July 17, 2019

What if a Person Dies Before Bringing a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

 Personal Injury Lawyer

A personal injury lawsuit is often brought by someone who is negligently injured. If the injured person dies before a lawsuit is brought, what happens? The answer is, it depends.

When the Plaintiff Dies Before Filing a Lawsuit

If no legal action has been initiated, then you’ll have to look at the statute of limitations. Generally, a plaintiff has a certain amount of time to bring a personal action claim against a defendant. If the plaintiff dies before the statute of limitations has expired, the estate can bring the lawsuit against the defendant. At this point, the action may be a wrongful death claim, rather than personal injury case.

If the statute of limitations has expired, you are probably out of luck. The statute of limitations doesn’t start when the person dies, but rather when the injury occurred. However, there may be legal implications that changes the start date. If the case was being investigated for murder, the timeline begins when it was discovered that the death was due to murder. For product liability, the statute of limitations usually starts on the date of the injury, rather than discovering that the death was due to a product malfunction.

The legal implications are further complicated by varying laws around the country. For some types of cases, the statute of limitations might be one year, while for others, it could be three years. For children, the statute of limitations may be much different, too. It’s important to talk to a lawyer as soon as you can to preserve your right to sue.

What if the Plaintiff Dies While the Lawsuit Is Pending?

In a personal injury case, the lawsuit doesn’t just go away if the injured person dies. The executor of the estate or another personal representative of the estate can continue to pursue the claim. Once the claim is settled, any recovery is distributed to the heirs according to the will or laws of succession in the state.

What If the Defendant Passes Away During the Lawsuit?

If you filed a lawsuit against a person who dies before it’s settled, again, your case doesn’t go away. Your case simply proceeds against the person’s estate. It can complicate matters, because the estate has to go through probate. Because the defendant isn’t available, it does make the legal proceeding more difficult but not impossible.

Your Personal Injury Lawyer Can Address These Situations

A death of a plaintiff or defendant doesn’t make the case go away, but it certainly can make it more complex. Talk to a wrongful death attorney in Phoenix, AZ about your claim.

Thanks to Rispoli Law, PLLC for their insight into personal injury claims and wrongful death.

July 17, 2019

Car Accidents and Brain Injuries

Car Accident Lawyer

During a car accident, victims are at risk of suffering significant harm, including brain injuries. When the brain is injured during a vehicle collision or another traumatic event, it may result in permanent physical, mental, and emotional damage. Brain injury can affect an accident victim’s ability to live a healthy and functionally independent life.

Car accident victims who suffer brain injuries may incur significant bills from medical providers for treatment, rehabilitation, or the cost of long-term care or a caregiver. When combined with the issue of lost wages and earning potential while recovering, there may be a substantial financial strain on car accident victims and their loved ones. If you’ve suffered a brain injury or other types of injuries in a car accident, a car accident attorney can work to help you receive monetary compensation for lost wages, medical bills, pain, suffering, and more.

Types of Car Accidents That May Cause Brain Injuries

Both motorists and passengers are often at risk of suffering a brain injury in traffic accidents that involve multiple impacts. This can happen in various types of collisions, such as:

  • Head-on collisions 

When the front ends of two vehicles hit each other while headed in opposite directions, the impact may thrust a motorist’s head to forward into the dashboard or steering wheel. In some instances, the speed involved when the head and neck suddenly jerk forward is sufficient to cause brain injury if the brain strikes the inside of the skull.

  • Side-impact collisions 

When a car strikes the side of another one, the side impact (or “t-bone”) collision can cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle. Or, the t-bone impact may push the struck vehicle into other objects, such as a traffic sign, a tree, or a light pole. The vehicle may also be forced into another lane, causing it to be struck again by other cars.

  • Rear-end collisions 

When the vehicle traveling behind a vehicle collides with the back of it, this can also cause the head and neck to suddenly jerk forward, increasing the risk of brain injury. However, the impact of a collision can also cause loose objects in the vehicle to strike motorists in the head, which could cause a brain injury.

Any penetration of the skull by a foreign object or blow to the head has the potential to cause a significant brain injury. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible after the event. Unfortunately, a brain injury victim’s symptoms are misdiagnosed often, due to their inability to be distinguished from other injuries. It is essential that you seek competent help from a medical provider to help to diagnose and treat your brain injury, as brain issues can easily lead to long-term problems. 

Proving the Negligent or At-Fault Driver’s Liability for the Crash

If you’ve suffered a brain injury or other injuries in a car crash, your attorney must establish that the other driver is liable for your harm. The other driver’s insurance company will have attorneys who are prepared to prove that the accident wasn’t their client’s fault, so you will need a competent, experienced, qualified, and highly knowledgeable car accident lawyer in Minneapolis, MN on your side. Schedule a consultation with a car accident lawyer today.

Thanks to Johnston | Martineau, LLP for their insight into personal injury claims and car accidents involving brain injuries.

June 24, 2019

Writing Down Information From Your Personal Injury Accident

Personal Injury Lawyer

Getting into an accident of any kind will not only throw your schedule off for the rest of the day, but it can also cause long-term damage that may result in multiple hospital visits and even physical therapy. When you have been in a personal injury accident, it can be tempting to brush it off, not make a big deal about it, and try to go on with your day, even if you are experiencing some pain. However, the best thing you can do after your accident is to write down notes about what happened. If you choose to pursue a personal injury claim, you want to make sure you have as much detail as possible regarding the accident because it can be easy to forget important things once the shock wears off. Attorneys are here to help you if you have been in a personal injury accident. Below, we give you advice on what you should take note of after your accident to give you a leg up for your claim.

What kind of information should I write down?

Always remember: no detail is too small. Anything can remind you of more details after the accident, so writing down everything you remember is very important.

  1. What happened? This is an important question to answer when you are writing about the accident. You want to answer questions like “What time was it?” or “Where was I going?” Were you rushing to get somewhere, or were you taking your time? What were the weather conditions like? It is important to note whether you had friends or family with you or if there was anyone around to witness the accident when it occurred. If there were certain noises you heard or things you observed at the scene of the accident (like a blown-out light or a puddle of liquid on the floor), these should be written down as well.
  2. What are your injuries? This is two-fold. You want to ensure you have personal notes regarding your injuries as well as notes from your doctor. Write down where you were injured, the level of pain, and whether your pain increases or decreases as the days and weeks go on. Do you suffer from anxiety after the accident? Is it affecting your sleep?
  3. What are your losses? When you work with a lawyer to file your personal injury claim, they will be working hard to get you compensation. To do this, they need to know what your losses are as a direct result of the accident. Do you have medical bills? Six months of physical therapy? Can you return to work? These are all important things to write down.

If you were recently in an accident that caused you to be injured due to someone else’s negligence, speak with a personal injury lawyer in St, Paul, Minnesota. They can help you take notes on the topics above as they begin compiling evidence for your case. Call now.


Thanks to Johnston | Martineau, PLLP for their insight into personal injury claims and writing down information from the accident.

June 22, 2019

How Long Do You Have to Go to a Doctor After a Bicycle Accident in Georgia?

Personal Injury Lawyer

A bicycle accident is more likely to cause serious injuries than a collision between two cars. Bicycle riders do not have the protection of airbags and safety harnesses. Most bicycle helmets do not meet the safety standards that apply to motorcycle helmets.

A bicycle rider’s impact with pavement or another vehicle can cause catastrophic head and spinal injuries. Broken bones, joint damage, and facial scarring are common outcomes when cars and trucks crash into bicycle riders.

Road rash, caused by a rider’s flesh scraping against the road, is a painful injury that can be life-threatening if the rash becomes infected. Torn muscles and nerve damage heal in unpredictable ways. Injuries that seem to be minor can cause nagging long-term pain when they are slow to heal.

When Should I See a Doctor after a Bicycle Accident?

Some bicyclists will be transported from the accident scene to a hospital in an ambulance. When a paramedic recommends a visit to the emergency room, an injury victim should always follow that advice.

When an ambulance is not called to the accident scene, bicycle accident victims will need to decide whether and when to see a doctor. Head injuries always deserve medical attention. If a concussion caused a loss of consciousness, a doctor should evaluate the injury immediately. Even when a bicycle rider does not lose consciousness after a blow to the head, the risk of a serious brain injury is too important to overlook.

Concussions can cause bleeding inside the skull, as well as swelling of the brain. Either of those conditions might not produce symptoms until hours after the accident. By the time the accident victim begins to notice a headache, it may be too late to save the victim’s life.

The safest course of action if the crash caused a blow to the head is to visit an emergency room or urgent care physician immediately. If that doctor recommends an examination by a neurologist or follow-up care, make sure to follow that advice.

Any other injury that is causing more than trivial pain should be evaluated by a physician soon after the accident. The fact that you can walk away from a bicycle accident doesn’t mean you don’t need medical care. People can walk with mildly fractured ribs and rotator cuff injuries, but prompt medical attention will help an injury victim avoid activities that will make those conditions worse.

Should I Wait to See If My Injuries from the Bicycle Accident Get Better?

Getting an immediate evaluation and treatment for your injuries is the best way to hasten your recovery. Your doctor is in the best position to advise you whether rest is the best medicine. Muscle and tissue injuries often require physical therapy after a period of rest to encourage a quick recovery.

In addition to maximizing your opportunity to make a full recovery, seeking immediate medical attention is important to your claim for compensation. Drivers who cause bicycle accidents should be held accountable for their negligence. Insurance adjusters, however, look for excuses to avoid paying full compensation. When an injury victim delays treatment, insurance adjusters argue that the bicyclist decided to fake an injury or that the injury was caused by something that happened after the bicycle accident.

Bicycle accident victims also have difficulty obtaining full compensation for injuries if they fail to follow a doctor’s instructions. When a doctor tells an injury victim to see a specialist or attend physical therapy, an insurance adjuster will interpret the bicyclist’s failure to heed that advice as evidence that the injuries were fully healed.

Busy people sometimes neglect to keep appointments with their doctors. Injury victims often stop going to physical therapy because the sessions are painful and time consuming. When they later seek compensation for prolonged pain and suffering, the insurance adjuster might legitimately argue that they made their problem worse by failing to follow treatment recommendations.

Do I Need to Worry About the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury?

Victims of bicycle accidents in Georgia must usually settle their claims or file a lawsuit within two years of the accident date. Accident victims generally lose their right to collect compensation for injuries if they do not start a lawsuit within two years. That time period may be extended, however, if the bicycle rider was a minor when the accident occurred.

A bicycle injury victim should nevertheless see a doctor well before the time comes to file a lawsuit. Many claims settle without filing suit, but a lawyer cannot settle an injury claim without understanding the full extent of the victim’s injuries, including the likelihood that an injury will cause a permanent impairment or lasting pain.

Seeing a doctor at the earliest opportunity and following up with care the doctor recommends is the best way to assure that an injury claim will settle for its full value. If it does become necessary to file a lawsuit, the victim’s bicycle accident lawyer in Georgia will want to have all the medical records in hand so that the lawsuit can be filed with full knowledge of the victim’s injuries.

Thanks to the Butler Law Firm for their insight into personal injury claims and bicycle accidents.

June 9, 2019

What Is Elder Abuse?

Nursing Home Lawyer

The Georgia Council on Aging reports that 1 in 10 older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Since most cases of elder abuse are never reported, however, official statistics fail to capture the full scope of the problem. As Georgia’s population continues to age, the problem will only be heightened. 

Younger family members can help prevent or stop the abuse of their elders while helping elderly victims get the justice they deserve. That process starts by learning to recognize evidence that elderly parents, grandparents, or other relatives are being abused. 

Defining Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is broadly defined as any knowing, intentional, or negligent act that causes harm to a vulnerable adult. Adults are vulnerable when, because of the infirmities of aging, they must depend on others to help them meet their basic needs.

Elder abuse generally falls into one or more specific categories. Certain warning signs are characteristic of each category of abuse. By watching for those signs, family members can help abuse victims get the help they need.

Physical Abuse of Elders

Physical abuse involves the infliction of physical pain or injury. Slapping and pinching are examples of physical abuse, as is tying the victim to a chair.

Physical abuse is often inflicted out of frustration. Family members who act as caregivers may decide to “punish” an elderly family member for failing to control a bladder or for engaging in behavior that the abuser regards as overly demanding.

Professional caregivers, including nursing home aides, also engage in acts of abuse out of frustration. They might also inflict pain on elderly patients as a means of controlling them. Regardless of the motivation, it is a violation of Georgia law to inflict deliberate and unnecessary pain on an elderly victim.

Warning signs of physical abuse may include unexplained bruising and other suspicious injuries. Even an injury that is explained as accidental should be regarded as suspicious if the explanation seems unlikely or if it becomes part of a pattern of injuries.

Sexual Abuse of Elders

Victims of sexual abuse often suffer from dementia or other conditions that make it difficult for them to report the abuse when it occurs. Sexual abuse is typically inflicted by caregivers, institutional staff members, and other institutional residents who are unrelated to the victim. Warning signs include bruising around the breasts or genitals and a sudden desire to withdraw from contact with others.

Neglect of Elders

Neglect occurs when seniors do not get the care they need. Malnutrition and dehydration are the consequences of failing to give seniors adequate food and water. Neglecting to move elderly patients who are confined to bed can cause painful bedsores and dangerous infections.

Inadequate staffing at nursing homes can cause nurses to overlook symptoms of serious health problems until it is too late to treat them. Staffing problems also lead to aides injuring patients by trying to perform tasks alone — like lifting a patient from a bed to a wheelchair — that should be performed by two aides.

Unfortunately, patient neglect may not be obvious until a family member is injured. Since nursing homes are not always honest about their staffing levels, reading reviews is one way to choose a home that has a reputation for providing high-quality care. 

Financial Abuse of Elders

Financial abuse can be committed by strangers who commit fraud, often soliciting credit card numbers from lonely elderly victims by telephone. It can also be committed by family members who have access to an elderly relative’s assets, or by caretakers who forge signatures on checks or transfer funds from an elderly victim’s online account.

Financial abuse might not be discovered until the victim starts receiving overdraft notices or credit card bills for purchases the victim did not make. Regular review of an elderly relative’s financial records is the best way to detect financial abuse.

If you have concerns about your elderly loved one, consult with a nursing home lawyer Jonesboro, GA about your situation and legal options.

Thanks to Butler Law Firm for their insight into personal injury cases and elder abuse.