A long medical malpractice, auto accident or strict products liability case can be draining for a plaintiff. If you anticipate filing a lawsuit that could take months or years to resolve, it is important for you to consider the impact of the lawsuit on your livelihood and family life.
Working in one job for years and even decades is a great way to a solid retirement plan. However, if you have a job that you believe is causing you long-term health issues or illnesses, it is important to get proactive in protecting yourself, even if it requires you to leave the position. There are a few ways you can go about handling a potentially dangerous work environment to ensure you are protected as much as possible at all times.
1. Say Something and Report It
Talk to your boss or supervisor regarding the illness or injury you believe has been caused by your work itself or the environment you are in. Be sure to document the report when you speak up. It is also possible to inform other staff members of this issue if you are not being heard as you should in your workplace.
2. Document Your Health and Any Injuries
Documenting your health and any injuries you have sustained from your workplace is also a requirement if you are looking to move forward with any legal action or case you have in mind. Be sure to visit a doctor’s office or an emergency room to have yourself looked at thoroughly and to have your medical conditions documented officially. It is also advisable to take photos or video of any illnesses, rashes or other physical symptoms you are able to show to prove your case.
3. File a Complaint
File an official complaint within your workplace regarding your health condition or injuries you have sustained while on the job. If your complaint is disregarded or ignored altogether, it may be time to consider legal action.
4. Gather Evidence and Documentation
Gather as much evidence and documentation on your case that you have available, including doctor visit records, hospital records and photos of all of your injuries or physical symptoms that are occurring due to the environment of your workplace.
5. Meet With an Attorney Regarding Worker’s Compensation
Meeting with an attorney regarding worker’s compensation is one of the last steps to taking a workplace to court for injuries or health problems such as illnesses and disease. Firms such as Barkan & Robon Ltd. accident attorney services can help with a wide range of cases, including worker’s compensation.
Organize all of the evidence and documentation you have regarding your case in chronological order, making it much easier to review your case and begin working on it immediately. Once you meet with an attorney, you can then begin discussing options you have available to you as far as compensation depending on your evidence and the severity of the illnesses or injuries you have.
When a doctor makes a mistake, serious consequences can result. Sometimes, the mistake and resulting injury could have been prevented, and the injured party is entitled to recover compensation for the injury. Below are five of the most common mistakes doctors make that lead to malpractice suits.
1. Negligence Related to Pregnancy and Childbirth
Because of the delicate condition of mothers and their infants throughout pregnancy and childbirth, malpractice cases are especially abundant for obstetricians and gynocologists. These include failure to diagnose a maternal condition such as pre-eclampsia, failure to diagnose a birth defect or genetic disorder, such as Down syndrome, and failure to administer Rh immunoglobulin in Rh-negative women. Any of these could result in death or serious injury for both the mother and their child. These are just a few of the many ways in which a doctor error can lead to a malpractice suit. Doctors may also neglect certain mandatory duties during childbirth, such as failing to perform an emergency C-section, improper use of forceps, and failing to notice signs of fetal distress.
2. Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose
Many malpractice cases originate with an improper diagnosis. If a doctor misses a diagnosis that a reasonably competent medical professional would have seen, or if they diagnoses a patient with the wrong condition, he or she may be responsible for any resulting harm. Generally, the diagnosis must have been unreasonable under the circumstances for the patient to recover damages. This can be difficult to prove without a good bank of expert witnesses testifying in the patient’s favor.
3. Anesthesia-Related Injuries
Anesthesiologists have some of the highest malpractice insurance premiums in the medical world, because anesthesia errors can have very grave consequences for the patient. Anesthesia mistakes can lead to serious brain damage, brain death, or the death of the patient. This is part of the reason that anesthetists have such high salary ranges. Because their liability is also high, they charge a premium for their services.
4. Surgical Errors
Surgeons owe a very high standard of care to their patients, and when they make a mistake during surgery, serious consequences can occur. Doctors may leave a surgical towel in a body cavity, amputate or perform surgery on the wrong limb or organ, or fail to properly open or close the surgical site. Any of these mistakes could merit a very strong malpractice case.
5. Improper Medication
The incorrect dosage of a prescribed or administered drug may impact the health of a patient. This may occur while the patient is in the hospital or after her release. Use or prescription of an incorrect drug may also cause harm; it may be simply ineffective, exacerbating the condition, or it could cause serious harm.
When a patient suffers an injury due to a doctor’s negligence, she may be entitled to recover damages such as medical costs, lost wages, and loss of consortium or quality of life. Calling an attorney for more info is the first step in the process of litigating a personal injury case, as the attorney can better discern what damages the plaintiff has suffered, and whether the damages resulted fr
Abuse, especially toward the elderly can be misconstrued and confused with signs of mental debilitation or diseases like dementia. As a result many cases of elder abuse go unreported. In the United States a half a million cases of elder abuse are reported every year, but it’s suspected that millions more are going unreported.
What is elder abuse?
Abuse of the elders, like any other age group isn’t limited to physical violence, it can range from emotional and sexual abuse to neglect or financial exploitation.
Most often the abuse is a caretaker, family member or spouse and it tends to occur in the elders home or place of living. A staggering 90 percent of all abusers were found to be family members, but in one survey, 95 percent of residents in a nursing home setting said they or someone they know had been a victim of neglect.
How can abuse be identified?
For every case of abuse that is reported as many as 23 other cases go unreported. Identifying abuse is critical because in many cases the abused person is afraid to speak out or has trouble communicating their situation.
Out of those being victimized, three groups are predominately at risk for abuse. People with a compromised mental state—especially those suffering from diseases like dementia and Alzheimer can become confused, be manipulated or forget what happened.
Disabled women are also more likely to be sexually assaulted, and finally, highly dependent elders who rely on their caregiver extensively are not only more vulnerable to abuse but they are also less likely to report abuse if it occurs.
Often physical abuse is the easiest to identify based on the telling signs of assault like bruising, especially bruising in a cluster pattern or appearing on both sides of the body, welts or signs of restraint.
Physical abuse is generally accompanied by behavioral signs as well stemming from emotions of fear, anger, anxiety, nervousness and depression. Sudden changes in behavior like cringing, flinching, the avoidance of physical touch and darting eyes when they used to maintain eye contact are all signs to be aware of.
Finally, another red flag is if the caregiver stops allowing visitors or refused to allow the elder to visit with people alone.
Emotional abuse can be difficult to identify without seeing the caregiver and elderly individual interact, but there are also some behavioral signs that you can look for.
First, threatening, controlling behavior or belittling can all be a sign of emotional abuse, but if you don’t notice any of this behavior, look for changes in the elderly like rocking, sucking or mumbling. These can also be similar sign to those associated with dementia, but shouldn’t go unnoticed.
The reasons for neglect can vary. In a live-in facility the caregivers could be overwhelmed and the facility understaffed. Neglect can also happen unintentionally if the caregiver doesn’t realize the extent of care the individual requires.
Regardless of the situation, however, neglect is unacceptable and there are definitive warning signs:
- Unusual weight loss, dehydration or malnutrition
- Physical problems like bed sores that are left untreated
- Dirt, bugs, unclean bedding or clothing
- Inappropriate clothing for the weather
- Poor or dangerous living conditions including lack of heat or running water and fire hazards
Although the elderly can fall victim to scams or be exploited by strangers, more often family members are at fault.
Taking advantage of joint accounts, using ATM cards or stealing checks, or changing wills, power of attorney and titles are all types of financial exploitation.
How can abuse be prevented?
Being able to identify the signs of abuse and helping other to do so is the first step in preventing future abuse.
For those who live near, work with or have elderly family members; listening to them and evaluating their behavior—as well as checking in with their caregiver not only can help with identifying signs or abuse—but preventing it as well.
The services of a lawyer can be enlisted for compensation, but first and foremost suspected abuse must be reported to the authorities.
Other ways to look for signs of abuse include monitoring medication, making sure the amount remaining makes sense based on the date of the prescription. Check in on your elderly neighbors and family members and if possible help them avoid isolation.
Being able to assess a person’s behavior, condition and level of care can mean the difference between neglect and help.
Sofia Francis is a recent law school graduate currently working with the San Bernardino based personal injury law firm Welebir, Tierney and Weck. Sofia plans to pursue a career in personal injury law but is currently focused on passing the bar and gaining experience in her field.
Accidents caused because of the negligence of another often result in serious personal injuries as well as costly damage to property. This particularly is the case in the aftermath of an automobile accident. A person who is the victim of injuries and property damages as the result of an accident must keep five factors in mind before any paperwork is signed following the incident.
1. The Importance of an Independent Investigation
A key factor to keep in mind before signing any post-accident paperwork is the necessity for undertaking an independent investigation of matters related to the incident. In other words, a person facing the prospect of signing these types of documents cannot rely exclusively on what is conveyed by an insurance company representative, including an attorney.
2. Evaluate the True Extent of Losses
Before executing any paperwork following an accident, an individual must fully evaluate the extent of his or her losses. In most cases, this is best accomplished by retaining the services of an experienced attorney, like those in a firm that specializes in the practice of personal injury law. Examples of the types of losses a person experiences in the aftermath of an accident include medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. In addition, these types of losses may continue into the future. A person may continue to incur medical expenses, experience pain and suffering and lose wages long after the date of the incident itself and because of that accident.
3. Paperwork can Constitute a Binding Agreement
A person facing the prospect of signing post-accident paperwork needs to understand that these documents may include binding agreements. By way of example, a person may be presented a document that constitutes a waiver of certain rights that otherwise exist. For this reason, each document must be closely and carefully read before signing.
4. Understand the Statute of Limitations
Each state maintains a law called the statute of limitations that establishes a specific time frame in which a person must file a law suit for injuries arising from an accident. If a lawsuit is not filed within that time period, a person typically is forever precluded from pursuing one. When dealing with paperwork, a person must be well aware of this time frame so that he or she does not agree to anything that potentially creates a situation in which he or she will not be able to meet the requirements of the statute of limitations.
5. The Value of Professional Assistance
Because a person has a great deal at stake following an accident, the value of obtaining professional legal assistance should never be underestimated. An experienced attorney understands what needs to be done to protect a person’s interests, including when it comes to the myriad of paperwork associated with an accident.
About Author: Marlena Stoddard writes on small business and law. She has a small consulting practice where she primarily advises on workplace safety measures. Originally from Senoia, GA, Marlena lives in Santa Rosa, CA with her husband and 2 children. Information credit of the office of Taylor and Blair.
If you are a parent, then you understand just how hard it can be to leave your child in someone else’s care even when they are at school. However, it is reasonable to assume that your child’s safety is one of the school’s primary concerns. Yet, some children do get injured at school. If this happens to your child, consider these tips for dealing with the issue.
1. Seek Medical Attention
The first step you should take when your child is injured at school is to seek medical attention. Do not take any chances even if the injury seems insignificant. Some major medical emergencies can seem minor at first, so it is a good idea to get any injury checked. The doctor’s medical report can also serve as proof of the injury in case there are legal issues.
2. Find Witnesses
Ask your child to tell the story of how the injury happened and write it down in case the school is to blame for the injury. Seek out other witnesses and ask them to write statements about what they saw happen. These statements will be important if the school is at fault and refuses to cover the medical expenses.
3. Seek Legal Advice
If the injury is indeed the school’s fault, seek legal counsel immediately. Appropriate law firms can give you advice about how to proceed to make sure the school accepts blame and pays the medical bills that result from the injury, if it is indeed at fault. A qualified attorney will help you through the legal process to ensure you and your child are protected.
4. Ask for a Conference
Before your child returns to school after an injury, set up a parent/teacher conference to discuss the issue. If your child needs any type of specialized care when he returns to school, make sure the school will accommodate him. Try not to place direct blame on any one person in the school building during the conference. After all, you need to maintain a good working relationship with your child’s teachers.
5. Request Safety Checks
If routine safety checks are not already occurring at your child’s school, request that the building level administration conduct at least one safety check a month to ensure no other children get hurt. You may want to consider starting a safety audit team comprised of teachers and parents.
If your child suffers an injury at school, make sure you cover yourself and your child by following these simple tips. School systems must see student safety as a top concern.
About the author: Rianne Hunter is a wife, mother of three, and independent author that covers an array of subjects like education, family, and law. Rianne is NOT an attorney, but she recommends that if you are looking for one in Guelph you could look to Firms such as Dietrich Law.
Image Credit: Flickr User
Oil field jobs consistently rank among the most dangerous globally. In fact, over 4,000 oil field workers were hurt in 2007 during their daily routines, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It’s not a coincidence that oil field workers receive so many injuries because there are numerous hazards in their work environment including flammable substances, toxic chemicals, heavy machinery, high platforms, and more. While exercising caution at all times should keep most workers out of the hospital, here are some specific ways to make oil fields safer for the good people who work there.
Make wearing protective gear mandatory
There is no excuse for not wearing protective clothing and equipment while working on an oil field. This is especially true when one must complete tasks in areas with many known hazards. Shielding oneself from head to toe with anti-flammable jackets and pants, hard hats, safety goggles, gloves, work boots, and other gear should be required at every oil field. Employees who come unprepared or unwilling to abide by safety protocols should be denied entrance to the field and sent home without pay.
Keep a close eye on the functionality of machinery and equipment
Mining for oil requires the use of various machines, vehicles, and tools. All of these things are shared between hundreds if not thousands of workers to get the job done. Since these machines see frequent use, they can degrade quickly to become less efficient, inoperable, or even dangerous. Always test to verify that the equipment is functional and in good working condition before using it. Look out for suspicious signs such as wear, breakage, improper fit, rattling, excessive noise, smoke, sparks, and more using monitoring tools from GV Sensors or any other reputable provider of machine safety and diagnostic equipment.
Ensure that all employees are well-trained
Oil field jobs are specialized ones the require a lot of training. Not just anybody can show up and get things done competently. All new workers should receive extensive training under the supervision of an experienced worker before being allowed to work on their own. Supervisors should also be aware of employee competencies so that workers can be placed in the most fitting positions. This will help to keep them safe while increasing productivity on the oil field.
Approximately five percent of all oil field workers are injured as a result of some kind of accident every year. Since the nature of the work is dangerous, oil field accidents have a higher chance of occurring than those in many other work environments. However, they can still be avoided when the proper precautionary measures are taken.
Marlena Stoddard writes on small business and law. She has a small consulting practice where she primarily advises on workplace safety measures. Originally from Senoia, GA, Marlena lives in Santa Rosa, CA with her husband and 2 children. Sensor information credit of (gvsensors.com.au).
When you head into work every day, you probably don’t think about the fact that you could get hurt while you are at work. In fact, the workplace is actually a lot more hazardous than you think. There are many dangers lurking that could injure or even kill you if you are not aware of them. In order to stay safe while you are working, keep these five common workplace hazards in mind.
1. Tripping Hazards
One of the most common types of injury at work occurs when someone falls. There are many things that can cause a fall, but one of the most common culprits is a tripping hazard. This could be a loose electrical cord, a coworker’s foot or a misplaced garbage can. It is always a good idea to keep workplaces clean and organized, with good open circulation space.
2. Wet Floors
Another common cause of workplace falls is a wet spot on the floor. This can happen in a number of ways. The most common cause is a wet floor after it is mopped. Someone could spill a beverage creating a wet spot. Dripping shoes that track in rain or snow could also cause wet spots in the floor.
3. Combustible Dust
This is most common in manufacturing workplaces and construction areas. When things are being made, little particles of dust get thrown up into the air. Under the right conditions, this combustible dust could ignite. These flash fires from combustible dust are potentially lethal, which means that you should conduct regular testing to make sure the workplace is safe.
4. Loud Noises
While this is not a lethal hazard, that doesn’t mean it should not be taken seriously. Loud noises in the workplace can cause permanent hearing damage that will significantly impact the quality of a person’s life. In order to prevent hearing damage, all workers in noisy workplaces should wear ear protection.
5. Lifting Injuries
Another very common workplace injury occurs when people lift heavy things improperly. This is a workplace injury that can happen in nearly any workplace from a manufacturing center to an office. The key to avoiding these injuries is to make sure workers are trained in proper lifting techniques.
These five common workplace hazards can all be avoided with smart safety precautions. All workers should make sure that they follow the safety rules to avoid getting injured while they are on the job. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to take the time to stay safe.
Marlena Stoddard writes on small business and law. She has a small consulting practice where she primarily advises on workplace safety measures, including combustible dust testing programs. Originally from Senoia, GA, Marlena lives in Santa Rosa, CA with her husband and 2 children.
I represent a personal injury firm in London, UK and wanted to explain what the difference are between England and the United States when it comes to how personal injury lawyers (or solicitors as we call them) work. As a general rule of thumb, claim pay-outs and compensation in England tend to be lower, but the legal process is quicker and less complex. Here’s a brief overview of what I believe the major differences between the two countries to be.
The Personal Injury Claim Business
In England, personal injury solicitors cannot approach potential clients directly. This is because there are some very strict rules about how we canvass for business. The authorities are very strict about how we market our services. Because of this a glut of companies have popped up which will act as intermediaries. The personal injury claim companies will find clients via aggressive advertising methods then “pass” those customers over to the legal firms.
How Compensation Works
In the UK there are two different forms of damages (WikiPedia) that can arise from personal injury claims. The first is called “general damages”. General damages are compensation for things we cannot have a true value placed on them – for example, a broken bone. These type of damages tend to be quite low in comparison to American pay-outs. The second type are “special damages”. These relate to more measurable items such as loss of earnings through injury or damage to property. For example where a car or vehicle has been “written-off”.
Taking a Personal Injury Claim to Court
In England it is very rare that a personal injury claim will see a jury. Most claims are decided in a small court by a judge unless the case is in the public interest. The majority of personal injury claims are handled by county courts and settled just by the judge. As a results, claims can actually be a lot lower as the expenses tend to be lower than those accrued in the United States.
There is no such thing as a deposition in the UK. We will have witness statements in a personal injury case, however, these will be presented as a document, with no need (in most cases) for a witness to be present during the court procedure. This means that there is never any cross-examination of witnesses. If the witness is found to have lied in their statement, the can be prosecuted for contempt of court.
Generally speaking, the compensation culture in the UK and England does not seem to be as wide-spread as it is in the States. We are not yet at the stage where we see media news about cases such as the lady who spilled a fast-food coffee in her lap and went for a million dollar pay-out. That’s probably some way off, as the English and American personal injury landscapes are very different and will probably remain so for some time.
This guest post comes from the team behind the new Personal Injury Solicitor London UK website. They specialise in London Personal Injury Claims for clients based in the UK and England – visit their website for more information.