Common Mistakes With Personal Injury Claims

Injuries can be life-changing, and if you suffer from a serious injury then you are within your rights to claim compensation for any loss of earnings, medical costs, and personal distress. If your loved one died a wrongful, you are entitled to file a lawsuit even with a comprehensive estate plan. Money won’t undo the injury or death, but it can make life that little bit easier to cope with.

There is no guarantee that when you make a personal injury claim it will have the outcome you would like, but if you are able to word your claim properly and follow the correct procedures then you will have a better chance of making a successful claim. Here are three common mistakes which could hinder your personal injury claims:

1 – Neglecting to Seek Medical Care

Often, claimants put too much emphasis on how the injury has affected their day to day life, but they do not consider medical care. They will see the doctor when they are first injured, but not get follow-up appointments.

While it can be tempting to “soldier on”, it is not going to help you make a claim. You will be asked to provide evidence of any treatment you have had, and you will be asked to show the stress, anxiety, and depression you are facing. Seeing a doctor about those things is important so that you can get the documentation you will be asked to show.

2 – Failing to Keep Good Records

When you first get injured, you may not be thinking clearly, but you should try to keep some records. Take a photo of the accident scene, and document your injuries. Keep a record of the symptoms you experience, and get a copy of any police records as well. It’s better to have more evidence than they want than to be found lacking when your claim is examined.

3 – Posting Too Much on Social Media

Social media is still relatively new to a lot of people, and there is a tendency to overshare. If you go to the courts and tell them that you are experiencing pain and anxiety that is impacting your day to day life, but your social media profile paints a different picture, that could impact on the claim.

Rather than run the risk of a social media post being misinterpreted, it is far better to simply avoid sharing any more than you need to. Ask friends to keep you out of their posts as well. A single photo doesn’t show what your life is like on an hour by hour basis, but the insurers will try to paint a full story with it. Don’t take that risk.

If you have been injured due to an accident that was no fault of your own, contact our personal injury lawyers for a consultation regarding your case. Remember, we don’t get paid unless we win your case!

How Do You Know You’re The Victim Of A Serious Medical Malpractice Mistake?

Medical malpractice is a huge problem in the United States. Part of the blame should be on those who drafted some of the worst laws in the healthcare industry; namely that many of our healthcare providers must work twelve hour shifts for three days one week, and four days the next, or the asinine concept of mandation — that you must work overtime when your employer asks. These laws try to protect the patient, but sometimes all they do is more damage. 

We expect our healthcare providers to help more than they hurt, which is why we need to address this issue through the law. In New York, there are only about 85 medical malpractice claims paid out in the average year, per every million residents. That means people aren’t protecting themselves in court as often as they could, and courts aren’t siding with those who do as often as they should. Sometimes the statute of limitations has passed, but that isn’t always the case. Here are a few of the most common signs of a serious medical malpractice event:

  • Consent. If your doctor decides your life is in serious danger, he may perform a procedure without your consent. But when your doctor fails to obtain consent for a routine procedure performed under non life-threatening conditions, you have a medical malpractice lawsuit whether the operation went flawlessly or not.
  • Post-Op Pain. When you have lasting, atypical pain after a surgical procedure, it may be the result of medical malpractice. Surgeons have been known to leave instruments inside their patients, so it might be time to seek a second opinion!
  • Admission. Not all doctors who make mistakes will try to hide it, and while we give them credit for doing the right thing, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t entitled to compensation for whatever mistakes were made. Sit down to a free consultation with a lawyer to decide whether or not you want to pursue a lawsuit.
  • Anesthesia. Many medical malpractice lawsuits are the result of a patient waking up during surgery. This isn’t always worthy of a case, because the anesthesiologist’s job is extremely difficult and requires calculating the right amount of anesthesia for a patient depending on complicated factors like weight, age, prescription drugs or supplements, smoking, and alcoholism. The list goes on. But if you wake up during surgery, the experience can be traumatic.

  • Misdiagnosis. This is a big one, because it can lead to incorrectly prescribed medications as well. First, the undetected disease can become much worse, even life-threatening, while you make repeated trips to the doctors. Second, wrongly prescribed medications can have a detrimental effect on your health or even make your condition worse.

Premise Liability: Negligent Security

If you have been injured due to criminal activity there may be another party who can be held liable for your injuries. Negligent security is a form of premise liability that helps victims of crimes seek compensation from property owners whose actions (or inactions) led to the criminal activity. Property owners must provide a reasonable duty of care such as protecting visitors from crimes by third parties. Negligent security cases are only viable if it can be shown that foreseeable criminal activity could have been prevented by appropriate security measures.

It might be more common sense to file a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator of the crime, however, if the criminal isn’t caught or doesn’t have assets, damages will be minimal if any at all. By filing a premise liability lawsuit against the property owner, they are more likely to have an insurance policy that covers liability. Therefore, you are really suing his insurance company. In order to be able to file, it must be shown that you suffered actual damages such as medical expenses, loss of income, lost future earning potential and pain and suffering.

Another thing that needs to be proven is whether or not the crime was foreseeable. If crime is prevalent in the location and nothing has been done to rectify the situation then the crime could have been foreseeable. However, if this was the first time a crime was committed on the property, it will be hard to show that the crime was foreseeable. Adequate security also varies from case to case but includes things such as security patrols, lighting, locks and restricted number of keys.

Certain states have safety measures that businesses must comply with to avoid being held liable in a crime. These include security cameras, safety cash drop boxes as well as having cash registers with a limit to how much money is in it. If the business fails to meet these standards than it can be held liable.

The Worst Cases Of Nursing Home And Elder Abuse

It isn’t easy to care for the elderly–or anyone else who needs full-time care, for that matter. That’s probably why there are so many cases of elder abuse in the United States. Sometimes caregivers are fed up with working conditions or mandated shifts or relentless hours for little pay, and what was once simply irritability turns into something more sinister. Nursing homes are ripe with unseen and unheard abuses. Here are a few of the worst cases of elder abuse ever reported.

  1. A number of recent lawsuits and arrests have brought light to what is an ongoing trend in nursing homes. The workers will often take embarrassing photos of patients in their care, and proceed to post them on Facebook or Snapchat for friends or family to view. In one case, a worker took pictures of one nursing home resident’s genitals and sent them to a friend. The worker was terminated when the friend decided to post the pictures on Facebook. Thankfully in this case it was the facility that reported the incident to the authorities.
  2. Peggy Quesenberry was arrested and charged with felony neglect and abuse for her incapacitated mother, who died weeks later. She was found under a layer of feces and urine and living in atrocious conditions. She had bed sores and the blanket under which she lay had become affixed to her skin. Quesenberry was later probed under a  psychological evaluation.
  3. An elderly patient of Kingstree Nursing Facility in South Carolina was found with a broken hip and had bruises all over her body in a 2012 case. She claimed that she had been assaulted by two women, but details of the internal investigation and another conducted by authorities were not released. The patient’s son subsequently worked to have those records–and all such records–made a matter of public record so that future clients of the facility might know how well care is provided.
  4. In 2011, an 87-year-old patient suffering from Alzheimer’s passed away due to severe dehydration and malnutrition. According to authorities, the caregivers at the Heartland Nursing Home in Charleston, West Virginia failed to provide the patient with barely a drop of water over nineteen days. A judge awarding a $91.5 million verdict against the caregiving facility, maintaining that its owner voluntarily and maliciously kept all like facilities understaffed.

6 Reasons To Hire A Criminal Defense Attorney

Having been arrested for a crime, it is in your best interest to hire an attorney to represent you. If convicted, you can face severe consequences that will affect opportunities for employment and future goals. Therefore it is vital that you hire a criminal defense attorney to ensure your rights are protected. There are many benefits to having a criminal defense attorney such as they create a strong defense, offer support, and reduce penalties and sentencing. Continue Reading →

How Is Fault Determined After A Boating Accident?

Boating accidents are a lot different than car accidents, even if they might seem similar to the layman. Imagine one common scenario: There are two boats, one of which has left a huge wake behind her. The second boat is going too fast at an angle perpendicular to the path of the first boat, and the driver is ejected when he hits the wake. There are no speed limits in these particular waters.

Who is at fault?

It’s not an easy question to answer, in part because there is no firm set of rules to govern who might win or lose. It’s possible the court may decide that both parties are negligent or that neither were. One thing’s for certain: if you’re a boat owner, you’d better have boat insurance or a good personal injury lawyer with a good knowledge of maritime law.

The primary difference between boating accidents and car accidents is how easily proof is obtained. It is extremely difficult to prove negligence after a boating accident. Part of the reason is because there are fewer potential witnesses to these types of accidents, which means it’s often a case of “he said, she said.” The difference in regulations and laws is one more reason.

If you were involved in a boating accident as a passenger, then you can potentially bring a claim against either the driver of the boat in which you were riding, or another party responsible for your injuries. This other party might be a boat manufacturer or seller who sold the owner a faulty machine, or it might be another driver on the same waters where you got into the accident. It depends on the situation.

Another complication is the age of many laws that regulate some maritime accidents. Although accidents are common, they’re still less common than car accidents, and so regulations aren’t always updated. Old laws aren’t always stripped from the books. Some of these work in the favor of the boat owner, allowing him or her to avoid paying out accident claims when it would otherwise become necessary. In order for such cases to move forward, negligence must still be proved.

If you were in an accident and someone was injured or killed, you must require the appropriate paperwork or risk prosecution under federal and state laws.

What To Do If Your Uber Driver Has An Accident

Getting into a car with a driver who you don’t know might be a source of apprehension for many people, but for others it’s a walk in the park. Either way, sometimes the worst happens and things just go wrong. Whether or not your Uber driver is at fault, what happens when he gets into an automobile accident? Does the company have insurance? Will you be taken care of? Here are a few things you should do immediately if your Uber driver has an accident.

  1. One of the largest rumors circulated about Uber as a company is that it does not maintain insurance for its drivers, and therefore the burden of coverage would land on the passenger in the case of an accident. This is a myth. It only exists because of the constant battling between the traditional taxi industry and rideshare companies.
  2. Uber maintains insurance for its drivers, and mandates that the drivers themselves have another layer of insurance on top of their own personal insurance. If an accident occurs, you can make a claim to part of this coverage for either personal injury or property damage. When your Uber driver gets into an accident, be sure to take this information down.
  3. Report the accident to the police, to Uber, and to a personal injury law firm in order to ensure that all your bases are fully covered. You can report these incidents to Uber directly through the app itself.
  4. If there were other drivers involved, be sure to get their insurance information as well. This might seem redundant since the Uber driver should already have done this, but always assume that the other parties involved won’t do what they should do.
  5. Seek immediate medical attention for any injuries incurred during the accident–or any that develop as a result–and document information like bills, psychological trauma, etc. If you’re unable to work because of your injuries, then keep track of lost hours. You’ll also be able to acquire compensation for any permanent loss of productivity, so be sure to document in copious detail!

Don’t end up like the people in this video. Contact us today if you’ve been in an Uber accident!

Who Can Be Held Liable If I Get Injured At An Amusement Park?

The very nature of an amusement park, the rides, and the activities mean that there is an inherent risk of injury. Just like any property or business owner, the owner of an amusement park may be held liable under certain circumstances. This means that if you do get injured at an amusement park, you may have a personal injury claim against the owners, according to Lenzo & Reis, New Jersey Employment Attorneys.

1. Maintenance And Upkeep

The owner is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the amusement park and to ensure that the equipment and other facilities are in good repair and fully operational. If the injury was due to neglect of maintaining the grounds, equipment or other facilities on the property, the owner may be held liable for any expenses.

2. Safety

There are certain safety standards and measures that must be put in place at an amusement park in order to ensure the safety and security of visitors to the grounds as well as while using the facilities and equipment. If these safety standards have not been met or the required measures have not been put in place, the owner may once again be held liable for an injury that has occurred as a result.

3. Additional Responsibility Of Rides

An amusement park owner has the additional responsibility to ensure that the rides on the premises are in good repair and safe. This includes ensuring that safety instructions are provided and that employees are sufficiently trained to operate the ride. Restraints and other safety measures that apply to a specific ride must also be well maintained and in good operation. If it is found that any of these provisions have not been met the amusement park can be held liable for a personal injury claim that resulted.

4. Regular Property Owner Liability

It is not just the rides and other facilities that pose a risk of injury at an amusement park and regular injuries that could occur on any property are also likely. For example, slip and fall injuries are quite common. It is, however, necessary to prove that the owner, management or employees may be responsible for the injury in some way. This is normally due to their direct action, indirect action or total inaction.

For example, if a drink is spilled and an employee neglects to clean it up as soon as possible, the amusement park may be held liable for a slip and fall injury that has occurred as a result. Contrary to popular belief, these type of injuries are much more common than those that occur due to use of the rides and other riskier activities available.

It can be difficult and complicated to prove liability in the case of an injury at an amusement park as there are so many different factors that need to be taken into account. It is highly recommended to hire a lawyer who specializes in personal injury claims that are related to amusement parks to help assess your case. An expert attorney has the knowledge and skill to investigate your case to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

What Is The Difference Between Civil and Criminal Litigation?

We have heard the aforementioned question from our clients many times before. Currently, the United States legal system has to divisions: criminal and civil. Litigation is a term that simply refers to bringing someone to court in order to resolve a dispute.

The first major difference between a civil court case and a criminal court case is who is the plaintiff (the wronged party). In a civil case, the wronged party (whether it be an individual or a business) is the plaintiff.  In a criminal case, the plaintiff is the State (where the alleged misconduct took place) which is usually represented by a lawyer (sometimes referred to as prosecutor or district attorney).

The second major difference between a civil court case and a criminal court case is the level of standard of proof. In civil cases, plaintiffs need to convince the judge or jury of something called “preponderance of evidence” which is a fancy way of saying they need to show that their evidence is more convincing than the evidence of the defendant. It does not mean that the plaintiff has more evidence, just that the plaintiff has more accurate evidence. According to Cornell University Law School, that “preponderance of evidence” means that at least “50 percent of the evidence points to something.”  However, this is very different than criminal cases where the State needs to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the defendant committed a crime. The jury must also come to a unanimous decision.

Confusing? Here’s an example: OJ Simpson was found NOT GUILTY during his criminal case because the prosecutor could not convince a jury that he committed a crime without any reasonable doubt. However, Nicole Brown Simpon’s family sued OJ for wrongful death and accused him of being liable for her death. Because the family only had to show “preponderance of evidence” OJ was found GUILTY in his civil case.

Which brings us to the third major difference between a civil case and a criminal case: punishments. In a civil case, the defendant, if found guilty, is usually ordered to pay some sort of compensation to the plaintiff. In a criminal case, the defendant, if found guilty, could serve jail time, probation, or pay a fine.

How Wearable Technology Is Impacting Personal Injury Claims

Google and Fitbit announced that they would be teaming up to make wearable technology that will ultimately improve the quality of healthcare. According to the official press release distributed by the companies, Fitbit will have access to Google’s Cloud Healthcare API which will allow healthcare professionals access a patient’s electronic medical records in real time. Statistics from FitBit such as patient’s movement, heart rate,  and sleep patterns will be joined with Google’s EMR with the intention of helping healthcare professionals have as much information as possible to lead to more personalized treatments.

While ideal in theory, how much data can be stored, accessed and used are not fully available to the public. Nor is there a timeline on when this technology will be available to healthcare professionals but there are already many legal ramifications speculated.

One of the most likely scenarios is the impact on a personal injury plaintiff’s damages. A personal injury attorney will argue that the injury to his client has impacted them to the point of not being able to sleep, walk, or stand. Many insurance companies do not want to spend the resources to hire a third-party investigator to follow the client around. But with wearable technology now measuring distance walked and sleep duration, it will be easy to contest.

However, whether or not Google will provide this information outright without being subpoenaed is up for debate.