Yearly Archives 2012

Featured

Lawsuit Filed over Hormone Replacement Therapy

A Texas family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit over hormone replacement therapy. The lawsuit alleges that the drug companies that manufacture the products used in this therapy downplayed or concealed the risks of the drugs and that they have little or no actual benefit to the patient. This type of therapy has been in use since the 1940s and is used to treat the symptoms of menopause.

What it Does

Hormone therapy aims to decrease the severity of menopausal symptoms. Those symptoms include the loss of bone density, hot flashes, irritability and many others. Some of the symptoms, such as the loss of bone density, have serious health implications and others, such as hot flashes, primarily affect the woman’s quality of life. According to the lawsuit, the therapies that employ hormone replacement offer little or no value to the patient and present real risks.

The Risks

The hormones used in these therapies include a mix of natural and synthetic hormones that are designed to replace those that the woman’s body no longer produces in adequate amounts. Some of the same hormones are used in birth control pills and have been linked to potential life-threatening conditions, such as deep venous thrombosis, where a blood clot forms in the deep veins in the legs and, when broken loose into the bloodstream, can lead to fatal conditions such as pulmonary embolisms, heart attacks and strokes. The drug manufacturers, for their part, hold that the medicines used in the treatment of menopause have always carried warning labels and that patients are given every opportunity to understand and decide whether or not they want to accept the associated risks.

Old Therapies and Lawsuits

Most of the time, when you hear about a claim over a dangerous drug, it will be over a drug that is relatively new on the market. This is not always the case, however. Accutane, for instance, was prescribed for many years before a slew of lawsuits and a black box warning changed the way it was used. It was established in many of these lawsuits that Accutane did present very real risks to the patient’s health and even their life, even though it had been in use for so long.

If a treatment has been around for a long time and you have been injured by it, that doesn’t mean that you cannot pursue a lawsuit for damages or wrongful death. You’ll need to speak with an attorney about the matter, of course, because they are the only professionals who can let you know whether or not it’s likely that you’ll have a chance of winning your claim. If they believe that you do, they may take you on as a client and help you to pursue compensation.

 

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Farmers Insurance Pays out $140 Million in Class Action

Farmers Insurance has agreed to a settlement for $140 million over the mishandling of claims related to car accidents. The lawsuit alleged that the insurance giant managed to get away with not paying anything at all or paying less than it should have on its medical payment claims and its personal injury protection claims for people harmed in car accidents.

These accidents and the claims that followed were filed between January 2001 and January 2009. The claimants will get 60 percent of the difference between the cost of their medical bills that they submitted to Farmers and the amount that Farmers actually paid them.

The settlement, according to the company, was agreed to because the company didn’t want to go through any more expenses related to litigation. It was possible that the jury award could have been very high if they had gone to trial, as well, a common reason that defendants sometimes offer a settlement in lieu of going to court.

If you believe that you should have been a part of this settlement, you can still fill out a form online to see if you qualify.

What Are Class Actions?

Sometimes, there are so many people who have such a similar claim against a defendant that it makes more sense to have all of their cases heard together than it does to have them all go through the court system separately. This is the reason behind a class action. The many different claimants in the case are referred to as a class and a small number of representative cases are tried to determine whether or not those plaintiffs, as a class, are entitled to the compensation that they’re seeking.

Insurance Companies and Lawyers

Lawyers can be of great assistance if you’re having a problem with your insurance company. Your insurance company does have very real obligations to you and, if they fail to live up to them, it may be worth your while to file a lawsuit to persuade them to give you what you deserve. The attorney you hire will, of course, be much better equipped to deal with a contract issue-which an insurance policy really is-than you are and that enables them to figure out where the insurance company may not be living up to its obligations fully.

Talking to an Attorney

A Houston personal injury attorney will usually be willing to sit down with you for free to discuss any claim you think you have. This gives them an opportunity to see if they can help you or not. If they cannot, they’ll just let you know; but, if they can, they may well want to help you get the compensation that you’re entitled to.

 

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Trucking Companies and Lawsuits

The investigation into the 100-car pileup over Thanksgiving south of Beaumont involves one couple who were killed by an 18-wheeler in the accident. Whether or not the trucking company, the trucker or anyone else was negligent in causing this accident remains to be determined. Investigators are still hard at work trying to figure out how the accident occurred at all. Where 18 wheelers are concerned, however, there are some particular hazards that people should be aware of and some options that they may have available to them if they lose a family member or are themselves injured in such an accident.

Drivers and Fatigue

A frightening number of drivers who make their living behind the wheels of semi trucks find themselves driving long after the point where they are exhausted, according to multiple reports. Studies have also demonstrated that driving drowsy is just as dangerous as driving drunk. When you combine the hazards that a massive vehicle such as a semi truck poses on its own with a drowsy driver, you have a recipe for disaster.

Sometimes, the drivers themselves are to blame for driving when they should be resting, and sometimes the companies they work for push those drivers far too hard. Either way, anyone who is hurt or the family of a person who is killed by a drowsy trucker should contact a personal injury attorney about the matter. There are labor standards that apply to how much rest time anyone driving a commercial vehicle must have and, if the company or the driver violates those standards, an attorney may be able to help.

Unmaintained Vehicles

One of the other major hazards posed to drivers on the highways by semis comes from 18-wheelers that are not properly maintained. Maintaining a semi truck requires qualified mechanics and requires that those mechanics adhere to a very strict schedule. These vehicles need to be inspected each and every time they go out on the road and they need to be fixed according to standards set forth by state and federal authorities when there is a problem.

There are cases where investigations will reveal that a truck was not properly maintained when it was sent out on the road. In such cases, a jury may very well find that the trucking company was negligent in not providing its driver with a safe vehicle and that the negligence directly contributed to injuries or deaths resulting from an accident.

Never take a settlement check from the trucking company without speaking to an attorney first. The attorney may be able to get you enough money via jury award or settlement to pay for your property damage, medical injuries or the loss of a loved one.

 

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Longer Nights Put Pedestrians at Risk

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The nights are getting longer and drivers will be relying on their headlights to see hazards on the road. Unfortunately, pedestrians are sometimes hard to see and end up getting injured or killed by negligent drivers. Bicyclists face the same hazard. Here are some ways that you can keep safe during the fall and winter.

Halloween

Most trick-or-treating is done during daylight hours. In fact, the candy industry lobbied hard to get Daylight Savings Time extended to encourage trick-or-treating! Even though this is the case, be sure your child’s costume has the following features, even if you’re going with them to keep an eye out:

·        Good visibility for the wearer

·        Reflective surfaces if the costume is dark colored

·        Allows agile movement

Some trick-or-treaters will be out during the dusk and early night hours, so each year when Halloween comes around, be sure to keep the following section in mind.

Right After Dark

It takes the human eye a long time to adjust to darkness. It also takes under a second to ruin your night vision. Drivers who are on the road just as the sun sets don’t have their night vision yet and their headlights usually aren’t giving a lot of illumination, due to the dusky light. Make sure you’re extra careful of drivers during this period.

Remember that drivers can only see to the end of their headlights. You can see a car coming down the road and the headlights actually may not be reaching you with enough intensity for the driver to see, particularly when night has just fallen.

At Night

When you’re out and about at night, be aware of the fact that it is actually hard to judge the speed of a vehicle when you can only see their headlights. When you’re crossing intersections, even in areas with low speed limits, be extra careful. Take an extra second or two to see how fast oncoming traffic is coming at you. It may be moving faster than you think.

If you’re on a bike, make sure you have a light and at least some reflective clothing. It’s very hard to see bicyclists at night and, even though there may be adequate street light illumination for you to ride safely, other drivers will not be able to see you without a light. Consider getting one of the safety vests available at most discount stores to increase your visibility. You’ll be glad you did when a driver can successfully avoid you instead of slam into you.

If you’re injured by a driver who wasn’t paying attention, contact an attorney. Pedestrians are far too often the victims of negligent drivers and they’re the most vulnerable victims to sustaining serious injuries or being killed. A Houston auto accident attorney can help you with any valid claim involving a negligent driver.

 

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Houston the Fourth Most Congested US City

Every year, Houston commuters spend an average of 57 hours being delayed in traffic. The same government statistics show that Houston is the fourth most congested city in the entire nation. This is probably not surprising to anyone who commutes every day. Congested traffic conditions are dangerous and lead to many serious accidents every year. If you want to avoid the most common types of accidents, here are some tips.

Rear-End Crashes

Rear-end collisions are very common type of crash. They are also very expensive and sometimes deadly, depending upon the conditions surrounding the crash. If you’re stuck in tight traffic, you can increase your odds of avoiding such a crash before it happens.

Keep two seconds of time between you and the car in front of you at all times. Even in very tight, slow traffic, however, you will sometimes find that it’s useful to keep two car lengths in between you and the car in front of you. This leaves enough room for people to cross lanes in front of you and prevents you from having to hit the brakes constantly as traffic starts and stops. Sometimes, using this technique, you can get through a traffic jam at a slow, steady speed rather than having to stop and start constantly, which burns gas quickly and is hard on your car.

Exit/Entry Ramps

Be very wary near exit and entry ramps. These areas not only tend to have a lot of accidents, they tend to have a lot of bad ones. Watch out for people who are entering into your lane and who are just using their mirrors to check for other cars. They may not even see you. If you’re near an exit ramp, be aware that the traffic off of any freeway can suddenly come to a halt, so be careful about your speed and be ready to react.

Sun and Sky

It’s autumn and that means that some of the worst commuting hours are also the hours when the light is at its worst for driving. If you’re driving east at dawn or west at sunset, be aware of the fact that your vision is very compromised. If you’re heading away from the sun, make sure your lights are on and assume that  people making left turns, crossing intersections and so forth cannot see you. They may not even be able to look toward where you’re coming from for more than a second without it hurting their eyes, so expect people to surprise you by turning in front of you and making other dangerous maneuvers.

Houston has a lot of traffic and a lot of traffic always means that there are a lot of accidents. If you’re not comfortable with your driving skills, consider taking a course to improve them. If you’re injured because another driver was negligent, contact a Houston car accident attorney. They know all about the types of accidents negligent Houston drivers cause and may be able to help you.

 

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Fosamax Linked to Eye Problems, CMAJ

The Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) has published a study linking bisphosphonates with inflammatory eye disease. The study, published in April 2012, showed a link between bisphosphonate drugs and uveitis and scleritis. These two inflammatory eye diseases were linked to first time users of the drug, according to the study. Bisphosphonate drugs such as Fosamax have already been linked to side effects that have led to lawsuits.

The Diseases

The increased risk of inflammatory eye disease was only linked to first time users. There are other side effects of bisphosphonate drugs, however, that have been reported in many different users. In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, there have been over 3,000 product liability claims filed against Merck, the manufacturer of Fosamax, due to effects on the jaw and other bones.

Bisphosphonates have been linked to decay in the jawbone, which can end up causing disfigurement and requiring surgeries. It is also linked to degradation in the femur, causing fractures. This has led to the many product liability claims filed against the company. Bisphosphonate drugs are generally prescribed to postmenopausal women as a treatment for osteoporosis. They are also prescribed for the treatment of Paget’s disease.

Drugs and Liability

Whether or not somebody who suffered a side effect from a drug has legitimate reason to sue depends upon, in part, whether or not they were warned about the dangers of the drug. Many product liability claims have emerged in the wake of side effects that people had no idea were risks associated with a pharmaceutical and, in some cases, the pharmaceutical companies were aware of the risks.

When people end up being injured or killed because of the risks of a particular drug and they weren’t warned ahead of time that starting a drug therapy would mean putting themselves at risk, they sometime sue. Some of the more famous drugs that have been the subject of lawsuits include Accutane, Paxil and Vioxx.

Filing a lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company because of having been harmed due to the side effects of a drug requires that you speak with a product liability attorney. A Houston product liability attorney will generally take these claims on contingency, which means that you don’t actually have to pay them anything if they fail to win your claim. This obviously means that your attorney isn’t likely to bother taking your claim unless they’re sure you’re going to win, which is a good reason to have confidence in your case if the attorney takes it.

You may be offered a settlement by a drug company if you were injured. Don’t take one of these without speaking to a product liability attorney first; you may be giving up an opportunity to get a jury award or a larger settlement.

 

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Car Wreck Emphasizes Dangers of Wet Roads

A Corpus Christi man hydroplaned into a sign, according to reports on KRISTV.com, emphasizing the danger of wet roads and losing control. According to the report, the man got off easy, only sliding into the sign and not needing to go to the hospital for injuries. The report details that the police did give him a ticket for failing to control his speed. Wet roads present unique hazards that one needs to be aware of whenever they are encountered.

Hydroplaning

Hydroplaning is a potentially deadly situation that causes a driver to lose control of their vehicle. It happens when you hit a patch of water and, as you travel over it, that water causes your tires to lose contact with the road. Hydroplaning can happen in different degrees. In some cases, only one tire will lose contact with the road, but in others, more than one tire, or all four tires, can lose contact with the road simultaneously.

When a vehicle hydroplanes, because it has no traction with the road, steering and braking have little effect. If this happens, you may feel your vehicle start to drift, you may experience a lack of control with the steering wheel or, if your drive wheels hydroplane, you may hear your engine rev very loudly as those drive wheels accelerate in the absence of any resistance.

A hydroplaning vehicle can quickly slide off the road, go into a spin or, if it happens to be a corner, end up going over the edge of the corner.

Stopping the Hydroplane

The difficult part about stopping a hydroplaning vehicle comes from the fact that your normal controls have no real effect. Slowing down may reduce the water pressure under the tires, allowing the car to gain traction again. Steering will generally do very little and, in some cases, it may lead to the vehicle going into an uncontrolled skid. If this happens, remember to turn into the skid, and then turn out of it once you’ve regained control. What you want to avoid is having the back end of the car pass up the front.

Being Safe

During heavy rains, be wary of road conditions where the surface is obviously wet. Watch out for the ruts that sometimes form in blacktop roads, as they tend to fill up with water and can create hydroplaning hazards. Remember that you don’t have to be going particularly fast to hydroplane. On the Houston city streets, the water can easily get deep enough at times to cause you to hydroplane.

If You’re Hit

People who drive too fast can sometimes end up causing hydroplane related accidents due to their own negligence. If this happens to you, contact a Houston personal injury attorney about filing a lawsuit to recover your financial and medical damages.

 

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Drunk Driver Convicted on Intoxicated Manslaughter Charges

A drunken driver in El Paso has been convicted of multiple intoxicated manslaughter charges over the deaths of two people last year. According to SF Gate, the driver was also convicted of two counts of assault for the injuries that two other people suffered during the same accident.

The 23-year-old man has been in jail since the wreck occurred last December. At the time of his arrest, the driver was found to have a blood-alcohol level of .25, which is in excess of three times the legal amount, according to the reports.

The crash was disastrous. According to testimony from the driver himself, he was racing another vehicle at the time of the crash. He lost control of his own vehicle, went through a wall and crashed into an office building, where the car he was driving caught fire.

These types of accidents occur all too frequently and, as this case demonstrates, they sometimes end up with people losing their lives. While this driver will be facing up to 20 years in prison on each manslaughter count and up to 10 years in prison on each assault count, this really doesn’t do much for the families of the people who lost someone in the accident or for the people who were injured.

Other Legal Options

When police and prosecutors take on a criminal case, their job is to make certain that the person that they are prosecuting faces the legal consequences of their crimes. The prosecutors do not deal with helping the victims to recover from the effects of those crimes. That task falls to a lawyer.

A Houston personal injury attorney can help you if you have been injured by a drunken driver and need financial compensation, in addition to wanting the person to pay for the criminal aspects of their crime. There are some instances when filing a lawsuit may not be worth it but, because of how personal injury attorneys work, they will let you know.

If you sit down to talk to a personal injury attorney, they’ll let you know whether or not they think it’s worth it for you to pursue your case. These attorneys don’t make money on a case unless it wins, so they have no motivation to try to get you to pursue a lawsuit that they know is going to lose. If a lawsuit loses, the attorney loses all of the time and effort they put into the claim, as they don’t get paid.

In instances such as the above, a Houston personal injury attorney may be able to help you file a wrongful death lawsuit against the person responsible for the death of your loved one. This is an option that is designed to help the survivors financially.

 

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Amputation Leads to Malpractice Lawsuit

A man whose gangrenous toe was not treated in time ended up having to go through a below-the-knee amputation due to the spread of the infection, according to a lawsuit. The lawsuit, reported in SETexasRecord.com, was filed in Jefferson County over an incident that occurred in 2009.

The lawsuit alleges that the patient went to a podiatry clinic with gangrene in his toe. There was no treatment offered at that time, according to the report, and, upon a later visit, the toe was amputated. The infection had spread and, a week after the operation, the patient was forced to have his leg amputated below the knee due to that infection. The lawsuit alleges that the patient’s condition was not treated in time. The patient suffered from diabetes, peripheral vascular disease and renal disease.

The patient in this claim is suing for the medical expenses he endured, pain, impairment, disfigurement, mental anguish and lost wages.

Malpractice Lawsuits

Right now in Texas, medical malpractice lawsuits are the subject of heated political debates. This tends to create a situation where most of the information in the media about medical malpractice lawsuits have to do with politics than it has to do with the patients who are wronged by physicians. This lawsuit has yet to be heard, but there are many instances when patients do not receive the care that they need in a timely fashion and who do, therefore, end up going through much more serious and disfiguring treatments to deal with the consequences of that. In many cases, these are the same instances where those patients end up hiring a personal injury attorney to represent them.

Are they Frivolous?

It is likely that some people are considering political dimensions when they are considering whether they should file a medical malpractice claim. A medical malpractice claim, in reality, is not a political thing. A medical malpractice claim is a patient’s right when a doctor is in breach of their duty to that patient. In some cases, the breach of duty is egregious and the patient ends up suffering horrendous pain, disfigurement or permanent impairment because of that malpractice.

Medical malpractice claims can help people who were injured by negligent physicians to recover the costs of their medical treatments, their lost wages, compensation for their pain and suffering and more. These lawsuits are oftentimes the only ways that patients have to get any compensation at all for what they’ve been put through.

If you are considering a medical malpractice lawsuit, talk to a Houston personal injury attorney about the matter. Don’t worry about what media or politicians have to say about medical malpractice lawsuits; if you are injured, they are among your rights and sometimes are your best option.

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Fourteen Perish in Truck Wreck

ABC News is reporting that 14 people were killed and 9 people were injured when a pickup truck ran off of a highway and ran into trees near Corpus Christi. According to the report, there were 23 people in the truck at the time of the crash. Some of the people in the pickup were illegal immigrants.

The accident occurred on US 59. The truck was near Goliad, loaded down with its 23 passengers and veered off of the highway. One of the Texas Department of Public Safety representatives quoted in the article said it was the most people he had ever seen in any passenger vehicle in his 38 year career.

According to the report, 11 people needed to be airlifted to nearby hospitals and the dead included at least two young girls and one young boy.

Negligent Actions

Unless the vehicle’s specification states otherwise, a vehicle can carry as many people as there are seatbelts in that vehicle. Beyond that, the vehicle is overloaded. There are incidents every year where people cram far too many passengers into a passenger car or truck and end up getting into a crash. This creates a situation where the consequences of the crash can be much worse than it would be if everybody were provided with a seat belt and proper seating.

In this incident, you can see one of the worst possible cases of negligence in that people were riding in the back of the truck. This is never safe. Riding in the back of a pickup truck means that you have no safety restraint system and no seating. If the vehicle rolls over or crashes into something, you’re going to get ejected from the vehicle and that may mean serious injuries or death.

What Can You Do?

If you were the victim of someone who was negligent in handling their vehicle, you may be able to sue them for compensation in court. The case such as the one listed above has features that may not make it ideal for filing a lawsuit. Many of the passengers were illegal immigrants, of course, which means that there is an entirely separate side to the situation.

Some people, however, end up riding with someone who overloads their vehicle or who otherwise creates a hazard that causes people in that vehicle to be injured or killed. If this has happened to you or a loved one, you may want to speak to a personal injury attorney about the matter right away. If it turns out that they believe that the driver was negligent, they may encourage you to go ahead and file a lawsuit to get compensated for your pain and suffering, your injuries, or the death of a loved one.

 

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Q & A

  • What to do if You have Been in a Car Crash?

    An automobile accident can turn your life upside down in an instant. If you’ve suffered Personal Injury due to car crash, you will suddenly be subject to medical bills, potential […]

  • Filing a Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Claim

    Personal injury attorneys work a wide variety of cases. In some instances, a worker is injured on the job due to lax safety standards or because they were asked to […]

  • Are Defective Products Lawsuits Worthwhile?

    Most of the time, when you hear about someone suing over defective products, it’s a dramatic case with a very large settlement. It’s easy to fault the media for this, […]

  • Premises Injury

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  • What happens during a personal injury lawsuit?

    Your personal injury firm will determine the facts of your case and will contact the legal representation of the company or person you are filing a claim against. Most personal […]

Auto Accidents

  • Texting While Driving Accidents

    In the United States, distracted driving accounts for hundreds of thousands of automobile accidents every year. In recent years, accidents caused by texting while driving has contributed to an exponential […]

  • Why Do You Need a Houston Auto Accident Law Firm?

    If you or a loved one has suffered any type of personal injury during or resulting from an automobile accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation from all responsible […]

  • Automobile Accidents Lawsuits

    Even though it’s an everyday occurrence, suing over automobile accidents is sometimes a controversial subject. There are people who sometimes find it unfair that someone is sued over an accident […]

  • Why Drunk Driving Accidents are So Dangerous

    Even when things get out of control, you can count on some common reflexes from most drivers. They’ll generally try to avoid hitting other cars or fixed objects, for one, […]

  • What Causes Truck Accidents?

    How a Truck Injury Lawyer can get you the compensation you deserve Truck accidents are a bit more complex, in many regards, than are passenger car accidents. To start with, […]

  • 18 Wheeler Collisions

    Injuries from accidents involving 18 wheelers require immediate action to prevent destruction of evidence. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations require certain records be maintained such as driver qualifications, training, […]

Product & Other Liabilities

  • Work Safety and Product Liability

    Most often, when a worker is harmed on the job due to a negligent employer’s actions or lack of action, they have the option to sue. But what if it’s […]

  • Why Product Liability Law Works

    There are plenty of adages about power corrupting. In the practical world, money does equate to power and, of course, corporations have a lot of money to throw around. One […]

  • Class Action vs. Individual Product Liability Claims

    Product liability claims are handled in several different ways, depending upon the circumstances. You have probably heard of class action lawsuits. These are cases where a group of people get […]

  • Baby Toy Recalls

    Some of the most frightening product recalls are those that involve toys. The population most at risk, of course, is young people and this makes it particularly dire when one […]

  • Premise Liability Claims

    Premise liability claims are usually filed when a property owner was negligent and where that negligence led to someone being hurt unnecessarily. The owner of a commercial property has a […]

  • Liability Law and Motorcycle Accidents

    Whenever you get on a motorcycle, you’re willingly taking on more risk than the driver of a passenger car. This is part of the thrill of riding and it’s one […]

  • Compensation for Injuries from Burns and Explosions

    Burns are some of the most devastating of all injuries. They’re among the most painful types of injuries, and this makes the suffering associated with them something most people would […]

  • Product Liability Tips

    Anytime you get injured or harmed from a product that you believe is defective, here are some of the things you need to do: You need to gather and preserve […]

Liability

  • Work Safety and Product Liability

    Most often, when a worker is harmed on the job due to a negligent employer’s actions or lack of action, they have the option to sue. But what if it’s […]

  • Why Product Liability Law Works

    There are plenty of adages about power corrupting. In the practical world, money does equate to power and, of course, corporations have a lot of money to throw around. One […]

  • Class Action vs. Individual Product Liability Claims

    Product liability claims are handled in several different ways, depending upon the circumstances. You have probably heard of class action lawsuits. These are cases where a group of people get […]

  • Baby Toy Recalls

    Some of the most frightening product recalls are those that involve toys. The population most at risk, of course, is young people and this makes it particularly dire when one […]

  • Premise Liability Claims

    Premise liability claims are usually filed when a property owner was negligent and where that negligence led to someone being hurt unnecessarily. The owner of a commercial property has a […]

  • Liability Law and Motorcycle Accidents

    Whenever you get on a motorcycle, you’re willingly taking on more risk than the driver of a passenger car. This is part of the thrill of riding and it’s one […]

  • Compensation for Injuries from Burns and Explosions

    Burns are some of the most devastating of all injuries. They’re among the most painful types of injuries, and this makes the suffering associated with them something most people would […]

  • Product Liability Tips

    Anytime you get injured or harmed from a product that you believe is defective, here are some of the things you need to do: You need to gather and preserve […]