July 2018

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Motorcycle Accidents and Claims

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The consequences of a driver’s negligence in causing a motorcycle crash and resulting injuries can be quite serious, or catastrophic. Economic losses, for past and future medical bills, and lost income past and future, may be quite extensive. The adverse effects of the injuries can be life altering. Negligence may include:

  • Failure to yield at intersections
  • Failure to see the motorcyclist
  • Distracted driving, including cell phone use or texting
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol, or drugs

Motorcyclists are often at increased danger when vehicles turn left at intersections. The left turning vehicle has the responsibility to yield to vehicles approaching from the opposite direction, which are within the intersection or so close that there may be an immediately hazard. Too often the left hand turn is a common cause of motorcycle crashes, motorists may not see a motorcyclist, or in sufficient time to avoid a collision. Early involvement by a personal injury attorney is important, the attorney may be able to locate witnesses and consult with an accident reconstructionist.

Catastrophic injuries caused by another’s negligence in a motorcycle crash require representation by an experienced attorney, who can investigate and evaluate the fault of the adverse party and get appropriate experts involved to assess and project future medical expenses and lost income. The attorney will obtain the medical records, get reports from physicians to address permanency of the injuries, or work disability. A life care planner and an economist may need to be hired to address future medical needs, expenses and lost income.

Another reason to consider hiring an attorney in a motorcycle crash involves the issue of motorcycle helmets. The issue of requiring motorcycle helmets varies from state to state. Some argue that laws requiring helmets save lives, reduce head injuries, and medical costs. Further, helmet advocates state that helmets do not reduce visibility or impair hearing. They also argue that helmet laws don’t restrict people’s freedom any more than other accepted public safety laws, like prohibitions covering drunk driving or using cell phones while driving.

If an operator or passenger is injured, and not wearing a helmet, in an Arizona personal injury case, a jury may be allowed to consider whether, the nonuse of the helmet should reduce the amount of damages that the injured motorcyclist may receive.

The defense would have to prove that use of a helmet would have prevented specific injuries, if so the injured person’s damages that are awarded may be reduced.

Settling a personal injury claim too soon, or without representation can be a huge mistake. If you are involved in a motorcycle crash, a motorcycle accident lawyer Phoenix, AZ relies on should be consulted without delay.

 


 

Thanks to our friends and contributors from The Law Offices of Paul Englander for their insight into motorcycle accidents and claims.

Bedsores are the result of neglect

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Many of the families we represent are for injuries called bedsores. Bedsores are also known as pressure ulcers, pressure injuries, and decubitus ulcers. It is important to know that pressure ulcers do not “just happen.”  They are, in the overwhelming majority of cases, a result of neglect, as a nursing home lawyer Trenton, NJ trusts can explain.  In fact, Medicare makes nursing homes report pressure ulcers because they are quality of care indicators.  Also, if a person in a hospital gets a severe wound, Medicare won’t pay for the treatment because the evidence shows that severe wounds should not happen at a hospital if proper care is given.

Understanding how these wounds are prevented and treated are essential to be a good advocate for your resident. The strategies to prevent the development and worsening of pressure ulcers are simple and straightforward. It is not complex medicine that’s going to prevent a pressure injury from occurring, it is simply basic nursing.

What is a bedsore?

A bedsore is formed when a person is simply not kept clean and dry or urine and feces and not moved frequently enough.

When a person is not moved enough the pressure between the bone and the surface they are lying on puts pressure on the skin in between. This pressure prevents blood flow to that area. Blood carries oxygen, and if oxygen cannot get to the skin than the skin begins to die.  When the skin is not kept clean and dry of urine or feces, these substances irritate the skin and cause blistering, which can be the beginning of the skin damage.

Bedsores typically form on parts of the body where there is increased stress on the skin when a person is seated for a long period of time or lying in bed most of the time. These are areas you would think would be a problem.  For example when a person is lying down most of the time, the buttocks, heels, and small of the back are the areas most likely to develop a bedsore.

How serious is a bedsore?

The seriousness of a bedsore can be minor, if it’s just redness or a rash, to very serious if it is a wound that exposes the bone. It’s important to know how medical professionals discuss bedsores to understand what is going on with your resident.

Bedsores are staged based on severity, like cancer. The stages of a bedsore are stage I (1) through IV (4). Stage I bedsore is the most minor and should heal easily. A stage IV bedsore, however, is very painful, will complicate rehab, and typically is an area that easily infected, which can lead to death. Below is a brief description of the 4 stages of a pressure officer.

Stage I – this is a simple redness to the skin doesn’t go away when pressure is relieved. It may look almost like a rash. Staff at hospitals and nursing homes are trained to look for redness on areas where pressure ulcers typically develop. To be clear, it is easy to stop this wound from developing if it is at stage I. Simply keeping the person off that area will be enough that the wound should heal in a day or so.

Stage II – a stage II pressure ulcer should also be something that is relatively easy to heal. This is where there is a blistering but it is confined only to the topical skin. Many times a stage II wound is formed when a person is not kept clean of urine and feces. Much like a stage I ulcer, a stage II ulcer should be fairly easy to heal if caught at this point. Simply keeping a person clean and dry and relieving the pressure off that area should be enough to heal a stage II pressure ulcer in a matter of days.

Stage III – a stage III pressure ulcer is much more serious. When you have a stage III pressure ulcer the wound has gone through the skin and damaged the tissue below. This can be a serious problem because infections can now occur in this open area. Stage III ulcers are painful. Stage III ulcers complicate rehab. Stage III ulcers also take a lot of resources from the body to heal making someone more susceptible to infection. If a person has a stage III wound a facility has got to address that wound with new tools. A stage III wound can take a long time to heal, so the sooner it is identified and treated the better.

Stage IV – a stage IV bone is the most serious of all pressure ulcers. It is where the wound is gone through the tissue below the skin and in many cases all the way down to the bone. Stage IV wounds are a very serious condition. Stage IV wounds will take a long time to heal. A stage IV wound is very painful. A stage IV wound is often the place where an infection starts, especially if it’s on the buttocks or in the small of the back because feces will oftentimes get into the wound. Stage IV wounds will typically require surgical treatments.

How do I prevent a wound from forming?

The care and treatment required to prevent a wound from forming are very simple and basic nursing. The best way to prevent a pressure injury is to just alleviate pressure. The maximum time a person should be in one position is 2 hours. This means that at a minimum people should be moved in a bed every 2 hours. In a wheelchair they should be moved even more, because the pressure on the buttocks and small the back is greater. If a person is sitting in a wheelchair which should be shifted once an hour. Moving a person in a better wheelchair does not mean completely moving them to a totally new position. It simply means to shifting the way from one part of the body to another part of the body. It is not difficult to accomplish.

It is also important to keep the skin clean and dry of urine and feces. Urine and feces can burn the skin. These skin burns can lead to more significant pressure injuries.

So the basic nursing tasks of keeping people clean and dry and being sure there turned and repositioned appropriately are the 2 most important ways in order to prevent a pressure injury from forming.

The proper nutrition is also very important to prevent or treat a wound, protein in particular. When a person is at risk of developing a wound or suffering from a wound, it is important to be certain that they are getting ample protein. Protein is the substance that the body uses as building blocks. If there is a wound, the body will attempt to heal the wound with protein. If a person is not getting enough protein through their normal diet they can also receive protein supplements.

Keeping a person clean and dry, being sure there turned and repositioned every 2 hours in a bed and every one hour in a wheelchair, and being certain that they are receiving good nutrition, are the best ways to prevent or treat a pressure ulcer.

 


 

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Davis & Brusca, LLC for their insight into bedsores and nursing home negligence.

What is My Personal Injury Claim Worth?

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The Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Wieand Law Firm represent accident victims who were injured due to someone else’s negligence or carelessness. Personal injury law encompasses a wide array of different claims such as car accidents, slip and fall injuries, medical malpractice, mass torts and defective products. The value of your personal injury claim will depend on the unique circumstances of your claim.

The most common question clients ask us is “what is my personal injury claim worth?” Even with the benefit of years of experience handling solely personal injury cases, this is often a very difficult question to answer. And usually, not something we can answer at an initial client meeting. The reason for this is the value of your claim will depend on a multitude of factors. Some of these factors will not be discovered until weeks or months into your claim. A list of some of the most significant factors that influence the value of a personal injury claim are provided below:

  • Who is Liable for the Incident? Was the tortfeasor (or negligent party) completely liability for the accident or does the victim share some portion of liability? If the victim shares a percentage of liability, his or her claim will be reduced or possible barred depending on state law. A personal injury lawyer can help advise you on the law applicable to your case.
  • What Damages Did You Incur? How severe are your injuries? How long did it take you to recover? What are your economic damages (these include losses such as loss of earnings or earnings capacity, hospital bills and property damage)?
  • Is there Enough Insurance? Sometimes, the most significant factor in determining the value of the claim is whether there will be sufficient insurance to cover the victim’s losses. In many instances, such as car accidents, a defendant’s state minimum insurance policy will fall drastically short of fairly compensating a personal injury victim
  • Where will the Case be Litigated? It may come as a surprise to most people that the venue of litigation is often a significant factor in determining the case value. If your case venue is in a conservative county, you should expect the settlement value of your case to be less than that of major metropolitan areas. This is because insurance companies are willing to bet that conservative jurors will be unwilling to fairly compensate an accident victim and therefore, will may want to take the case to trial.
  • Who is the Defendant and what did they Do? Some defendants are more sympathetic than others. For example, a sweet, elderly grandmother may have more appeal to a jury than a repeat DUI offender. Additionally, a high degree of negligence or reckless conduct will play a factor in what a claim is worth. Your attorney will certainly take this into account when making a determination of the value of the claim.

 


 

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Wieand Law Firm, LLC for their insight into slip and fall cases.

Disclaimer: This webpage is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice.

FAQ: Understanding Comparative and Contributory Negligence

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When attempting to obtain a settlement from an insurance company following a car accident, you are likely to be worried about a number of things. Perhaps one of the biggest worries car accident victims must sit with is whether the insurance company will be successful in placing at least part of the blame on you. This can be incredibly disheartening, especially if the accident has resulted in significant suffering. Understanding comparative negligence and how such situations may be viewed by insurance companies, can be beneficial when pursuing a car accident claim. Fortunately, a  car accident lawyer  residents trust can be beneficial in advocating for you to secure the compensation you deserve.

What is comparative negligence?

Comparative negligence can make for a strong defense case against the driver who has hit you. Sometimes, when a victim attempts to obtain a settlement through the insurance company or in the form of a lawsuit, the professional representing the defendant may attempt to assign fault to the claimant. It’s important to retain an attorney if you have been in a car accident and there is belief that you have contributed to its cause in some way. In most states, if the claimant is found to be 50% or more at fault for the accident, they may not be entitled to compensation.  

Is there a difference between comparative and contributory negligence?

Yes. Comparative negligence is a newer approach adopted by the legal system.Comparative negligence allows for a claimant to obtain a portion of the settlement they are negotiating. For example, if a person is found to be 20% to blame for the accident, the defendant is only responsible for 80% of the damages they are looking to collect. In cases of contributory negligence, if a person attempts to obtain compensation and found to be at all responsible, they will not be able to collect even a portion of the settlement they have requested. It’s important to note that contributory negligence is an older way of approaching such situations. In most states, courts have moved away from contributory negligence and are more likely to practice the less harsher, comparative negligence.  

Can comparative negligence impact my settlement or award?

If the defendant is able to prove that you were in part responsible for the accident, your award may be impacted. Throughout the country there are variations to the percentage in which you can be found at fault for your role in the accident. In a number of states, if you are at fault for 50% or more of the accident, you may not to be able to obtain compensation. If you are unsure of whether or not you contributed to the accident, having an attorney review your case will be vital.

It can be frustrating to attempt to collect compensation for the injury you have suffered in a car accident. This is especially true if as a result of your insurance claim, the adjuster believes you are in part responsible. Unfortunately for you, it is the job of an insurance adjuster to ensure that the payout you obtain is as small as possible. However, an attorney’s services may be a necessary way or securing the settlement you may be entitled to.  

Rest Stops Are Necessary for Truck Drivers

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Truck drivers have a unique job, as they must carry thousands of pounds of products or liquids from one station to another as safely as possible. Not only must they haul these items, but arrive at their delivery destination by a certain time. With the added pressure of meeting these time obligations, truck drivers may not take all the breaks they need in order to take proper care of themselves. Taking stops to rest can be crucial for a truck driver, in order to help lessen the chances of causing a terrible accident.

The average commercial truck can weigh ten thousand pounds, up to eighty thousand pounds. The standard passenger car weighs much, much less at a whopping three to five thousand pounds. It can be easy to imagine that if a crash were to occur between these two vehicles, tragedy may fall upon the car driver for being significantly smaller in size.

Why is rest so important for truck drivers?
Truck drivers need adequate sleep in order to be fully alert to surroundings when on the road. If a truck driver were to become sleep-deprived, he or she can be greatly at-risk for falling asleep behind the wheel. There is another condition called microsleep, where a person can actually have their eyes open and enter into a fraction of a second, up to thirty seconds long of sleep. This can be scary for other car drivers sharing the road to imagine, as a truck weighing almost twenty five times more than them can cause substantial pain and damages if control was lost.

What are signs that a truck driver may fall asleep behind the wheel?
While mild tiredness may not be what leads to a horrible accident, lacking necessary sleep certainly can. Functions become impaired when the body has not received rest and quality meals. Blood sugar can drop and attention can waver, thus leading to a truck driver crashing into either a building, side of the road, or an innocent car driver. Signs that a truck driver may fall asleep behind the wheel can include:

  • Excessive yawning
  • Appearing worn down or disheveled
  • Having trouble keeping eyes open
  • Staring straight ahead with a blank stare
  • Slow, frequent blinking of the eyes
  • Head nodding then jolting back upwards

What can I do if I was hit by a truck driver because they were sleep-deprived?
If in the event you or someone you love was struck by a sleepy truck driver, medical attention should be sought immediately. Accidents between a passenger car and a commercial truck should be taken seriously, as injuries can become critical very quickly. Once you have received the medical care you need and have followed up with your doctor, you can consider making an appointment with an attorney about what happened. Depending on the details surrounding the accident, you may be entitled to receiving compensation for the crash. This compensation can help you pay off your medical costs, vehicle damages, replenish loss of pay from missing work, and more. You may want to find a semi truck accident law firm  trusts who can talk with you further about how to go about seeking justice.