Some of the most disturbing defective children’s products our firm has encountered include:
Magnetic toys strong enough to cause fatal internal damage if swallowed
Biting baby dolls
Kids’ craft materials that contain gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) – the date rape drug – and can cause children to slip into a coma
Safety Hazards on Dangerous Properties
In their eagerness to explore the world around them, children are naturals at getting themselves mildly hurt. But when you combine children with a dangerous premises, it’s not just minor bumps and bruises that result. Serious accidents involving children can occur in a variety of places, including private residences, business properties, poorly maintained playgrounds, schools, and daycare centers.
You don’t expect children to suffer injuries at a worksite, but it happens when they wind up in potentially dangerous locations. When a young girl ended up on a countertop construction business property, a forklift ran over her foot and left her with permanent ankle injuries. We got her a settlement of $900,000.
Not all accidents happen on business premises. Our firm recently handled the case of a young boy who lost an eye when an airborne stick struck him in the face. The homeowner who had disobeyed a town ordinance by leaving the stick and a pile of other yard debris along the curb for more than a month was one of a number of people responsible for the injury. We fought to get this child a combined settlement of $600,000.
Car accidents are a leading cause of death among children in the United States, according to the CDC. Hundreds of young children die each year in a motor vehicle collision. The total number of children injured in crashes is more than 120,000 annually.
You might not realize the danger you’re in – the danger your child is in – every time you get behind the wheel.That’s why it’s so important to carefully and completely buckle your kids into age-appropriate car seats, booster seats, or seat belts every time.
You can’t always control what others on the road are doing. If you find yourself in the path of a reckless driver, it’s essential that your child is safely secured in the vehicle. That car seat could be the only thing protecting your child in the event of a crash.
Doctors’ errors aren’t as common as patients – particularly parents – would like to think. When they affect children, they are particularly tragic. Medical malpractice affecting children can begin even before the child is born, if doctors make mistakes during the mother’s pregnancy or during childbirth.
One of the most well-known – and severe – types of birth injuries is cerebral palsy.
Birth injuries aren’t the only type of medical malpractice children can fall victim to. Our attorneys once handled a tragic case in which a home health aide caring for a sick child made matters much worse.
This aide disregarded protocols while cleaning ventilator tubes – unintentionally depriving the child of oxygen. The severe brain injury that resulted ultimately led to the child’s death.
What to Do If Your Child Suffers Accident Injuries
Get Medical Care NOW
The very first thing you must do if your child has been hurt in an accident is get him or her to the doctor right away. It’s hard to tell the extent of the injuries right now – but they could be life-changing, or even life-threatening. Never delay getting medical care for your injured child.
Start Your Search for an Accident Attorney
Hopefully, it turns out that your kid’s injuries are minor, short-term, and easily treated. But if the injuries are more serious, then it’s essential that you protect your child’s rights by speaking with an accident lawyer.
Generally, the statute of limitations – that is, the deadline to file a personal injury lawsuit – is two years from the date of the accident. For minors, this statute typically doesn’t begin until the individual turns 18 years old.
However, there are exceptions that could reduce the time your family has to take action – and there are a number of reasons why you shouldn’t wait years before you speak with an attorney.
Compensation for an accident isn’t automatic. Over the course of your child’s claim, you’ll need to prove that the person or company responsible for the accident was negligent. But if you wait five, 10, even 17 years, you might have a hard time proving any such thing. The evidence that could have supported your case is lost. The witnesses who glimpsed the accident have long forgotten exactly what they saw.
There are few things harder on a parent than seeing your child in pain and being unable to do anything to stop it. But you’re not helpless.
You may not be able to undo what’s happened to your child, but you can make sure your kid is getting the best medical care – so he or she can make the best recovery.
You can also make sure that your child’s legal claim is in the hands of an experienced lawyer from the start – because your kid deserves every dollar of compensation available.
If you need more information on getting help after your child’s accident, give us a call anytime.
Find out what you need to know about your legal rights after losing a loved one in a fatal accident – including how to pursue a wrongful death case.
Accidents can be devastating. For some unfortunate victims, there is no recovery. There is only loss and – for their surviving loved ones – grief.
Unintentional injury is the fourth leading cause of death in the nation, claiming 130,557 lives every year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported. Motor vehicle accidents alone kill 33,804. Some 30,208 Americans die from accidental falls annually. And another 38,851 lose their lives to unintentional poisoning.
When it’s your loved one who died accidentally, you know from experience that these statistics don’t tell the whole story. Behind every accident fatality, there are grieving families whose lives have changed forever because of a death that didn’t have to happen.
As you begin the difficult process of picking up the pieces after a sudden and shattering loss, you’re looking for closure, for answers. Sometimes the accident presents the grounds for a wrongful death claim. This legal action that can help your family find out the truth about the death and recover money damages.
What Makes a Death a “Wrongful Death”?
A wrongful death claim is a case against someone else whose actions caused or contributed to a death.
This someone can be an individual or a company. Often, the defendant caused the death through negligence – behavior that is careless or reckless.
A death is wrongful when it was avoidable and caused by another person’s actions.
The law requires all of us to act with reasonable caution. No one is allowed to carelessly put the lives of others at risk. When someone is negligent and another individual pays the ultimate cost for that carelessness, the law holds that person accountable for the consequences.
Are All Accidental Deaths “Wrongful Deaths”?
An accidental death isn’t always a wrongful death, and vice versa.
Often, wrongful deaths are accidental deaths. They are a tragic but unintended result of another person’s negligence. However, if an accidental death can’t be traced to another person’s or party’s careless behavior, then there’s no one to pursue a claim against.
Sometimes a wrongful death claim involves a death that wasn’t an accident at all, but an act of intentional violence. You see this occur on occasion in high-profile murder cases. This sort of wrongful death claim is less common, in part because there’s often no insurance coverage to seek compensation from. Typically, the surviving family in a case like this must seek money damages directly from the person who intentionally caused the death – and there’s no guarantee this person even has the assets to pay a claim against them.
However, some wrongful death claims involve an intentional act, but also a negligent one. If a person is killed by intentional violence in a place they could reasonably have expected to be protected by security, the loved ones of the deceased may have a claim against this property owner. This can be the case in situations like mass shootings at malls and schools or vicious attacks at bars and concert venues.
An attorney can help you determine if your loved one’s accidental death could offer the grounds for a wrongful death claim.
Types of Accidental Deaths
No matter how your loved one’s deadly accident occurred, surviving family members have legal rights.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Tens of thousands of Americans lose their lives every year in collisions involving:
Those killed are drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists. Some are at fault for the deadly crash. But many are innocent victims, caught helplessly in the path of a dangerous motorist.
Some of the most common causes of motor vehicle deaths include:
Failing to maintain a safe following distance
Deaths in motor vehicle collisions often lead to wrongful death claims. The requirement that all New Jersey and Pennsylvania drivers have auto insurance means there is coverage available to seek compensation from. Some wrongful death claims against negligent drivers also provide answers – like whether the driver was using a cell phone at the time of the crash.
Fatal Dog Bites
Dog bites aren’t common, but they can be deadly, especially to children. A dog mauling can leave victims with injuries so serious that they don’t survive.
Wrongful death claims involving dog bites name the dog’s owner in the lawsuit. Often, a homeowner’s insurance policy covers deaths and injuries caused by dog bites.
Workplace accidents are a different situation from other types of accidents caused by negligence. Depending on the circumstances, a family might have a worker’s compensation case and an additional claim against a third party who contributed to the death.
Accidents on Unsafe Premises
Falls are the most common accidents on unsafe properties, but other accidents involve falling objects or malfunctioning machinery.
Commercial and residential property owners and even government entities in charge of maintaining property can become the target of wrongful death lawsuits. What you need is proof of the owner’s negligence – and to act quickly, before important deadlines pass.
Deadly Medical Mistakes
Every year, hundreds of thousands of patients die at the hands of negligent medical providers.
A doctor’s error might not immediately come to mind when you think of accidents. But if one such mistake killed your family member, you deserve answers.
You have the right to hold a careless doctor accountable, especially when the negligent actions cost someone’s life.
What to Do If You Lost Someone to an Accidental Death
If you believe the accident that stole your loved one from you may be the grounds for a wrongful death claim, there are certain actions you need to take – and a limited amount of time you have to take them.
You need to investigate the accident and gather the evidence that proves that the other party’s actions led to your loved one’s death. This is no easy task, especially when you’re still trying to cope with your grief. To really succeed in this endeavor, you’re going to need a wrongful death lawyer on your side. An experienced attorney knows where to look for the evidence that will support your case as well as what sorts of industry experts can help bolster your claim.
The sooner you speak with an attorney about a possible wrongful death claim, the better. In most cases, families have just two years from the date of the deadly accident to file a wrongful death lawsuit (and in some situations, you may have just a few months). While two years may seem far away now, it will take time to investigate the accident and to build your family’s case.
Nothing can erase the accident or take away the pain you feel from this terrible loss. But often, a wrongful death claim can help you get some closure. You will finally understand what happened. You will have the opportunity to hold the person who caused this unnecessary death responsible. And your family will receive the compensation to prevent a financial hardship from this sudden and unexpected loss.
If you want to speak with someone about your legal options after a family member’s fatal accident, you can reach out to us at any time. We’re here to help you through this tragedy.
Here’s what you need to know before you decide you can’t afford an attorney.
It’s no secret that an accident takes a toll on your finances. But if you’re letting your financial situation stop you from hiring a lawyer, you could be making a big mistake.
Not only will an accident lawyer help you get more money for your claim, but hiring an attorney won’t add to your financial troubles.
No-Win, No-Fee Attorneys
What if you could get a lawyer on your side without spending any money upfront?
Not an inexperienced attorney who’s just starting out. Not even a general practice lawyer who’s been doing this for a few years. But a team of attorneys who handle personal injury claims exclusively – and have practiced law for more than 20 years.
I know – it might sound too good to be true. You might wonder what the catch is. But it’s actually a common practice among accident lawyers to work on what’s called a “contingency fee” basis.
A contingency is an event that might happen in the future. When an attorney accepts your case on contingency, it means you only pay for the legal representation you receive when and if your case is a success.
If your case takes years – as some complex accident cases do – then you pay nothing until you get money from it.
If your lawyer fails to get you compensation at all, then you pay nothing, period, for the attorney’s services.
What do you pay, exactly? It depends on state regulations and practices, but what’s certain is that you’ll never have to pay more than you win. The attorney will get paid a percentage of what he or she is able to get for you. You’ll discuss and agree upon this percentage at the start of your case, so there won’t be any unpleasant surprises.
Most attorneys who practice in a given state charge a pretty standard percentage. If an attorney advertises an unusually low fee, be cautious. Remember, sometimes you really do get what you pay for – and you only have one chance to pursue your claim. This isn’t a situation where you want to sacrifice quality to save a few bucks.
What’s Included in No-Win, No-Fee Representation?
You may be wondering what sort of service you can expect from an attorney who works on contingency.
While I can’t speak for other firms, I can tell you that Console & Hollawell goes beyond a simple contingency fee arrangement and makes every client our No Fee Promise.
Some of the features you’ll find in our No Fee Promise include:
A 100 percent free consultation in person or by phone – whatever is more convenient for you.
All costs associated with your claim covered. We’ll front the costs for expert witnesses, filing legal documents, and whatever else your claim needs. If we don’t get money for you, then you don’t have to pay us back.
No charge for our time – no matter how much of it you need. We’ll never charge you hourly fees for meeting with us or talking about your case by phone or email. (In fact, we’ll never charge you hourly fees for anything.)
Extra assistance, free of charge. We’re here for you. Whether you need help getting your car fixed, getting to doctors’ appointments, or affording your medical bills, let us know. As a courtesy to our clients, we’ve helped them overcome all of these problems – and more.
The Payoff of Hiring an Accident Lawyer
How much more money can you get when you hire a lawyer? Far more than you’ll pay in attorneys’ fees. But don’t take my word for it.
Research has shown that lawyers get their clients, on average, 3.5 times what claimants get for themselves.
A lawyer who can more than triple your compensation will bring so much value to your claim that it more than covers the cost of attorneys’ fees. We’re talking thousands – maybe tens or hundreds of thousands – of dollars in your pocket.
So what do accident lawyers charge?
After the work is complete, just a fraction of what the attorney gets for you.
Still have questions about affording a lawyer or pursuing a claim? Contact us today for your free consultation.
In our 20+ years of practicing personal injury law, we’ve seen a lot of accidents that didn’t have to happen – and ways they could’ve been prevented.
People sometimes use the word accident to mean an unavoidable mishap. Something no one could have foreseen or prevented.
But the truth is that many – if not most – accidents are avoidable. They didn’t have to happen. There was a clear cause for why things went wrong, why someone got hurt – and that cause, often, is negligence.
Accidents and Negligence
When our New Jersey and Pennsylvania accident injury lawyers take on a case, we’re looking for evidence of negligence.
You see, every one of us has an obligation to act with reasonable caution to protect others around us.
When we get behind the wheel of a car, we must follow traffic safety laws – for our own well-being as well as that of others sharing the road with us.
When we own a property, we need to keep it clear of safety hazards that could hurt a guest on the premises.
If we invite customers or clients to visit a commercial property for business purposes, we need to make sure that property is safe for them to visit.
Not meeting this obligation – by taking actions that are careless or even reckless – makes us negligent. And when these actions cause an accident, we are liable – legally at fault – for what’s happened.
Why Do Accidents Happen?
Few accidents just happen. Most occur because someone was negligent – and negligence can take many forms.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Typically, a collision involving a car, truck, bus, or other type of motor vehicle occurs because of a mistake one or more drivers made. Often, these mistakes include breaking traffic laws.
Some accidents result from speeding or tailgating. Sometimes a driver fails to observe the right of way, blowing through a stop sign or a red traffic light or turning in front of an oncoming vehicle. Motorists who drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol are too impaired to judge things like the space between vehicles, the placement of lanes of travel, and their own reaction time.
Road and weather conditions, like ice and snow, can contribute to accidents. But drivers have a legal responsibility to observe the dangers these conditions pose and take actions to keep the vehicle under control. Motorists driving on wet or icy roads should slow down to compensate for the road conditions – and those who don’t may be liable for any accidents they cause.
At times, a motor vehicle accident isn’t the driver’s fault. Instead, it may be the fault of the vehicle’s manufacturer. In recent years, high-profile recalls like GM’s faulty ignition switch recall have proven that a defective part in a car can actually cause an accident.
These cases are known as products liability claims – claims against the product’s manufacturer, rather than a driver. And while they’re difficult cases, they’re not impossible to win, if you have the right help on your side.
Slip and Falls
A number of different conditions can cause slip and falls, from wet floors and icy sidewalks to crumbling staircases and broken curbs. What these safety hazards have in common is that preventing or eliminating them is the property owner’s responsibility.
If you fell, particularly on a commercial property, the owner might try to blame you. But saying you “should’ve watched where you were going” doesn’t excuse the business from its legal obligations to keep the premises safe for its patrons. Allowing a safety hazard like this to exist on the property is negligence.
Dogs don’t have legal responsibilities themselves, but their human owners do. A person who chooses to own a dog is also accepting legal responsibility for any harm that dog causes. If the dog has the potential to bite – which even dogs without a history of aggression do – then this person is responsible for keeping the dog out of situations where it could bite an unsuspecting victim.
Often, dog bites happen because a negligent owner allowed the animal to roam freely in an area where there were people the dog could hurt.
Your employer has an obligation to make sure your work environment is safe. Even in potentially dangerous settings, like construction sites, your employer must take steps to minimize the risk to you and your fellow employees.
A workplace accident is unique in that New Jersey workers’ compensation insurance covers damages no matter who is at fault. Even if your employer wasn’t negligent, you can still pursue a claim for compensation. You might also have a claim against someone other than your direct employer, like a third-party vendor, if they acted negligently.
Accidents involving medical care are different than your typical accident case – but the factor of negligence remains the same.
Doctors who don’t do the things they should, or who take actions that other doctors would find outrageous for the situation, commit malpractice. Sometimes the victims of these mistakes are badly hurt. Following safety protocols in hospitals and medical facilities can prevent medical mistakes, which are already far too common.
What’s the best way to avoid an accident? Avoid being negligent.
Could Your Accident Have Been Prevented?
What if the driver who hit you had been following traffic laws to the letter? What if the owner of a property had proactively blocked off or repaired a safety hazard, instead of allowing it to linger out in the open where you stumbled upon it?
Could you have avoided ever getting hurt in the first place?
If you think your accident resulted from someone else’s negligent behavior, you have the right to pursue a claim for money damages. The negligent property owner, doctor, or driver chose to put you at risk through their careless actions. Now, they need to face the consequences.
For help finding out whether your accident was avoidable – and what you can do about it – speak with an accident injury attorney.
Find out who pays for which costs when an accident occurs.
Accidents are expensive. Every expense, from the price of medical treatments to the cost of missing work, can add up to create a huge financial burden. This is your guide to who pays for what damages in the aftermath of an accident.
Insurance Coverage for Accident Claims
In most accident cases, it’s an insurance company – not an individual – who pays for the damages.
For a car accident
claim, there’s auto insurance coverage.
Homeowner’s insurance policies typically cover accidents that happen on residential properties, including dog bites and slip and falls or trip and falls.
Businesses have liability insurance to cover accidents that happen on commercial properties.
Even medical mistakes are covered by an insurer. Doctors and hospitals have malpractice insurance to compensate the victims of any medical errors they commit.
When you want to see the other person pay for what their careless behavior did to you, you may be disappointed to realize it’s the insurance company footing the bill. But ultimately, this system protects you. Most individuals don’t have the money to compensate you for your injuries. When there’s insurance, you know that there is money available – you just need to successfully build a case to attain it.
Can you sue an individual for money beyond the insurance coverage that’s available? Of course you can. But in most cases, that’s not a viable option.
Remember, a private citizen probably doesn’t have the kind of money you would win in a personal injury case. Even if the person who caused your accident has some assets, those assets might not be easy for you to access.
For example, the person at fault for the accident might have assets, but they might be in the form of real estate. You can put a lien on a house, so that once the person sells it, they have to pay you what they owe. But you can’t control when they’ll sell the real estate – so you could be waiting decades, if you get money at all.
Is it worth pursuing a case against this individual if you won’t be able to collect? In many cases, no. A better solution is to hire an attorney who can identify all possible parties involved in the case and pursue a claim against every source of insurance available. That way, you’ll walk away with actual compensation, not an impressive-sounding but ultimately meaningless judgment.
How Fault Affects Accident Benefits
Even though the individual who caused your accident isn’t personally responsible for paying the damages, fault still matters. Liability, or legal fault, is one of the first things you must prove to make a personal injury case successful.
Fault for an accident determines which insurance company has to pay for the damages. Sometimes, multiple people are at fault – and that means multiple insurance companies may have to pay some of the costs.
An Example of Fault and Accident Benefits
Take a car accident case, for example. When another driver breaks traffic safety laws and strikes you, it’s that driver’s auto insurance company that will have to pay.
The other driver’s insurer must pay to fix or replace your car or, if you choose to go through your own insurance policy, must repay the cost of repairs – including your deductible.
When you have damages like medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering, you’ll pursue a claim against this driver’s insurance company.
Uninsured and Underinsured Coverage
There’s one exception to pursuing a claim against the driver who is at fault for the accident. When this driver has little or no auto insurance, you might end up pursuing a claim against your own auto insurance company.
You only have this option if you purchased uninsured (UM) or underinsured (UIM) coverage as a part of your auto insurance policy. In this case, your own auto insurer takes the place of the other driver’s insurance company.
In a UM or UIM case, you can pursue compensation up to the policy limits you agreed to when purchasing your coverage.
What You Have to Pay (Even If You’re Not at Fault)
Nothing about an accident is fair – and that, unfortunately, includes paying for it, especially in the cases of car accidents.
Your Responsibilities for Auto Accident Medical Benefits
In New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and other no-fault states, your own insurance company pays for your medical benefits no matter who caused a crash. Your insurer will minimize its financial burden by making you pay a deductible and copayments.
Depending on what deductible you selected, you could end up paying thousands of dollars for an accident that isn’t your fault – even with insurance.
Paying for Medical Care in Other Types of Accidents
In cases that don’t involve motor vehicles, you may have to pay for medical care out-of-pocket and then seek compensation afterward. This means many victims of slip and falls, dog bites, and similar accidents often struggle to afford care.
Your health insurer might pay, if you have health insurance – but it might also demand repayment from you later.
Find out what you have to do – and what you should never do – when it comes to dealing with an insurance company after an accident.
When you’re in a car accident in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, dealing with an insurance company becomes a necessary hassle. But how you handle these interactions can have huge consequences. You need to know what rights and legal duties you have after an accident.
Fail to notify the right insurers promptly, and you could have a hard time getting them to pay the benefits they’re supposed to.
But share too much information with the wrong people, and you can end up hurting your claim.
Here’s what you should know about contacting the insurance companies after an accident.
The first thing you need to know is that the insurance company is not your friend. No insurer – not even your own – is on your side. You want the most money for your claim – and insurers want to pay you as little as possible.
Talking to Your Own Insurance Company
If you have an auto insurance policy, you must promptly report your car accident to your insurer.
Why You Need to Notify Your Insurer of an Accident That’s Not Your Fault
If you’ve never been in an accident in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, you might think that this duty doesn’t apply if you weren’t the driver at fault for the crash. After all, the person who caused the accident should be the one to pay, right?
But NJ and PA are both no-fault states. This means that your auto insurance company pays your medical benefits no matter who is at fault. That’s true even if your car wasn’t involved. Even if you weren’t driving.
You could be a passenger in someone else’s vehicle or a pedestrian walking across the street – your auto insurance company is still responsible for the medical bills. And that means that you’re responsible for letting your insurer know about the collision.
What to Say to Your Insurer
Now you know that you need to talk to your insurer. The question is, what are you supposed to say?
After 20+ years of experience practicing personal injury law, I always suggest that the safest option is to stick to the basic facts of the accident. Things like:
The fact that you were in an accident
The location of the accident
The date and time of the accident
A brief description of what happened – “I was rear-ended” or “I was hit head-on,” for example
Why is it so important that you stick to just the facts? Because giving the insurance company too much information is one of the biggest mistakes you can make after an accident. The information you choose to share, and the way you word it, could detract from your claim and cost you thousands of dollars.
… And What Not to Say
Sometimes the insurance adjuster will try to get you to discuss fault for the crash or talk about your injuries. Don’t do it.
Just say that you’re not ready to talk about that yet. If the insurance company asks if you’re injured, just say that you need to open a claim for medical benefits so you can see a doctor. You don’t want to fall into the trap of trying to describe all of your injuries, especially if the accident just happened and you haven’t even seen a physician yet.
Often, an insurer will ask you for a recorded statement. Sometimes the insurance adjuster won’t politely ask, but instead tell you that he or she “needs” to get a recorded statement from you. This makes it sound like you don’t have an option – but in reality, you do.
You can say “no” to providing a recorded statement. In fact, you should say no. Because a recorded statement will never work in your favor. The insurance company can twist your words to find ways to pay you less. But you can bet that the insurer will never use the recorded statement to help you get more money or more medical benefits.
When it’s a case of you saying one thing and the insurance company saying another, the insurer will only bring up the recorded statement if what you said supports its position – not yours.
Dealing With the Other Insurance Companies
Ultimately, the other insurance companies involved will play a role in your claim. After all, it’s the person at fault for your injuries that you pursue a claim against, and it’s that person’s or company’s insurer who pays those claims.
But you have no contract with an insurance company if you’re not the policyholder. And that means you have no legal obligation to that insurer.
What’s truly in your best interests is to reach out to a lawyer who can handle your claim for you, and let your attorney deal with the other insurance companies involved in your claim. These other insurance companies are looking for any plausible way to blame you for the accident or your injuries – and even the most seemingly harmless comment could become ammunition for their argument that you don’t deserve compensation.
If you do try to talk to these insurance companies yourself, at least try to avoid saying something damaging by sticking to the basic facts of what happened. Be aware that it’s not just what you say that matters, but how you say it and how you present yourself. An insurance adjuster could be sizing you up, trying to determine what kind of plaintiff you would make in court or simply how committed you are to following through with the claim.
Calling the insurance company may be unavoidable after an accident. But it’s always a good idea to also call a lawyer to talk over your claim with you. Keep in mind that most car accident attorneys do offer free consultations – so take advantage of this opportunity to have your case reviewed, and your questions answered, at no charge.
What you need to know about cerebral accidents and failure to diagnose stroke cases
If a doctor said that you or a loved one experienced a cerebrovascular accident, you might be confused.
It’s very possible that you weren’t in an accident – the kind you usually think of, anyway – at all. No car crash, no workplace injury, no fall. Just sudden and worrying symptoms that had your family rushing to the emergency room.
“Cerebrovascular accident” is a medical term for what’s more commonly called a stroke. And while it may not be the type of accident that first comes to your mind, this serious health condition may have more in common with crashes, falls, and other severe mishaps than you would think.
The vast majority – up to 90 percent – of all strokes are preventable.
Last month, medical journal The Lancet published new research into stroke risk factors. What researchers found is that a group of 10 risk factors that can be changed contributed to 90 percent of strokes studied worldwide.
You can’t change your genetics, your gender, your race, or your age. But you can change the factors that are among the biggest culprits in causing strokes, according to researchers. You can increase your physical activity. You can take steps to manage your blood pressure.
When it comes to stroke prevention, knowledge is power. But what if your doctor is negligently failing to monitor your health conditions, leaving you at risk of an avoidable and devastating medical emergency?
Can Accident Injuries Cause Strokes?
For some patients, a collision or other kind of accident caused the cerebrovascular accident. This is particularly common among younger stroke victims, especially those under age 50.
A stroke can happen without a physical trauma triggering it. But sustaining an injury to the head or neck can increase your stroke risk, according to the American Academy of Neurology.
It’s possible, National Public Radio (NPR) reported, that a head injury can damage “blood vessels in the brain, making them more vulnerable” to developing the clots that cause most strokes.
Personal Injury Claims for Cerebrovascular Accidents
Here’s another factor strokes and accidents have in common: if someone else’s negligence caused the event, you have the legal right to holdthat person responsible.
Of course, if your stroke followed a severe head injury that resulted from a motor vehicle accident or a slip and fall, you could have a case against the person who caused that incident.
But there’s also a type of medical malpractice claim you should look into when a stroke has affected your family’s life. In the legal world, we call these failure to diagnose stroke claims.
Often, failure to diagnose stroke cases result from emergency room doctors dismissing patients who have stroke symptoms. They might be negligent by:
Failing to perform tests
Failing to correctly interpret the results
Carelessly sending the patient home without offering help
And, because early treatment is so important for preventing stroke damage, even a minor delay can have devastating consequences.
Whether you were the victim of a cerebrovascular accident yourself or you’re caring for a loved one left disabled by a stroke, the situation can be difficult in many ways. If you’re wondering whether a negligent doctor made the damage from the stroke worse, let us help. We’ll go over your family’s legal options and help you find out the truth about what caused the stroke.
SJ Magazine recognized both C&H partners with the publication’s annual Top Attorneys award.
In its August 2016 issue, SJ Magazine released its annual Top Attorneys list, recognizing the most successful lawyers in the region. Our firm is pleased to announce that both Console & Hollawell partners landed coveted spots on the awards list.
Richard P. Console, Jr., law firm founder and managing partner, earned recognition as a Top Attorney in the automotive law category. Mr. Console attained his license to practice law in Pennsylvania in 1992 and New Jersey in 1993. He first founded the law firm in 1994.
Richard J. Hollawell, partner, received the award in the category of trial law. Mr. Hollawell, who earned his law degree in 2001from Widener University School of Law, joined the firm in 2007. He has since fought for a number of our clients in court to get them maximum compensation.
About SJ Magazine
For 16 years, SJ Magazine has been more than a local publication – it’s been a resource that residents across South Jersey can turn to when they need guidance.
In addition to covering local news, SJ Magazine has cultivated a devoted following for its annual features like Top Docs, Best of SJ, and – of course – Top Attorneys.
The Top Attorneys Award
What makes someone a “top attorney,” exactly? In its annual contest, SJ Magazine looks for lawyers who have “made an impressive and lasting mark in the legal field” and “are committed to upholding both the spirit and letter of the law.”
To win SJ Magazine’s Top Attorneys award, a lawyer must be nominated by his or her peers in the legal industry. Only lawyers are eligible to nominate other attorneys, so a win in this contest illustrates the reputation a lawyer has among fellow attorneys.
It’s truly an honor to be recognized by our peers throughout the South Jersey region.
To learn more about the awards our attorneys have won, click here. If you’re ready to find out how we can put our reputation and experience to work making your claim a success, contact us.
On Friday, 42 concertgoers suffered injuries – some serious – at Camden’s BB&T Pavilion. Now the injured need answers.
When fans across South Jersey and beyond bought tickets to see Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa this past Friday, they had no idea they’d also witness a shocking accident.
A railing at the BB&T Pavilion on the Camden Waterfront collapsed during the show. It sent dozens of concertgoers toppling from the edge of the lawn onto the cement walkways below – and, in many cases, into each other.
If you haven’t seen the videos on NBC News yet, it’s horrifying to watch the cascade of bodies suddenly tumbling down. The drop was reported to be “several feet” – and with so many people falling onto each other, the initial impact with the concrete wasn’t the only way the victims got hurt.
While some of those hurt suffered just bumps and bruises, dozens sustained broken bones and needed to go to the hospital. One person sustained “critical injuries” and was rushed to nearby Cooper Trauma Center. This victim was hospitalized overnight and released Saturday, according to reports.
Our thoughts are with all of the fans who got hurt in what must have been a terrifying experience. We wish them all a speedy – and more importantly, a complete – recovery.
Legal Aspects of Concert Venue Accidents
When you visit a massive entertainment venue like the 25,000-seat BB&T Pavilion (formerly Susquehanna Bank Center), you don’t expect railings to collapse and dozens of people to plunge 10 feet to land on hard concrete.
You shouldn’t have to worry about accidents like this happening – ruining not just your concert experience but your life.
An accident like this isn’t something that just happens. Something caused it to occur – and often, that something is negligence.
Whether a venue fails to maintain the property safely or fails to provide security to prevent dangers caused by crowds, negligence puts people’s health – and perhaps even their lives – at risk.
Those who were hurt in this accident need to know that they have legal rights, including:
The right to hold the property owner legally responsible for the accident
The right to seek compensation for their injuries and other damages resulting from the accident
The right to find out the truth about how and why this occurred
If you’re not sure how to protect your legal rights and begin pursuing a claim for your concert railing collapse injury, it’s a good idea to reach out to a New Jersey personal injury lawyer with experience handling Camden cases.
We can help you understand what rights you have, what the legal process entails, and what you have to do to pursue a claim. (And most of us offer free consultations, so the discussion won’t cost you anything.)
Preventing Accidents at Entertainment Venues
With more than 40 people falling 10 feet onto hard cement – and each other – it’s fortunate that the injuries didn’t turn out to be even more serious.The railing that collapsed had connected support poles to support walls, NBC News reported, so it would have seemed sturdy. But ultimately, it wasn’t sturdy enough.
Though the rest of Friday’s concert was canceled, other weekend concerts at the venue continued on schedule. If you are attending a show at BB&T Pavilion, please use caution. Live Nation and local authorities are still investigating the cause of the accident. Until it’s clear what happened and why, there’s no telling whether concertgoers could still be in danger of another railing collapsing elsewhere on the premises.
This is everything you need to know about no-fault accident laws and what they mean for your case.
If you live in a state like New Jersey or Pennsylvania, you’re familiar with the words “no-fault” – but you might not know what they really mean. Most people don’t – unless they’ve had to deal with an accident in the past.
Our experienced personal injury lawyers break down for you:
What no-fault means
Which accidents are considered no-fault
How no-fault laws affect youafter an accident
What No-Fault Really Means
No-fault doesn’t literally mean that there’s no one at fault for the accident. What no-fault laws actually refer to isn’t the cause of the accident. Instead, it’s the responsibility of paying for the damage.
In New Jersey and Pennsylvania, no-fault laws mean that in a car accident, the auto insurance company of each person involved has to pay for the medical bills that arise.
You still go through your own auto insurance even if:
Your accident wasn’t your fault
You were a passenger, not a driver
Your car wasn’t even involved
You were walking at the time of the crash
To pay for these medical benefits, your NJ or PA auto insurance policy includes a portion of coverage called Personal Injury Protection, or PIP.
The benefit of no-fault laws is that you don’t need to wait for the insurance companies to sort out which driver was at fault for your bills to get paid.
But there are drawbacks, too – including extra financial costs to you.
Which Accidents Are No-Fault?
No-fault laws apply to motor vehicle accidents. These include:
However, no-fault laws don’t apply to accidents that don’t involve motor vehicles. If you fall on a business property or a private residence, get bitten by a dog, or are hurt by a negligent doctor, these aren’t no-fault accidents.
How Do No-Fault Laws Affect You?
If you get hurt in a motor vehicle accident in a no-fault state, the biggest way no-fault laws will affect you is when you go to get medical care.
Even if the other driver is completely at fault for the crash, your insurance company is the one required to pay the medical bills. Andsince your insurance coverage includes a deductible and copays, you’re responsible for some of the expense.
Your Responsibilities Under No-Fault Laws
When you set up your auto insurance policy, you make decisions about your coverage.
One of these decisions is what you want your deductible to be. The deductible is the amount of money you have to pay before your auto insurance company begins paying toward your medical benefits.
You can save money on your premiums by choosing a higher deductible. But if you get into an accident, you’ll end up paying more.
Copays are different from deductibles. Instead of paying them upfront, you pay them as your treatment progresses, in combination with what your auto insurer pays.
You have to pay 20 percent of the first $5,000 of medical bills you incur because of the accident, minus the money you already paid as your deductible.
Once you hit this out-of-pocket amount, you are no longer responsible for additional medical bills related to the accident. The insurance company pays the remaining bills, up to the level of Personal Injury Protection you selected on your policy.
So, if you chose to purchase low levels of PIP to save money on insurance, you will have to pay any bills that remain once the costs exceed your PIP coverage limits.
If your deductible is low – $250 – then you will have to pay $1,200 toward your medical care.
But if you chose a high deductible like $2,500, you’re looking at a cost of $3,000 by the time you finish making your copays.
Paying for No-Fault Insurance
Even before you get into an accident, you’re paying more for insurance in a no-fault state.
Insurance premiums are consistently higher in no-fault states, according to research organization RAND Corporation. That’s because you’re paying for PIP coverage that insurance policies in other states don’t include.
Why Fault Matters in an Accident – Even in No-Fault States
Just because no-fault laws determine who pays for your medical benefits doesn’t mean that fault is irrelevant. Who caused the accident is still very important when it comes to pursuing a personal injury claim.
This means that you’ll need someone able to investigate the accident for you – and to prove who’s really at fault. Otherwise, you could end up with nothing.
If you have additional questions about no-fault laws and how they will affect your NJ or PA claim, give Console & Hollawell a call today at (856) 778-5500.