Is Slander considered Personal Injury?

»Posted by on Aug 18, 2017 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

Some of the more interesting cases of damage that can be legally compensated are Defamation, Libel, and Slander. These refer to lies or false information that is intentionally spread to harm someone’s reputation. Throughout this article, we will explore the differences between these three concepts, whether or not they are considered personal injury and, finally, the types of compensation that can be awarded to a victim of such crimes.

Defamation refers to any instance of one or more persons unjustly harming the reputation of another. An admissible claim of defamation must prove a few things including that someone published a false statement that caused harm and didn’t fall into a privileged category. An example of a privileged category is someone speaking injuriously while on the stand at a trial. This type of speech is protected as privileged and typically can’t be pursued legally. For a legally defensible claim of defamation, each of the above requirements must be met. What about libel and slander? Defamation is an overarching category that encompasses both libel and slander. The difference between the two is as follows: libel is written and slander is spoken.

If the requirements of defamation are satisfied, a case can definitely be made for personal injury. Interestingly, famous and high profile figures in society have a higher burden of proof to sue for defamation. This is a result from a Supreme Court decision in 1988. Higher profile individual cases must also meet the requirement of “actual malice.” This is intended to protect people that might hastily report false information without actually intending to harm the relevant person. Protections like these help explain how gossip columns and tabloids are able to get away with constantly printing false or exaggerated information about celebrities.

There are many avenues through which someone can be victimized by defamation. If the defamation causes any harm to the plaintiff’s physical or financial well-being or if it significantly damages their reputation or prevents future associations with others, the individual might have a case to sue. Typically, plaintiffs are compensated with the removal of the alleged misinformation from its respective medium (although this is increasingly hard with the advent of the internet) and financial compensation.

If you are accused of libel or slander, there are a few important arguments that you can make to defend yourself. Proving that the information you reported was true is probably the most effective argument. Furthermore, you can be protected if the statement you made was in a privileged circumstance or if you made it to ensure the well-being of yourself, a family member, the Commonwealth, a publisher, or even an unrelated third-party.

If you find yourself victimized by a case of defamation, you should perform your own research and contact an attorney to determine if your case is eligible for representation and/or financial compensation. Sacramento personal injury attorneys can help you sue for defamation in personal injury cases to rightfully compensate you for any damages to your reputation.

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Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes

»Posted by on Jul 24, 2017 in Elder Law, Nursing Home Abuse | 0 comments

When a family decides to place their loved in a nursing home, it’s never an easy decision. Most place their family member in a nursing home because they entrust such homes to properly accommodate their loved one’s needs in manner beyond their own capacity. Though many nursing homes provide their patients loving care, others physically and mentally abuse their patients, leaving them with severe injuries and mental trauma.

Types of abuse

While some types of abuse are readily apparent, others may be more difficult to perceive. Common types of nursing home abuse include the following:

  • Physical abuse: some forms of physical abuse will be immediately apparent, but residents of nursing homes can also be subjected to other, more subtle forms of physical abuse like “use of unreasonable force”
  • Sexual abuse: we often expect victims of sexual abuse to be young, but elderly victims can also fall prey to sexual abuse. Perpetrators are often the victim’s caretakers, but other residents can also carry out abuse.
  • Negligence: negligence includes “any willful failure to provide adequate care” to patients. Even if a nursing home hasn’t directly caused harm to your loved one, this doesn’t mean they aren’t responsible for failing to prevent their suffering.
  • Malnutrition/dehydration: nursing home staff members are entrusted to actively monitor their patients’ eating and drinking habits, so residents should never become malnourished or dehydrated
  • Falls: given the severe implications of a fall for the elderly, nursing home staff members should take adequate measures to prevent falls from occurring.

For more information on physical abuse in nursing homes, click here.

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There is simply no Excuse for Harmful but Preventable Medical Mistakes

»Posted by on Jun 15, 2017 in Medical Injury | 0 comments

Three different doctors injured each of their patients by operating on their patients’ wrong side of the brain; a patient complained of unexplainable pains after his surgery – the cause of the pain was a surgical instrument that was left inside his body; a patient, while undergoing surgery, was accidentally set on fire; a young man was rushed to a hospital emergency department twice due to severe headache, nausea and vomiting – he was diagnosed to be suffering from viral infection and then sent home – a couple of days after, he suffered a massive brain hemorrhage that cost him his life; other cases involved a patient whose healthy kidney, instead of the damaged one, was removed, the wrong leg of a patient getting amputated, and the wrong testicle of another getting removed.

All of the cases mentioned above are true and, sadly, all those medical errors were committed by experienced and highly-skilled doctors, and in some of the famous hospitals in the U.S.

At least 200,000 thousand cases of medical errors, resulting to serious injuries or patient death, are registered in the list of medical malpractices every year; however, an article posted in the Journal of the American Medical Association says that the real number can be much higher because many other cases are said to be kept hidden by hospital administrators.

Thousands of doctors have been reported to have committed, and still continue to commit, medical errors, as investigations that will prove them either innocent or guilty, are still pending. Meanwhile, patients could only pray that they do not end up under the care of these doctors.

Patients (and their families) should know that if they are victims of medical malpractice, then they have the legal right to file a lawsuit against their doctors. Because a medical error is never intended, this makes it an undoubtedly avoidable occurrence. Error or accidents, including those committed by erring medical professionals, are mostly due to negligence or carelessness. Thus, all liable parties, under the rule of law, have the responsibility of compensating their injured patients for whatever consequences their unprofessional acts lead to.

According to the Law Offices of Yvonne M. Fraser, “Surgeons are highly trained medical practitioners who are expected to consistently adhere to some of the highest standards in the medical industry. If any mistake was made during a surgical procedure that you or a loved one recently underwent, you have every right to seek compensation for all of the pain and suffering that you have been made to endure.”

Along this same line of thought, the Abel Law Firm says, “We place a great deal of trust in medical professionals, especially when they are prescribing medications or performing surgical procedures. Many patients do not even feel comfortable asking too many questions or disagreeing with healthcare professionals. While this trust is often well earned, egregious errors do occur even within the medical community. This firm believes there is simply no excuse for such harmful and preventable mistakes.”


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Negative Side Effects of Depakote

»Posted by on Feb 24, 2017 in Medical Injury | 0 comments

Depakote is a prescription drug used to treat mania and other moods associated with bipolar disorder and epilepsy, seizures, and even headaches. It has divalproex sodium, which is known to soothe the nerves associated with these complications.

But Depakote is not a perfect drug, as it has been linked to several negative side effects. According to the website of the Depakote lawsuit attorneys of Williams Kherkher, you may have a legal case against a drug manufacturer for the drug’s negative effects.

Birth Defects
Pregnant women who are taking Depakote may inflict defects on their unborn children, such as malformations in the skull and brain, extra fingers and toes, heart problems, and mental problems like autism.
Medical conditions may also be sustained. The most common conditions include neural tube defects and spina bifida, which can cause brain and spinal cord damage, and facial malformations such as cleft palates, or the improper formation of the lip and mouth.

Liver and Pancreas Damage
Taking Depakote is also known to create liver and pancreas issues. If a patient is experiencing pain in the upper right abdomen, vomiting, and losing of appetite, he or she may be sustaining liver damage. Pancreatitis, or an inflammation in the pancreas, can also be characterized by vomiting, losing of appetite, and feelings of nausea.

Milder Side Effects
Aside from the devastating birth defects and damages to the liver and pancreas, taking Depakote can result into milder conditions. Though these conditions are not as devastating as the others mentioned earlier, they can still be problematic. The most common conditions include:

  • Hair loss
  • Menstrual cycle changes
  • Vision problems, such as blurring and uncontrollable eye movements
  • Weight gain

The health community is aware of the issues involved in taking Depakote that it does not recommend the drug, especially on pregnant women, because its benefits may be outweighed by its risks. What makes it worse is the fact that the victim is not just the pregnant woman, but also the unborn child who may have unnecessary burdens such as birth defects.

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Construction Site Accidents: What to Do After Being Injured in Your Workplace

»Posted by on Oct 25, 2016 in Workplace accidents | 0 comments

It should go without saying that construction sites can be extremely dangerous. Data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) shows that 899 of all 4,386 workplace fatalities that occurred in the year 2014 happened in construction sites. This number translates to 20.5 percent of all workplace accidents. At least 1 in every 5 workers was killed in construction sites in that year alone. Abel Law also adds that construction site accidents account for 10 percent of all non-fatal injuries all across the United States.

These numbers are so alarmingly high because construction sites are workplaces filled with hazards that can complicate an employee’s health and put him or her in harm’s way.  Without proper safety standards and protocol, workers can seriously get injured due to several different circumstances. According to McCutchen & Sexton – The Law Firm, some of the most common workplace accidents could be caused by defective equipment and exposure to toxic materials. Workers can also be put in harm’s way due to reckless conduct and negligent behavior from the management.

It’s fortunate that injured workers in construction accidents have the legal recourse to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.  As one can imagine, injuries suffered by workers in these situations can seriously cripple their ability to earn an income, leaving them unable to pay for medical expenses and provide for their families. Serious injuries can also have a serious effect on a person’s emotional and psychological well-being. Pursuing a lawsuit allows injured workers to seek compensation that could help cover such damages. While it’s impossible to place a monetary value on one’s health and welfare, pursuing a personal injury lawsuit can allow victims some peace of mind knowing that justice has been served in some way. If you or someone you know are in a similar situation, do not hesitate to consult with a legal professional to learn more about your options.


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Understanding Child Custody Agreements

»Posted by on Oct 24, 2016 in Child Custody | 0 comments

There’s no doubt that going through a divorce can be an arduous and emotionally draining experience. This is especially true for situations involving divorcing couples that have children together. In such a scenario, a divorcing couple will have to learn to set aside their own feelings—whether it be of animosity or great sadness—and prioritize the well-being of the children that are stuck in the middle of their dispute. In an ideal situation, the couple can come to an amicable decision regarding their child custody arrangement.

Navigating a child custody agreement can be thorny, but it’s important to get right because it determines how the divorcing couple will divide their parental responsibilities. Having a solid child custody agreement helps each parent to continue participating in the life of their child once outside the familiar structure of marriage. While laws may slightly differ from state to state, child custody agreements in the U.S. are generally defined as joint custody, joint legal custody, or sole custody arrangements.

Joint custody refers to an arrangement where both parents are awarded physical custody, allowing their children the opportunity to live with both parents following a specific schedule. Joint legal custody refer to situations where one parent is determined to be the primary caregiver, but both are able to share in making decisions regarding their children’s education, health care, religious affiliation, and other details involving their upbringing. Meanwhile, sole custody refers to arrangements where only one person is awarded physical and legal custody of the child, and the other parent is given visitation privileges.

Child custody agreements are finalized and decided on in court. According to the Law Office of Andrew A. Bestafka, Esq., the factors that contribute to a judge’s decision regarding child custody arrangements include the each parent’s living situation, income, and medical needs. Judges also take into account the education and physical needs of the children, as well as their own opinions regarding the matter. The law also divorced parents the option to modify their child custody agreement. As enumerated by BB Law Group PLLC, modifications to the court’s original decision can be made due to changes in financial and living situations for one or both the parents and changes in the children’s educational or medical needs. Custody agreements can also be modified due to cases of abuse, whether from a parent or a parent’s new partner.

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Personal Injury Information: The Devastating Consequences of Reckless Driving

»Posted by on Oct 22, 2016 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

Traffic accidents happen with alarming frequency in the United States. For the year 2015, the National Safety Council reported an alarming increase in motor vehicle crashes that lead to fatalities. Their data showed that there were over 38,000 people that died in these crashes and around 4.4 million people that reported injuries. According to Evans Moore, LLC, one of the main causes for these devastating crashes is reckless driving.

While there is no one legal definition of reckless driving, in most American states it is typically described as a situation where a driver is willfully disregarding the safety of both people and property while using his or her vehicle. Common instances of reckless driving include speeding, tailgating, running red lights and stop signs, as well as failing to signal while making turns or merging into traffic. Among all of these examples, perhaps the most alarming reckless driving behavior is drunk driving. As the Champaign personal injury lawyers of Spiros Law, P.C. point out, drunk driving is a reckless choice that claims thousands of lives every year.

The consequences of reckless driving range from fender benders to the most serious crashes. Victims of reckless driving accidents can end up with injuries as simple as a fractured arm or neck and spinal injuries. When the reckless driver in question is driving a vehicle like a truck that’s much larger compared to the other one involved in the crash, the accident could easily become fatal.  There are times when such negligent mistakes can lead to a minor rear-end collision.

Recovering from the devastation caused by a reckless driving accident can be challenging. If you or anyone you know has been hurt in a car accident, you have the legal option to pursue a personal injury lawsuit and receive compensation for the damages you’ve incurred.


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Legal Planning and Elder Law: Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia, and How to Plan for Your Future

»Posted by on Oct 21, 2016 in Elder Law, personal planning | 0 comments

Alzheimer’s disease is a difficult condition to contend with. As a type of dementia, it progressively destroys a patient’s memory and other mental faculties. This makes even the most simple of tasks a challenge to accomplish as time goes by. Eventually, Alzheimer’s patients will also start to forget basic facts about their own lives and undergo significant changes in their personality. According to data from the Alzheimer’s Association, over 5 million Americans are currently living with this progressive disease today.

The nature of Alzheimer’s disease makes it necessary for patient to plan as much as they can for their future while still in the early stages of their illness. The National Institute for Aging emphasizes how important it is for people recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s to begin examining their financial and health care directives, and make necessary updates that would help secure their future.

Legal planning for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia can easily become overwhelming, so it’s important to communicate and consult with trusted family members throughout the whole process. For the most part, legal planning in this specific situation should entail gathering all of your existing legal documents and making every necessary adjustment to all of them, as well as deciding on your medical care preferences and late-stage or end-of-life arrangements. It’s also important to decide on your medical proxy or the person who will be responsible for making medical decisions on your behalf once your illness has progressed to the point where you can no longer make them on your own.

Through this process, it would be best to seek out legal counsel and work closely with a lawyer with experience working with patients suffering from dementia. Look for a qualified elder law attorney working in your state to begin planning for your future. Those in Illinois can look to a Chicago elder law attorney from Peck Ritchey, LLC for more information.

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Balayage 101: What Is It, How Is It Done, and Why Should I Go for It?

»Posted by on Oct 20, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

There’s nothing new about balayage highlights. While this hair coloring technique has been around for a while, it’s only been recently experiencing its time in the spotlight thanks to the likes of Kim Kardashian, Chrissy Teigen, Olivia Wilde, and Gisele Bundchen.
What exactly is balayage?

Balayage borrows its name from the French word meaning “to sweep”. As a hair coloring technique, it refers to freehanding the color onto the hair. Unlike the traditional foiling technique for coloring hair, balayage requires that highlights be painted on so that strands won’t become too saturated with dye. This result in softer, more natural-looking highlights that, according to hair experts of Therapy Hair Studio, is said to mimic the way that sun touch the hair.

What are the benefits of getting balayage highlights?

One advantage to balayage highlights is that it can work with a variety of different hair types and textures, as well as hair color. Another thing that attracts plenty of women to this trend is how low maintenance it can be. Usually, getting your hair dyed requires periodic touch-ups that require frequent trips to the salon. There’s little need for that with balayage. Since color is applied on the hair in a way that’s meant to look natural, balayage highlights can go for up to 12 weeks without needing to get retouched. Also, if you’re someone who’s hesitant to try artificial coloring because of how much it could damage your hair, you can rest easy knowing that balayage doesn’t use as much product as other coloring techniques do.

Plenty of women are interesting in trying out balayage because it results in versatile, natural-looking highlights that require little maintenance. Even as it rules the red carpet, the balayage technique is perfect for women on the go looking to change up their style.

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The Alarming Connection between Power Morcellators and Uterine Cancer

»Posted by on Oct 18, 2016 in Morcellators | 0 comments

Uterine fibroids refer to noncancerous tumors that grow in the uterus and can cause symptoms like bloating, heavier and more painful menstruation, cramping in the lower back and pelvic area, frequent urination, painful intercourse, and even fertility problems. It is a common medical problem for women in their reproductive age and, thanks to advances in pharmaceutical technology, can be easily solved through non-invasive surgery.

The surgical tool that allows doctors to cut down and shred uterine fibroids through a small incision is called a power morcellator. Through a process called morcellation, these surgical tools work by using fast-spinning blades to slice up fibroid tissues, which then allows doctors to extract the shredded fibroids laparoscopically. While it may work effective for extracting benign tumors from the uterus, the problem with this method becomes evident when a patient turns out to have undetected cancerous growth. In such situations, morcellation causes the cancer to spread and advances the patient’s illness.

This is exactly what happened to a Philadelphia doctor last 2013. Dr. Amy Reed was supposed to go through a routine fibroid removal. What ended up happening after she’d gone through the surgery was her undetected cancerous growths were broken down and spread by morcellation. It’s because of Dr. Reed and women like her that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have attached significant risk to the use of morcellators.

According to uterine cancer lawsuit attorneys of Williams Kherkher, top manufacturers of power morcellators have already gone ahead and pulled some of their products off the market. There’s also been some effort to reduce the risk of morcellation through the use of a containment bag that could prevent the spread of cancerous fragments. Still, these efforts come a little too late for many women that are already suffering due to the dangerous connection between morcellators and uterine cancer.

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