MLG Cases of Interest

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47 YEAR OLD MAN WALKING ALONG ROAD HIT BY DRUNK DRIVER

Our client was walking 10-15 feet off the road with a friend when he was struck by a drunk driver.  The intoxicated individual had been drinking at a local bar just before his truck struck our client, causing him to be thrown approximately 50 ft. and to suffer serious brain damage

VEHICLE T-BONED BY WOMAN RUNNING STOP SIGN

Our client was traveling on Route 57 when the truck he was traveling in was t-boned by a woman that failed to stop at a stop sign.  Our client’s injuries include severe head injuries, including having his head de-gloved (yes, that means he was scalped) as a result of his head being drug against the pavement, injuries to his jaw and mouth area, deep cuts to left arm, left ear detachment, temporary hearing loss, continued vertigo, and extensive wound care including surgery 6 months later to undergo more debris and glass removal from his scalp.

INCAPACITATED YOUNG MAN SUFFERS 2ND DEGREE BURNS DUE TO BEING LEFT IN SCALDING WATER

Our client with severe cerebral palsy (non-verbal, without the ability to use his arms or legs) was being taken care of by an in-home caregiver.  He was being assisted with a shower and severely burned when he was not able to summon for help due to his disability.  Our client was transported to West Penn Burn Center for skin debridement and grafting.

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FAQ: Medical Malpractice

Q: Do most medical malpractice cases result in a verdict in favor of the patient?

A: No.  Statistics indicate that only about 30% of medical malpractice trials result in a verdict for the patient.  Medical malpractice cases are difficult because patients are required to prove that the doctor or provider was negligent, violated a recognized standard of care and caused damage.

Stock up on These Ten Suprising Super Foods

Certain foods get a reputation for being extremely healthy, some of the few that come to mind are spinich and samon. A recent list compiled by Forbes.com focused on some surprising superfoods that consumers should pay attention to – foods that may have gotten a bad rap in the past but actually are packed with nutrition and potential disease-fighting properties.  Here’s what they found:

  • Raw Chocolate – Can reduce the risk of heart disease and enhance a person’s mood.
  • Buckwheat Honey – Anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
  • Avocados – High in potassium, B vitamins, vitamin E and vitamin K.
  • Pumpkin – Can defend against cell damage and help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration, an eye condition that can lead to blindness.
  • Black Tea – May help lower cholesterol and prevent dementia.
  • Eggs – Help keep bones, hair and nails strong, and also aids in heart and brain health.
  • Cinnamon – Helps delay onset of aging and has a positive effect on insulin levels.
  • Tomato Paste – Packed with lycopene which can provide strong defense against diseases like prostate cancer.
  • Frozen Blueberries – Filled with vitamin C and contain antioxidants that are said to improve brain function.
  • Wasabi – May help prevent a wide range of ailments, including ulcers, tooth decay, blood clots, and asthma.  If has antibacterial properties as well.

Even though the superfoods on the list can be very beneficial, researchers still stress the importance of eating a balanced diet and getting enough exercise.

Whiplash Not Just From Motor Vehicle Wrecks

Most people have heard the term “whiplash” and almost automatically associate it with a neck injury suffered in a vehicle wreck, which makes sense given that whiplash-type injuries often occur in rear-end collisions.  The sudden impact causes a victim’s necks to extend and flex in an unnatural whipping motion causing damage to the muscles and other connective tissues in the cervical area.

But what many people don’t know is that whiplash is often caused by much less extreme impacts, and can include:

  • Winter-related accidents such as slipping on ice or falling while skiing or snowboarding.
  • Injuries in contact sports such as basketball, football or hockey.
  • Any assault that involves head trauma.
  • Child abuse, including shaken baby syndrome.
  • Repetitive stress injuries resulting from a poorly designed non-ergonomic work area.
  • Accidents in stores or restaurants that result from unattended spills on the floor or other unsafe conditions.

Whiplash is a serious injury and can result in long term medical implications if it is not diagnosed and properly treated.  If you believe that you have whiplash, the key is to promptly seek medical treatment.  Be aware of the symptoms of whiplash, which can include:

  • Neck, shoulder and upper back pain
  • Headache
  • Dizziness and/or blurred vision
  • Tingling in your extremities, particularly arms and hands
  • Unexplained fatigue or difficulties concentrating

If you have a whiplash injury and you believe it is due to another person’s negligent actions, please contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your potential claim.

Dog Bites and Children .

While dog bites are a serious problem in this country for people of all ages, it is estimated that more than 4.7 million people are bitten each year – children, still being the most vulnerable among us.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the rate of dog bite-related injuries is highest for children between the ages of 5 and 9.

If you are looking into getting a dog, the CDC recommends that you:

  • Consult with a professional such as a veterinarian or responsible breeder to learn about breeds of dogs that might be a good fit for your family.
  • Avoid dogs with histories of aggression if you have children.
  • Hold off acquiring a dig is you sense that a child is fearful or apprehensive about it.
  • Try to spend time with a dog before buying or adopting one and use caution when bringing a dog into the home of an infant or toddler.  Nearly every dog should be spayed or neutered which can help reduce aggressive tendencies.
  • Never leave infants or young children alone with any dog.
  • Avoid playing aggressive, rough games with your dog.
  • Properly socialize and train any dog entering the household.  Teach the dog submissive behaviors (e.g. rolling over to expose abdomen and relinquishing food without growling).
  • Immediately seek professional advice from a veterinarian or animal behaviorist if the dog becomes aggressive.

The bottom line is that a little planning and preparation can help reduce the chances of a child being bitten.

Don’t Lie on Your Insurance Application

Our firm has battled insurance companies for many years, and we’ve seen firsthand the tactics they use to delay and deny claims.  That being said, if you lie on an application for auto, life, health or disability insurance, you open the door for your insurer to legitimately deny you coverage, just when you need it the most.

West Virginia law (W.Va. Code § 33-6-7), like most states, provides that if you misrepresent material facts in an insurance application, or even innocently omit material information, coverage may be denied.

A recent and harsh example of this occurred last year in Virginia where the Supreme Court upheld the denial of benefits to a seriously injured automobile accident victim because the owner of the car in which the victim was injured failed to disclose all of the potential drivers who were living at the household and might have access to the car.

The court ruled that there were several placed on the application where this question was asked and each time the policyholder failed to disclose that a 21-year-old relative was living in the house.  That 21-year-old relative was the driver of the car in a single-car accident in which a passenger was seriously injured, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills.  When her claim was made to the insurance company, there was an investigation and the insurance company ultimately denied coverage because it said that had it known of the young driver, it likely would have sold the policy, but at a substantially higher price.  The Supreme Court ruled that this was a material misstatement of fact which mollified the policy.

The lesson:  Be completely honest on your insurance applications.

DON’T BE FOOLED

Insurance Adjusters are not your friend!

It’s something we see all the time – a person who has suffered injuries in a car accident received a phone call from the other driver’s insurance company at some point after the accident.

The insurance company representative seems very nice and very helpful.  They seem like they just want to ask a couple of questions, maybe talk a little bit about what happened during the accident.  In fact, they seem genuinely concerned.

Don’t be fooled.

An insurance adjuster who calls you after an accident has only one thing in mind.  To help the insurance company maximize its profits by paying out as little as possible on your claim, or, in the best case scenario for them, deny your claim completely or just make it go away.  The law in West Virginia is very clear – the “other guy’s” insurance company does not owe you a duty to act in good faith toward your claim.

Insurance adjusters are well trained and most are very good at what they do.  They’ll use all sorts of devices to see if they can get you to admit some level of responsibility for the accident; they’ll discourage you from retaining a lawyer; they may offer a low-ball settlement and declare that it’s the absolute best offer you will get; they’ll tell you that the courts are all back up and that it will take years for you to get any money if you don’t accept their offer.  The list goes on and on.

So, what’s your best recourse if you or a loved one receives a call from an insurance adjuster who “just wants to talk” or wants you to give them a recorded statement?  Politely decline the offer and make an appointment for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney to make sure that your rights are protected.