Wednesday, April 12, 2023

An Overview of Personal Injury Law

 Personal injury law allows people to sue entities that have caused them harm, damage, or loss. If these people win their cases, they get compensation for any loss or harm they suffered. It, therefore, decides who can be sued, what must be proved to win a case, and the damages that can be received if the case is won. The plaintiff is the individual who makes a legal claim of being hurt or having suffered some sort of loss, while the defendant is the entity who caused the hurt or loss.

Personal injury cases include car and work accidents (such as construction accidents). The two main types of personal injury damages are financial and non-financial. Medical bills, property damage, and salaries lost due to absence from work are all kinds of financial damages. Non-financial damages are given to plaintiffs who have been hurt in other ways. This could be physical or/and emotional pain.

As a plaintiff, you can file a personal injury claim when you have been harmed or suffered a loss because of the negligence of a person or professional. This is known as accidental injury. It includes cases of medical malpractice and car or bus accidents.

Also, you can sue if the defendant's actions or inactions directly hurt you. For example, if you use a product that harms or hurts you in any way, you have the right to make a claim against the manufacturer of that product. You are allowed to do this even if they did not intend to harm you or did not make mistakes in producing or selling the product.

Sometimes, you might want to make claims against more than one entity. This is allowed in personal injury law. This could happen in medical malpractice claims, in which you can sue both the negligent physician and the hospital the physician works at. The legal doctrine applied here is referred to as vicarious liability. The employer of labor (in this case, the hospital the physician works at) is held accountable for the actions committed by their employees on the job. This applies regardless if the hospital itself was negligent.

Injuries are common, but conditions must be met before the case qualifies for a personal injury lawsuit. Your legal counsel must prove that the defendant has a duty of care towards you. A duty of care is a legal obligation requiring all people to act with utmost care and avoid behaving in a way that could cause harm to others. It is violated when someone is injured because of the actions and inactions of another person when it could have been foreseen and prevented.

To show that the defendant violated their duty of care, you need to prove they could have foreseen and prevented the situation which got you injured. As stated earlier, you can claim that you were harmed directly because of their actions or inactions, but you must prove this. You also need to show that your losses can be compensated.

It is important to note that out-of-court settlements resolve most personal injury cases. The defendant's insurance company could offer you money in place of you dropping all present and future claims. Although you will receive compensation quicker from out-of-court settlements, it may be lesser than that awarded from trials.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Headline-Hitting Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in the United States

 Medical malpractice occurs when healthcare givers act irresponsibly, causing their patient injury or death. Because even small acts of negligence can attract a lawsuit, up to 21,000 medical malpractice lawsuits are done every year. Here are some infamous medical malpractice cases in the history of the United States.

A Florida court in 2006 awarded Mr. Allan Navarro $216.7 million following a misdiagnosis. Mr. Navarro had presented with stroke symptoms (nausea, double vision, and dizziness), but doctors at the Tampa University Community misdiagnosed them for a headache. Consequently, Mr. Navarro went into a coma for three months and used a wheelchair due to a brain injury.

Some, like forgotten apparatus in the body, wrong organ removal, or limb amputation, are considered “never events” because they are not supposed to happen. In 2007, Neurosurgeons at Rhode Island Hospital hit the headlines for performing three surgeries on the wrong sites on three patients. Two incidents were caught in time and addressed. One was fatal.

In West Los Angeles VA Medical Center, surgeons mistakenly removed the right, healthy testicle of Mr. Houghton, an Air Force veteran. The VA Medical Center paid out $200,000 in damages. In another seemingly “never event,” Mr. Willie King had the wrong leg amputated. It was later discovered that even the wrong leg was unhealthy, and Mr. King would have lost both legs.

In 1998, EMTs were called to the home of 12-year-old Ms. Tiffany Applegate after she went into anaphylactic shock. They arrived without the necessary medical equipment, so they called for another ambulance. Ms. Applegate’s mother insisted on taking her to a nearby hospital, but the paramedics instructed her to await another ambulance. By the time she got to the hospital, it was too late.

Ms. Applegate suffered major brain damage. Her family brought a malpractice lawsuit against the state of New York. The case was dismissed because New York City could not be held liable. However, it was later found that the EMTs owed Ms. Applegate a duty of care to help her. She was awarded $135 million in personal injury damages, the highest in New York.

Most medical malpractices are unintentional. Some, however, are intentional, like the one involving Dr. Nikita Levy, the infamous Creepy Doctor who cost John Hopkins Hospital $190 million in damages. It was found that for over 25 years, Dr. Levy, a gynecologist, and obstetrician, had secretly recorded women during pelvic exams using a pen camera.

In most cases, it starts with a “harmless’ error, like an incorrect entry of patient information, which produces a chain of mistakes that lead to a serious medical error. For instance, in Mr. King’s case, those who prepared him misled the surgeon to amputate the wrong leg. Everywhere, including the operating room procedure, the hospital’s computer system, and the operating room blackboard, had the wrong leg listed.

In 2021, $20 billion was paid out in damages. And, as high as 21,000 medical malpractice lawsuits may sound, only five percent of medical malpractice-related deaths result in payouts. Most medical malpractice incidents go unprosecuted. So, medical malpractice is under-litigated despite the seemingly excessive malpractice suits and the negative attention.

Medical malpractice cases are hard to win, as defendants (hospitals or doctors) win the majority (up to 70 percent) of cases that go to trial. The reason is that the best attorneys represent doctors and hospitals. So, if you suspect you have a medical malpractice-related injury and want to bring a lawsuit, you need to hire an experienced personal injury attorney.

An Overview of Personal Injury Law

 Personal injury law allows people to sue entities that have caused them harm, damage, or loss. If these people win their cases, they get co...