Common Mistakes In Personal Injury Cases

Whether you were injured in a car accident, from a negligent surgeon or other medical professional, or by a defective product, you may be eligible for financial compensation by The Law Offices of Donald D. Guthriefiling a personal injury lawsuit. And while utilizing the services of a personal injury lawyer is highly recommended and will also help you avoid making a number of mistakes with your case, it is important to know the most common personal injury case mistakes that are made on a daily basis.

When you suffer an injury due to someone else’s fault, the courtroom may be the last thing on your mind; however, it is important to take legal action so you can recover financial compensation to pay for medical bills and other damages. Your chances at recovering financially could be seriously hurt if you make any of the following mistakes:

  • Waiting too long to take legal action and allowing the statute of limitations time limit to expire. The statute of limitations restricts the amount of time one has to take legal action and if you wait too long, you could miss your opportunity.
  • Not seeking medical treatment immediately
  • Not going to treatment or doctor’s appointments. A defense attorney can use that information against you by claiming your injuries were either not that severe or made up.
  • Settling your case without fist consulting with an attorney. Before accepting any settlement offer, make sure a skilled attorney looks over your case.
  • Failing to properly document the accident through pictures or witness statements

By avoiding the above errors, you can increase your chances of recovering damages in a personal injury case so you don’t fall into serious debt.

Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against GM

There are often few avenues for fair compensation in the wake of a serious tragedy such as a fatal car wreck, but a recent lawsuit in Dallas County is an excellent example of how manufacturers may be held liable for negligence when they produce and distribute unreasonably dangerous products. In a 2010 accident, the driver Shonnie Bryan was driving a 2003 Chevrolet Impala through an Zandt County and lost control of the vehicle, crashing into a culvert on the side of the road. Contrary to the reasonable expectations of safety all drivers have while operating their vehicles, the air bags in Bryan’s Impala failed to deploy, resulting in serious injuries which lead to Bryan’s death.

Levinson Axelrod, P.A.By naming General Motors as the defendant in their wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiffs are alleging that the car company is guilty of negligence in the design, manufacturing, and marketing of the Chevrolet Impala in question, which is alleged to be a “defective and unreasonably dangerous” vehicle. As with any wrongful death suit, there are a vast range of damages which the plaintiffs may seek, ranging from court costs and interest to funeral expenses, loss of companionship, medical expenses, and emotional suffering.

The full extent of the lawsuit includes Rodney Bryan as a representative of the Estate of Shonnie Bryan, as well as Shaila Bryan, Harold Pitts, Sheila Pitts, Johnny Tamez, and Dennis Yates, and is filed against General Motors, Watson Chevrolet Buick Pontiac, Scott Watson Chevrolet Buick Pontiac, and Watson Truck & Supply Incorporated. Reese P. Andrews of Andrews & Andrews in Nacadoches will represent the plaintiffs as their wrongful death attorney, and work to demonstrate the liability of the automaker and distributors.

The lawsuit was filed on November 21st in an Zandt County District Court before being removed to the Easter District of Texas, Tyler Division on January 7th by the defendant, allowing for the proceedings to begin in earnest as the family of Bryan hopes to recover full compensation for their losses and the death of Shonnie.

What You Need To Know About Vehicular Accidents

Defects in the design or manufacturing of an automobile can prove exceptionally hazardous to both the driver and passengers of a vehicle as well as anyone else who may be on the road. Because of the remarkable complexity of most modern automobiles, even a minor defect can have much broader consequences than might be expected. Therefore, the manufacturers of automobiles are held to a considerable level of liability for any defects which may occur in their vehicles.

Like most other forms of civil law, lawsuits brought against the manufacturers of defective automobiles are generally intended to restore damages that those who have suffered injury as a result may have incurred. However, because of the substantial public safety threat that a defective motor vehicle can pose, the manufacturer may also be assessed punitive damages to ensure that no such problems occur in the future.

Car AccidentIt is not, however, exclusively the part of the vehicle’s manufacturer to assume liability for every component of the vehicle. Because the actual production of many of the parts which make up a finished car are outsourced to other companies, a vehicular defect may leave the part’s manufacturer, and not the vehicle’s producer, legally liable. Generally speaking, car accident attorneys are capable of determining which party (or parties) should be held accountable for injuries caused by a defective automobile, but for the purposes of this article, a case-based examination of several well-known vehicular defect suits can help to clarify the issue.

Vehicular Defects: A Case-Based Examination

One of the most well-known recent incidents involving a vehicular defect related to vehicles produced by Toyota Motor Corporation. Between 2009 and 2011, problems resulting in sudden unintended acceleration of Toyota vehicles of a variety of different models came to light. In some instances, this led to the death of the vehicles’ occupants, as well as serious injuries to drivers of nearby vehicles. As a result, Toyota recently reached a settlement of more than $1 billion dollars for damages caused.

While the Toyota cases assigned liability solely to Toyota Motor Corporation, problems associated with the Ford Explorer in the 1990s involved multiple party liability. Both Ford Motor Company, which produced the Explorer, and Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, which manufactured the tires used on the Explorer, have been held liable for the many deaths and injuries that occurred in rollover accidents involving the vehicle throughout the 1990s, jointly and separately.

Beware Of Wrongful Diagnosis

In medical settings, all doctors and medical care providers are expected to give their patients a level of care that meets certain minimum standards of competence. Failure to meet these standards may expose them to liability for injuries or illnesses which occur as a Wrongful Diagnosis Schemataresult of their inadequate care. Wrongful diagnosis is one way in which a doctor’s failure to meet the standards expected of their profession can result in their being held liable for medical malpractice.

Wrongful diagnosis can be extremely damaging to a patient, especially if the patient has a serious medical condition that requires swift, aggressive treatment in order to be dealt with successfully. When a doctor incorrectly diagnoses a patient with such a condition, they may leave them unable to recover from the effects of their illness. For this reason, the patient and their family may be entitled to seek financial compensation for the damages caused.

However, not all wrongful diagnoses are grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. In fact, most wrongful diagnoses are in line with the standards expected of a medical care provider, as many illnesses have symptoms which are fairly general, making diagnosis considerably more difficult. Generally speaking, in order for a patient to have a case for medical malpractice as a result of wrongful diagnosis, they must be able to show one of two things:

  • ŸEither the physician failed to include the patient’s condition in the list of ailments with which they might diagnose them (but a reasonably competent doctor would have)
  • ŸOr the physician did include the condition in the list of possible diagnoses but failed to conduct appropriate tests or otherwise act to investigate the possibility

In order to demonstrate that either of these factors led to the misdiagnosis, the representation of an experienced medical malpractice lawyer is often necessary in order for the patient to successfully seek the compensation they need.

An Overview On Workers’ Compensation Benefits

When a worker is injured in an accident that occurs while they are on the job, the consequences that they may face are often more than they may be prepared to deal with. Workers CompThe costs of medical care, income lost as a result of spending significant time away from work in order to fully recover, and other potential consequences can all put a heavy strain on the financial resources available for them to care for themselves and their family. Fortunately, workers’ compensation benefits can help alleviate some of the worst effects of a workplace injury.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a workplace accident, getting your workers’ compensation benefits as soon as possible is often essential to making sure that you and your family have the assistance you need in this difficult time. Unfortunately, some insurance companies choose to deny workplace injury victims the compensation they need in this difficult circumstance or make it extremely difficult for applicants to get the benefits they need. However, with legal support, a claimant may be able to get injured workers the compensation they need after suffering through such an accident.

Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Workers’ compensation plans often provide benefits for a range of different costs, including the following:

* Lost income
* Medical expenses
* Travel costs
* Job retraining (if necessary)

Assistance in obtaining these and other costs can be a vital tool to helping workers recover from a serious accident. Thus, if you or someone you know has suffered an injury at work and your company’s insurer is refusing to pay you the benefits you deserve or you need help making the initial claim, you should contact a workers’ compensation lawyer for help in getting the compensation you need.

Common Surgical Errors

When a patient undergoes a surgical procedure, there is always a danger that something unexpected will go wrong, potentially endangering their health or even life. However, most Surgerypatients tend to assume that this type of risk is unavoidable. While some complications that arise during surgery are simply unfortunate turns of fate, the fact is that many surgical errors are preventable, and occur only as a result of mistakes or errors on the part of the operating physician or their assistants.

There are a wide range of different surgical errors which a patient may suffer, many of which can have devastating consequences which may impact the patient for the rest of their life. The following are some of the most common surgical errors in the United States:

  • Ÿ  Wrong site surgery
  • Ÿ  Incorrect surgical procedure performed
  • Ÿ  Wrong patient surgery
  • Ÿ  Foreign objects left in body cavity
  • Ÿ  Anesthesia errors

These and other surgical errors can pose significant challenges to a patient’s ongoing health and well-being. For this reason, many medical malpractice lawyers suggest that patients about to undergo surgery keep track of their health condition at every stage of the pre- and post-operative process, ensuring that if they are injured, they are able to hold those responsible for their damage accountable for their actions.

Workers’ Compensation for Occupational Disease

Workers’ compensation plans are designed to help injured workers manage the financial burden that costly medical treatment and the loss of income from time spent away from work can pose following a workplace injury. These plans act as an agreement between a company and its employees, giving those who are at risk of injury an assurance that they will be cared for if an accident should occur while protecting companies against costly lawsuits as the result of a workplace accident.

 Occupational Medical ConditionsMost people are aware that they can receive workers’ compensation benefits if they are involved in an accident at work. However, far fewer understand that they can also receive workers’ compensation benefits for illnesses or medical conditions (PDF) that they may have developed as a result of their working conditions. These illnesses can be just as difficult to recover from as a serious injury, and therefore workers who fall ill because of working conditions need financial assistance just as much.

Unfortunately, because of the difficulty in proving that an illness was caused by occupational factors, many of those suffering from a medical condition because of their job are unfairly denied the benefits that they need. In this position, it may be necessary to pursue the assistance of a workers’ compensation attorney to resolve the situation. Every qualified workers’ compensation lawyer knows the specific requirements of the law in the states in which they operate, and are experienced in fighting large insurance companies in a way that an individual worker may not be.

Alcohol and Server Liability: When to Cut Someone Off

Most of us have probably been to a bar or restaurant at some point and had to deal with that one person who has clearly had a few too many. Maybe they’re talking loudly or incoherently, or maybe they’re just having trouble keeping their eyes open and their head up. For fellow patrons of the bar, this person can be annoying or obnoxious, but for servers at the bar, this person can be a huge liability.

Across the country, servers have a large level of responsibility put on them when it comes to serving those who are intoxicated. In many cases, a server can be held liable and can face punishment from the law if it is deemed that they served a person who was already intoxicated. Some states have even stricter laws when it comes to serving alcohol, so things can get tricky for those working behind the bar. To further complicate matters, bartenders may be held accountable for a DWI or DUI accident that is caused by someone that they served under the “Dram Shop Laws” enforced by numerous states.

Dram Shop Laws

Although it is not federally mandated, many individual states have adopted “Dram shop Laws.” Dram shop laws, in short, are laws that hold a person or establishment responsible if they sell alcohol to an individual that is intoxicated. These laws apply not only to the bartender or liquor sales clerk, but to waitresses and other staff as well. Washington is one such state that enforces these laws and anyone serving or selling alcohol there is faced with a great responsibility.

Cutting Someone Off
“I’m cutting you off” seems to be something that is said in movies or on TV shows more often than in real life, but for a bartender or server it (or some variation of it) can be a very useful phrase. What gets tricky is knowing when not to serve someone. Different people react differently to alcohol, and it can be extremely difficult for a bartender to know if someone has been drinking too much or not.

There are a few measures a bartender or server can take to better recognize if someone should not be served. A lot of certification and training programs use what they call the “traffic light system.” It’s called this, because Green = sober, Yellow = getting intoxicated, and Red = intoxicated.

This system involves observing customers as soon as they walk in and then simply talking to customers and analyzing their situation. Some of the questions that can be brought up in conversation are:

  • Does the customer appear tired, depressed, or stressed?
  • Is the customer on a diet?
  • Is the customer taking any medication or drugs?
  • Is the customer drunk already or planning to get drunk

Once a server has a grasp on whether a customer is in the green, yellow, or red, he or she can act accordingly. There are some steps that can be followed to help from pushing someone who is in the green to red. These steps can include things like:

  • Serving a drink only to someone who wants one
  • Serving a single drink at a time to each customer
  • Encouraging food with drinks if the establishment offers food
  • Serving glasses of water with all drinks, especially those served straight-up (from A Guide for Bartenders)

The Traffic Light System is only one of many that is taught to bartenders and servers. There are a number of certification and “responsible server” courses available that can pass on a range of methods that make server liability clear and offer methods for dealing with customers who are drinking.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Many people have heard the term “medical malpractice,” but they are unsure what this term really means. In general, medical malpractice refers to an incident in which any Medicine Artmedical practitioner has been reckless or negligent in his or her duties, and a patient was subsequently injured or made ill through that recklessness or negligence. A medical practitioner might be a doctor, surgeon, nurse, pharmacist, or other practitioner, and anyone could be a victim.

Unfortunately, many people are wrongly injured through medical malpractice. The injuries that result from such incidents are widely varied, but they can all be very expensive, depending on the severity and the person involved. Some victims have to seek even more medical treatment because of the side effects of medical malpractice, and this extra treatment can be very expensive. Depending on a particular individual’s circumstances, however, sometimes financial compensation is available to help make these costs more manageable.

Types of Medical Malpractice

There are many different types of medical malpractice, each one with its own seriousness and potential side effects. Some examples include:

* Misdiagnosis
* Surgical errors
* Emergency room errors
* Lack of informed consent
* Birth injuries
* Delayed diagnosis
* Hospital negligence
* Improper treatment
* Wrongful death

All of these kinds of medical malpractice can, of course, result in serious damage to an innocent victim. If that victim has to seek further medical attention or treatment, he or she might be facing medical bills that are out of his or her financial range. While this situation can be frightening, of course, it is important to know that many victims of medical malpractice are able to claim compensation for their injuries.

If you or a loved one has suffered wrongly at the hands of an irresponsible or negligent medical practitioner, you might actually qualify for financial compensation. In a lot of cases, it’s wise to seek the advice of an experienced medical malpractice lawyer today to discuss how you can pursue such compensation through the justice system. Just our two cents..

Types of Product Liability

Most of the products that a consumer purchases on a regular basis are heavily tested and extremely safe for their use. However, in some cases, a dangerous or defective product will be sold to an unsuspecting buyer, with the potential to cause them serious injury. When this happens, it may be grounds to pursue a product liability lawsuit.

There are three main types of product liability case: design defects, manufacturing defects, and marketing defects. Design defects involve issues with the underlying design of a product, which makes every version of that product unsafe for use. Manufacturing defects involve problems in the production of a product, rendering one or multiple versions of an otherwise-safe product dangerous to consumers. Marketing defects involve packaging or advertising that fails to warn consumers of legitimate dangers known to be associated with a product.

Products In Production

If you would like to learn more about the various types of product liability or whether your injury may have occurred as a result of a defective product, contact a personal injury lawyer today to speak with a qualified legal professional who can give you the advice you need.Most of the products that a consumer purchases on a regular basis are heavily tested and extremely safe for their use. However, in some cases, a dangerous or defective product will be sold to an unsuspecting buyer, with the potential to cause them serious injury. When this happens, it may be grounds to pursue a product liability lawsuit.

There are three main types of product liability case: design defects, manufacturing defects, and marketing defects. Design defects involve issues with the underlying design of a product, which makes every version of that product unsafe for use. Manufacturing defects involve problems in the production of a product, rendering one or multiple versions of an otherwise-safe product dangerous to consumers. Marketing defects involve packaging or advertising that fails to warn consumers of legitimate dangers known to be associated with a product.

If you would like to learn more about the various types of product liability or whether your injury may have occurred as a result of a defective product, contact a personal injury lawyer today to speak with a qualified legal professional who can give you the advice you need.

Refusing a Breathalyzer

Many people who are pulled over for being suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol are asked to take a breathalyzer test in order for the officer to determine whether or not the individual was driving while over the legal limit.  Those who refuse to take this test may face some legal penalties as a result, although they may also avoid inaccurate breathalyzer results which can be unfairly incriminating.

For many states, the refusal consequences include license suspension for 180 days to two years, depending on whether or not you have previously refused a breathalyzer test and the circumstances of your alleged crime.  The exceptions to this rule include Vermont, Alaska, Nebraska, Ohio, Minnesota, and California.  If you refuse a breathalyzer in these states, you can be sent to jail.

In the majority of states, the refusal cannot be held against you in your DUI/ DWI case, although it is important to understand the laws as they pertain to your state.  By working with an attorney, you may be able to eliminate some of the stress of the situation and trust your lawyer to handle the specific details. Contact a car accident lawyer if you would like more information about this subject.

Informed Consent

In order for a patient to be able to make appropriate decisions about whether or not they will undergo a proposed form of treatment, it is clearly necessary that they be aware of certain information relating to the treatment. Therefore, all doctors and other medical professionals are required under the law to provide their patient with the details of any proposed course of treatment, including issues such as alternative treatment options, potential complications and the likelihood that they may occur, the recovery process, and any other factors which may have relevance for the patient’s decision-making process. This is known as informed consent.

Unfortunately, not all medical professionals adequately communicate this information to their patients. In some cases, this can lead to patients suffering serious injuries or medical complications as a result of their lack of information regarding the treatment. In these situations, medical professionals can be held financially liable for the costs of these injuries with the help of medical malpractice lawyers.

Premises Liability

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they visit someone else’s property, and there are specific laws in place known as premises liability laws that protect the legal rights and interests of those who have been injured because of dangerous conditions on someone else’s property. Although the specifics of premises liability vary from state to state, they largely apply to private properties, government buildings, retail shops, offices, and other public spaces.

Some of the most common accidents that occur on unsafe property are slip and fall accidents. Slippery floors, unstable surfaces, and a general lack of safety precautions can lead to a slip and fall accident which in turn, can result in serious injuries and pain and suffering for victims.  Often, those who are injured are interested in pursuing financial compensation from the responsible property owner, in which case, it may be helpful to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer.

There are many factors which can affect a person’s eligibility for financial compensation after a slip and fall accident, so discussing the incident that caused your fall with a lawyer is a helpful step in pursuing the compensation you need.

FBI vs. Google

In March of this year the Federal Bureau of Investigation filed a warrant in order to unlock a cell phone that belonged to a supposed pimp.  Google refused to unlock the device because they did not believe the warrant covered passwords and encrypted data.  This is not the first time Google has fought a warrant or subpoena because they did not agree with the terms presented in the document.  The Stored Communications Act enhances the privacy for digital communication such as email, which created a small window of opportunity for Google to deny the warrant.

Although this was passable today, it is still too soon to tell what effects this could have on legislation and technology privacy in the future.  It is unknown how many requests Google (or others for that matter) receives for password information, so it is impossible to know how pressing of a matter this is at the current time.  This legal battle has not yet ended, but it will undoubtedly unlock questions about the government’s right to potentially case-breaking information vs. a citizen’s right to privacy.  We can expect to see more on this topic in upcoming months.