules for expert witnesses vary by state but are best handled with an experienced attorney. 

If you think you have cause to file a personal injury lawsuit, hire a professional attorney as soon as possible. Doing so ensures you meet deadlines and follow a process that is most likely to have a favorable outcome.

July 27, 2021

Platelet-rich Plasma Therapy and Prolotherapy

Knee Pain Doctor

Prolotherapy is a regenerative medicine using your body’s own platelets (PRP) to naturally heal damaged tissues. As a knee pain doctor from a practice like the Premier Osteoarthritis Centers of Pennsylvania can explain, PRP therapy is a cutting-edge method to treat acute and chronic injuries. The concept behind Platelet-rich Plasma Therapy is that it separates the platelets of your own blood, and injects them into the treatment area thereby treating you naturally.

This therapy has been around for over two decades and is gaining in popularity for several reasons. Athletes find it favorable because this procedure can be performed in a short period of time in an outpatient setting. Anyone with chronic pain in your shoulder, back, neck or knee may benefit from PRP Therapy. PRP therapy has many applications, including:

  • Tendon injuries, such as tennis elbow, achilles tendonitis
  • Recurring sports injuries including a pulled hamstring or knee sprains
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Bulging discs
  • Sciatica
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Hair prevention loss and regrowth

How is the injection process administered?

  • A blood sample is taken
  • The blood is place in a machine that spins the blood so fast that the components of the blood separate into red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma and platelets.  
  • The separated plasma is prepared for injection into the specified area
  • In order to inject the PRP into just the right area, a doctor may use an ultrasound to determine the exact injection point.

One of the positive effects of using PRP to treat an injury or condition is that the recovery time from the PRP injection is minimal – most people can resume their normal activities without a lengthy recovery period. The amount of injections necessary will be determined by your physician’s treatment recommendations.

It may take a few weeks or even months, however, to experience the full results of the PRP injections. You may not have immediate relief of pain in the affected area because the injections are meant to heal – not to mask pain. 

Athletes such as Kobe Bryant, Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova, Hines Ward, Troy Polamalu and Peyton Manning have all received PRP as a safer and less invasive alternative to surgery.  It does not affect their stamina or endurance. The long-term side effect risks are minimal.  Patients are under local anesthesia.  There isn’t a requirement of long-term rest or extensive rehab with this therapy.

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy is intriguing because it is basically using parts of your own blood to naturally treat a condition. There is ongoing research being conducted but the bottom line is you should always be sure the doctor you choose is knowledgeable and experienced in this procedure.  A doctor specializing in orthopedics has the expertise in degenerative bone disorders and arthritic joint conditions will understand exactly how PRP works and will design the treatment accordingly.

July 7, 2021

What Are the Costs of a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Of all the injuries you can suffer in a car crash or other accident, a traumatic brain injury is one of the most serious. It is also one of the most costly, both in terms of your actual monetary costs for medical care and treatment and your non-economic costs for such things as your pain and suffering and having to contend with lingering symptoms that may well last for the remainder of your life.

TBI Definition

By definition, a traumatic brain injury occurs when you hit your head against a hard surface – or a hard object hits your head – with such force that your head and neck violently jerk forward and backward. This violent motion causes your brain to likewise jerk back and forth inside your skull, consequently injuring its delicate tissue.

TBI Symptoms

One of the scariest aspects of a traumatic brain injury is that you may not show any symptoms immediately after your accident. In other words, you could be seriously injured and fail to realize it. This is why it’s so critical that you seek immediate medical treatment any time you suffer a head injury, no matter how minor you think it is.

No two TBIs are ever exactly the same, even when the accidents that cause them are similar in nature. Despite this fact, however, common TBI symptoms, which may not show up until days or weeks later, include the following:

  • Severe headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Problems with your vision
  • Problems with your hearing
  • Problems with your balance
  • Problems with your speech
  • Problems with your memory
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Feeling like you’re in a fog
  • Inability to fully understand what’s going on around you
  • Inability to control your emotions, especially the negative ones such as anger, irritation, despair, etc.

Financial Aftermath

If you sustain a reasonably severe TBI, your medical costs likely will quickly skyrocket. As a brain injury lawyer like one from Therman Law Offices, LTD can elaborate on, statistics show that your hospital and other medical bills can exceed half a million dollars in the first six months after your accident. In addition, you may well need to take significant time off work, thereby losing income at precisely the time you need it most. In a worst case scenario, your TBI could leave you permanently disabled, thereby precluding your ability to obtain and maintain any type of gainful employment.

For all these reasons and more, you would do well to seek the advice, counsel and representation of a local personal injury lawyer who has a history of handling brain injury cases. He or she can not only file a lawsuit on your behalf against the person or entity whose negligence caused your injuries, but also become your chief ally and champion in getting you the compensation you deserve.

June 17, 2021

Want To Know What a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Do For You? Read This.

It isn’t uncommon for people dealing with a serious injury accident to turn to a lawyer for advice. If another person was at-fault for your injuries, you may want to talk with a lawyer about how you can pursue compensation for damages and losses. If you are wondering what a personal injury lawyer can do for you, read on:

Handles Various Cases
Many people associate car accidents with a personal injury lawyer. But, there are many other situations in which an injury can occur, that may warrant seeking legal assistance and guidance. Personal injury lawyers can often handle cases related to:

  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Bus accidents
  • Domestic violence
  • Motorcycle accident
  • Bike accident
  • Food poisoning
  • Cruise ship accident/illness
  • Sports injury
  • Truck accidents
  • Rideshare collisions
  • Dog bites
  • Construction accidents

Review Your Rights
There are laws on the state and federal level that your personal injury lawyer is familiar with, and can review your rights with you. When accidents happen we may ask friends and family for advice, and while their insight is well-intentioned, most people just don’t have the legal know-how that a professional does. It’s best to get advice from a dependable legal source.

Speak with Insurance Adjusters
As a personal injury lawyer knows, many insurance companies are only out for profit and don’t prioritize the life and wellbeing of injured people. Because of this, you may want to have your lawyer speak with an insurance adjuster instead, since this person will be motivated to reduce or deny your claim. It can be a difficult conversation to navigate but is easier with help from a lawyer.

If you are in need of a qualified personal injury lawyer, consider contacting a reputable law firm, such as Hickey & Turim, S.C.

June 14, 2021

Misuse of Healthcare Information

As a medical malpractice attorney, I gain unique insights into the shortcomings of the healthcare industry.  Not only do I see the results of medical errors and medical negligence, but in monitoring medical literature for new developments and trends, I can predict how cost-cutting measures and new technology will harm patients in the future. Over the last few decades, we have witnessed an unprecedented investment in electronic medical record systems. While these systems have their good points, they also carry many risks that have already resulted in patient harm. 

Indeed, patient harm that results from errors generated by the electronic medical record has earned its own name, “e–iatrogenic injury.” E-iatrogenic injuries can occur by virtue of following algorithms that are inapplicable to a particular situation, relying on data sets when critical clinical information is left out of the decision-making process, or applying algorithms to individual patients who do not squarely fit within the algorithm. Oftentimes, the algorithms are based on data acquired from stagnant populations, like adult white males. Then, in applying them to patients of varying ages, races and sexes, the algorithm leads medical decisionmakers astray. 

In addition to potential physical injury that occurs by applying artificial intelligence (AI) and electronic medical record systems to healthcare decision-making, electronic medical records are used to data mine for purposes of research and development. Individuals’ protected healthcare information has value in this setting, but the hospitals, medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies that use this data, do not compensate patients for their valuable personal information. Worse yet, it is ethically improper for healthcare providers to conduct research without a patient’s knowledge and consent. Some data collection crosses the line into human experimentation.

While healthcare systems and their vendors might find patterns in patient data sets that will prove useful in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of medical conditions, and also lead to cost reduction, patient’s rights must be taken into consideration. HIPAA regulations preclude disclosure of patient information to healthcare providers’ business associates unless there is an indicated medical or business reason for doing so. Despite this, Google, Amazon, IBM and Microsoft have already entered into partnerships that allow them access to the medical histories of millions of patients.

Like any data, existing medical data is only as good as the quality of the information that is inputted. In the clinical setting, limited information is collected from patients by physicians and nurse practitioners who are focused on developing a differential diagnosis and creating a plan for diagnosis and treatment. Using these data sets in unrelated areas of medicine can be misleading.

Given privacy considerations, there is an effort underfoot to “de-identify” personal information from medical records in order to protect the privacy of individual patients. However, this does not address the lack of compensation for this valuable information. Further, it creates incentives for healthcare providers, along with the pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers who manipulate them, to experiment on patients with new medicines and devices while collecting data to see which works best, all without the patient’s knowledge or consent.

For questions about a wrongful death case, contact a wrongful death lawyer like the wrongful death lawyers at the offices of Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., L.P.A. for help.