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Vehicle Accidents

Automobile Accidents:

A car accident is a collision involving an automobile and anything that causes damage to the automobile, including other automobiles, telephone poles, buildings and trees. Sometimes a car accident may also refer to an automobile striking a human or animal. Car accidents - also called traffic collisions, auto accidents, road accidents, personal injury collisions, motor vehicle accidents and crashes - kill an estimated 1.2 million people worldwide each year, and injure about forty times this number.

Other Vehicle Accidents:

Legal claims that arise from vehicle accidents are typically governed by the law of negligence. Any individual who negligently operates a motor vehicle may be required to pay damages to an injured victim. A personal injury case involving a vehicle accident may become formalized through civil court proceedings or may be resolved through an informal settlement before a lawsuit is filed.

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Vehicle accidents can include:
  • ATV accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Boating accidents
  • Bus accidents
  • Cruise ship accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Semi-tractor trailer accidents
  • SUV rollover accidents
  • Train accidents
  • Truck accidents

The surviving family members of a fatally injured accident victim may be able to bring wrongful death charges against the defendant.

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Construction/ On-the-Job Accidents

Construction labor makes up one of the three most dangerous occupations in the United States today; each year producing thousands of debilitating injuries and wrongful deaths. Factors that contribute to construction accidents include workers lifting loads with worn and weathered cables, working on elevated platforms without fall protection or wearing defective safety harnesses and lanyards, and/or working in trenches with improper benching and using outdated tools and equipment. Farming and manufacturing accidents, as well as the oil and gas industry accidents can also cause serious injury and toxic exposure.

  • Toxic Exposure: Due to the tremendous growth of corporate industry in the United States over the past fifty years, the number of dangerous, toxic substances in the environment has grown significantly. Some toxic substances are shown to cause substantial injury to people, such as lead-based paint (linked to brain damage, especially in children), asbestos (linked to lung cancer and restrictive lung disease), dry cleaning and other solvents (linked to brain damage and major organ damage), pesticides such as dioxin and DDT (linked to birth injuries) and toxic landfill waste (linked to leukemia).
 
Dog/Animal Bites

Every year, millions of Americans are bitten by animals. Being attacked by a dog is an extremely stressful event. Many dog bite injuries leave scars and have lasting emotional effects. In every state, a dog owner is liable for bites to people inflicted viciously by a dog that previously bit a person viciously, or that were inflicted pursuant to the command of the dog owner.

In almost all states, a bite victim can recover compensation from a person whose negligence caused the attack and from a person who violated a leash law, a trespass law applicable to dogs or other dog safety laws. The owner or keeper of a dog is strictly liable for his or her dog, even if it is the first time the dog has injured someone. As long as the injured victim was not trespassing, teasing or tormenting the dog, the keeper or owner of the dog is liable for any injuries sustained. Compensation for a dog bite can include payment for medical bills, pain & suffering, mental anxiety, fear and scarring.
 
Defective Products
Products liability refers to a manufacturer or seller being held liable for placing a defective product into the hands of a consumer. Products liability cases may include defective or poorly designed machinery, tools, motor vehicle defects, recreational products, pharmaceuticals and other defective products and equipment. A person injured by a defective or dangerous product may be eligible to file a lawsuit for product liability. Damages can be recovered under one of the following categories: strict products liability; negligence or breach of warranty.
 
Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is the failure of a health care provider to follow the accepted standards of practice of his or her profession in the community where the service is rendered. If a physician was careless, lacked proper skills or disregarded standardized rules resulting in injury to a patient, a jury may find the health care provider liable for negligence. Hospitals can also be held liable for the negligence of their employees, including staff nurses and technicians.

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Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect

Americans are living longer than ever before. The fastest growing segment in the United States is the elderly population. As a result of this demographic shift, many elderly Americans have become residents of nursing homes during their final years. As many of these nursing homes are under-funded and understaffed, a disturbing incidence of neglect and abuse is being reported. Injuries sustained by nursing home residents due to neglect and abuse often involve the inappropriate use of physical restraints, joint contractors, overuse of sedatives, unnecessary use of urinary catheters, loss of mobility, pressure sores and lack of nutrition with weight loss.

 
Slip and Fall/Premises Liability

Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere and can cause serious personal injury. Most slip and falls happen in commercial settings, such as grocery stores, drug stores, office buildings, construction sites, gas stations and malls, but they also happen on private property. Premises Liability accidents can include toxic exposure, animal attacks, swimming pool accidents and amusement park ride accidents. In any event, there exist duties on the part of the property owners to maintain the property responsibly and avoid the existence of hazardous conditions.

Dangerous or defective conditions may be large or small, temporary or permanent. Therefore, investigation of the claim is essential to a successful case. Temporary conditions such as water on the floor of a grocery store, or snow and ice on the stairs of a restaurant need to be investigated quickly.

 
Spinal and Traumatic Brain Injury

Spinal Cord Injury:

Spinal cord injury (SCI) occurs when the nerves within the spinal canal are damaged. Most SCI's are caused by trauma to the vertebral column, affecting the spinal cord's ability to send and receive messages between the brain and the body's systems that control sensory, motor and autonomic function. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of SCI, followed by acts of violence, falls, sports injuries and diseases such as polio, spina bifida and Friedreich's Ataxia. The spinal cord does not have to be severed in order for a loss of functioning to occur. In fact, in most people with SCI, the spinal cord is intact, but the damage to it results in loss of functioning.

Traumatic Brain Injury:

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a medical phrase used to describe the damage to the brain suffered by sudden impact or physical force to the head. Essentially, the human brain floats in a fluid substance called cerebrospinal fluid. TBI can result when the force of momentum causes the brain to impact against the skull. This type of injury, often the result of hitting your head on the windshield, pavement or object, is frequently referred to as a "closed head injury." Whiplash can also cause TBI. These closed head injuries can result in lasting physical and mental problems.

 
Wrongful Death

A wrongful death occurs when a person is killed due to the negligence or misconduct of another individual, company or organization. A legal action for wrongful death belongs to the decedent's immediate family members, usually a surviving spouse and children, and sometimes parents. Under certain circumstances, unrelated minor children living with and supported by the decedent may also bring a claim for wrongful death. In order to bring a successful wrongful death cause of action, the following elements must be present:

  • The death of a human being caused by another's negligent or intentional conduct.
  • The survival of family members who are suffering the loss of financial support, love, care, comfort, supervision, guidance, household assistance and general society previously provided by the deceased.

The general rule in wrongful death cases is that one is entitled to recover both economic and non-economic damages which are suffered as a result of the loss of a loved one. Economic damages in a wrongful death case include an award for the financial contributions which the decedent would have made to his or her spouse, children and/or parents had he or she survived. It also includes the recovery for funeral service expenses in memory of the decedent and for burial cost. Non-economic damages include loss of love, society, companionship, comfort, affection, solace or moral support.