Archive for April, 2014

Child Sports Injuries And Your Legal Options

Whether it’s a twisted ankle on a soccer field, a head injury from football practice, or a broken bone from cheerleading, child sports injuries are something parents around the country have to deal with on a daily basis. While most injuries are minor and don’t require medical attention, serious injuries can irrevocably alter the course of a child’s life. Let’s look at the facts.

The Statistics

A child sports injury can occur in any sport at any time. Even when properly trained adults provide supervision and take all reasonable precautions, no sport is ever free of injury risk. Consider the following:

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Car Crashes and Your Insurance Company

Posted on April 18, 2014

Car Crashes and Your Insurance Company

Drivers involved in car crashes often worry about what will happen to their insurance rates. There are millions of car accidents every year, most of which involve insured drivers, and each case is different. To understand what might happen to your policy if you are involved in the crash, you have to look at several different factors.

The Claim

Whenever you are involved in a car accident that results in damage to a vehicle or an injury to a person, insurance companies are usually involved. When you are involved in an accident, one of the first things you typically have to do after making sure everyone is safe and collecting all the relevant information, is to call your insurance company. After calling the company you inform the agent or representative about what happened and that representative will assign your case a claim number. The company will then assign a claims agent or investigator to the case to begin an investigation.

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I Was Hurt on My Bike. What Now?

Posted on April 11, 2014

I Was Hurt on My Bike. What Now?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 700 cyclists die every year as a result of a bicycle accident involving motor vehicles, while over 32,000 people suffer injuries as a result of such collisions. Even though accidents involving bicycles and motor vehicles are fairly rare, they can lead to lifelong injuries for the cyclist, not to mention the terrifying experience of such an event.

Whenever you are riding your bike and are involved in a collision with a motor vehicle, there are specific steps you need to take in order to protect yourself and your ability to recover damages in a potential lawsuit. Here are some practical steps you can take.

Step 1: Get Help

If you have been injured as a result of the collision, or believe that someone else has been injured, you need to seek medical attention immediately. If you don’t have a cell phone or any way to call for an ambulance, you need to ask someone else to call for help. In this situation it’s best to select a specific bystander or observer and ask that person to call an ambulance. If you ask a large group of people to call, you greatly reduce the chances that someone will do as you ask.

Step 2: Make Sure You Are Safe

If the collision took place in a high-traffic area, you need to make sure that you and anyone else involved are no longer in danger. If you are capable of moving, find an area nearby where you can go so you are no longer exposed to traffic.

Step 3: Call The Police

Whether you are injured or not, you should make sure that you file a police report, preferably while still at the scene of the accident. If you don’t need medical attention, wait for the police to arrive to investigate the accident. Even if you don’t believe your bike has been damaged or you don’t think you have been injured, it’s important to get a police report on record. It’s possible, for example, for you to not notice that you sustained an injury until several days or even weeks after the accident. If you don’t file a police report and then find out later that you suffered injuries, you will make proving your case more difficult.

Step 4: Get Information

You should find out as much as you can about the driver and the vehicle. Ask for the driver’s license and registration information. If you have a camera or cell phone available, take photographs of the area, the car, the license plate, your bicycle, and any injuries. If there are any bystanders or witnesses, ask them for their contact information as well.

Step 5: Contact a Lawyer

Even if you don’t think you are entitled to recover money for the damages or injuries you suffered, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible after you’ve been involved in an accident. Sitting down and talking to an attorney will give you an idea of what you might be able to recover and what your options are. It’s best to contact a lawyer who has experience handling bicycle accident or personal injury cases.

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Can I Sue My Employer For an Injury I Suffer at Work?

Most people know that when someone is injured at work, workers’ compensation insurance will cover the expenses. But what a lot of people don’t realize is that in some situations, employees who suffer an on-the-job injury can sue their employer in court. Here’s what you need to know about suing an employer because of an on-the-job injury.

When Workers’ Compensation Applies

If a worker suffers an injury while on the job or because of work-related conditions, that worker can receive workers’ compensation. For example, a worker who injures her back while lifting a heavy object at work can file a workers’ compensation claim. So, too, can a worker who develops a repetitive stress injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, because of typing on a computer all day.

When Workers Can Sue Employers

Not all injuries are covered under workers’ compensation. Some injuries are so significant that workers can ignore the normal requirement of filing a workers’ comp claim, and instead file a lawsuit.

For example, workers who are injured because of an employer’s intentional or reckless behavior can skip workers’ compensation and file a lawsuit. In other situations, workers harmed by a defective product or toxic substance can file a lawsuit, as can those hurt when an employer doesn’t have the appropriate workers’ compensation coverage as required by state law.

Defective Products, Employers, and Manufacturers

In many workplace injury cases, a worker suffers an injury not necessarily because of someone’s intentional or negligent actions, but because an equipment manufacturer produced a defective product. In such cases, the employee is not really suing the employer, but rather, sues the company that made the equipment.
For example, a painter employed by a painting company might use different types of equipment in the course of his day. One day, the paint sprayer he is using malfunctions, causing an explosion that leaves the painter severely injured. If the explosion was caused by a defective product, and had nothing to do with the employer’s recklessness, the injured painter can sue the paint sprayer manufacturer.

Toxic Materials

Similar to defective products, workers who suffer injuries because of toxic substances found in the workplace can also pursue remedies outside of workers’ compensation. As with defective products, any manufacturer that produces a toxic substance can be held liable for injuries workers suffer, even if those injuries only appear years later.

For example, workers who are exposed to benzene can suffer significant negative health consequences. Short-term symptoms of benzene exposure can include headaches, rapid heartbeats, and dizziness, while long-term side effects can include a weakened immune system and different types of cancer. Depending on the circumstances, workers exposed to toxic materials in the workplace might be able to sue either the employer or the manufacturer for the injuries they suffered.

Legal Evaluation

Determining if you can pursue a claim outside of workers’ compensation is not something the average worker can do. If you’ve been injured or have suffered illnesses because of your job, you should talk to a personal injury attorney near you. Workers’ compensation laws differ from state to state, so you need an attorney familiar with local laws in order to properly evaluate your case.

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