Is Sexual Harassment Related To Personal Injury Law?

Personal injury is a branch of law devoted to those who suffered pain or loss — physical or financial — due to the negligence or voluntary actions of another. Sometimes, personal injury is caused by a larger organization such as a business or government. The type of “injury” is irrelevant when determining what constitutes a claim under this branch of law. Therefore, sexual harassment is considered personal injury. But sexual harassment cases can be different from most others.

First, sexual harassment can be part of a bigger picture that includes unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature, i.e. sexual assault. Physical attacks leave a victim damaged both in body and mind, which can result in both criminal and civil action taken against a perpetrator of sexual assault. 

In fact, most damages resulting from sexual harassment are of the mind. This type of abuse is often constant. Victims don’t always know how to react or where to go for help. It can lead to depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse, PTSD, and emotional trauma. These symptoms can last a lifetime. That’s why personal injury cases resulting from sexual harassment or assault can be worth millions — especially when the guilty party heads a big company.

Were you subject to inappropriate touching in the workplace? Ultimately, it will be up to you and your personal injury attorney to decide how to build a case, and who is actually liable for the perpetrator’s actions. Is the perpetrator of the harassment alone in his accountability? Or did the company fail to provide necessary training or a safe work environment? These are questions that will need to be answered.

An employment attorney for Castronovo & Mckinney, LLC said, “These are my least favorite cases. Every client was taken advantage of by a coworker or employer, but victims of sexual assault are unique. They don’t feel empowered by their lawsuits, even though they should be. They usually sue for justice, which isn’t always something they win in criminal court. It’s a shame.” 

Sexual harassment cases are also different because revealing publicly such unbecoming conduct at work can sometimes be restricted by nondisclosure agreements, which are signed when taking a new job. They might require a victim to remain silent or seek arbitration instead of filing a lawsuit. New laws are taking aim at these types of agreements, and the writing is on the wall: they are not always binding. Ask your lawyer for additional advice regarding these types of agreements if you were forced to sign one.

Sometimes, settlements between the victim and company where the conduct occurred will result in one of the aforementioned NDAs or a gag order, depending on what each party can agree on. It’s important to keep in mind that these constraints are far more binding than those that occur to keep a case like this from happening in the first place. Thankfully, public interest in the #MeToo movement is resulting in a sea of change.

Can I Sue For Domestic Violence?

First things first: if you were the victim of domestic violence, then you’ll want to remove yourself from that living situation as soon as possible, seek both medical and emotional support, and then address any legal issues. Call the police, ask to file charges, and obtain legal counsel to smooth the process. In general, we suggest that an abused spouse divorce the abuses immediately. Divorce isn’t always a rapid or smooth process, but in these cases a judge is likely to help you out and streamline the process as much as possible.

Keep in mind that criminal and civil proceedings are separate: they don’t mutually exclude one another from occurring.

A spokesperson for Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. said, “We do see divorce cases that involve ongoing domestic violence proceedings. Those criminal proceedings are generally separate from our civil cases, and we try to keep it that way. The best case scenario is that the violent partner is not involved in the process. And that’s the most usual scenario, too, because a judge will almost always rule in favor of a spouse who has had to deal with a violent home through no fault of their own. It’s a tough scenario.”

A common example is made using the criminal murder case against O.J. Simpson. He was acquitted, but the family of the deceased still successfully sued Simpson for millions. Things might be slightly different depending on the case, however. For example, the victim of domestic violence might be allowed to sue for restitution in a criminal case, which makes a civil lawsuit redundant and more easily dismissed.

A common question made by a victim of domestic violence is whether or not they can “drop the charges” later. The short answer is no, absolutely not. It’s always up to the D.A.’s office whether or not to drop the charges or continue with prosecution. The office will absolutely hear you out if you believe the situation was misconstrued or blown out of proportion, but in general you have no real say in the matter. 

There’s a good reason for that: when the police are called, there is generally a reason why. Just because tempers have cooled and the situation doesn’t seem as momentous as it once did doesn’t mean that a crime was not committed. 

Unfortunately, not all states allow family members to sue one another. These include: Arizona, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. You also can’t sue a family member in civil court in Washington D.C. These ridiculous laws were built on the notion that allowing one family member to sue another could “break” the family unit. Sometimes, these laws are bypassed in domestic violence cases or disputes.

You have a number of options when suing for domestic violence damages, just as in any other personal injury case. These include: medical expenses, lost wages or income, future lost wages, disability, and pain and suffering. You may also sue for punitive damages in some states.

Can I Sue My Boss If Infected With The Coronavirus At Work?

Coronavirus-related lawsuits are almost guaranteed in the weeks, months, and years ahead. Lots of them. Not just because many will be justified, but because the global pandemic has slammed us with a great economic and personal cost, and many of us will be looking to become whole again once most of the danger has passed. That means placing blame on those who allowed the pandemic to become this bad. Placing blame means litigation.

So can you sue your boss if you were infected with the novel coronavirus at work?

Probably not. More than likely, you would have to prove that it was your boss’s negligent actions that resulted in the spread of the virus. That’s almost impossible to prove in most workplaces around the country.

What cases will hold the most weight in court?

Well, let’s say your boss forces you to work while you’re sick. If you can document the interaction between you and your boss, or you have multiple witnesses who will back up your story, then you have a great case. It becomes an even greater case if you can prove that your boss forced you to work while you were sick with coronavirus or the disease it causes, COVID-19.

You can also try to argue that the lack of sick leave offered at a particular company compelled you to work while you were infected. There’s a weak case there somewhere, but you’ll need to find a personal injury lawyer who believes that you make a compelling victim. Right now, our law firm is not taking on these types of cases — in part because you are partly to blame for spreading the infection causing so much damage, and we don’t believe judges want to hear from you.

Another potential case might be built if you are a worker for an essential business, but your boss did not take the necessary precautions to keep you from becoming infected with the virus. If you work for a restaurant offering takeout, for example, but there are no gloves or masks provided — then you might have a case.

The last possibility involves someone willingly infecting you with the virus. For example, one man filmed himself licking Wal-Mart products while asking “Who’s afraid of the coronavirus?” and was subsequently arrested and charged for making a terrorist threat. If you were infected after someone did something like that, or simply coughed into your face on purpose, then you have the opportunity to build a strong case.

Not sure if you have a case? Then call a personal injury lawyer for a free consultation as soon as possible.

Make Sure You Don’t Ruin Your Personal Injury Lawsuit By Making These Mistakes

Were you physically, emotionally, or financially ruined by another person’s negligence? Or was a larger organization responsible for causing your pain? Sometimes, the actions of some are unconscionable. And when others act in an inappropriate way that causes harm to others, there needs to be some avenue of recompense. You shouldn’t have to be the one who pays. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to go down that road. Even good cases sometimes fail to be heard.

Part of the reason is because you don’t have the knowledge or experience to know what you should or should not do regarding a potential personal injury case. The mistakes you’re most likely to make could be easily prevented — if only you knew how.

First of all, it’s critical to the success of your case that you don’t go it alone. It’s exactly because you lack that knowledge and experience that you need the help of a qualified personal injury attorney. Make more than one or two calls. Sit down with a few attorneys and do some research before making a final decision on who would best represent your interests. Not every attorney is a match for every person’s case. You do you.

Second, time is of the essence. Procrastination is the number one reason that people fail to bring a personal injury case before a judge. Most states have very strict statutes of limitations regarding these kinds of cases, ranging anywhere from one to four years. That gives you only so much time to find an attorney, build your case, and then try to arrange an agreement with the defendant or make the case in court. Don’t delay.

Many victims who would otherwise have a strong case destroy their chances by neglecting to find medical treatment for injuries sustained. You need to see a healthcare professional about injuries immediately. If you don’t seek treatment, then not only could your pain worsen, but you won’t be able to put a dollar amount on what you’re owed — and that means a judge is less likely to hand you a favorable verdict.

After seeking medical treatment, be sure to organize your bills. Don’t lose any of these important documents! Your lawyer will appreciate not having to spend time tracking them down. In addition, keep in mind that settlements might not only include damages for medical bills, but also for future expenses, lost wages, and decreasing earning potential. You might even find that you can be compensated for pain and suffering!

Last but not least, call the police when appropriate. This is especially important when you’ve been in a serious car accident. Your lawyer will find witness testimony and police records extremely helpful when building your case.

Will The Gun Industry Ever Be Held Responsible For Gun Crime?

The short answer is no. You probably saw that coming, but you might not know the reasons why. In the 90s, there was a very successful string of lawsuits aimed at holding the tobacco industry responsible for the mounting health concerns associated with smoking cigarettes and other tobacco products. In the wake of extreme gun violence that began with Columbine and escalated from there, why not hold gun manufacturers, dealers, and distributors responsible as well?

The gun industry is extremely successful. Whether you’re for or against guns and gun protections, those people make a lot of money. Why shouldn’t they set some of it aside for survivors and families of those killed by gun violence? Doesn’t it make sense that if you sell something dangerous, you’re partly responsible for the consequences of the sale? 

In the late 90s, another string of lawsuits tried to hold gun dealers, distributors, and manufacturers accountable. They were unsuccessful. Nearly half had been dismissed before gun advocates successfully put the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) on President George W. Bush’s table, which he subsequently signed within eight months of its writing in 2005. 

The PLCAA resulted in the dismissal of the remaining lawsuits and has been a hindrance to similar lawsuits ever since. Very rarely has a law so uniformly and across the board provided similar protections to a single industry.

Jake Charles, Executive Director of Duke’s Center for Firearms Law, said, “I don’t think in the legal world the PLCAA is looked on as just regular legislation. It does seem designed to protect the gun industry in particular.”

It is extremely difficult to enact new laws restricting firearm sales in a culture where the subject is so controversial. But perhaps what could be done is the implementation of a new law wherein each gun sale is taxed. The money from those taxes could be funneled into a fund that survivors of gun violence of families of those killed by gun violence could pull from. All they would need to do is make a claim.

That might be a better use of resources than allowing thousands of people to file lawsuits that are ultimately designed to fail because of laws already on the books. And while it won’t turn off the faucet or unclog the sink — stop the wave of gun violence, that is — it will help dry up some of the water that’s already spilled onto the floor below. That’s at least a step in the right direction until we figure out what compromises we can make between the two sides of an increasingly volatile and partisan system.

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 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.

The Ethical Dilemma Behind Personal Injury Ads

When you think of personal injury ads, you think of cheesy late night commercials. Cellino and Barnes, probably two of the most famous lawyers in the country thanks to their late-night television ads and beyond catch jingle, would come on screen and talk about mesothelioma or vaginal mesh medical errors. But the world of television itself is diminishing as more and more people are watching their shows through their favorite online streaming service via their mobile device. And our beloved Cellino and Barnes broke up. However, the ingenuity of personal injury lawyers never ceases to amaze us. Leave it to personal injury lawyers to find a new way to reach their core audience.

Thanks to modern technology coupled Google’s search and display network, personal injury lawyers are now capable of targetting ads directly onto users mobile devices as specific locations such as Hospitals, Emergency Rooms, and Urgent Cares, all thanks to Google’s ability to target specific longitude and latitude coordinates also known as geofencing. Personal injury attorneys already have the bad reputation as ambulance chasers but no longer do they need to chase the ambulance. Here, their ads can appear directly to where the ambulances go – no chasing involved.

As unethical as this sounds, state bars have not banned this from happening and nor is this ad placement illegal. Due to location enabled on mobile devices, accessing this data doesn’t violate HIPAA. It’s not uncommon for platforms to use location data to serve ads. A prime example is SnapChat and location filters. But the jury is out on whether or not this strategy is effective in obtaining new clients. Hospitals have more than just people injured by negligence within their walls. Many of the ads will be served to nurses, doctors, and staff costing the lawyers tons of money with very little return. While an interesting idea, it’s just a theory that seems way too unethical for it be used.

These Are The Most Common Brain Injuries

Not only are brain injuries some of the most devastating and life-threatening that you can possibly endure, but they are also some of the scariest. No one wants to think that their mental faculties could be placed in jeopardy following an accident or because of some rare disease, and recovery can be painful or sometimes impossible. So what are some of the most common brain injuries? It probably won’t come as too big a surprise that getting hit in the head tops the list!

Concussions are perhaps the most common head injury, and they occur when an impact causes blood vessels to stretch or prevent nerves from carrying out their normal functions. Most often they’re caused by a blow to the head, but firearms can also result in similar cranial consequences. Concussions can be difficult to diagnose if symptoms aren’t obvious. It’s possible that someone who suffers a concussion might lose consciousness for a brief period of time. Even if you stay awake, you might feel dizzy or confused. Be sure to seek medical evaluation when you might have had a blow to the head.

Impacts can also result in contusions, which is simply bleeding in the brain. These don’t always require surgery, but larger ones need to be removed.

More serious, yet still common, brain injuries are caused by kinetic, mechanical impacts, such as when you are involved in a vehicular collision. A closed brain injury happens if your head undergoes a massive rush of moving forward or backward and then slows quickly. Think of whiplash. When you experience a closed brain injury, the brain tissue itself is smashed and stretched, which causes torn nerve tissue. These injuries can result in a wide array of symptoms depending on how bad the damage is and where it occurred in the brain.

Anoxic injuries occur when your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen. This may cause cell death to occur and symptoms vary. It can be caused by spending too much time underwater without access to air, drugs, chemicals, electric shock, or kidney failure.

Those are some of the most common, but “locked in syndrome” is one of the rarest conditions someone may have the misfortune to experience. It’s basically just what it sounds like: the person with the syndrome is conscious, but cannot move any part of the body outside of the eyes. Although this makes communication difficult, eye movements make it possible.

Because brain injuries can result in such grave injury, it’s important to be aware of the consequences to these injuries and know how best to avoid them depending on what you do day-to-day. Be careful to wear a seatbelt while in any vehicle, and wear a helmet during activities that should require one. Anything else is not worth the risk.

These Are The Most Common Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can cause drastic damage to your ability to function day-to-day, but luckily it takes a huge impact to do that kind of damage to this body part. These injuries most frequently occur after a sudden, very strong impact. Many vehicular accidents resulting in spinal cord injuries due to the high speeds of either colliding vehicle or failing to wear a seatbelt.

Most spinal cord injuries are caused by situations that we can work to avoid, but some result from cancer, osteoporosis, arthritis and general inflammation from infection or unknown sources.

Sadly, alcohol use results in about twenty-five percent of all spinal cord injuries. When consuming alcohol, staying in control of your faculties is extremely important. When you lose the ability to function as you would normally, decision-making suffers as well and you may not be able to adequately respond as life-threatening situations arise.

About a tenth of all spinal cord injuries is caused by athletic activity such as contact sports. This subset of common injuries includes those who were injured after making a dive into water that was too shallow.

Another fifteen percent of these injuries occur after violent conflict. Although weapons are often at play, this isn’t always the case. Any violent confrontation can lead to unexpected injury. It’s important to keep your head clear when under social stress and learn to avoid these kinds of situations.

For the elderly, most spinal cord injuries are caused by falling–more than twenty-five percent.

An unfortunate side effect of spinal cord trauma often doesn’t occur until weeks after the initial accident. Internal bleeding can compromise functionality, as can inflammation, fluid accumulation, and swelling around the spinal cord. These conditions can be difficult to treat and often require surgery to repair if such a thing is possible at all.

After suffering a spinal cord injury, you might notice that your reaction time is slower in certain extremities or appendages. That because the nerve fibers that connect muscles and nerves may not work properly after the accident. Injuries at varying levels of the spinal cord can result in varying levels of function after an accident. You might lose the ability to sense or control your legs, bowel, bladder, torso, and sexual functionality. If the injury is higher along the vertebra, you might suffer from the immobility of your arms. In the worst case, you may have trouble breathing.

Spinal cord injuries are far from the most common, but they do occur and it’s best to learn about how to avoid them during your daily routine–especially if you have kids involved in contact sports or help care for the elderly or infirm, who need to be watched at all times.