Articles Posted in Liability

When discussing injuries that arise from medical treatment, people typically think in terms of a standard medical malpractice case: the doctor or hospital was negligent in providing care in some way which leads to the patient’s injury. However, even when there are no issues with the treatment received, injuries can just as often arise from the medical devices that were used during treatment, or as part of the post-treatment recovery process.

People rarely want to blame their doctor, someone who has earned their deepest trust. The reality is that he or she may have given you the best care available, but the device they used was defective. Don’t ignore symptoms if you’ve received medical treatment but the recovery has not gone as planned. If you’re suffering, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you identify the potential source of your problems.  

Because medical device liability is complicated, it may be helpful to review the ways that these devices can be defective and who may be responsible.  

People most are familiar with car accidents, they are fairly common. Accidents involving buses, planes, cabs, trains, Uber or other ride-sharing services are less common and are referred to as “common carrier” accidents. These cases present some unique challenges when compared to accidents involving only personal vehicles.  

If you’ve been injured in an accident with a common carrier vehicle, it is important to understand these differences. You should first seek medical treatment, but you should also seek experienced legal counsel to help you understand your rights and the potential implications of how to proceed.  

The Role of Insurance

If you have fallen when you were on someone else’s property and are injured, you could be entitled to ask for compensation for your injuries and other losses. Personal injury attorneys refer to these as “slip and fall cases.” Even though slip and fall cases are less common than cases arising from automobile accidents, they can result in injuries that are every bit as serious. These injuries can result in thousands of dollars in medical bills and have a significant impact on your quality of life. If you’ve fallen and are in pain, you should get checked out by your doctor or another medical professional as soon as possible if you haven’t already done so.  

The attorneys at Slappey and Sadd have years of experience in handling slip and fall cases. We have helped many of our clients recover compensation for the common injuries listed below.  

Visible Superficial Injuries

Dog bites are typically portrayed on tv and in movies as comedic events, but in reality, they are no laughing matter. Not only can you be seriously injured by a dog bite, but getting attacked by a dog is a traumatizing event. If you’ve been bitten by a dog and suffered serious injury, it’s important that you understand your rights under Georgia law.  

Statute of Limitations

The phrase “statute of limitations” is legal jargon for the period of time during which you can file a lawsuit. There are different time periods for different kinds of cases, and they vary by state. Georgia law requires that you file a lawsuit for personal injury due to a dog bite within two years of the incident. This is important because if you fail to file the lawsuit during that period of time, you will be barred from receiving compensation for your injuries.  

Imagine this scenario: You are sitting at the end of a long line of cars at a stoplight, and suddenly, your vehicle is violently struck from behind by a speeding driver who didn’t stop in time. To add insult to injury, the driver speeds off and you couldn’t make out his license plate number. After you are treated for your injuries, it turns out that the car that hit you was stolen.

This situation raises an interesting question—who is liable for your damages, the thief or the vehicle owner? In most cases, the thief will be solely responsible for your injuries. However, as with every legal issue, there are exceptions to the rules. Read on to find out when, and under what circumstances, vehicle owners can be liable for damages caused by thieves driving their stolen vehicles.

Vehicle Owners are Generally Not Responsible for Damages Caused by Their Stolen Vehicles…

Auto insurance protects you, your passengers, your vehicle, and other drivers and their vehicles when you are involved in an accident. After all, that is why we pay for auto insurance–to help us out in the event of an auto accident. But about injuries that are not sustained while you are actually driving, but you are still using the car in some way? For example, could you file a claim against your insurance company if you were burned by your car’s radiator when adding coolant? What about if you slip and fall when you have just parked and are exciting the vehicle? These incidents are auto insurance “edge cases” and auto insurance generally manage to avoid paying these types of claims.

But all of that might be about to change after a recent ruling by the Michigan Supreme Court.

What is “Transportational Use”?

In March of this year, a 59 year-old woman, a woman in her 40s, and a 7 year-old boy fell about 12 to 15 feet out of a Ferris wheel in Washington State when the gondola they were in tipped over. The 59 year-old was hospitalized with serious injuries, while the others were treated and released. The company that owns the Ferris wheel claims that riders who fell out had been asked to remain seated during the ride’s rotation. However, a witness at the scene claims that it didn’t appear that the riders were moving around when their gondola tipped over, and a broken part was found on the deck of the ride shortly after the accident. The witness further claims that the riders did not start moving back and forth in the gondola until the car itself started coming apart and they were trying to hold on, and that she heard a grinding sound right before the accident.

This incident raises the question of theme park and festival safety, and what riders can do if they are injured on a ride. Below, we’ll examine some of the most common theories of liability for theme park accidents.

Negligence

Over the past decade, the rise of social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and a multitude of others have transformed the way we communicate with each other and, by extension, the way we live. Social media allows us to let others know what we’re up to and also gives us a chance to stay connected with friends and family we might not see as often as we would like. Social media has has managed to seep into almost every aspect of our culture, and the law has not been immune from its effects. When you are the plaintiff in a personal injury case, every move you make on social media can affect your claim. Below, we’ll examine a few ways that social media usage can harm your personal injury claim.

It Could Create Inconsistencies

Whenever you suffer an injury, especially a severe injury, you will get involved with a wide range of professionals, including doctors, medical personnel, insurance adjusters, attorneys, members of law enforcement, and more. The reason why all of these professionals are involved is because they are trying to help you document what happened so that you can present a clear picture to the judge or jury about exactly what happened to you. If you post about your injuries on social media and your description of them does not align exactly with the officially documented version of events, a defense attorney could seize upon these inconsistencies to diminish your case.

What happens when you are injured by using a product that you purchased?

As long as the injury wasn’t your fault–for example, you were using it incorrectly or using it for a purpose it was not intended for–you may be able to bring a products liability action against any party in the product’s chain of distribution. This includes the manufacturer, the manufacturer of a component part of the product, the party that assembled the product, and even the store where you bought the products. When you bring a products liability action, however, you must show that the product was defective and unreasonably dangerous.

How do you do that? The law recognizes several ways.

If you are injured in an accident and prevail in a personal injury suit, you will be compensated in the form of monetary damages.The purpose of damages in a personal injury case is to compensate the victim so that they are in the same position they would be in had the accident never occurred. Thus, damage awards are compensatory—the plaintiff receives one the amount that will make him or her whole again.Because compensatory damages are awarded on a sliding scale relative to the plaintiff’s needs, damage awards can reach into the millions of dollars. In order to cut down on damage awards that many view as excessive, many state legislatures have enacted caps on the amount of damages that juries are able to award.

How Damages Caps Work

The main argument behind damage caps is that the United States is an excessively litigious society and that too many view personal injury lawsuits as a get-rich-quick scheme. Damage caps are thus designed to discourage lawsuit-happy litigants from filing frivolous lawsuits and clogging up the court system. The main argument against damage caps is that they unfairly limit the recourse available to injured parties and that judges already have the power to either decrease or increase unreasonable damages awards. The way damages caps work is fairly simple—they are a creature of state statute, wherein the state legislature places what they consider to be a reasonable limit on the amount of money a jury can award. Some states limit damages based on the type of action that is brought in the court—for example, the damages cap may only apply to medical malpractice or wrongful death. Other times they apply to certain categories of damages, most commonly to noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering, and punitive damages.

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