Wrongful Death from Explosion Accidents

Posted by on Jul 19, 2013 in Explosion Victims, Personal Injury, Wrongful Death

A wrongful death suit can be a hard thing to process, since there are many things to consider such as who really caused the injuries and other factors that played a part in the death. There are many ways a wrongful death claim can be put filed: fatal accidents, medical malpractice, and product liability cases. When a person dies because of the legal fault of another, then it can be taken as ground for a wrongful death lawsuit.

Among the most dangerous situation a person can be in is being involved in an explosion. According to the Williams Kherkher, fires and explosions can bring about severe burns and it can be a very traumatic experience, and people who suffered from serious burns or injuries from fires and explosions can die. Unfortunately, explosions due to natural gas or propane are common and occur frequently. Explosions, combined with fire and carbon monoxide poisoning, are leading causes of death. Some other causes are faulty installations and product malfunctions.

One such incident of wrongful death due to gas explosion is the case of a certain Megan Cramer, a waitress working at JJ restaurant at Kansas. Heartland Midwest, along with 5 other defendants in the lawsuit, has been operating in an area near the restaurant when they hit an existing gas line. The JJ restaurant where Megan Cramer worked was destroyed by the gas line explosion, killing her and injuring 15 other people. Claims of slow response to the gas leak and the failing to request for identification of the buried gas pipeline has been cited as causes for the accident and eventual death.

Explosions can happen anywhere, even at the comfort and safety of your home. Household chemicals, machines that use gasoline, and even electrical wiring can cause a fire or explosion. It is always better to be on the safe side. No amount of compensation can bring back the life of a loved one.

Learn More

Keep Your Fingers! Know These Defective Snow Blowers

Posted by on Jul 17, 2013 in Personal Injury, Product Liability

Winter can bring out a lot of joy in many people, but not all. Snow accumulated on the street or on the lawn would mean cleaning up the area, and it can be difficult feat to manage. Fortunately, snow throwers and snow blowers help in clearing snow. However, all is not well. What you need is know that snow blowers can pose a risk to you if they are not used properly or if they are defective.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a warning against using certain snow blowers and snow throwers. Even Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. agrees that they pose the risk of severe injuries such as finger amputations, lacerations, burns, and infections that could potentially prove fatal if not treated quickly or properly. Some of the defective snow blowers or snow throwers that have been recalled from the market are:

  1. Honda models HS622, HS724, HS928, HS1132, HS1336i, HSM1336i. They have been known to have gasoline leaks which could lead to burns or severe injuries if the gas ignites.
  2. Briggs and Stratton Corp. has recalled their Ariens Sno-Thro models because of the machine’s carburetor bowl nut lets which has the potential to let gas escape the unit, posing fire hazards. The operator also at risk of losing limbs when clearing the discharge chute.
  3. MTD Product Inc. recalled their snow blowers because of defective wheel-rims that explode and break out.
  4. A certain manufacturer of Toro snow blowers have been recalled because of their unit’s carburetor needle’s possible corrosion leading to dangers of fire.

Aside from being a necessity during winter seasons, these machines are also easy to buy since they can be found in just about any home improvement stores or major chains such as Sears and Kmart. Even with the product recall, there are still those who are using the machines and end up being injured (some with broken bones and deep lacerations). The most in danger are those who are unaware of the risks that these snow blowers and snow throwers can inflict them. It is always best to stay on the safe side: read, understand and follow the instructions, keep hands and feet away from any moving parts, don’t leave it running in an enclosed area, and always practice safe use.

Learn More

Early Detection Key to Treating Cancer

Posted by on Jul 16, 2013 in Personal Injury

Nothing provokes visceral emotional response like being diagnosed with cancer does. It is a startlingly common disease. Approximately 1 in every 4 people in America are diagnosed with some form of cancer with about 60 percent of these diagnoses proving fatal. The sad part is that not all types of cancers can be treated, and most of the treatable ones depend on early detection to keep the disease in check. It is vital to diagnose the disease as early as possible before it can get out of hand.

The rise of many cancer patients have been due to delayed cancer diagnosis. According to the website of Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck, P.A., doctors or physicians have allowed the progression of cancer in their patients because they have failed to perform certain examinations or tests necessary to eventually determine and treat the disease. Most doctors often believe their patients are merely suffering from simple symptoms that can be treated with an easy prescription. Negligence on their part has caused a lot of people to suffer from the disease, and has caused patients to suffer from more pain and suffering.

There are also instances where initial examinations and tests do not show signs of cancer, causing the doctor to disregard the symptoms. Other symptoms are usually disregarded as from “benign” causes, even when these symptoms require further examinations. If they do treat the symptoms, they treat them as the disease and not as part of another disease. Doctors also rely on less definitive means of diagnostics which can be interpreted incorrectly. Another practice is to not have any follow-up examinations after having one negative result.

The U.S. healthcare system is not always effective and doesn’t always work for everyone. A lot of patients get little of the doctor’s time, if ever at all. Nevertheless, this does not mean you have to suffer from a delayed diagnosis; negligence or drawbacks from the systems or doctors are reasons enough to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Learn More

Protecting Yourself from Sexual Assault

Posted by on Jul 14, 2013 in Personal Injury, Sexual Assault

When we say “sexual assault” most of us often think of rape; however sexual assault can be more than that. Any kind of sexual contact which involves force, intimidation, or coercion also falls into this category. Sexual assault can happen to just about anyone – it does not consider age, race, social status, or even gender. In these dangerous times, there are ways that we can help prevent and protect ourselves from any form of sexual assault.

Starting with your home, avoid sleeping with your windows open (especially if you are alone in your house). Be aware of the possibility of being attacked even inside your own home, so therefore have a plan on how to fight any intruders and what to do when you are assaulted. Don’t just let anyone inside your home, and make sure the emergency police numbers are on speed dial. Lastly, install protective measures (such as closed-circuit television, approved bars on gates or windows, alarms, etc) in order to detect any intruders that may come into your home. If that seems like too much, having a pet for a lookout can be a great security measure. It also helps to have your home well lit.

When you are outside your home, it helps to double-up on your safety measures. Become more aware of your surroundings; know who is there with you or if someone is following for some time. Avoid walking, driving or parking on poorly-lighted places, and control your alcohol intake during parties or going out. Walk with confidence and be assertive (it makes you look stronger) and establish your personal space. Keep your things close to you, and most importantly trust your instincts. If you think you are in danger or are not comfortable with a certain place, situation, or person, then it is best to leave.

Sexual assault can be a very damaging and traumatic experience. The website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. says that even though taking legal action against the perpetrator can be a very intimidating step, it is important for your well-being that you do. There is nothing to be ashamed or feel guilty of as a victim of sexual assault. Those feelings should fall on the criminal. Sexual assault is a grave crime that should never go unpunished.

Learn More

Filing a Child Injury Lawsuit

Posted by on Jul 13, 2013 in Personal Injury

It can be hard for any parent to see their child or children being involved in an accident, particularly if their child or children are innocent. If the parents (or legal guardian) would like pursue a lawsuit against the ones at-fault for the injuries or damages that has been done, it may help to have legal representation.

The first thing parents (or guardians) should understand that children under 18 years of age are considered minor in the eyes of the law. This means they can’t file a lawsuit by themselves, thus the court can appoint the guardian or parent to file the lawsuit in behalf of the child/children. To begin the lawsuit, the parent or guardian should submit a petition to the court. If conflict should arise (such as the parent has caused the accident, or has a part to play in the injuries attained by the child/children) the court can appoint another person to represent the welfare of the child/children.

In a lawsuit, the plaintiff is the victim of the accident (or the ones who have filed the lawsuit). In this case technically, the parents or guardian are the plaintiff, and the defendant is the one who is being sued. It is the plaintiff’s job to personally give or provide a copy of the summons and complaint to the defendant. There are times where the case can be settled outside of court, but if both parties do not agree on the settlement, then the lawsuit proceeds to court.

Additional documents are then filed in court. These documents are filed in court with a fee to be paid to the clerk. The summons is sent to the person/persons responsible for the accident, damages, and injuries suffered by the victim, and the other party is given a certain amount of time to answer the summons. A complaint is the document that gives the necessary facts of the accident, and supports the cause of action. The complaint gives the specific details of all the reasons for the lawsuit.

According to the child injury lawyers at Habush Habush & Rottier S.C., just like in adult personal injury lawsuits, there are statutes of limitations; however, for a child or children, these statutes of limitations are delayed. The court will wait until the child reaches the legal age of 18 years old , and then the child/children has three years to either settle the claim or pursue the lawsuit.

When filing a lawsuit, it’s important to seek the assistance of a lawyer. Lawyers are trained in the legal process and know what kinds of roadblocks to expect and how to get around them. They are familiar with law and how to prove injuries based on what is required of the law. Their knowledge can be instrumental in getting a lawsuit filed on time and with sufficient evidence to make a strong case. This can be the difference between success and failure.

Learn More

Joplin, MO Cracks Down on Car Accidents

Posted by on Jul 11, 2013 in Car Accidents, Personal Injury

Joplin is a city in Missouri with a population of 49,526 (2011 estimate). The recent devastation of the 2011 tornado that claimed 161 lives has made Joplin authorities determined not to add to the body count by tightening regulations on preventable car accidents.

One of the preventive measures employed by the Joplin Police Department is to establish a checkpoint for impaired drivers or those driving while intoxicated (DWI) over the March 29, 2013 weekend. The project was aimed at making Joplin residents aware of the consequences of impaired driving. DWI is the cause of nearly one-third of traffic accident fatalities in Missouri on average; that number for 2011 was 218, with a further 867 sustaining serious injuries. DWI in Missouri carries fines, license suspension, jail time and other undesirable consequences such as felony record for repeat offenders.

Another preventive measure was the “Click It or Ticket” campaign, which imposed fines for drivers and passengers who were not using their seatbelts. About 70% of all car accident fatalities in Missouri had been unbuckled, which approaches the state average seatbelt use of 79%, 6 points below the national average. The campaign ran from May 20 to June 3, 2013.

The need for catching DWI drivers before they do any harm and the wisdom of using seatbelts was tragically illustrated in a traffic accident that occurred in Joplin on May 30, right in the middle of the Click It campaign. A vehicle travelling erratically just past midnight rolled over as it hit the curb, killing the unrestrained female passenger and seriously injuring the driver. Further investigations will reveal if the driver had indeed been intoxicated as initial reports indicate. The Joplin-based driver is being charged with involuntary manslaughter, and may also be facing a civil lawsuit for wrongful death.

If you are ever involved in a car crash in Joplin in the near future due to negligence or recklessness of other, it is not due to any lack of preventive measures by the authorities. Consult with a Joplin personal injury attorney and help drive home a point.

Learn More

Living with Dangerous Property Conditions

Posted by on Jul 10, 2013 in Personal Injury, Premises Liability

When you first get a place of your very own, chances are it will be far from the ideal place to live. Walk-ups, old apartment buildings, and the like are usually cheap, ideal for tight budgets. Unfortunately, many of these affordable residences for rent exist in some state of disrepair, and this can develop into dangerous property conditions.

Some of the situations that may render a particular building risky to live in include:

  • Faulty wiring
  • Uneven flooring
  • Cracks in the foundation
  • Leaky pipes
  • Defective light fixtures
  • Lack of usable fire escapes
  • Defective elevators
  • Old lead-based paint
  • Worn and broken steps

Any of these situations can lead to slip and falls, electrical fires, structural collapse or toxic exposure. Tenants may tolerate these dangerous property conditions, but that does not mean that the owner or landlord of the building is exempt from liability for any personal injury or property damage that may result.

Landlord liability is based on the premise that lessees of a property are entitled to a reasonable expectation of safety and security. In other words, a property owner that willingly accepts payment for occupancy has a duty of care towards these tenants. Under general tort law the property owner is liable for any injury or damage to a tenant directly caused by dangerous property conditions that the landlord knew or should have known about but failed to take action.
For example, if a tenant reported to the landlord that smoke was coming out of one of the wall sockets, the duty of care should prompt the landlord to investigate the source of the smoke, which may indicate faulty wiring. If the landlord fails to act and a fire breaks out, the owner will be liable for the property damage as well as any injuries or death that occurs to the tenants of the building.

If you are injured due to dangerous property conditions, consult with a premises liability lawyer. An experienced attorney would be able to assess the merits of your case and if you are eligible to recover damages from the property owner.

Learn More

Forceps and Facial Injuries at Birth

Posted by on Jul 5, 2013 in Birth Injuries, Personal Injury

Facial paralysis injuries at birth, also referred to as facial nerve palsy, are believed to be caused by trauma due to pressure on the facial nerve or seventh cranial nerve at the stylomastoid foramen, or that bone that lies over a portion of the facial canal. According to the website of Massachusetts personal injury attorneys Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, it is speculated that use of forceps in the delivery may be a contributory factor to such injuries at birth.

Facial paralysis due to forceps-based injuries at birth is thought to occur in nearly 9 out of 1,000 forceps deliveries. Other probable causes may be as a side-effect of epidural anesthesia, labor-inducing medications, large baby size or prolonged labor.

Facial nerve palsy may present as difficulty in eye closure on one side, skewing of the face or uneven movement of the mouth when crying, or lack of voluntary movement on one side of the face. There is no direct evidence that forceps deliver is the primary cause of facial injuries at birth, but in two-thirds of facial paralysis at birth, forceps had been used to assist a difficult birth or prolonged labor. It is believed that the curved ends of the forceps may have impinged on the facial nerves. The use of forceps is not recommended because of the many problems associated with it.

Facial nerve palsy is often a temporary condition, resolving after a few days to a few months without treatment. In some cases, however, the damage is more extensive and may require rehabilitation. For more severe cases, the effects are permanent and without known treatment. Children who suffer from severe facial nerve palsy due to injuries at birth are likely to have physical, emotional and psychological difficulties later on.

Injuries at birth such as facial nerve palsy may be due to medical errors during delivery, and may be a solid basis for a birth injury claim. Consult with a well-established personal injury lawyer if you or someone close to you has a child diagnosed with long-term facial nerve palsy.

Learn More

Getting Complete Police Car Wreck Reports not so Easy in Wisconsin

Posted by on Jul 3, 2013 in Car Accidents, Personal Injury

Getting a police report for a car wreck in Wisconsin may not be as easy as it sounds. While the Wisconsin Department of Transportation instructs the public to obtain a police report for any car accident that occurs in the state ($6 fee), those who are in need of one may find that they will not always be given a complete one.

Approximately 135,000 car accidents occur in Wisconsin annually, or one every 5 minutes, and upwards of 700 people are killed and about 50,000 people are injured and the cost for the state is about $2.9 billion. For each one of these accidents, a police report is filed and is supposedly available for those who have a legitimate right to it, such as the parties directly involved in an accident.

However, there has been an increasing tendency for law enforcement agencies to redact or block out information stated in police reports, including those for car accidents. A federal law protecting the right to privacy of drivers whose information may be obtained from motor vehicle registers is the basis for this policy, but it is doubtful whether the 1994 Driver’s Privacy Protection Act was meant to apply to individuals who have a right to a full car accident report for insurance and civil litigation purposes.

This redaction policy is a reaction to a lawsuit against a city in Illinois that originated from a parking ticket stuck to the windshield which contained full details regarding the owner of the vehicle, including name, address and birth date. The plaintiff claimed that this violated the DPPA law, and the case is now pending at the US Supreme Court. By withholding vital information, the law enforcement agencies in Wisconsin are hoping to avoid similar lawsuits. Ironically, a city in Wisconsin is now being sued for violating the open records law with their redaction policy.

If you are injured in a car wreck due to the negligence of others, you may find your work cut out for you in obtaining a police report you can use in a personal injury lawsuit. Retain the services of a Wisconsin car accident attorney who will have the knowledge and resources to obtain the records you need for your claim.

Learn More

Diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Posted by on Jul 2, 2013 in Cancer

Currently, no screening tests for non-Hodgkin lymphoma exist. Therefore, it’s important for patients, especially those who may display some of the risk factors such as age or weakened immune system, to watch for development of any of the following symptoms. As always, regular medical check-ups are necessary to watch for possible signs of lymphoma and seek care if they are found.

Common symptoms

  • Swollen stomach
  • Chest pain and pressure
  • Coughing and shortness of breath
  • Fever
  • Excessive weight loss
  • Tiredness or extreme fatigue

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma frequently causes lymph nodes to swell and grow to the point that one may feel them under the skin. In the abdomen, lymph nodes may enlarge and cause the stomach to feel tender and swollen. Swelling near internal organs in the abdomen can lead to pain, nausea, vomiting, and a lowered appetite. Lymphomas in the chest region can be diagnosed by lumps, or by shortness of breath, as enlarged lymph nodes press on the trachea. Lymphomas of the brain and spinal cord are some of the most difficult to diagnose, but they can cause headaches, personality changes, double vision, and facial numbness.

In addition to the specific and localized symptoms, lymphomas typically cause more general symptoms including weight loss, night sweats, and high fever. Lymphoma can also result in a low blood count, which manifests itself in the form of fatigue (anemia), bruising and bleeding, and frequent infections.

If you or a loved one develops any of these symptoms, it is a recommended you visit a doctor for a check-up. Lymphomas, along with other types of cancer, are treated much more successfully when diagnosed early.

Learn More