Can You Sue in New York if Your Kid Suffers a Sports Injury?
Participating in sports is an excellent way for kids to stay healthy as well as develop important life skills such as self-esteem, leadership, and teamwork. The positive effect of sports definitely outweighs the negative – unless you’re talking about injuries.
Regardless of whether your child plays a team sport or an individual sport, there’s always a risk of injury when participating in a physical activity. That risk of injury can be higher or lower depending on which sport your child plays.
When you look at child athletes between the ages of 5 and 14, there are definitely differences among which sports result in more injuries:
- 28 percent of percent of football players
- 25 percent of baseball players
- 22 percent of soccer players
- 15 percent of basketball players, and
- 12 percent of softball players.
What type of injuries are we talking about here?
The Most Common Sports Injuries
There are numerous ways athletes can get injured playing sports, but some injuries are seen more frequently than others. Here are the 10 most common sports injuries:
- Patellofemoral syndrome or knee injuries
- Shoulder injuries such as dislocations, misalignment, muscle strains, and ligament sprains.
- Tennis or golf elbow from activities that require gripping
- Strained hamstring
- Shin splints from sports that involve a lot of running
- Strained groin
- ACL tear or strain
- Strained hip flexor
So now you know what type of injuries to be wary of when your child participates in sports, but what happens in the event that your child is injured? Can someone else be liable?
Liability in Child Sports
In most instances, if your child is injured while playing a sport you won’t be able to hold anyone responsible. As mentioned above, when anyone participates in a sport, they understand that there is a risk of getting injured.
However, there are certain instances when you might be able to hold someone accountable for your child’s sports injury due to that other person’s or entity’s negligence.
Equipment failure. If your child’s injury is a result of an equipment failure or a defective product, then you might be able to hold the manufacturer of the equipment responsible for the injuries. For example, if a golf club head comes flying off during a swing due to equipment failure and hits someone causing a serious injury, the company that made the golf clubs could potentially be liable.
Return-to-play decisions. When a child is injured, their coach or trainer needs to decide if that child can keep playing or should sit out the rest of the game. If the coach or trainer is negligent in their decision in allowing the child to return to the game under rare circumstances, you might be able to hold the school and coaches responsible.
If your child is seriously injured while playing sports, the particular fact scenario leading up to the injury will be especially important in determining liability. Reach out to an experienced New York personal injury attorney today to find out if you have a case and are entitled to compensation.
Who Can Be Held Liable in New York for Drunk Driving Accidents
Drunk driving crashes are some of the most dangerous auto accidents, often resulting in severe injury or death. Tragically, all drunk driving accidents are preventable as they are a direct consequence of the drunk driver’s negligence.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of a drunk driver, you are likely trying to make sense of this event and may be very angry to have fallen victim to the carelessness of another. You may also be facing financial burdens related to the accident, compromising your family’s financial security. In this case, a personal injury lawsuit allows you to fight for compensation as well as to provide some sense of closure and justice.
In a drunk driving accident, generally the most fault is placed upon the drunk driver as he or she was the one who chose to drive impaired. However, in some circumstances other parties can also be held liable for drunk driving accidents. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help you to establish which parties should be held liable in your case and get you the compensation that you deserve.
Let’s take a look at some of the parties who can potentially be sued if you are injured in a drunk driving accident.
As mentioned above, if you have been a victim of a drunk driving crash and the driver was arrested for a DWI or found to be otherwise impaired by alcohol (such as a blood test administered by a hospital if the driver was also injured), the driver should be held liable for damages resulting from the accident.
Drunk driver liability in New York may be different than in other states since New York is considered to be a “no-fault” state. No matter what the cause of the accident, if you suffer an injury, you should initially file a claim with your own insurance company (or the insurance company of the car you were in or the insurance company of the car that struck you as a pedestrian) for medical expenses and lost wages up to $50,000. Your compensation for pain and suffering and additional medical expenses / lost wages must be pursued in a lawsuit against the driver and owner of the negligent vehicle.
If you are involved in an accident and believe that the other driver may be intoxicated, it is important to take action at the scene of the accident if at all possible to establish the DWI by calling the police immediately.
Common signs of intoxication include:
- Smell of alcohol or attempt to conceal the odor such as by the use of breath spray.
- Attempt to conceal or dispose of alcohol containers.
- Slurred or incoherent speech.
- Use of eye drops.
- Attempt to switch places with passengers.
If you observe any of these signs, be sure to report them immediately to the 911 operator and to officers who came to the scene of the accident.
Regardless of the accident’s cause, it is important to gather evidence ,if you physically able to, establishing fault at the scene of the crash. This may be helpful in seeking compensation for injuries later on.
In some cases, a third party that provided excessive alcohol to the drunk driver may be held partially liable for any accident that results. Laws governing drinking establishment liability are known collectively as dram shop actions deriving from the historical fact that alcohol was previously sold by a unit known as a “dram.”
Dram shop actions are very fact specific and bound by strict legal principles so you must consult a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to explore the possibility of this type of case.
If you or a loved one has suffered injury in a drunk driving accident and you want to file a suit against the responsible parties, it is important that you act quickly. Reach out to our office now to start fighting for the compensation you deserve.
Things to Know Before Filing a Medical Malpractice Suit in New York
If you experience injury related to medical care that you have received, it can be tempting to want to sue for compensation. However, it is important to realize that not all pains and injuries associated with medical care qualify as malpractice.
What is it, legally speaking? Medical malpractice typically refers to times when a medical provider violates the generally accepted standard of care which results in patient injury. The standard of care depends on several factors, including the patient’s type of illness and age.
Before you file a lawsuit, make sure you understand what medical malpractice actually is.
Types of Medical Malpractice and What You Need to Prove
Generally, here’s what you need to know before you file a medical malpractice suit.
Examples of medical malpractice include the following:
- Foreign object left in the body during surgery
- Improper monitoring of a condition
- Incorrect diagnosis or failure to diagnose
- Incorrect surgery or surgical error
- Incorrect treatment which causes the condition to worsen
- Injury to mother or child during birth
- Mistakes in prescriptions
- Risks not disclosed before treatment
You and your attorney will need to prove that the doctor’s violation of the standard of care was the direct cause of your injury.
For example, you go in for surgery on your foot, but instead the doctor performs surgery on your knee. In these cases, your attorney will need to prove that the incident occurred due to negligence on the part of the doctor or his team and was not due to any fault of your own.
In New York, a medical expert that supports your position is required to prove a medical malpractice case.
Timing Involved in Medical Malpractice Suits in New York
The time frame within which to bring suit varies by such factors as whether the case 1) involves a government entity (such as the New York City Health and Hospitals Corp.); 2) a foreign object was left in your body; 3) there was continuous treatment for the alleged condition; and a variety of other fact specific circumstances. Based on the unique facts of your case, an experienced medical malpractice attorney will be able to advise you about time limits.
How Medical Malpractice Damages Work
Two types of damages generally may be awarded to you if you win the suit. Non-economic damages are awarded for pain and suffering. Economic damages are awarded for lost wages and health care costs incurred as a result of the act of malpractice.
Want to know if you have a viable case? Contac.;t an experienced New York medical malpractice attorney today to discuss the specifics of your situation and learn about the options that are available to you.
School Bus Injuries: What New York Parents Can Expect
School is back in session, and that means more school buses on the road with a higher potential for school bus accidents and injuries. Learn what you can expect if you or your child is injured in a school bus accident.
On August 22, a crash in Cleveland involving a car and a school bus sent 13 elementary school children to the hospital with minor injuries. On August 25, one school bus rear ended another school bus in Bell County, Kentucky, and two children were sent to the hospital with injuries. Earlier this year, 17 children were taken to a New Jersey hospital after a crash that involved two buses. In yet another incident, 16 children and one adult were injured when a school bus collided with a truck. That one happened right here in New York City.
Normally riding a bus is one of the safest travel methods. However, injuries from bus accidents can have long-lasting effects on you and your child. It’s wise to seek both medical attention and a skilled New York bus accident attorney if you are injured in an accident involving a school bus.
Common injuries related to school bus crashes fall into several different categories.
In a bus crash, head injuries most often occur when the head makes impact with the window or with the seat in front of you. They can also occur if flying debris hits your skull.
It’s imperative to seek medical attention for any kind of head injury, no matter how minor. Head injuries can have long-lasting and serious complications, so the importance of a medical exam is high.
Common symptoms of a head injury include headache, blurry vision, insomnia, and nausea. If you experience bleeding, swelling, dizziness, or temporary blackouts, seek emergency medical care.
Doctors will conduct tests for concussions and brain injuries, which can be permanent and life-altering. In a personal injury lawsuit, your medical diagnosis is a crucial piece of evidence which supports your claim.
Soft tissue injuries
Some injuries due to a bus crash may take days or weeks for symptoms to show up. Whiplash is a common injury that occurs in a bus accident. It produces pain in neck muscles, yet it often does not show up right away. You may notice neck tenderness, muscle spasms, and headaches, which can all be related to whiplash.
A doctor can investigate your soft tissue injury and recommend treatment. You can prevent yourself from further injury by seeking medical help.
Damage to the spinal column or vertebrae in a bus crash can be permanently debilitating, depending on the degree of damage.
You must seek immediate medical care to rule out serious injury. Warning signs of a serious back injury are numbness in your extremities or pain in your back or neck after a bus crash.
Abrasions and cuts
Bus crashes may cause cuts, scrapes, and bruises, some serious enough to warrant stitches. During the crash, your body may slam against seating or the bus walls. Flying debris can also wound you. A cup, cell phone, purse, bookbag, book, or accessory can cause significant damage depending on the impact of the crash.
Most abrasions and cuts can be treated with home remedies like ice, bandages, and over-the-counter pain relievers. If you experience lingering pain, or if other symptoms like swelling, oozing, and fever occur, visit the doctor to address any underlying problems.
Injury to extremities
As you are thrown about in a bus crash, you may experience broken bones in your fingers, hands, arms, legs, feet, and toes. You may experience significant injury if the crash impact occurs nearest you or if you are thrown around in the bus during the crash. Seek medical care for severe pain in your extremities, because your bones may not reset correctly on their own and this can lead to further pain.
What to Do If a School Bus Accident Injures Your Child
If you or your child has been injured in a school bus accident, don’t wait to seek out medical care. Not only will this increase your chances of recovering faster and more fully, a medical report is also essential for making a personal injury claim.
Before you file a claim, though, you’ll need an experienced attorney. A knowledgeable lawyer will understand which party will be held responsible for your injuries. Bus accidents are commonly due to negligence on the part of the driver, whether in collisions or rollovers. Victims of school bus accidents must be able to prove negligence in order to receive compensation.
Your first step in a claim? Reach out to a personal injury attorney. A lawyer with a track record of success in school bus accident cases can help you recover your losses due to injury, loss of income, medical expenses, and physical and psychological pain related to the accident.
Watch Out! Places Most New York Trip and Falls Occur
Trip and fall injuries can be quite serious. In fact, they are one of the leading causes of emergency room visits in New York. You can help prevent trip and falls by watching out for these common issues and taking some safety precautions to make sure that your home and business are secure.
Trip and fall injuries are often preventable if proper precautions have been taken. If you have suffered a slip and fall injury on property other than your own, it’s possible that the owner or maintainer of the property is liable for your injuries. A New York injury attorney experienced in slip, trip, and fall injuries can help you determine whether you can seek damages for your injuries and help you get the compensation you deserve.
In the city, sidewalks are a very common site of slips, trips, and falls. This can happen during the winter months, especially if property owners fail to sufficiently clear their sidewalks of snow and ice. Additionally, debris such as trash, yard waste, or other clutter can be left on sidewalks, causing a trip and fall hazard. Improper maintenance can also lead to uneven surfaces on sidewalks that cause pedestrians to trip.
If you trip and fall on a New York City sidewalk due to snow, ice, debris, or an uneven walking surface, it is possible that the property owner or the City of New York could be held liable for your injury. An aggressive personal injury attorney with a track record of success* in these types of cases can help you determine if seeking damages is viable and,if so, work to get you fair compensation for your injuries.
Doorways are another common site for trip and fall injuries. Victims commonly trip on the door’s threshold or potentially on a loose door entry mat. If an entry mat has not been installed, rainwater, snow or ice may also accumulate in the doorway, leading to slippery surfaces which may result in trips and falls.
If you fall in a doorway, look to see whether an entry mat has been installed and if you may have tripped on any uneven surfaces on the mat itself. Also look to see whether the floor was wet, and if so, whether this was properly marked. The laws governing these cases are complicated so it is necessary to consult an experienced personal injury attorney about your rights in these situations.
Bathrooms are a very common site of falldown injuries in both residential and commercial properties. They are subject to wetness and spills, debris and defective floor tiles which may cause users to slip or trip. The CDC reports that over 230,000 nonfatal bathroom injuries occur annually, and that over 80% are caused by falls. Slip and fall injuries can be quite serious causing pain and suffering, accumulation of medical bills and lost wages.
*Prior results cannot and do not guarantee a similar outcome.
In your own apartment or house, you can prevent bathroom injuries by making sure that any spills and accumulated moisture are quickly mopped up. You can also make surfaces less prone to slippage by installing high-quality bathroom mats and nonslip surfaces in your tub or shower. You may also want to install grab bars, especially if elderly persons will be regularly using your bathroom.
Who Might Be Negligent In New York Truck Accidents
In 2014, comedian Tracy Morgan was critically injured in an accident with a big rig. His friend James McNair, a fellow comedian known as Jimmy Mack, was killed, and eight others were hurt in the accident on the New Jersey Turnpike.
How did it happen?
Allegedly, the driver of an 18-wheeler for Walmart had been on duty for almost 13.5 hours, which was near the maximum of the 14-hour federal limit. Though work zone signs were posted about a mile ahead of the crash site, the driver apparently ignored them. A half-mile from the warning signs, the speed dropped from 65 mph to 45 mph, but he may have also ignored the change. The driver then collided with a vehicle in which Morgan was a passenger when that car was moving at less than 10 mph due to road construction.
According to a report by the National Transportation Safety Board, the driver should have been able to stop before the collision if he had obeyed the 45 mph speed limit. However, he had been awake for 28 consecutive hours at the time of the crash since he had driven his own vehicle for 12 hours prior to picking up the truck.
The 18-wheeler was equipped with a collision detection system, but the NTSB could not prove that it issued a warning to the driver prior to the crash. The board said that the system did not store enough data to bear proof and suggested that future systems be manufactured to store more data.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t an isolated incident. Accidents like these happen fairly regularly in New York and deciding who is responsible can be complicated because there are several parties who could potentially be at fault.
If you are involved in a crash with a big rig, it’s important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible to determine the liable parties. Here are several possibilities that may come into play in court.
Entities That Can Potentially Be Held Liable In a Commercial Truck Accident
The owner of the tractor trailer. Current federal law states that any company that owns a trucking permit is responsible for all accidents that involve a truck with the company’s name displayed on the truck. Whether the driver is an employee or subcontractor, the law applies.
The driver of the tractor trailer. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that driver error is the main reason for 88 percent of crashes. This is true even when considering other factors such as weather, road conditions, and vehicle problems.
Sleep deprivation is the top reason for driver error. Drivers may also be held liable for drug use (both prescription and over-the-counter), inattention, speeding, and route unfamiliarity.
Proving that the driver was at fault is not always easy. They must have committed an act within the scope of employment, and the court has several factors to decide whether that is true in each case. Factors include whether the driver was an employee or subcontractor, the amount of freedom allowed to the driver in carrying out assigned duties, the nature of the driver’s conduct, the type of work the driver was hired to complete, and the driver’s intent.
The manufacturer of the tractor trailer. If equipment malfunctions, the manufacturer may be at fault. Common problems include tire blowouts, brake failures, transmission failure, and lighting that isn’t operating correctly. Trucks must be well-maintained, and if they are not, the manufacturer may be held responsible.
The entity that paid to have the cargo transported. If the cargo causes harm as it comes out of the trailer in a crash, the company who paid for the cargo’s transport may be held liable for misloading.
The entity that contracted the tractor trailer to transport the cargo. This entity may be held liable if damages occur from cargo leaving the truck upon impact.
The entity that coordinated the tractor trailer’s route and load. If the route and load played a role in the crash, this entity may be held responsible.
Let a Knowledgeable New York Personal Injury Lawyer Help You Navigate the Complications Inherent in Trucking Accidents
If more than one of these entities is held liable for damages, they may fight over who will pay compensation and/or how much each of them is responsible for. This can cause long delays in resolution, and only an experienced truck accident attorney is qualified to navigate these challenges with you.
If you have been involved in a crash with a big rig, you need legal counsel to ensure your rights are protected. Investigations may take place, and several parties may be involved, so the case can take a long time to settle. An attorney experienced in similar cases can help you sift through the process and prove negligence. Reach out today to get the legal expertise you need.
Holland Tunnel Bus Crash: Reasons Bus Accidents Can Happen
Holland Tunnel Bus Crash: Reasons Bus Accidents Can Happen
Last month, near the New Jersey side of the Holland Tunnel, an unlicensed driver made an improper turn and hit a bus, sending the bus out into an intersection where it crashed into a pole. The bus had 42 passengers aboard, 14 of whom suffered injuries. Luckily all of the injuries were minor in this particular crash. However, often bus crashes result in mass critical injuries – or even fatalities. Worse, bus crashes are on the rise, meaning more people are getting hurt.
If you or someone you love is involved in a bus accident, one of your first questions is probably “Why?” Why did it happen? What caused it to occur? Who is to blame?
There are a number of common causes for bus accidents, and if are facing pain and suffering, medical bills or lost wages as a result of your injuries, you deserve compensation. However, determining liability in a bus crash is typically complex, as there are many reasons for bus accidents and factors that come into play.
Bus company negligence
Fortunately, the MTA is publically operated, so in general it is well-regulated. However, private tour or charter bus companies specializing in longer-distance routes often cut corners on safety regulations, driver training, or vehicle maintenance to maximize profit margins.
Even if it’s not intentional, mistakes happen. When they do, it can lead to catastrophic accidents that result in injury or death of passengers. Under the common carrier law, you may be able to hold the bus company liable for incidents like these.
Bus driver negligence
Many laws or regulations apply to bus drivers including hours of service, maximum bus speed, turning, passing, and others. Drivers are also prohibited from the use of cell phones or from talking to passengers while the bus is moving.
However, these regulations are often disregarded, which can result in accidents. Alternatively, the bus driver may simply be a bad driver, and lapses in judgement can cause accidents. Generally, the bus company is held liable if bus driver negligence results in an accident.
Bus driver fatigue
Driver fatigue caused by overworking, lack of sleep, or sleep apnea, is the leading cause of highway fatalities in the US, and also a leading cause of bus crashes. Sleep apnea is a common cause of driver fatigue, and is more common in transit operators than in the general population.
Another common cause of bus driver fatigue is failure to comply with hours of service regulations, meaning that bus drivers are on the road for too long and become fatigued as a result. If this results in an accident, the bus company can be held liable.
In some cases a bus accident may be caused by inclement weather and bad road conditions, particularly because buses are large and difficult to maneuver. During inclement weather, the bus driver should be properly trained to operate under these conditions and take certain precautions. Further, the transit company should cancel services in the event of very severe inclement weather. Failure to follow these protocols could result in an accident for which the bus company is held liable.
Because buses are very long and windows are often obstructed by passengers, blind spots are a major problem and can cause accidents. However, buses have specialized mirrors to eliminate blind spots when properly adjusted. In the event that mirrors are not properly adjusted and a blind spot is present, the bus company could be held liable for an equipment failure.
Left-turn accidents are some of the most common bus accidents. In these cases the driver’s inability to see around temporary blind spots may cause a collision, but drivers are trained to lean forward to avoid these blind spots.
As in the Holland Tunnel bus crash, errors made by other drivers on the road may also cause bus crashes. Distracted or impaired driving on the part of the other driver may also increase the likelihood of a collision.
Bus routes are frequently through urban areas, where lots of other drivers are on the road and the traffic can become incredibly congested. If the other driver is at fault, he or she may be held liable for the injuries of the bus passengers as in a standard auto accident.
Bus fires can be very dangerous, and result in devastating injuries and fatalities. Passengers at the rear of the bus may be unable to escape, or passengers may be overcome by fumes before they can escape.
Bus fires most often arise in the engine compartment, and are usually preventable by proper maintenance. Bus fires less commonly occur in tires and wheel wells, often due to friction from flat or underinflated tires. Bus fires may also occur as the result of a severe accident, when fuel lines are compromised.
If you are involved in a bus accident, to make sure you get the compensation you deserve, it is vital that you consult with a knowledgeable New York personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
6 Causes of Elevator Injuries in New York
Elevators. Most of us use them every single day. Maybe in your office building. Or your apartment complex. Or even while out running errands.
The point is, they’re a part of the daily routine. You probably don’t think about the potential danger inherent in getting into an elevator any more than you think about the “dangers” of taking a shower.
Unfortunately, there are quite a few more things that can go wrong when you’re riding an elevator up or down than when you’re under a shower head. They don’t happen often, but when accidents do occur, the injuries that people sustain tend to be quite severe. Broken bones. Head trauma. Severed limbs. Even death.
What causes these types of injuries?
Elevator Accidents That Can Lead to Serious Injuries
There are a number of things that can cause an elevator injury in New York.
Rapid drops. There are several mechanical issues that can cause an elevator to drop rapidly in the elevator shaft. One of the most common is a pulley system malfunction.
Most likely, the cables that hold your elevator in place in the shaft and allow it to travel up and down will not simply break. Even if they do, there are multiple cables and every single one is designed to hold the entire weight of the car.
Far more worrisome is that a malfunction will occur with the pulley system itself. If this happens, the car can plunge multiple stories at shockingly fast speeds, potentially tossing passengers around the elevator.
Faulty wiring. Elevators are electric. In large part, it is these electrical systems that make them so safe… most of the time. However, if there is faulty wiring present it can cause the controls to malfunction and in some cases people have even been electrocuted.
Poor alignment. Have you ever stepped into an elevator and stumbled, surprised that it was a few inches lower than the floor you were on? This type of issue is called unbalanced leveling, and it can cause truly serious injuries when the alignment is off significantly and people are not paying attention.
Falls due to unbalanced leveling have caused things like fractures, head injuries, and more. Be wary.
Open shaft. Elevator doors are not supposed to open unless the elevator has arrived at a landing, but sometimes mistakes happen. Maybe workers were fixing an issue that required them to manually open the doors and they neglected to close them or put up a warning sign. Perhaps the malfunction in question is causing the doors to open at random.
Whatever the reason, an open elevator shaft is an accident waiting to happen. Worse, if someone falls down a shaft, you most likely won’t be dealing with an injury, but death.
Door malfunctions. Doors on modern elevators are designed with safety in mind and will not close if someone is standing too close. Unless, of course, there is a problem with the sensors in the doors. Having an elevator door close on you can lead to serious injury, including having body parts crushed by the weight of the door.
Maintenance error. In some way, shape, or form, pretty much all elevator accidents are caused either by maintenance error or defective parts. There are, however, very specific ways that maintenance workers can make accidents more likely to happen.
One of the worst is simply neglecting to turn safety features back on after they finish doing any maintenance and repair work that is needed. Several years ago, this happened right here in New York and a man was crushed getting into an elevator because it started to move as he was entering.
Apparently, the workers had shut off a safety feature that prevented the elevator from moving until the doors were closed. Because of this, it could start moving while the man was in the process of getting in.
What Should You Do in the Event of an Elevator Injury?
The first thing that you need to do is make sure that you seek medical help so that you get any injuries taken care of promptly. Also, seeking necessary medical attention creates a record of what happened to you.
This is very important for the next step – getting in touch with a knowledgeable injury lawyer who can work with you to make sure that you hold the responsible parties accountable and get the fair and just compensation that you deserve for the suffering that you had to endure.
A skilled New York injury attorney will be able to look at the facts of your situation and help you put together a strong case arguing that the incident was caused by negligence.
Hurt By a Prescription Drug? Who May Be Held Liable
More and more people use prescription drugs for a variety of reasons. While many of these drugs do what they’re supposed to do, some drugs don’t, and the effects could be devastating.
What happens, then, if you’re hurt by a prescription drug? Just like if you were hurt by a defective product, you might be able to sue for damages.
There are three main types of prescription drug liability claims:
- The prescription drug was defectively manufactured. This covers any error or mistake that occurs during the manufacturing process in the factory to when you finally receive the drug.
- The prescription drug has dangerous side effects. This type of claim involves prescription drugs that were manufactured properly, but the side effects of the drug are dangerous and cause injury.
- The prescription drug was improperly marketed. These claims result in injuries due to a failure to provide appropriate warnings for the safe use of the drug. Drug “marketing” refers to the instructions, warnings, and recommendations related to using that drug.
Your prescription drug liability lawsuit might involve only one of these types of claims or a combination. Depending on the type of claim you are pursuing, you might hold different parties responsible for your prescription drug injury.
So, who could potentially be liable in your lawsuit?
Possible Defendants for Prescription Drug Claims
When trying to identify possible defendants for your prescription drug claim, you should consider the chain of distribution. The chain of distribution looks at the path the drug takes from the beginning, when it is manufactured, to the end, when you as the consumer have the drug in your hands.
Let’s look at the different parties in the chain of distribution.
Manufacturer. The prescription drug manufacturer is the company that produces the drug. These are usually large companies that have the money and resources to put into researching and developing new drugs. While that bodes well for you in terms of receiving a settlement, these companies typically have expensive lawyers working to make sure they don’t have to pay.
Testing lab. Every drug that is manufactured has to undergo thorough testing to make sure it’s safe for patients to use. If there was a testing error, you could include the testing lab as a defendant in your claim.
Pharmaceutical sales rep. When new drugs come out, drug companies hire pharmaceutical sales representatives to talk to doctors about their new products and get the doctors to prescribe these drugs to their patients. If one of these reps sold your doctor on the drug, he or she might be liable.
Your doctor. You trust your doctor, so when he or she tells you to take a prescription drug, you listen. Your doctor might be liable for prescribing a drug that caused injury, for failing to warn you about side effects, or for not providing you with the appropriate instructions for safe usage.
Pharmacy. The pharmacy where you go to pick up your prescription drugs might be liable for your injuries as the final party in the chain of distribution.
Regardless of which prescription drug caused you injury, you should contact an experienced New York personal injury attorney who can look at your case and determine if you have a legitimate claim and are entitled to damages.
Under what Circumstances Can Someone Be Held Liable for Injuries Related to Heat Waves?
Back in early June – before summer officially began – New York experienced its first heat wave of the year. We had three days of scorching 90-degree weather and more has come our way this summer.
When it gets hot in the city, New Yorkers everywhere use it as an opportunity to cool off in the water by flocking to beaches like Coney Island and Orchard Beach, opening fire hydrants and gathering in city parks.
What happens, however, when it’s so hot you get sick or injured?
Well, depending on where you are, who you are, and how the heat affects you, if it is someone’s else’s negligence that caused the injury you might be able to hold someone else liable. Let’s first look at some common heat-related injuries and illnesses, and then explore who might be held responsible and whether the injured victim is entitled to compensation.
Heat-Related Injuries and Illnesses
Generally speaking, the longer you’re exposed to heat, the better your body acclimates to it. This is why the first few heat waves of the year always seem to feel extra hot – you’re not used to feeling such high temperatures. Since you’re not used to it, your body might not react as well to the heat.
When the temperature rises, you need to be cautious about being in the heat for a prolonged amount of time. Otherwise, you might experience these heat-related injuries and illnesses:
- Heat stroke. Heat stroke is usually the most serious of heat-related illnesses. When your body’s temperature rises too quickly, its heat-regulating system is overwhelmed and can’t function properly. Symptoms of heat stroke include weakness, dizziness, nausea, confusion and hallucinations. On average, there are about 13 heat stroke deaths every year in New York.
- Heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion occurs when your body loses too much salt and water due to being in excessive heat. Basically, you sweat and if you can’t replenish your fluids and electrolytes fast enough your body is unable to cool itself.
- Heat cramps. Heat cramps are commonly the mildest heat-related illness. They are painful muscle spasms that usually occur after intense exercise in the heat.
While the heat can definitely affect you when you’re outside in high temperatures, you also need to be wary of being inside without air conditioning or with poor ventilation.
If you begin to experience symptoms of a heat-related illness, your first step should be to go to a cool place and rest. Remove any extra clothing and place cool towels on your skin. Drink cool fluids such as water for rehydration and sports drinks for sugar and salt.
If your symptoms don’t improve or you think you’re suffering from heat stroke, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room because your condition might be life-threatening.
Is anyone else Responsible for my Heat-Related Illness or Injury?
As mentioned above, depending on the circumstances of your heat-related illness or injury, someone else might be held responsible. Below are three examples of possible liability claims regarding heat.
You are an employee in a hot working environment. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), employee have to provide their workers with a safe work environment, which also includes protecting them from extreme heat.
Employers should provide employees with water, rest and shade if they’re working outdoors or adequate fans and air conditioners if they’re working indoors. If an employer doesn’t provide these things to its employees and an employee is injured or gets sick, the employee may have a workers’ compensation claim. If the work environment is an area not owned or operated by an employer (e.g., an off-site location) the owner or operator of the site may be a potential party in a lawsuit for money damages.
Your child gets a heat sickness or injury at school. Schools have a duty to keep your child safe. If your child develops a heat illness because he or she wasn’t properly supervised or left in an unsafe, hot environment for an unreasonable amount of time , the school might be liable for heat-related injuries. If there’s a heat wave and your child is injured at recess due to scorching playground equipment, the school might also be held liable.
Your landlord doesn’t provide cold or running water during a heat wave. You may be responsible for paying your own electric bill, so you need to run your air conditioner or fans when it’s hot out. You can’t hold your landlord responsible if you get a heat illness because you didn’t want to run the AC.
However, if your landlord is supposed to maintain your air conditioner, and their failure to do so leads to you getting a heat illness, you might be able to sue. You also might be able to sue if your landlord doesn’t provide cold or running water during a heat wave.
Heat-related injuries or illnesses can occur even when it’s not summertime. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or illness because of extreme heat, reach out to an experienced New York personal injury attorney to determine if someone might be liable for damages suffered.
About the Author
Richard Bell is a personal injury lawyer serving the community in the five boroughs, Long Island and Westchester with offices in Manhattan and Queens. His extensive knowledge of personal injury (including construction accidents, medical malpractice, auto accidents and falldowns) has resulted in great success for many of his clients during his more than 30 years of practicing law. In addition to winning his clients millions of dollars from personal injury lawsuits, he has been awarded for his pro bono work and is passionate about educating citizens about voting rights.
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