Background: Personal Injury Law
A personal injury case is a legal dispute that involves one person who alleges being injured by some type of accident or neglect; another individual may be legally responsible for the harm. Typically, a personal injury case is formalized through civil court proceedings; however, disputes may also be resolved prior to filing a lawsuit.
A personal injury lawsuit generally begins when a private person, known in the lawsuit as the “plaintiff” brings a civil complaint against another individual, business, corporation, government agency, or other entity (the defendant), over allegations of careless or irresponsible actions that led to an accident or injury that led to harm.
In some cases, resolution is conducted through negotiations among the parties and attorneys involved. Negotiations are typically followed by a written agreement in which both sides agree to forego future action and to resolve the matter by payment of an agreed-upon amount of money.
Statutes do not rule personal injury cases; personal injury law has occurred through court decisions and documents written by legal scholars. Although some states have attempted to summarize development of personal injury law in written statutes, court decisions are the main source of law in cases arising from accidents or injuries.
Negligence Cases We Handle
- Medical Malpractice
- Nursing Home Abuse
- Wrongful Death
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Birth Injuries
- Fire And Burn Injuries
Statute of Limitations
Plaintiffs have a limited time in which to file a lawsuit, which is known as a “statute of limitations.” Typically, the statute of limitations begins when the plaintiff becomes injured or discovers the injury. Statutes of limitations are established by state law and, in many cases, the type of injury.
What Comprises Negligence?
Personal injury law that involves general negligence concern matters in which one individual’s action or lack of action led to, or caused, a failure to act with appropriate or reasonable care, leading to harm to another individual. General negligence cases involve medical malpractice; nursing home abuse; general negligence; wrongful death; traumatic brain injuries; or fire and burn injuries, including gas explosions and fires in high buildings.
General negligence seeks to prove if a reasonably prudent person would have acted in the same way under the same circumstances. If not, the party may be found negligent and if someone was injured due to this alleged recklessness or carelessness, the injured party may be able to bring a lawsuit against the negligent party for, among other issues, financial compensation.
Four specific elements must be proven in a general negligence lawsuit in civil court against an individual or entity for general negligence. The elements may change, depending on the jurisdiction. The attorneys Parker Waichman have a long history of successfully litigating general negligence cases and recovering fair compensation for their clients. If you or someone you know has been injured due to general negligence, the firm offers legal consultations to individuals with questions about filing a lawsuit.
One aspect that must be proven is Duty. The defendant must have had a duty to the plaintiff to act in a certain way. For example, a nursing home nurse, doctor, or attendant has a duty to nursing home residents to provide a safe, medically appropriate, healthy, and respectful environment. If a resident is injured or sickened due to negligence, duty may not have occurred.
The second aspect is breach. The defendant must have breached his/her duty in some way. For example, if the nursing home resident, under the contract originally signed when the resident moved into the facility, is supposed to receive specific medications, a certain number of meals daily, and ongoing oversight to ensure safety and that resident is found bruised, or bloody, or raped, or ill, or deceased, the nursing home and its representatives may be found to have breached duty to the resident. Causation is when the defendant’s act or inaction to have been the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
Should negligence on the part of a duty nurse lead to injuries, death, abuse, etc., this may be sufficient proof of causation. The final aspect is damage in which the plaintiff must have experienced measurable damage such as a broken limb, concussion, or illness. The damage tied injuries may include medical expenses, lost earnings, pain and suffering.
If you or someone you know was injured or died in a general negligence accident, the attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP, who have decades of experience handling negligence claims may be able to help you file a lawsuit to recover compensation for your expenses, damages, and injuries. The firm continues to offer free legal consultations to individuals with questions about filing a general negligence lawsuit involving injuries, losses, or death associated with medical malpractice; nursing home abuse; general negligence; wrongful death; traumatic brain injuries; or fire and burn injuries, including gas explosions and fires in high buildings.
Medical malpractice lawsuits may be brought against a physician or hospital for administering improper doses of medication, negligent care, or lapses in sanitation or equipment maintenance that lead to injuries or infection. To be considered medical malpractice, the individual must have been under the care of a physician and that during advising, diagnosing, or treating the patient, the physician failed to act as a doctor in that specialty should act. Because of this, the patient was injured, became ill, or a condition or injury worsened.
A patient may have a malpractice case if a physician deviates from the accepted standards of practice or a specialist who deviates from the nationally accepted standard of practice for specialists in that field of medicine. In some instances, a case may be brought against a government agency that operates a hospital or that provides medical care.
Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse is one of the most devastating of humiliations tormenting older, vulnerable loved ones. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse routinely makes headlines; however, that has done nothing to stop the appalling practice. Sadly, family and loved ones who are looking for ethical and appropriate care for their senior relatives are often left with limited options and their loved ones often suffer serious abuse and neglect that leads to physical pain, emotional pain, humiliation, and death over inadequate care, neglect, and abuse.
The mistreatment, abuse, and negligence of the elderly involves intentional actions that lead to serious risk of harm—intentional or not—to a senior by a caregiver or a person in a position of trust. The World Health Organization (WHO) describes senior abuse as “a violation of human rights and a significant cause of illness, injury, loss of productivity, isolation, and despair.”
Nursing homes should provide safe, compassionate, ethical, dignified, clean, and healthy treatment, living spaces, and occur. Abuse does occur and, when our elder loved ones are injured in any way, those responsible must be held responsible for their actions. If you are concerned that a loved one has been, or is being victimized, at a nursing home facility, you may have valuable legal rights that will enable you to receive justice and hold the nursing home and its staff accountable.
When someone died because of someone else’s wrongful actions, the person or entity causing the death may be held responsible in a wrongful death action. A wrongful death action may arise from a construction accident, medical malpractice, vehicular accident, police misconduct, or product liability involving defective, dangerous products.
In New York State, only the personal representative of a deceased person appointed by Surrogate’s Court might bring a wrongful death action. That representative must prove that the defendant in the case acted negligently and that this negligence caused the deceased person’s death, that there is a surviving spouse, child/children, or other beneficiaries or dependents, and that the survivor(s) have suffered financial damage due to the death.
Survivors may bring a lawsuit to recover damages for any economic loss and the conscious pain and suffering of the person who died; however, survivors may not recover for their own pain and suffering in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a serious public health concern. Research revealed that TBI visits to hospital emergency departments (ED) from 2006 to 2010 that revealed an increase in TBI-involved concussions or unspecified head injuries, according to JAMA. The greatest increase was seen in young children under the age of three and adults who were over the age of 60.
According to the CDC, TBI is tied to a serious amount deaths and permanent disability each year, In 2010, approximately 2.5 million TBIs were seen as both individual injuries or with other injuries. TBIs typically follow some type of bump or blow to the head or from a penetrating head injury. A TBI may be mild to severe and range from minor changes in consciousness or mental status to a long period of unconsciousness or amnesia.
TBIs are often accidental in nature and may occur due to the actions of someone else. This may lead to very significant and expensive injuries and may lead to death. When a TBI occurs due to another person, persons, or entity’s negligence, a personal injury lawsuit may be filed.
A number of birth injuries may occur due to a medical error and when birth trauma takes place because of a medical mistake that leads to life-long consequences for both the mother and the baby. These types of injuries may occur, for example, to either the baby or mother when the obstetrician does not handle the baby correctly during the birthing process, which may lead to Erb’s Palsy.
Should the obstetrician fail to diagnose that the expectant mother must give birth by cesarean section and the mother experiences a serious bleed during the birth process, suffering a stroke and the baby suffers brain physical injury because of a lack of oxygen, a birth injury has occurred.
Patients who have suffered a birth injury caused by a medial error may file a medical malpractice claim against those who are responsible for the injury. Erb’s palsy is a type of obstetric brachial plexus disorder that usually occurs when the nerves in a baby’s upper arm are damaged causing what is known as shoulder dystocia during a difficult birth.
A serious burn injury leads to extreme pain at the moment when the burn occurs as well as for a significant time later. Burns may lead to extended recovery time and may leave permanent and disfiguring scars. When someone suffers a burn injury due to another person’s negligence, the people, persons, or entity responsible for the injury are usually held responsible.
Burns are classified into three degrees. First degree burns are superficial and will have simple redness and blisters. First degree burns may be treated at home. A second degree burn penetrates deeper into the skin, may cause fluid-filled blisters, ongoing pain, and permanent scarring.
Third degree burns penetrate through the skin tissues, cause scarring, may make the skin look waxy or papery, and may lead to permanent nerve damage that may cause numbness. Fourth degree burns go through the skin and damage the tissue below. Skin may be charred or may be gone, leading to severe pain. In severe cases of nerve damage, there may be no pain. Third and fourth degree burns may require skin grafts and other surgical treatments, physical restriction, physical therapy, and other treatments.
Burn injury may be caused by various types of negligence, including car accidents, construction side accidents, defective products, or medical malpractice. When a burn injury is caused by another person’s negligence, the injured party may be able to receive compensation.
To Determine if You Have A General Negligence Lawsuit
The attorneys Parker Waichman have a long history of successfully fighting general negligence cases and recovering compensation for their clients for lost wages; medical expenses, including for cosmetic scar revision medical procedures; and diminished quality of life that may include disfigurement depending on the injury. If you or someone you know has been injured due to general negligence, the firm offers legal consultations to individuals with questions about filing a lawsuit.
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