If someone close to you has recently been killed as a result of someone else’s actions, you may be wondering if you have the option to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This kind of claim is meant to allow the loved ones of the deceased to receive compensation for their loss. However, not just anyone can file. Only certain people with the right relationship to the victim can file a wrongful death claim. This guide will answer all your questions about who can file.
Who Can File for Wrongful Death?
The answer to this question depends heavily on which state you live in. Each state has its own laws about who can and cannot file a wrongful death lawsuit. These individuals always have this right, regardless of the state:
- Parents of a minor victim
- Minor children of the victim
- Spouses of the victim
Then, in certain states, these individuals are also allowed to file:
- The extended family of the victim
- Siblings of the victim
- Parents of an adult victim
- Adult children of the victim
The first step in the process should be to determine whether or not you are even allowed to file. You can do your own research or speak with an attorney who specializes in wrongful death. If you cannot, you may want to work with a family member who is allowed to file.
What Can Be Claimed?
The matter of who can file a claim brings up another matter. In a personal injury lawsuit, all the damages claimed are losses the victim has suffered personally. However, in a wrongful death lawsuit, you are filing on behalf of the victim. This means that you can make claims based on the victim’s losses, but also for your own losses. These are the two categories that damages can fall into.
The damages that the victim suffered may include pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages due to the injury, emotional distress, the purchase of medicine or medical equipment, and damage to property. The damage that the loved ones of the victim suffered may include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of companionship, loss of financial support, funeral costs, and burial costs. All of these damages can be claimed in a wrongful death lawsuit. Additionally, punitive damages may be assigned, which are meant to act as a punishment for the defendant.
You can learn more about what types of damages are likely to speak with an attorney, like a wrongful death law firm in Indianapolis, IN. This should be the first step you take.
Thank you to the experts at Ward & Ward Law Firm, for their insight into personal injury law.
Potholes can cause serious damage to cars, but they can also cause injuries to car occupants. Striking a pothole can cause a flat tire or axle damage that causes a driver to lose control of the car. Drivers often stop abruptly after hitting a pothole, potentially triggering a rear-end collision or pileup.
Even when a pothole does not cause a driver to collide with another car, potholes can lead to car occupant injuries. Research shows that potholes can trick impact sensors into deploying airbags. Car occupants can suffer serious facial injuries and hearing loss when airbags deploy.
Hitting a large pothole can produce the same force as a 35-mph collision. Even if airbags do not deploy, occupants who are wearing safety harnesses can suffer serious joint and neck injuries after a car hits a pothole. Occupants who are not wearing seatbelts may experience concussions, brain trauma, and other serious injuries.
Health Benefits of Seeing a Doctor Promptly
No law sets a time limit for seeing a doctor after a car accident. There are, however, time limits associated with bringing a claim for compensation. Most states also impose strict time limits on providing the government with notice of the claim. Injury victims can protect their rights by obtaining immediate advice from a car accident lawyer after they are involved in a pothole accident.
It is just as important to seek medical advice immediately after a car accident. Whiplash injuries might not produce pain until two or three days after the accident, but prompt treatment — even before the pain starts — can reduce the duration and severity of pain that the injury victim eventually suffers.
Head injuries can cause bleeding and swelling of the brain, but an accident victim might not realize that they have a serious injury until it is too late to prevent death. Delayed treatment of muscle and nerve injuries can cause them to worsen over time. An accident victim who tries to “walk it off” or who doesn’t want to miss work to see a doctor may end up with a long-term disability that could have been prevented with prompt treatment.
Settlement Benefits of Seeing a Doctor Immediately
While a negligence claim is typically made against the government when a pothole causes an injury, state and local governments usually purchase insurance for negligence claims. The insurance adjusters who handle the claims have an incentive to save money for the companies that employ them. For that reason, they look for excuses to avoid paying full compensation.
When an accident victim does not immediately visit a doctor, an insurance adjuster will often claim that the victim came up with the idea to make a false insurance claim. The longer an injury victims puts off medical care, the more likely the adjuster will be to argue that the injury is fabricated or resulted from something that happened after the pothole accident.
Insurance adjusters scrutinize medical records in their search for an excuse to deny full payment of a claim. They pounce upon any gap in treatment as evidence that the injury victim stopped seeking treatment because the victim recovered from the injuries. If a victim stops treatment, it is difficult to overcome the suspicion that the victim’s injuries had fully healed.
To maximize the opportunity to receive full compensation, it is important for pothole accident victims to visit a doctor immediately and to follow the doctor’s course of recommended treatment. If the victim cannot attend a treatment appointment, he or she should reschedule the appointment immediately. If physical therapy is painful or time consuming, the victim should still make a point of attending every session. When medical records show that injury victims did everything their healthcare providers asked them to do, it is difficult for insurance adjusters to claim that the victim is faking an injury.
Head trauma on the job can happen in several ways; you may be hit in the head by another co-worker’s equipment, or you might fall off a construction crane. No matter how mild or severe the injury, two things should happen: You should receive medical treatment as soon as possible, and you should follow up with a workers’ compensation claim.
What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) typically occurs in conjunction with a head trauma sustained after falling or being hit with an object. It is often common in construction, warehouses, delivery and other heavy physical labors.
A TBI, at best, is a mild concussion but could also be as damaging as a coma, a persistent vegetative state or fatal brain damage. Onset symptoms can include, but are not limited to:
- Dilated pupils
- Slurred speech
- Acute changes in behavior
Victims of TBIs may often experience chronic symptoms like difficulty speaking and processing information, impaired motor skills, loss of emotional control and fatigue. The medical costs of a TBI can be extensive, and the outcomes could last a lifetime. If even a mild head injury is sustained at work, it can be crucial to report it and get treatment to minimize effects and stay eligible for workers’ compensation.
Workers’ Compensation Eligibility
It’s simple. If you or a loved one suffers a TBI on the job, it’s usually eligible for worker’s compensation, right?
Right … but it isn’t always simple. Traumatic brain injury can be tricky because the signs may be subtle and often don’t appear right away. Perhaps worse, in the case of closed head trauma, the severity of the TBI can also be disproportionate to a seemingly trivial injury.
After suffering from head trauma at work, the incident should be reported to the employer, and a victim should seek medical attention immediately. Getting treatment is crucial to limiting the potential damage caused by a TBI. It is also vital to have a record of where and when the injury happened. If there is no record and delayed onset of symptoms, an insurance company may argue that an injury on the job did not cause the TBI.
Treating and managing the effects of a traumatic brain injury can last a lifetime, and the cost can be debilitating. If you or a loved one receives a head trauma at work, go to the emergency room, document the incident with the employer and follow up with a personal injury lawyer in Miami, FL.
Thanks to Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. for their insight into personal injury claims and workers compensation claims involving traumatic brain injury.
The desire to be ecologically conscious has led to an increase in the number of cyclists on the roads every day. Streets have become more congested with cars, and cities are becoming friendlier to bicycles. However, this can be a serious danger to pedestrians, who are more used to watching for loud, large cars than they are for the slender, quiet bicycles. A study by one college examined the prevalence of these bicycle-pedestrian accidents in light of the uptick in urban bicycle usage. The study, which focused only on New York, discovered that there are over 4,000 New York bicycle accidents involving pedestrians every year. These accidents can be serious enough to lead to hospitalization and even fatal in some instances.
Injuries Caused by Bike Accidents
Bike accidents can cause a variety of serious injuries to pedestrians. Although bikes do not have the same amount of momentum as an automobile, they have the ability to inflict severe harm on pedestrians. Broken bones, sprains, and serious contusions or lacerations are common results of these types of traffic accidents, but bikes can also cause traumatic brain injuries if the pedestrian falls at the wrong angle or strikes their head on something during the fall. These brain injuries can cause concussions, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headaches, and seizures. They can even put a person into a coma or end their life if the injury is serious enough.
Responding to a Bicycle Accident
The steps to respond to a bicycle-pedestrian accident are much like those used to respond to an ordinary car accident. The first step is to take stock of everyone’s injuries and call for medical attention if necessary. Once that has been accomplished, it is important for the parties to exchange contact information and insurance details. The parties should also alert the police to file a report about the accident.
One of the largest differences between bicycle-pedestrian accidents and standard traffic accidents is their propensity to become hit-and-runs. Many cyclists do not understand that they have to remain at the scene of an accident like a motorist would, and even some of the ones who do know, choose not to. This can become even more complicated by the fact that most riders do not have license plates on their bikes, which makes them more difficult to identify. In these sorts of situations, the best option is to record as much detail about the cyclist as possible, maybe even speaking to witnesses to get more information, and then reporting the incident to the police along with the description.
If you were recently injured in a bicycle-pedestrian accident, contact a lawyer to find out how they can help. They can schedule a free case evaluation with a skilled personal injury attorney Des Moines, IA residents recommend, and determine what kind of financial compensation you may be entitled to. Call a law office today.
Thanks to Johnston Martineau, LLP for their insight into personal injury claims and bicycle and pedestrian accident injuries.
Personal Injury Lawyer
Finding yourself on the receiving end of an injury of any kind can lead to changes in your lifestyle. However, no casualty has the potential to lead to long-term consequences like a brain injury. Traumatic brain injury occurs when an event causes damage to the brain. The damage may vary, but the effects may be felt for awhile, or even a lifetime. Explore some of the facts about brain injury and the signs and symptoms you need to monitor.
Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury
An accident that causes a traumatic brain injury (TBI) may involve falling, getting in a fight, or being in a car crash. A TBI does not apply to damage caused by a stroke or something that happened internally. It almost always starts as some sort of impact to the head. In some instances, the head may not need to hit anything for the brain to be injured. The force of some accidents causes the neck to snap back and forth, forcing the brain to move around in the skull. The result of this rattling may be extensive bruising, swelling, and bleeding.
Signs and Symptoms of TBI
If you have never hit your head, you may not believe there is any cause for concern over a brain injury. However, understand that anything that causes the brain to bleed or bruise may eventually lead to a catastrophic injury. After you have been involved in an accident or event that may have caused a TBI, keep an eye out for:
- Extreme fatigue
- Change in speech (slurring words, difficulty with vocabulary)
- Memory problems
- Worsening headaches
- Nausea or vomiting
Degrees of Damage
TBIs range in severity from minor bruising to death. Things like minor concussions or bruising may resolve with little medical intervention. However, it is necessary to remain in touch with a doctor and follow up as directed. Sometimes a doctor may believe the brain will recover when it doesn’t. Other times, there is something else going on that doesn’t immediately show up, such as internal bleeding.
Long-term effects of a brain bleed or swelling may result in paralysis, permanent brain damage and eventually death. If someone you love suffered a TBI due to someone else’s actions, such as a car accident, an attorney may help recover some of the costs associated with providing them with long-term care. Even if the damage is permanent and the chance of recovery futile, they still deserve a high level of care.
The brain is the hub of the body’s nervous system. It runs the show. Therefore, an injury to it may have serious consequences that affect every part of the body. A brain injury lawyer, like a brain injury lawyer in Orlando, FL, may be able to aid in helping your family get through the process of caring for a loved one.
Thanks to Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. for their insight into the facts about traumatic brain injuries.
Riding a bicycle isn’t just a fun recreational activity. It’s also a means of transportation for many people these days. When you ride a bicycle to work and other destinations, you don’t have to worry about finding parking or paying for gas. While many cities have made an effort to create more bicycle-friendly environments, cyclists still risk getting injured by careless drivers. Here are some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents.
Opening a Car Door
Before opening their door in traffic, it’s important for drivers to first make sure it’s safe to do so. This includes checking for bicyclists that may be approaching their vehicle. Unfortunately not all motorists do this. If a door swings open quickly into the path of a bicyclist, they will either hit the door or hit other vehicles trying to avoid it.
Distracted Driving and Riders
It’s just as important for bicyclists as it is for drivers to keep their eyes on the road at all times. Unfortunately, too many bicyclists and drivers look at their smartphones while on the road. Taking your eyes off the road for even a split second can increase your risk of getting into an accident.
Making a Turn
A large percentage of accidents involving vehicles and bicycles occur during turns. When bicyclists are next to a vehicle, they often get caught in the motorist’s blind spot. Drivers who don’t look before making a turn can cut in front of a bicyclist and hit them.
Following Too Closely
Accidents can also happen when bicyclists and drivers follow too closely behind each other. If the bicycle or car in front makes a sudden stop, it can cause a rear-end collision. Bicyclists and drivers to leave plenty of space to make sure they have enough reaction time to avoid hitting the other person’s back end.
It’s dangerous for both motorists and bicyclists to speed. Although bicyclists can’t ride as fast as cars, they still shouldn’t try to ride as quickly as they can. When bicyclists ride too fast, they won’t have enough time to react if a vehicle suddenly pulls out in front of them.
Harsh Weather Conditions
It’s wise for bicyclists to avoid riding during harsh weather conditions, but they can still get caught in an unexpected rainstorm sometimes. When this happens, they will have more trouble seeing what’s in front of them and are more likely to get into an accident. Rain can also make bicyclists less visible to motorists.
Were You Injured in a Bicycle Accident?
If you were recently injured in a bicycle accident that was caused by a motorist, you may be entitled to compensation. It’s important to speak to a qualified personal injury lawyer in Des Moines, IA about your case as soon as possible.
Thanks to Johnston Martineau, LLP for their insight into personal injury claims and common causes of bicycle accidents.
Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Safety features in cars, including seatbelts and airbags, provide protection against injuries in certain kinds of collisions. Motorcycle riders have no comparable protection. They depend on a helmet and clothing to act as a safeguard against head injuries and road rash. Unfortunately, even the best gear can do little to prevent painful injuries in a motorcycle accident.
When motorcycle riders are injured because of another person’s carelessness, they are entitled to pursue compensation. The largest component of most settlements compensates injured motorcyclists for their pain, suffering, and emotional distress.
Compensation for Georgia Motorcycle Accidents
Georgia law endeavors to make accident victims whole. It does so by requiring the people who caused the injuries to compensate accident victims for their losses.
Substantial motorcycle accident injuries lead to substantial medical bills. Some riders have health insurance that will help them pay those bills. Others are uninsured. Even when motorcyclists have health insurance, however, they are billed for co-pay and deductible expenses that their policies do not cover.
Compensation reimburses motorcycle riders for their medical expenses. It also assures that they will be able to pay for future medical care that they will likely need. In addition, compensation covers the expense of coping with disabling injuries. For example, compensation may pay for wheelchairs as well as the cost of making a home wheelchair accessible.
When injuries prevent a motorcycle accident victim from working, compensation reimburses lost wages. If a disabling injury will reduce the victim’s ability to earn income, compensation should cover that lost earning capacity.
While those categories of compensation address economic losses, Georgia law also recognizes that accident injuries cause emotional losses. Compensation for pain, suffering, and emotional distress addresses those intangible losses.
Compensation for Pain and Suffering Caused by Georgia Motorcycle Accidents
While pain, suffering, and emotional distress are not tangible, they are undeniable consequences of accident injuries. Road rash, broken bones, and torn muscles cause intense pain. Motorcycle accident injuries often lead to long-term impairments that cause lasting pain.
Physical pain and disabilities produce emotional pain. The inability to lift a child, to play a sport, or to continue riding a motorcycle can be emotionally devastating. The inability to work after an accident impairs self-esteem. Motorcycle accident victims often suffer from depression or post-traumatic stress as a result of their injuries.
Georgia law recognizes that pain, suffering, and emotional distress deserve compensation. Accident victims cannot be made whole without that compensation. While money does not make pain go away, compensation helps to offset pain by improving the quality of the accident victim’s life.
Compensation contributes to emotional security by relieving disabled accident victims from the worry that they will not have the financial resources to cope with their disabilities. When activities like mowing the lawn would aggravate pain, compensation allows victims to avoid pain by hiring a landscaping service. Compensation can therefore be used to ease stress and make pain more tolerable.
Measuring Compensation for Pain and Suffering from Georgia Motorcycle Accidents
While financial losses can be measured, there is no formula for calculating the compensation that should be paid for pain and suffering. Pain affects every person differently. Some motorcycle accident victims cope with emotional distress more readily than others.
A motorcycle accident lawyer can rely on their knowledge and experience to place a value on pain and suffering. They keep track of the verdicts that local juries award in motorcycle accident cases. They compare a client’s pain to the pain described by other victims in injury trials. That knowledge creates a baseline that lawyers use to measure the compensation a motorcycle accident should receive for pain, suffering, and emotional distress.
Car Accident Lawyer in Deer Park, TX
Your children are your top priority, and when they get sick or hurt, you want to do everything possible to help. If they suffer an injury as the result of another, you may want to look into getting help with paying for their medical care. How does the claims process work when a child is involved? Take a look at some of the top ways a child may suffer a personal injury, and also how to handle filing a personal injury claim to recover damages.
The Claims Process for a Child
When a child gets hurt, and that injury is the result of another’s negligence, you may have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit on their behalf. A minor under the age of 18 will be named in the suit, as will their parents. While the laws vary from state to state, this is the generally accepted practice in handling a lawsuit where a minor is a plaintiff. Consider some of the most common ways a child may suffer an injury due to someone else’s negligence.
The most common way a child suffers a traumatic injury is during the course of a car accident. Children who are not adequately restrained may be ejected or tossed around, suffering catastrophic injuries or death. Even when they are strapped in the right way, depending on the mechanics of the crash, they can wind up getting seriously hurt. Therefore, if you and your child are in a motor vehicle collision, you want to be sure they get checked thoroughly before writing off bumps and bruises.
People may not realize how easily an innocent encounter with a dog might turn into a severe injury for a child. It is common for children to seek out animals, especially when at someone else’s home or the park. However, dogs can inflict a significant amount of damage in a short amount of time. There are also times when an animal who is not correctly restrained gets out and harms a child walking by or playing in an adjacent area. If the owner is negligent, you may have a case for negligence.
Your child will spend a significant amount of time at school from daycare through high school. It is here they have a good chance of suffering some injury. The severity of which depends on the incident leading to the injury, but everything from scraped knees, broken bones, and traumatic injury may occur. These injuries, whether accidental or part of an overt violent act by someone else, may qualify in the personal injury category.
Contact a car accident lawyer in Deer Park, TX might be able to assist you with filing a claim for your child.
Call John K. Zaid & Associates for their insight into personal injuries and children.
Nursing Home Lawyer Houston, TX
When you move your loved one into a nursing home, you put them in the responsible hands of the nursing home’s medical care professionals. In a perfect world, you would expect the staff to treat your family members as if they are members of their own family, but unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen.
If you are suspicious about the going-ons in your loved one’s nursing home, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney at the first sign something is wrong. Here we have compiled an intro guide on what anyone should know about nursing home law in case you experience some situations you may be uncomfortable with.
Responsibilities of the Nursing Home
Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law, there are specific requirements a nursing home must abide by when caring for their residents.
- Having an adequate amount of staff compared to the number of residents in the facility
- Developing and enacting comprehensive care plans for each resident, including keeping and tracking their medical care and dietary restrictions
- Assessing and aiding in the specific needs of each resident as they come up
- Promoting each resident’s quality of life
- Ensuring the faculty is clean, liveable, and supervised at all times
The rights of a patient can be narrowed down into two categories: quality of life and quality of care.
Quality of life means that the nursing home has the responsibility to provide care in an environment that is positive and enhances each resident’s life. From providing social activities to providing a clean bedroom and bathroom, these all add to a resident’s quality of life.
Quality of care entails that each resident is being cared for as they should be. If it has anything to do with a patient’s mental or physical health, it is classified under quality of care. For example, administering medications on schedule, providing a proper diet, and socialization.
Specific Examples of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
There are a lot of different examples of nursing home abuse and neglect, which is why it is imperative to be as vigilant as possible when visiting your loved one in their care facility. Look out for the following signs:
- Neglect: bedsores, weight loss, unwashed clothes, dry skin and chapped lips (due to dehydration), and bruises and scrapes.
- Emotional abuse: an unexplained and abrupt change in behavior, seclusion, depression, a sudden disinterest in doing activities that were previously enjoyable.
- Physical Abuse: similar marks in the same area of the body such as the ankles or wrist, severe fear of another resident or a care worker.
If you are noticing any of these symptoms, do not hesitate to contact a law firm today. Call the police if it is an absolute emergency, otherwise, come get help from nursing home lawyer Houston, TX relies on. A consultation is what you will need to seek clarity and next steps in your specific situation.
Contact John K. Zaid & Associates for their insight into personal injury claims and nursing home law.
Wrongful Death Lawyer in Houston, TX
When a wrongful death attorney, like a wrongful death lawyer in Houston, TX, agrees to represent the family of a victim who was killed in an accident caused by another person’s negligence, there are steps the attorney may have to take to prove that the unexpected death of the victim was due to someone else’s actions. Whether the accident was a vehicle accident, premises liability, product defect, medical malpractice, or some other type of claim, the following are different pieces of evidence that an attorney can utilize to prove their case.
Accident Reports: In any type of vehicle or mass transit accident where there has been a loss of life, there are two different reports that should be available. The first is an accident report and the second is a more detailed fatal accident report. A wrongful death attorney will obtain those reports immediately upon taking the case. These reports often provide indicators of other evidence the attorney may find useful in their case.
Emergency Call Records: Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), citizens can request all recorded calls that come into 911 emergency call centers. All of these calls are digitally recorded, making a reproduction of records request fairly easy. These recordings often provide wrongful death attorneys with important evidence which can help prove their case, such as witness names and statements. In some states, names and other information may be protected, but an attorney can file a subpoena to request that information once the wrongful death lawsuit has been filed.
Event Recorder: If the accident involved a commercial vehicle or mass transit vehicle, there should be an event record which will contain vital information about what was happening leading up to the crash. An attorney may be able to obtain information about the speed the vehicle was traveling, any use of a horn, when braking occurred, and other critical information. Because there is always the risk that the at-fault party could destroy this information, it is critical to move quickly with your claim so the attorney can file the necessary legal documents to ensure these records are preserved.
Investigators/Experts: Depending on what type of accident took place, a wrongful death attorney may also consult with accident investigators and other experts in order to have them visit the site of the accident. It is important to obtain photographs of the scene as soon as possible in order to capture the conditions that existed when the accident occurred.
Autopsy: Whenever a person dies from apparent accidental death, or if there are questions regarding the circumstances of the death (such as in a malpractice case), it is crucial that a family member request an autopsy if the state is not automatically performing one. There can be important evidence that will help prove the case, as well as show the intense trauma the victim suffered before they died.
Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney Today
If you have lost a loved one due to the actions of someone else, contact a lawyer today to find out what legal recourse you may have against the at fault party.
Contact John K. Zaid & Associates for more insight into wrongful death.