If you’ve experienced a personal injury, it’s incredibly important to seek guidance from an experienced personal injury attorney. Ranging issues can result from a personal injury that can be life-changing, and having advice and representation from a knowledgeable professional will help you reach the outcome you deserve.
Injuries in the Workplace
Work-related injuries are far more common than many think, and unfortunately enough, they happen multiple times every day. Individuals that get injured in the workplace can experience a range of repercussions, from missed work and trauma to loss of income and distress. Each of these consequences can impact the victim severely and, at times, drastically impact their quality of life. Employees are encouraged to become familiar with workplace safety, injury protocol, and compliance standards. Gaining knowledge in each of these areas will help uphold a safe and protected environment for all staff, visitors, and customers. Additionally, employees are recommended to become familiar with workers’ compensation and other relevant injury-related issues. There are many different types of work-related injuries:
- Slip and falls
- Work-related car and motor-vehicle
- Falling objects
- Machine accidents
- Over-extension and repetitive motion
- Workplace violence
An employer must create and maintain a safe and secure work environment, so employees, visitors, and customers feel comfortable and protected at all times. Each facility is encouraged to have safety checklists and meet O.S.H.A. and E.P.A. requirements. All workplace documents and contracts should be accessible, and employees should be informed of what actions to take in the event of a workplace injury. Suppose you, a loved one, or co-worker has been affected by a work-related injury. In that case, it’s encouraged to contact a personal injury lawyer immediately to ensure the situation is handled quickly and efficiently.
If you want to file a medical claim or complaint, the medical industry offers numerous resources for the general public to gain further information regarding their healthcare provider or hospital. These resources are also beneficial to review before receiving care from a provider, so you can be sure there aren’t red flags that raise suspicion. It’s encouraged to discuss any hesitations with your healthcare provider as this will help you decide whether you wish to receive or continue care with them.
- Federation of State Medical Boards Physician Data Center: The general public can access this resource to review various information regarding medical professionals, such as board certifications, educational backgrounds, past disciplinary actions, state licensing, and more.
- Online Medical Boards: All medical errors and complaints are reported to each state’s medical board agency, which can easily be accessed by the general public at any time. It’s important to check each state a medical professional is licensed in as all state incidents are reported to the corresponding agency.
- National Committee for Quality Assurance (N.C.Q.A.) Report Cards: This is a non-profit organization that rates the performance and malpractice history of medical professionals. While this database doesn’t go into detail, it gives you a general idea of the medical professional’s personal and professional persona.
- County Courthouses: If you’re curious about your medical professional or hospital’s previous medical lawsuits, the county courthouse is an excellent resource to utilize. It’s encouraged to inquire about the retrieval process as each state differs in requests and content viewing method.
You can take many steps to lower your chances of becoming a victim of a medical error. Potential and existing patients are encouraged to complete background research on their healthcare provider to verify that it’s the right choice. This can be achieved by reviewing provided care, past complaints, and patient reviews. During your appointments, it’s recommended to ask as many questions as possible regarding your care, treatment, and overall diagnosis. It can be helpful to bring a loved one or a friend to your doctor’s appointment as they may ask questions you wouldn’t have thought of, can take notes, and serve as a witness in the future, if needed. If a mistake has been identified in your medical care, you must immediately report the incident to protect future patients.
What Kinds of Medical Claims Exist?
There are many different types of medical claims that can be filed in the medical industry. It’s important to review your experience and identify which claim would best fit your situation. Seeking the guidance of a personal injury attorney can be extremely helpful, so you can be sure you’re submitting the correct medical claim.
- Medication Errors: Medication is prescribed for varying reasons, but its primary goal is to make us feel better regardless of the type. Unfortunately, many errors can happen with medication, from prescribing the incorrect type to providing wrong dosage and administration instructions. Individuals that experience this may be eligible to file a medication error claim as improper usage can cause serious side effects and damage.
- Improper Treatment: Once you’ve been diagnosed with a sickness or medical condition, your healthcare provider will prescribe you treatments, medications, and possibly recommend surgery to improve your quality of life. At times, incorrect treatments and surgeries have occurred, which can result in severe damage. If you have received improper treatment, a medical maltreatment claim can likely be filed.
- Diagnosis Errors: More times than not, identifying medical conditions in the early stages can positively impact a patient’s health. Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis can occur, and if you feel this has happened in your treatment, it’s time to file a medical complaint.
- Releasing a Patient Too Early: When a patient is in the hospital, correct care and guidelines are a necessity to proper recovery. Sometimes patients are discharged too early without proper instructions, which can cause serious harm to their future well-being.
Product Liability Claims
Customers in today’s consumer market come in contact with defective or damaged products more often than one may think. Unfortunately, defects and damage can result in a personal injury or other issues, especially if the manufacturer doesn’t catch the error. If you’ve come in contact and experienced an injury from a defective or damaged product, the manufacturer and seller will be held liable through a product liability claim.
The Four-Step Process
Product liability claims can be complicated, making it essential that you become familiar with the process. It’s very beneficial to gather all useful information that you feel could benefit your case, such as proof of medical care or lost wages. You want to provide evidence of how the defective or damaged product has affected your quality of life and daily routine. Below are a few steps to help you navigate the product liability claims process.
- Gather your evidence
- Preserve the product
- Identify defendants
- Hire an attorney
Different Kinds of Claims
Defects of various types can occur when it comes to products and services. It’s essential to become familiar with the different claim types, so you can identify which one your unique situation falls under. If you’re unsure of where your case falls, seeking guidance from a personal injury attorney can be beneficial.
- Design: problems with the product’s design and commonly an intended defect.
- Marketing: issues with product sales, such as incorrect warnings or instructions.
- Manufacturing: problems with the product’s design and commonly an unplanned defect.
The Value of an Expert Witness
At times your personal injury attorney may find it beneficial to bring in an expert witness. Expert witnesses are an excellent addition to a product liability case as these individuals usually have an extensive breadth of knowledge in numerous areas. Your attorney will utilize an expert witness to determine and explain safety standards, complete testing, and study how the product violated standards. In many cases, the expert witness will testify in court to share their findings with the jury and judge.
Slip and Fall Incidents
Property owners are responsible for the condition of their property, so employees and customers feel safe. If a property isn’t adequately cared for, regular wear and tear will likely not be addressed, resulting in damage, destruction, and poor conditions. Slip and fall incidents can occur due to many conditions, such as:
- Uneven flooring
- Torn or frayed carpeting
- Slippery floors
- Excessive snow or ice
- Poor lighting
Slip and fall incidents can occur in a variety of areas, from residential and commercial to government. Regardless of the type of establishment you’ve been injured in, it’s likely that the company and property manager will be held liable for your injuries. You must notify the property manager immediately after a slip and fall incident, so the process can be moved along quickly and efficiently. If an individual is injured during a slip and fall incident, damage collection will likely be sought after.
The Types of Injuries
If you’ve been involved in a slip and fall incident, your injuries can range from mild to severe, depending on the conditions and what caused your accident. Many individuals experience a slip and fall at some point in their lives, and some of the most common injuries are as follows:
- Brain damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
Slip and fall incidents can happen when you least expect it and often leave the individual in shock. If you’ve been involved in a slip and fall incident, below are a few simple steps to help you navigate the process.
- Get necessary medical treatment
- Report your accident
- Locate and designate witnesses
- Gather evidence
- Contact a lawyer
Personal injury lawyers are here to help car accident victims effectively navigate the aftermath of an accident. Whether you’ve been involved in a minimal fender bender or a much more serious car accident, following this simple step-by-step process will ensure you don’t miss anything.
What is S.E.A.M.?
If you’re involved in a car accident, you will likely feel overwhelmed, and your adrenaline will be pumping. Regardless of the severity of the accident, it’s essential to remain calm to be sure to cover all matters quickly and efficiently. Utilizing the S.E.A.M. acronym is an excellent way to navigate a car accident.
Safety First. Drivers and passengers that have been in an accident should be accounted for immediately to ensure everyone is safe. If possible, it’s encouraged to move your vehicle out of direct traffic or on the side of the road with the hazard lights on. Once everyone is accounted for, and the move is complete, it’s time to dial 911 and wait for emergency personnel to arrive.
Exchange Information. After contacting emergency personnel, you must exchange contact and insurance information with the other involved individuals, if applicable. However, don’t try to do this if you’re severely injured. It’s recommended not to discuss or divulge any details of the incident with others involved in the accident until emergency personnel arrive as you want to avoid unintentionally incriminating yourself.
Obtaining a personal injury in a public space can not only be embarrassing, but the process can be quite confusing to navigate. You may be asking yourself if you fall in a public area, who is held responsible for your injury? Many people experience a slip and fall accident every day due to the negligence of property owners. Regardless of your injury type or where it occurred, it’s incredibly beneficial to familiarize yourself with the details of a slip and fall accident, so you can easily handle your unique situation.
How Do Slip and Fall Accidents Happen?
Slip and fall accidents can happen when we least expect it but ultimately occur due to a property owner neglecting their duty to maintain a property adequately. Whether you’re in your workplace, shopping mall, or fast-food restaurant, each of these locations will likely be held liable for your injuries. Many conditions can cause a slip and fall accident to occur, such as:
- Torn carpeting
- Uneven flooring
- Built-up snow or ice
- Inadequate lighting
- Wet floors
- Unnecessary debris
A slip and fall case is listed under a claims process known as premises liability. This type of claim holds the property owner responsible for any damages that occur when someone else is injured on the property. Property owners are held accountable for maintaining a safe environment for visitors at all times. An injury must have been sustained during the incident to move forward with a slip and fall case. As a result, the injured individual usually seeks damage collection.
Common Slip and Fall Injuries
Many different types of injuries can occur due to a slip and fall accident. Below are a few of the most common slip and fall injuries:
- Soft tissue: Many individuals that experience soft tissue injuries don’t physically see the damage but endure chronic pain and are at risk for future injuries. Sprains and strains to muscles, tendons, and ligaments are examples of soft tissue injuries.
- Head: If you hit your head during your fall, the injury can be severe even if it seems minor at the time. Any swelling, bleeding, or loss of consciousness can signify brain damage making it crucial to see a doctor immediately.
- Cuts and abrasions: Depending on where you fall, cuts and scrapes can occur that range in severity, meaning stitches or cleaning may be required. These injuries usually appear on the legs, arms, head, and hips.
- Spinal cord: Similar to head injuries, spinal cord injuries are also severe. The spinal cord can become severed, stretched, or compressed, which results in full or partial paralysis.
- Broken bones: Many different types of broken bone injuries can happen in a slip and fall accident, from minor fractures to severe breaks. Healing time can range for individuals, but at times the injury can require surgery along with a cast or sling.
If a commercial property owner is held responsible for a slip and fall case, the following guidelines must have occurred:
- Somehow directly caused the circumstances leading to the injury
- Known there was a threat that could cause a slip and fall but took no corrective measures
- Been aware of the danger as part of their dutiful property maintenance
The third situation is usually the most common, but the liability in slip and fall cases tends to be determined by common sense. The law will decide whether the property owner or occupier took preventative measures to keep the property safe and determine whether these actions were reasonable. In commercial slip and fall cases, there are often numerous other people and entities that can be held responsible for someone’s injuries.
Landlords of residential settings may be held liable to tenants or third parties for slip and fall injuries that occur on the property. A tenant must show the following to hold a landlord responsible for an injury:
- Landlord had control over the condition that caused the slip and fall accident
- Making the necessary repair would not have been unreasonably expensive or difficult
- A serious injury was likely if the condition wasn’t fixed
- Landlord’s failure to take action to avoid an accident caused the tenant’s slip and fall accident
Special rules will apply if someone slips and falls on a property owned by a local, state, or federal government entity. Local codes and regulations will likely come into play during the trial to determine who is held responsible for the injury. Government entities are usually shielded from being held liable for injuries on their property due to notice requirements and broad immunity provisions.
Steps to Take After Your Accident
Emotions will likely be high after your accident, and you’ll probably be unsure of the next steps to take. It’s incredibly vital to cover each step, so all necessary information is documented concerning your accident. From seeking medical treatment and reporting the accident to identifying witnesses, documenting evidence, and contacting an attorney, these simple steps will help you navigate your slip and fall accident successfully.
1. Seek Medical Treatment
Your health is incredibly important after a slip and fall accident. The accident can happen quickly, and while you may be in shock, it’s vital that you assess your injuries and seek necessary medical treatment immediately. Doing so will keep you safe from further harm and will allow you to obtain a professional diagnosis of any acquired injuries right away. If you slip and fall in a public space, it’s crucial that you document all injuries right away, so the wounds are fresh. Some injuries may take longer to manifest like bruising, but your healthcare provider will document those as they appear.
2. Report the Accident
Regardless of where you slip and fall, such as a sidewalk, store, or apartment building, the incident must be reported to the manager, owner, or landlord immediately. This allows the public space to document the accident and gives you peace of mind that the event is recorded. Make sure to get all details of the incident in writing and ask for a copy of the written report.
It’s also recommended to inspect the area where you fell because slip and fall accidents commonly happen for a reason. Look around for potential factors that may have caused your fall, from loose carpet and uneven concrete to built-up snow or ice. Once you’ve calmed down from your fall, it’s encouraged to write down your version of the incident, so an attorney and court can have a first hand recount of your accident.
3. Identify Witnesses
It’s essential to check your surroundings after you fall. Gather any names, addresses, and phone numbers of individuals in the vicinity when the accident happened. These individuals can include those that saw you fall and those that were there after the fall occurred. Collecting witnesses will help you have someone on your behalf should a landowner decide to dispute your claim.
4. Document Everything
It’s recommended to document as much information as you can regarding the incident along with potential witnesses. Note the location where you fell and provide a thorough description of the event from start to finish to include the date and time, the way you fell, and any other pertinent details. Take pictures of the location where you fell and any potential hazards contributing to your accident. It’s also recommended to save the clothing and shoes you were wearing during the incident as these items could later be relevant pieces of evidence should the case go to court.
5. Call an Attorney
After your slip and fall accident, you or your loved one may be panicking. Regardless of your emotions, it’s vital that you remain calm and limit communication with the property owner or manager. Statements shouldn’t be provided to insurance companies until you’ve spoken with an attorney. While it may be tempting, it’s encouraged to keep any details regarding your incident off of social media as well. If you’ve decided to consider legal action for your slip and fall accident, you must find an experienced attorney with knowledge of slip and fall cases. At times, slip and fall cases can be challenging to prove, but having a dedicated personal injury attorney represent you can make a substantial difference.
Get Advice From a Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you’ve recently obtained a personal injury from a slip and fall in a public space, it’s vital that you don’t brush the incident aside. Property owners must be held liable for not adequately caring for their property. Whether your injury is minimal or severe, you have the right to seek collection of damages. Many experienced personal injury attorneys can help you effectively navigate the slip and fall claims process. Take the next step and get advice from a personal injury attorney today.Read More
Receiving appropriate medical care is extremely important, as communities around the country put trust in medical professionals and hospitals. There have been occurrences when medical professionals provide incorrect services and care making it incredibly necessary to report the situation to state medical boards, medical board websites, and the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Report Cards. There are many different types of medical claims that the general public can file against medical professionals and hospitals from medication errors and improper treatment to diagnosis errors and releasing a patient too early.
Types of Medical Complaints
Within the medical field, there are many areas in which medical complaints can be filed, but it’s essential to thoroughly think about your experience before starting a claim as there are times where patients receiving even the best medical care can’t find relief.
- Medication Errors: If you’ve discovered an error in your medication prescription from incorrect type and dose to frequency and administration route, it may be time to file a complaint. Many medications carry risks of side effects, and improper administration can lead to serious personal injury or death.
- Improper Treatment: After being diagnosed with a medical condition, your doctor will prescribe specific medications, treatments, and surgeries. There have been instances where inappropriate treatments or surgeries have taken place, and if you’ve experienced this, filing a medical complaint is an option.
- Diagnosis Errors: Catching severe medical conditions early on is extremely important to your overall health. If you or a loved one has been misdiagnosed or suspect a delayed diagnosis, filing a medical complaint may be the next step.
- Releasing a Patient Too Early: If you’re in the hospital for a medical condition, proper guidance and instructions are vital to your recovery. Instances where patients are discharged before they’re ready or without appropriate instructions can result in serious harm.
Where to Find Information
There are many resources available for the general public to utilize to research their doctor or hospital adequately. It’s encouraged to look into your doctor’s background and identify any potential red flags or areas that raise suspicion. If you discover any areas of concern, it’s recommended to confront your doctor to see what went on and further determine whether you wish to start or continue receiving treatment from them.
Federation of State Medical Boards Physician Data Center
The Federation of State Medical Boards is a non-profit organization representing 71 state medical boards throughout the United States. This organization has a Physician Data Center that provides the general public with detailed information about various medical professionals licensed by the represented boards. Individuals that access the Physician Data Center can review information such as:
- Board Certifications
- Educational Background
- Past Disciplinary Actions
- States Where the Doctor is Licensed
Accessing your doctor’s background will help you get a better understanding of their experience and track record. It’s incredibly important to have an experienced doctor familiar with and trained to care for your specific medical condition properly. Reviewing any past disciplinary actions will also help you determine how serious your doctor’s previous allegations, if any, have been and if there are any similarities to your situation.
Access Medical Boards Online
States across the country have medical boards, and all medical errors are required to be reported to the designated medical complaint board. Each state has different processes for filing a complaint, but ultimately the process begins with the patient submitting a report to the board. This information is available to any individual to inform the medical community of a doctor or hospital’s wrongdoing and the general public as a precautionary measure so others won’t fall into the same situation. Each state has an appointed agency that licenses, regulates, and disciplines doctors who engage in professional misconduct. Each agency has a database that is available to the general public as well. When conducting research, it’s vital to account for all states your doctor is licensed and practices in as you may have to review multiple medical board websites to further solidify your case.
National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Report Cards
The National Committee for Quality Assurance Report Cards is a non-profit organization that tracks the quality and successes of health care providers, organizations, and plans. Within the NCQA, a scoring system is utilized to assess doctors’ and practices’ performance and malpractice history. The report cards don’t detail past complaints or background, but it does provide you with the reassurance that the doctor, practice, or plan you’re inquiring about are devoted to keeping patients healthy by providing adequate treatment.
Visiting the county’s courthouse where your doctor practices or where the hospital is located is an excellent option if you want to review previous complaints filed against your doctor or hospital. Courthouses will have access to all previous medical malpractice lawsuits that have been recorded, which can help determine whether a situation has happened in the past that’s similar to you or your loved ones’. Each state differs in the processes to retrieve court records, but there will likely be options to request and view them in person or electronically.
If you have identified a mistake in your medical care, it’s imperative to file a complaint to protect others from having the same experience. There are many preventative measures you can take to avoid your chances of being involved in a medical error:
- Ask Plenty of Questions: At any doctor’s appointment, it’s encouraged to ask your doctor as many questions as you can regarding your care, treatment, and their findings. This will help you better understand your condition and treatment recommendations and help you identify whether your doctor has your best interest in mind.
- Research Your Doctor: Before scheduling an appointment with any doctor, it’s encouraged to conduct thorough background research to ensure they are the right physician. Review their care focus, complaint history, and reviews from previous patients.
- Bring Someone Along: Having another set of ears at your doctor’s appointment can help reduce your risk of being a medical error victim. Invite a friend or family member to join you at your appointment to listen in, ask questions, take notes, and serve as a witness should an issue develop down the road.
Start Your Medical Claim Today
If you’ve received medical care that you believe is incorrect or have been harmed by a medical professional’s care, it’s encouraged to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to start a medical claim. Adequate medical care is critical to your well-being and quality of life. Any medical professionals or hospitals must be held accountable should they not provide correct medical care. Start your medical claim today to begin your trip to recovery and relief.Read More
As personal injury and employment law professionals, we see a lot of work-related injuries day in and day out. It’s far more common than one might think. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that roughly 2.8 million workplace injuries and illnesses occurred in 2018 (last reported data). That number is compounded by 5,000 fatal injuries as well.
The consequences of a work-related injury can range from missed work, distress, trauma, loss of income, and other issues that can severely impact the victim. Every worker should be aware of the risks and dangers that are all-too-common so that they can fulfill their employment obligations in a safe and protected environment.
Employees should also be aware of how management and their work are handling safety issues, compliance standards, and other various requirements that create a hazard-free and safe work environment. It’s also important for workers to understand how their insurance covers worker’s compensation and other injury-related issues.
Common Work-Related Injuries
Slip and Falls
We’ll begin our list with one of the most well known work-related injuries — slip and falls. These are so renowned because they’re not specific to one or two industries. Instead, they can happen to almost anyone, anywhere, at any time.
Slip injuries can be surprisingly severe, resulting in head injuries such as concussions or traumatic brain injuries (TBI), or broken bones and spinal cord damages. These injuries can occur as a result of fallen debris, lubricants, fluids, or even beverages spilling onto the floor. They can also be caused by frozen temperatures and icy conditions. It’s not uncommon for these types of injuries to include bruises, sprains, or even torn ligaments or muscles.
Fall injuries can be especially serious, especially for construction workers. The Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) reports that falls are the number one cause of death for construction personnel.
Work-Related Car and Motor-Vehicle Injuries
Traffic poses a continuous threat, even for the on-the-job employee. If we’re looking at all work-related deaths, traffic accidents are at the top of the list in the United States, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
Managing compensation concerns following a vehicle accident can be a challenge. Commuting workers aren’t eligible for worker’s comp in an incident where they’re involved in a crash to or from work.
However, some workers drive as a central part of their job. This could include:
- Delivery drivers
- Semi-truck drivers
- Construction workers
- And more
It’s important to know what compensation you may be eligible for if driving is a core aspect of your job. Even workers that may be driving on behalf of their employer, whether to drop off a package or running errands, should know how they may or may not be protected.
Obtaining full compensation for a work-related car accident where you’re not at fault means that you may need to pursue damages against the other party involved. Knowing how to respond after an accident can help prepare you for the long road ahead. Check out our article, “4 Essential Steps to Take After a Car Accident,” to learn more.
Falling Objects & Machine Accidents
Some of the most frightening work-related injuries can happen as a result of fallen objects and machine accidents. Certain work areas are hotbeds for falling objects such as product shelves, ladders, pallets, or upper-level areas that may be disturbed. These can be extremely dangerous and can result in injuries to the head or face — or even foot. Some falling objects may shatter, resulting in eye injuries as well.
Workplace machinery has come a long way, and while injuries and accidents are less common, they still present a serious risk to workers. These are the horror stories you hear all-too-often. Amputations and other disfigurements are severe issues with machine workers. Machine accidents can also cause chemical burns, thermal burns, and electrical injuries as well.
Over-Extension and Repetitive Motion Injuries
Some injuries may not be life-threatening, but they can rack up absurd medical bills. Over-extension, whether from pulling, lifting, pushing, gripping, throwing, or carrying on the job may result in sprains, tears, and strains. While these seem relatively harmless on the surface, they can result in expensive surgeries or physical rehabilitation — which may cause an employee to miss work. It’s an extremely common reason for work-related back-injuries as well, which can be difficult to recover from.
Repetitive motion is fairly self-explanatory. Repetitive movements put an extraordinary amount of stress on the body. Now, these work injuries can occur in occupations that you might be thinking, such as construction with repetitive hammering or other motions. However, these can also occur from seemingly simple tasks such as scanning groceries, typing, or reaching for paperwork.
Now, nearly every worker in the United States expects a violent-free workplace. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Workers have been disabled, injured, or even killed as a result of workplace violence. Violent crimes are not immune to a workplace environment, and armed robberies, burglaries, or theft may leave employees physically, emotionally, mentally scarred.
Perhaps the most terrifying situation can arise when a current or former employee attacks their fellow coworkers. These violent acts, while rare, still leave workers eligible for the compensation they deserve.
Creating a Safer Work Environment
It’s the employer’s responsibility to create a safe and secure work environment so that workers can feel protected while on the job. Safety checklists, compliance with OSHA and EPA requirements, along with any other legal obligations, is a must. Creating a safe work environment is not only a duty but also holds legal precedence.
Workers should be aware of their rights concerning work-related injuries and seek a personal injury attorney they can rely on if accidents do occur. Keep all workplace documents and contracts, not only for your own knowledge but also as evidence of any failed obligations by your employer. Work-related injuries may be common, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared. If you or someone you know has been affected by a work-related injury, speak to a personal injury or employment law professional.Read More