Are You Going To Settle or Sue?

Many people have the mistaken understanding that an injury claim following a car accident will result to a court hearing, which is not true; a great majority of personal injury claims end in settlements for a variety of reasons. Additionally, most personal injury claims are dealt with through compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance provider without the need to file for a lawsuit. Nevertheless, just as with differences in each case, there are advantages in filing a lawsuit and letting the judge or jury decide the outcome of your case and in settling your case out of court.

Certain cases need the court proceedings in order to settle the claim. Instances where the other party did not respond to your demand letter or if the compensation offer presented is not be reasonable enough for the damages caused by the accident can warrant a lawsuit, as well as believing that you have suffered a sort of injustice and would like the defendant punished for their actions. You and your lawyer will then go about with the filing process via filing of legal complaint and waiting for the defendant’s reply. The discovery process will then follow, which involve interrogatories, and also through deposition that will be recorded and use in court. The last step would be to go to trial where the judge and jury will hear your case and examine evidence and then make a decision according to the presented evidence and testimonies. Although negotiation and settlement during the court process is still open, lawsuits can be expensive and time-consuming.

On the other hand, if you are considering a settlement before filing a lawsuit, the Hankey Law Office explains that this option would often provide faster results regarding compensation. It can also save you a significant amount to time and money (especially attorney’s fees because personal injury claims work on a contingency basis). Settling your case out of court will also allow you to have control on how the case will go instead of just relying on a judge or jury. You and your lawyer will be the one who will present your side to the defendant and directly negotiate the amount of compensation based on the documents and evidence that you present to them. Depending on the severity of the case and injuries is the core factor to consider when deciding whether to settle or sue the defendant.

Filing For Workers’ Compensation

Employees who endure a personal injury at work have an entitlement to a payment due to their problems. The most common method to get this payment is through a workers compensation claim filed with the company’s insurance. Statements might occasionally be unfairly refused though many businesses supply workers’ payment rewards or even the benefits might not cover the costs of the injury all. A few of the good reasons for the requirement of the personal injury lawyer is:

  • According to the website of the Newport Beach injury attorneys at The Seegmiller Law Firm, the reason behind an individual injury-claim is once a 3rd party causes the damage. Due to their neglect or carelessness, they, therefore, are requested for payment and may be kept responsible.
  • Once the damage come in the irresponsible or deliberate steps of one’s company, he then or she might be held accountable for payment, besides the compensation directed at you.
  • Being hurt because of equipment that is faulty could be a reason behind an individual injury claim from the machine’s producer.
  • They might be prone to purchase injury claims whenever you organization doesn’t have insurance that addresses workers’ compensation.
  • Faulty items will also be grounds for damage statements, particularly when they’ve caused you problems.
  • Due to the problems you’ve obtained as a result of poisonous substance inside your office submitting to get an injury match can provide you payment.
  • A payment that is Worker’s doesn’t evaluate emotional damages from individuals or the individual accountable for the accident, so that as an effect, these incidents might be more prone to occur again if there is an injury state not attacked against those.

It’s very important to learn about your privileges to payment regarding workplace accidents, particularly when you’ve been hurt due to disappointment or another party’s errors to exercise a suitable degree of warning.

Surgical Errors: Crucial Mistakes that lead to Medical Malpractice

There’s a lot at stake when a physician is performing a surgical procedure. Almost any procedure involves some degree of risk of a complication, and it is up to the surgeon to ensure that such a possibility remains extremely unlikely. Unfortunately, there are times when crucial mistakes are made in the process and patients end up suffering terrible consequences. In these cases, the physicians performing the surgery can be found negligent and responsible for an incident of medical malpractice.

One common mistake that lead to surgical errors happen before the patient is wheeled into the operating room. The pre-operative planning stage necessitates physicians to become familiar with their patient’s medical history. This includes learning of information regarding their past medical conditions, possible allergic reactions to certain types of medications, as well as genetic predispositions to certain diseases and ailments. Failure to gather all the necessary information could lead to a physician making use of a specific technique or medication that is incompatible and inappropriate to the patient’s current medical condition and medical history.

Another cause of surgical error happens during the surgery itself, when the physician, as well as the surgical staff, becomes negligent during the procedure. Incompetent performance can cause a doctor to accidentally damage an organ near the site of the incision or leave items such as lap pads and sponges inside the body cavity after suturing the incision. This particular mistake causes the patient to suffer from an infection after the surgery. An anesthesiologist who isn’t paying close attention to the patient might mistakenly give the wrong dose, endangering the patient through the course of his or her procedure.

In some cases, mistakes can also happen after the surgery is completed. Aside from ensuring that the procedure is successful, physicians and other hospital staff are also tasked to make sure that the patient is able to recover properly. Crucial mistakes happen during this step in the process when doctors and nurses become neglectful in post-operative care, failing to spot signs of infection and other complications.

Surgical error attorneys at The Sampson Law Firm also point to other instances of surgical error, such as mishandling of surgical instruments, incorrect surgical procedures, and improper suturing. View more about other mistakes that lead to such devastating outcomes.

Swimming Pool Injuries: Who is Responsible?

Swimming pools can be a great source of fun for many families across America. What could be more satisfying than a relaxing swim in the water during the sweltering summer months? Whether it’s in their own backyard or in a beautiful resort, pools are the perfect way for families to cool off and enjoy each other’s company. However, even this favorite leisurely active can pose some serious risk of injury, particularly for small children.

Unfortunately, swimming pool injuries are a common occurrence. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that drowning is the number 1 cause of injuries and fatalities for children aged 1 to 4. In particular, the CPSC report found that an average of 390 drowning-related fatalities happened annually between the years 2007 and 2009 for children aged 14 and younger.

The CPSC also report that there have been about 5,200 pool-related injuries that required emergency medical attention for children aged 15 and younger during 2009 until 2011. In these cases, the most common injuries include disembowelment, evisceration and other near-drowning injuries. Traumatic brain injuries are also common in pool-related accidents. This usually happens when the child slips on water outside the pool and falls to the ground, or when the child dives into the pool and hits their head on the floor.

These accidents are obviously very alarming, especially when we consider the fact that swimming is supposed to be an enjoyable activity. Is there a way to prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future? Is there a way to curb these alarming numbers?

Depending on which state you live, there are several policies that the government has imposed to make sure swimming pools are safe for use. Usually, these policies apply for the quality of equipment used by the pool’s manufacturer and installers. The property owner is also held responsible of maintaining the safety of their swimming pool. According to the website of N. Craig Richardson, these property owners can be held accountable for their premises. If they are proven to have been negligent in making sure that their swimming pool is safe, victims may have the option to seek out just compensation.

Burn Injuries

Burns are excruciatingly painful injuries. Besides damaging layers of the skin, nerve and tissues, a severe burn can also result to scarring, disfigurement, infection, loss of mobility, and even loss of a limb. While contact with a very hot object (including fire and steam), which affects the layer underneath the skin, can be very painful, the most severe of burns, which damages the nerves and the deepest layers of the skin can render the injury with almost no pain anymore.

Based on the severity of the injury, burns have three classifications:

  • Third degree: this type of burn damages the nerve and the skin’s deepest layer, often including the tissues underneath the muscles and bones. Though some victims usually no longer feel pain (due to the damaged nerves), this type of burn is still the most serious, thus victim should be given immediate medical attention. Third-degree burns heal a long time and only through the scarring of the edges of the wound. Unlike first degree burns which may be soaked in cool water and treated with burn ointment, these forms of remedy should never be applied to third degree burns (ice or ice water should never be used on affected areas too).
  • Second degree: this type of burn, which affects the layer beneath the skin, is the most painful; it also causes swelling and blisters. While puncturing is blisters should never be done (as this may result to infection), soaking of burned area in cool water, rubbing on it antibiotic cream and covering it with a dry, non-stick bandage is highly recommended. Second degree burns usually take 2 to 3 weeks healing period.
  • First degree: though still painful, this type of burn affects only the outer layer of the skin, thus, it is considered minor. During the healing period (about six days), swelling may occur until burned skin dries and peels off. It is recommended that first degree burn injuries be soaked in cool water and, for faster healing, be treated with aloe vera cream or any type of antibiotic ointment.

The causes of burn injuries include contact with strong acids or other chemicals, electrocution, radiation and thermals (such as flame, steam, boiling liquid, hot grease or oil, fireworks, heaters, curling irons, etc. While many burn injuries may be due to the victims’ own fault, a lot more others are due to someone else’s acts of negligence, which result to unsafe private or public areas, or defective products, like appliances.

In its website, the law firm Pohl & Berk, LLP, gives emphasis on the responsibility of individuals in compensating those who suffer burn injuries due to their acts of a negligence or carelessness. This compensation, according to the firm, usually includes medical bills, lost wages, reconstructive surgery, psychological and physical therapy, and emergency transportation. The assistance of a knowledgeable and skillful personal injury lawyer in any legal action that the victim decides to pursue is very important; thus, it should be considered by the victim.

Consequences of Birth Injury

There have been many cases of arrogance that have rained down misfortune on an unlucky victim. Sometimes, however, the effects of this arrogance can be catastrophic and result into a lifetime’s worth of pain for someone else. This is the case of some issues of medical malpractice that bears fruit to the unfortunate circumstance of birth injury or defect.

Imagine being a couple that has wanted a baby for years and years. Finally, all your best efforts are realized and finally, a child is about to come into your life. However, your hopes are sent into ruin after a doctor gives a wrong diagnosis or your health care provider does not give you the services promptly without justifiable reason? These little circumstances of negligence can be the avenue to which serious medical conditions such as cerebral palsy, shoulder dystocia, brain damage, et cetera – sometimes even leading to the death of the child or mother, sometimes both.

This is classified as a civil wrong for many evident reasons but the procedures for this kind of scenario are quite complex, stressful, and time consuming. Citing the website of the Ausband & Dumont Law Firm, there is no need to take this lying down as there is cause for legal action against negligence that result into situations like these. Birth injuries or defects can cause deformation or medical complications that require further medical bills, possibly even prolonged medical bills due to a condition that demands a lifetime’s worth of expenses. The negligent party should be held accountable for their actions. In order to do this, the Birth Injury lawyer on the case must have sufficient knowledge of both the legal procedures that revolve around such a sensitive case as well as immense knowledge of the medical issues, procedures, effects, et cetera that are involved in the claim, in order to properly represent the case in a court of law.

If you or a loved one has suffered from a situation involving birth injury, it is recommended that you take legal action immediately.

What Exactly Constitutes a Failure to Warn?

Product liability comes in many forms, including when a product has a defective design or was manufactured improperly such that it has the potential to cause harm to the consumer or user. In some cases, though product liability lawsuits claim that the manufacturer failed to warn adequately about the risks associated with the use of product even if there is no design or manufacturing defect. In such cases, the product warning is the one that is defective.

Not all products are required to have a warning label, although manufacturers do still include them just be on the safe side of civil litigation. A product which is safe when used in accordance with its intended purpose or circumstances does not usually require warning labels. A warning is required when:

  • The product is inherently dangerous i.e. run by electricity even when used properly
  • The manufacturer knows that the product presents a risk of harm
  • The risk of harm is not obvious (hidden dangers) to a reasonable person

There are many products that may qualify under these parameters, but perhaps the most common type is pharmaceutical preparations. The average person is typically not aware of the composition of even over-the-counter medications such as aspirin or cough syrup, and when taking them are contraindicated (not recommended). In one case, a child who was allergic to an ibuprofen product formulated for children suffered very severe reactions that resulted in brain damage, blindness, and loss of most of her skin. The product included the standard warning to discontinue use if there is an allergic reaction, but did not state how bad the side effects could get. The drug company was found liable for failing to adequately warn and the child’s family was awarded $63 million in damages.

If you suffered serious harm because you were not given adequate instructions on how to avoid it when using a product, you could have a defective warning case against the manufacturer. Consult with a product liability lawyer for an insight into your situation.

The Anticoagulant Wars

Boehringer Ingelheim, not willing to give up its leadership in anticoagulants, has managed to get approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to include deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism in the list of indications for its drug Pradaxa (dabigatran etexilate mesylate). The contender for the throne of Pradaxa is Xarelto (rivaroxaban), the hot newcomer in the field distributed in the US Johnson & Johnson (J&J) in partnership with manufacturer Bayer AG. J&J posted a 3.5% increase in its first quarter earnings for 2014 compared to the same period the previous year, and Xarelto sales contributed significantly to this revenue.

However, J&J and Bayer have had no such luck so far with expanding the use of Xarelto to manage acute coronary syndrome (ACS), embolic stroke, and peripheral artery disease. They have been turned down by the FDA three times for clinical trial design problems, the latest in March 2014, but the two companies are not giving up. They are currently in the throes of three new studies that will hopefully get the nod from the regulatory body. Xarelto is currently approved for ACS in 40 countries outside the US.

The biggest hurdle for Pradaxa in regaining its client base is the ongoing litigation that brings into question the safety of using the drug. It was approved in 2010 and the first lawsuit was filed in March 2012 at the height of its popularity and is currently in multidistrict litigation (MDL). However, Xarelto may be going down the same road. It was approved in July 2011, and the first lawsuit was filed in February 2014. According to the website of law firm Williams Kherkher, more cases are being filed for dangerous side effects. There has been speculation that an MDL may also be in the offing in the near future.

If you are currently on Xarelto and have sustained serious harm from its side effects, don’t be afraid to draw your own gun. Consult with a reputable Xarelto lawyer in your area and find out how you can get compensation for your injuries and losses.

Gaining Confidence through Micropigmentation

Enhancing one’s eyes, lips and cheeks with the use of make-up may be easy to some, but may be hard for others. Well, regardless of the level of ease, one thing is sure – it takes time. And to do it every day, plus a couple more times daily, can be a tiring routine.

It was during the early part of the 20th century when the application of what is now called “permanent makeup” began; but it was in the 1930s when the technique became a hallmark in fashion that salons offered it to women as a form of complexion treatment, using vegetable dyes as pigments.

Today, this same treatment is called dermapigmentation, cosmetic tattooing, permanent makeup, permanent cosmetics or micropigmentation (which is its most common name). Micropigmentation adds permanent color to the skin through the use of organic pigments that are embedded beneath the epidermis. This is done by using a hand-held device with a very thin needle that can puncture the skin hundreds of times a minute, making the treatment basically much like a tattooing procedure. The purpose of the treatment, however, can either be as corrective procedure or cosmetic enhancement.

As a corrective procedure, micropigmentation is done to solve uneven skin pigmentation, scarring to the skin, and so forth. As cosmetic enhancement, it helps to define the eyes, and make the lips and eyebrows look fuller; it also gives an eye shadow and a look of blush effects.

Over time, other uses for micropigmentation were introduced, including removal of beauty spots, camouflage of scarred skin, nipple reconstruction (which involves enlarging or decreasing the size of the area around the nipples), and hairline tattooing.

Though being punctured by a thin needle hundreds of times a minute definitely sounds painful, it is not the same in a micropigmentation procedure. In fact, a treatment that usually lasts for 40 minutes, aside from the possibility of some mild discomfort, is essentially painless. Clients, though, have the option of being injected with an anesthetic to do away with any discomfort during the treatment.

A well-trained and experienced plastic surgeon, who should be the person performing the procedure, recommends micropigmentation to those who:

  • Value good looks the whole day every day, but with minimal effort
  • Want to correct uneven facial features;
  • Do not have enough time every day for make-up application;
  • Have oily and sensitive skin, or have allergies to make up;
  • Are too active and/or sports minded (like swimmers) and would always want to look great;
  • Have shaky hands and/or poor eyesight and, so, find applying make-up quite a difficult task; and,
  • Have thin or missing eyebrows because of alopecia, constant tweezing, or chemotherapy treatments

On its website, the Bergman Folkers Plastic Surgery clinic believes that good make-up makes a person look good, and feel good and confident, and it is this confidence that propels a person to do well. Micropigmentation may not only be directed at making people look great, but in making them feel good to excel in whatever they do.

Curtains Go Up Again on Fungal Meningitis Outbreak

The story that began in 2012 when vials of pain and swelling relief medication were found to be contaminated with fungal meningitis continues to unfold. Failed mediation has signaled a resumption of civil litigation.

New England Compounding Center (NECC) was first named in civil lawsuit alleging liability for the production and distribution of contaminated methylprednisolone acetate. Sixty-four people died and 751 people were infected before the contaminated batches of medication were pulled out. NECC has since declared bankruptcy, but not before agreeing to a $100 million settlement to benefit the victims and the company’s creditors.

Now the curtain has gone up against Liberty Industries Inc., the contractor which designed and maintained the clean rooms at NECC. According to, Liberty had taken on the duty to provide facilities that would ensure the safety and cleanliness of the medications that went through these clean rooms, and failed miserably. In the case of NECC, other preparations that may have also been contaminated due in part to Liberty’s negligence include betamethasone, triamcinolone, and cardioplegia solution.

While this does not let NECC off the hook, the focus is now on the clean room company. NECC is based in Massachusetts but shipped the contaminated products to at least 23 states, including California where one personal injury case was filed by Dawn Younani, who received three shots from contaminated batches of methylprednisolone acetate following a surgical procedure. Other Californians may soon have use for Irvine personal injury lawyers to represent them in civil litigation against Liberty and to make a claim against NECC.

While the fungal meningitis outbreak scare is winding down, the statute of limitations has not yet run out for those who have only been recently made aware that their conditions may have been due to inoculation via contaminated drugs caused by the negligence of NECC and Liberty. Symptoms of fungal meningitis include:

  • Altered mental state
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Neck pain or stiffness

If you suspect that you may have contracted fungal meningitis from contaminated drugs from NECC, have yourself tested immediately. If the tests come back positive, contact a personal injury lawyer in your area to assess your case.

Fiduciary Duty and What it Means

Fiduciary duty may seem like a dry legal concept that has very little to do with everyday life, but in fact it acts on most people on a daily basis. Fiduciary duty is defined as the responsibility of one party who is placed in a position of trust to act on behalf of another party’s best interests. Examples of instances when fiduciary duty is relevant include transactions between a doctor and a patient, a bank and a depositor, and a priest and a confessor. In each of these relationships, one party has complete confidence that the other party will not profit from their association to his or her detriment.

Of course, fiduciary duty is not a phrase that is commonly used. What would be more familiar to a lay person would be doctor-patient confidentiality and sanctity of the confessional. When it comes to estate planning and probate, however, a fiduciary plays a crucial role. The fiduciary is expected to carry out the wishes and directions of the principal as stated in a last will and testament, trusts, or other legal document even if it conflicts with the fiduciary’s beliefs, opinions, or benefit. Examples of fiduciaries in estate planning would be executors, banking institutions, asset managers, and probate lawyers.

For example, if a millionaire in Los Angeles leaves a will dividing the estate equally between his wife and his daughter, his executor would need to determine which goes to who while the Los Angeles lawyer would ensure that the estate goes through probate court as speedily as possible. It would be a break of fiduciary duty for the executor to under-appraise an asset and then acquire it from the estate. In the case of the probate lawyer, it would be a breach to delay the probate process to motivate one or more heirs to “grease the wheels” to make the process go faster.

Fiduciary duty is considered one which is brought to the highest legal standard, and it is easy to breach it unknowingly or unintentionally. If you suspect a breach of fiduciary duty in estate planning or probate in yourself or others, consult with a lawyer experienced in such matters.

The Good and the Bad of Topamax

This last six months or so has been a rollercoaster ride for pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) when it comes to its Jekyll and Hyde product Topamax. J&J recently received approval for the use of Topamax (topiramate) for 12 to 17-year-olds to prevent the onset of migraines. This was a few months after the company suffered its second major setback in court for failure to warn litigation for the same product where the plaintiff was awarded $11 million in damages.

Topamax is an anti-epileptic medication that was first introduced in 1996 and was found to be highly efficacious, contributing to its popularity. However, the product was routinely prescribed for off-label uses such as weight loss and for treating bipolar disorder, which would have been fine…except for the side effects. By 2011, it was apparent that Topamax caused birth defects in women who took the medication while they were pregnant.

Topamax lawyers for the plaintiffs alleged that J&J’s subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals has known about the risk to patients and their unborn children but failed to warn them or their physicians about it. That, coupled with aggressive marketing strategies that encouraged off-label use of Topamax, was a recipe for disaster for which J&J is now financially liable.

With this new approved use of Topamax, which is now clearly labeled to indicate risks to pregnant women and for off-label uses, it is presumed that J&J will more than recoup their present and future losses in the legal arena, although the company intends to appeal the 2 verdicts that have been handed down against them. There are currently more than 130 cases still pending against J&J for Topamax.

If your child was born with birth defects because of Topamax, you may have an actionable case. Consult with an experienced Topamax lawyer in your area to find out if you can sue for compensation.

Death and Injury in Fireworks Mishap

Preparations for a day meant to be in celebration were cut short when a trailer full of fireworks exploded, killing one person and seriously injuring three others. Investigations are ongoing, and a reckoning will have to be made soon.

Kiwanis Club members who were setting up the famous fireworks display slated as the culminating activity for the upcoming Fourth of July celebrations in the small town of Comanche near Fort Worth were interrupted by a loud explosion coming from the direction of the local high school. One volunteer was near enough to the trailer to have been killed on the spot. The planned activities for the next day were canceled as a result.

The fireworks display had been a tradition in the town (population 4,500) for 24 years, drawing visitors from Fort Worth, Dallas, and Austin, and nothing untoward had happened before. It is unclear what triggered the explosion. State fire marshals and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating.

There are many possible explanations for the explosion, such as manufacturing defects or improper handling that caused the fireworks to go off unprovoked. It may be that someone had unintentionally or deliberately set it off by throwing a lighted match or live cigarette in the vicinity of the trailer. It is likely that the explosion was a result of some type of negligence, if not malice.

If and when the triggering agent is identified, families of the deceased and injured club members may seek to get compensation from the responsible parties. It will not be an easy task as explosion accidents often leave very little behind. In this case, Fort Worth personal injury lawyers should be engaged as they would have the resources to acquire the evidence to support a claim that is not available to most lay people.

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