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Currently Browsing: Personal Injury Law

Jurisdiction, Statute of Limitations, and other Legal Matters

A personal injury claim is filed in the jurisdiction where the accident or injury occurred. It should be in a court that has the legal authority to make binding decisions regarding the case. It can also be filed in a court where either the injured person or the person at-fault resides.

If you have been injured within the state of Oklahoma, you have two years from the date of the accident to file for a personal injury claim. On its website, the Abel Law Firm says that claimants should be wary of this statute of limitations, because the court will not accept personal injury claims that have expired their statute of limitations, and thus legal right for compensation or damages will be forfeited.

Many people who have been injured may be hesitant to file for a personal injury claim because they believe it would require them to go to trial. However, a great majority of personal injury claim does not event reach court, and many parties tend to have a settlement agreement after evaluating the damages and negotiating a fair compensation. Even if both parties will not agree with the settlement, there will be other options such as mediation that would call for the assistance of a third party, probably an Oklahoma personal injury lawyer or other person of authority to preside and help resolve the dispute and reach an agreement.

As a last resort, the claim can lead to a lawsuit where it will be the judge who will decide the outcome of the case. This would mean that the case will be put on trial, where the lawyers of both parties would have to present their side of the case through evidence and witnesses. The judge will then be the one who will decide on the amount of compensation based on the facts put forth during the trial.

Horrific Consequences of da Vinci Robot Surgical Errors

It seems incredible that in these modern times, horrific things can still happen to patients under the knife. But the reality is, surgical errors often happen when the surgeon is careless, inattentive, negligent or incompetent, and bear the brunt of the liability. In the case of the da Vinci robot, though, incompetence may be the rule rather than the exception when it comes to surgical errors.

It is not easy to learn how to operate the da Vinci surgical system. The surgeon is expected to precisely manipulate surgical instruments using foot pedals and a joystick on a terrain viewed through a monitor. The shift in hand-eye coordination, plus the visual adjustment to a flat monitor rather than actually tissues and organs can lead to surgical errors with quite serious consequences.

One case is a woman whose hysterectomy caused her to herniated her intestines through her vagina because of an improperly closed hole where the cervix. In another hysterectomy, both of the patient’s ureters were accidentally cut, which would require additional surgery to repair and a long bout of pain and discomfort. An elderly man with stomach problems was subjected to hours in surgery because the surgeon had difficulty using the da Vinci system, finally switching to open surgery to finish the job; the man died of a perforated esophagus. At Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in New Hampshire, two patients had their bladders lacerated, necessitating additional surgery in another hospital to repair.

The da Vinci manufacturer Intuitive Surgical Inc. claims that the risks associated with surgery remains even with the new technology. However, those whose lives who have been significantly affected by surgical errors are claiming that the company failed to provide surgeons with adequate warning about the risks associated with using the robot and the training that would make them competent to use it without compromising patient safety. Investigations show that Intuitive’s training module is simply not enough.

If you or a family member has sustained serious injury due to surgical errors made by inadequately trained surgeons using the da Vinci surgical system, you may have an actionable case. Consult with a surgical error lawyer with experience in dealing with da Vinci robot cases.

What You Can Do to Fight Nursing Home Abuse

Abuse in nursing homes has been on the rise. According to the website of the LaMarca Law Group, the rise of nursing home abuse stems from the poor conditions in some nursing homes and care institutes, understaffed health care centers, and even inexperienced or under-qualified health care workers. Many types of abuse have been reported on nursing homes, such as malnutrition, poor or improper care, neglect, physical and mental abuse, and even sexual abuse.

It may be understandable to report the nursing home abuse if you are the relative of the person abused, but what if you are not? It can be hard to know what to do once you’ve seen someone being victimized but does not have the power to prevent it. However, everyone has legal responsibilities to report any abuse that they have witnessed, and depending on your position there is always something you can do.

  • People working in healthcare – most state laws require people working in the healthcare industry to report any type of abuse that they suspect or witness within 48 hours of the incident.
  • Government or legal professionals – whether your profession deals with the elderly or not, most state laws require those who work in legal or government agencies to report any suspected or witnessed nursing home abuse or abuse towards and elderly. It also has a 48-hour time requirement to report the abuse.
  • People working in the religious sector – states may differ on their requirements on reporting abuse if the information has been from a confidential source, such as from the confession booth of a church. Nevertheless, most states require clergies and church workers to report any form or elderly abuse.
  • Everyday citizens – everyone has the responsibility to protect the elderly from any form of abuse, even in states that does not require them to. Ethical and moral etiquette are big reasons from citizens to report any form of abuse, however specific legal proceedings can differ from states that are required to report them and those who are not.

A lot of people can feel a bit intimidated or scared of reporting any type of nursing home abuse; however, things such as these should not be brushed aside. Getting advice from a good legal representative and asking help from other people can give you courage and support to tell about the abuse and what should be done about it.

Adjusting to Life with Paraplegia

A lot of things can happen to change a person’s way of life, and nothing can be more drastic than having suffered a spinal cord injury. Aside from the serious pain that comes along with the injury, a person with a spinal cord injury needs to readjust things that have been natural to them before and live a life with restrictions and limitations. Paraplegia is one of many spinal cord injuries that people can suffer from and affect a person’s personal and professional life.

Paraplegia is a form of paralysis affecting the lower half of the body. Major injuries on the spinal cord can give way to paraplegia, although the website of Ravid & Associates, P.C., also acknowledges that there are some diseases and genetic conditions that can make people develop this condition. It usually affects the reflex and senses in the lower extremities of the body, disabling the ability of the person to walk or stand on their own. There are two types of paraplegia – complete and incomplete.

People who suffer from complete paraplegia loose all sensory and motor nerve functions below where the injury occurred, and they may require wheelchairs to move about. People who are incomplete paraplegics can have some nerve or sensory below the area of injury since a only a certain portion on nerves in the spinal cord are damaged.

Those who suffer from paraplegia, however, should not give up on getting back to their normal life. There are many ways they can still live independently, and there are still many opportunities for them to work and enjoy life to the fullest. Proper rehabilitation and practice can help improve the condition, and it can also help in adjusting how the paraplegic can get back to how they lived their life before the injury. Although readjustments should be made, having paraplegia does not mean they have become useless or invalid. This is big and rude misconception. Limitations are different from hindrances in living life as a paraplegic.

Iowa Laws and Dram Shop Liability

If you are in Iowa and having a good time drinking with your friends, it is easy to go a little overboard with the liquor. Don’t take offense if the barmaid or bartender cuts you off; the law requires it.

Dram shop laws in Iowa are pretty much representative of the dramshop laws all over the US. A dramshop is any establishment which serves liquor, wine and any alcohol beverage onsite. In colonial times, a “dram” is a liquid unit of measurement used by drinking establishments – called shops – to measure out liquor.

Dram shop laws are a carry-over from the mid-1800s during the Temperance movement. Modern applications of the statutes are designed to pressure establishments that sell alcohol to exercise more care in who they serve. The principle behind the law is that those who profit from selling alcohol should also be responsible for the consequences.

According to Iowa Code § 123.92, a person injured in a car wreck caused by someone driving under the influence of alcohol can also make a claim against the dram shop that supplied the alcohol “when the licensee or permittee knew or should have known the person was intoxicated, or who sold to and served the person to a point where the licensee or permittee knew or should have known the person would become intoxicated.” Those holding liquor licenses or permits are required to show proof of liability coverage.

Iowa is one of the states that also penalize anyone who serves alcohol to minors even if they are not a licensed seller of alcohol. If a minor is injured or harmed as a consequence of their intoxication, the minor has the right to make a claim against the person who supplied the alcohol provided that person knew that the claimant was under legal age. If you or someone you know was involved in a car wreck because of drunk driving in Iowa, consult with an auto accident lawyer conversant with the dram shop laws of the state.

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