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Archive for the ‘Personal Injury’ Category

What Can I Receive in a Personal Injury Suit?

What Can I Receive in a Personal Injury Suit?

Whenever an individual or company negligently harms you, the civil justice system allows victims in these instances to collect money for ‘damages’ under Texas tort law. In general, personal injury damages include the following:

Compensatory Damages

The most common type of damages in personal injury cases are called compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are there to alleviate the financial and physical losses suffered by the victim or their family. Below are just some of the types of compensatory damages that an injury victim may receive:

  • Medical bills

  • Lost wages

  • Property damage

  • Pain and suffering

  • Emotional distress

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages in personal injury cases punish the responsible party for negligent conduct that caused the accident resulting in an injury. This type of damage is typically awarded only in cases involving severe negligence or reckless conduct on the part of the defending party. The goal of punitive damages is to deter similar conduct in the future. Many state laws have set a cap on punitive damage in certain types of personal injury claims, such as medical malpractice.

 

Court Costs

In some cases, the jury will order the responsible party to pay the court costs of the injured party, which may include the cost of filing fees, process server fees, deposition transcripts, court transcriptions, and translators' fees.

No Set Amounts

There is no minimum or maximum settlement amount in a personal injury case. Every case is different, and any settlement that you receive is heavily dependent on the seriousness of your injuries, the extent of your medical treatment, the nature of the defendant’s liability, the amount of available insurance coverage, and a slew of other factors, including:

  • amount of your medical bills
  • your loss of past income
  • costs of future medical care
  • your age and earning capacity
  • any permanent limitations you now have
  • activities you can no longer participate in

The amount of money that may be given to a personal injury victim to make up for the harm that’s been done will vary on a case-by-case basis. In order to find out more about your legal rights after suffering an injury, please contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at Zinda Law Group.

How Do I Know If the Person Who Caused My Injuries Is Able to Compensate Me?

How Do I Know If the Person Who Caused My Injuries Is Able to Compensate Me?

When victims of personal injury are investigating whether or not they have a case, they usually have a lot of questions about what the law allows them to recover and when. However, they often overlook the practical aspect of whether or not the person who caused their injury will even be able to compensate them for their injury, assuming that they can prove the law allows them to recover. A good example of how this practical aspect of a case can be just as important as the legal aspects is a recent judgment in the 193rd State District Court in Dallas, when on May 7th, 2013, Judge Carl Ginsberg ordered a defendant psychic to pay $6.8 million dollars, for causing a couple to suffer public hatred and loss of privacy after falsely claiming that they had a mass grave on their property. Although the plaintiff couple now has a large judgment against the defendant, and has invested thousands of dollars in trying the case to a jury verdict, they still have no idea whether or not the defendant will be able to compensate them for their injuries,

In Texas, it is extremely difficult to collect against a person’s personal assets or income. This is in part because of the practical difficulties of tracking and legally attaching an individual’s finances, and in part because of laws in Texas that are designed to protect individuals from court judgments that would otherwise bankrupt them.

Consequently, often, whether or not you are compensated depends on whether an insurance policy covers the defendant’s actions. Auto, Homeowners, and Business insurance often cover negligent actions. Moreover, in many situations a personal injury attorney will be able to tell you whether or not there is an applicable insurance company before incurring the time and expense of a lawsuit.

If you have questions about your ability to be compensated, call our office to talk with a personal injury attorney.

What Are My Rights When My Neighbor’s Dog Attacks Me?

What Are My Rights When My Neighbor’s Dog Attacks Me?

When you or someone you love is the victim of a vicious animal attack, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and confused about exactly what the animal owner’s responsibilities and duties are to you. By the same token, it’s common to be confused about whether you should even talk to a lawyer if, for example, the animal’s owner is offering to pay for you medical bills.

First, you should know what compensation the law allows you to receive. In Texas, you can recover for any medical expenses you incur as a result of the attack, for any lost wages from time you missed from work, for the pain, suffering, and trauma you experienced as a result of the attack, and for any incidental expenses directly related to the wreck.

The second question is a bit trickier. When an animal’s owner is offering to pay out-of-pocket for your medical bills, it is easy to fall into the trap of not wanting to “make a fuss,” or not wanting to make life difficult for a person who seems to be willing to do the right thing.

Unfortunately, all too often the owner of an attacking animal will string you along with promises to pay for your hospital visit, but then balk at compensating you once they actually see the bill. In most situations involving animal attacks, the smartest thing to do is to ask the owner to report the attack to their homeowner’s insurance, and let them take it from there.

If you have questions about your rights following a vicious animal, contact our office for a free consultation.

New State Rules Make Your Attorney’s Litigation Skills More Important

In November of last year, the Texas Supreme Court issued a series of mandatory new rules creating a new way of handling claims for less than $100,000.00. Under those rules, those claims will be handled in an “expedited” process aimed at getting them to trial more quickly and with fewer pre-trial procedural disputes in front of the judge.

In addition to quicker trial settings, the new rules greatly restrict the tools attorneys for each side have to obtain documents from the other side and to find out what the other side’s contentions are. The rules also waive the mediation requirement for expedited claims, ensuring that, in the future, more cases that are filed will get to trial.

The full effect of this new method of handling claims will not be known for months or years, but one thing seems fairly clear: how your attorney handles themselves in the courtroom just became more important. Because the odds of you having to actually try your claim in front of a jury have increased, your attorney’s trial savvy should be a factor you consider carefully at the outset of your claim. Some attorneys spend their entire careers without having to try a case.

The personal injury attorneys at Zinda Law Group have all received hands-on training in trial strategy and are comfortable trying cases in front of juries. The prospect of explaining one of our claims to a jury excites and motivates us. If you have questions about a claim or how it might be affected by the new Supreme Court rules, one of our attorneys would be happy to speak with you.

The Right Time to Settle

One often overlooked but vital factor in a personal injury claim is the strategic timing of when you accept a settlement offer from the insurance company.  Sometimes, the closer you get to a lawsuit and then a trial on the merits of a case, the more pressure there is for an insurance company to offer you higher settlement amounts.  On the other hand, if you are able to negotiate a successful settlement without the cost of litigation and a trial, you may take home more in real compensation at the end of the day.

Your course of medical treatment also impacts the strategic timing of offers.  An insurance company will never offer “pay-as-you-go” for your medical bills. Instead, it will want to write you one check, one time in exchange for a release from ever having to speak with you again. For that reason, sometimes injured people will settle with the insurance company too soon, only to discover later that completing their medical treatment will cost far more than anyone realized at first. Unfortunately, at that point their leverage with the insurance company is gone, because they have already signed away their rights.

If you have questions about whether or not it is the right decision to accept an offer to settle from an insurance company, contact an attorney. The personal injury attorneys at Zinda Law Group will be happy to speak with you in a free consultation to determine your rights.

Beware of the Danger of Monster Energy Drinks

Monster Energy maintains a position that their energy drinks are safe to consume as long as they are used in moderation, but the Food and Drug Administration begs to differ. According to recent reports, five people have died as a result of consuming the highly-caffeinated drinks. One young woman recently died after consuming two 24 ounce cans of the Monster Energy liquid within 24 hours. Studies show that the amount of caffeine in two Monster Energy drinks can be equated to the amount of caffeine in one dozen Coca-Colas. The 14-year-old went into cardiac arrest while watching a movie at her home. Her family has already filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Monster, which has every intention to resist the allegations.

Monster claims that they have sold over 8 billion drinks and only heard of five fatalities as a result of abusing the liquid. Monster also includes labels that warn consumers that they should not have more than one energy drink within 24 hours. Still, the family who is bereft of their teen says that Monster Energy drinks are dangerous and that the company should stop marketing the products. A coroner determined that the deceased 14-year-old died of “cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity.” While the Monster drink may have sparked the condition that caused her death, the young woman had a genetic illness that made her prone to the cardiac complications.

The FDA said that it investigates every report of injury or death that it receives in connection to Monster Energy drinks, but has not yet seen a reason to go after the company. Regardless of whether or not the FDA will announce an official warning, the bad press from the death of 14-year-old Anais Fournier has caused Monster’s sales to spiral downward. If you have been injured by consuming a dangerous energy drink, then contact a personal injury attorney at Zinda Law Group and start your quest to seek the compensation that you deserve!

Kellogg's Recalls Mini-Wheats for Metal Fragments

When you are eating your morning bowl of cereal, the last thing you want is to chomp down on a sharp piece of metal. Yet for some consumers, that’s exactly what has happened within the last week. Worse, some people have swallowed the sharp metal fragments which may cut their intestines or cause other serious internal problems. That’s why Kellogg Company has recently recalled 2.8 million packages of frosted and unfrosted Mini-Wheats cereal. The company says that there may be fragments of a metal mesh within the boxes. The cereal was distributed nationwide, so all states are affected by the recall.

The company says that the metal fragments are the result of a factory error that they were quick to correct. A factory machine had a quick malfunction that showered the fragments into the bag during packaging. The food company says that the recall is voluntary, but has been endorsed by the Food and Drug Administration. The recalled products include only the bit-sized original frosted Mini Wheats and the unfrosted wheats of the same shape. The cartons vary in size from single-serve bows to large 70-ounce cartons that are sold at wholesale markets like Costco and Sam’s Club.

The affected boxes all have “use by” dates from April 1st. 2013, to September 21st, 2013. So far, there have not been any resulting injuries as a result of the defective cereal. If you fall ill from consuming a marketed product like this one, then you should contact a personal injury attorney right away. You may be able to sue the cereal company for not catching their mistake quickly enough and facilitating your suffering. If you have to obtain medical treatment because of consuming this dangerous cereal then sue for product liability today!

Texas City Nursing Home Sued for Neglect

At a nursing facility in Galveston, men and women allegedly experienced neglect and injury when they were placed in substandard care. Reports say that the nursing home did not monitor patients carefully, and that many seniors took damaging tumbles because they were not aided or watched carefully. One Texas City resident recently filed a lawsuit against the nursing facility because he didn’t want to tolerate the neglect any longer. Court documents show that Eddie Matthews fell twice in 2011 while under the care of the Gulf Healthcare Center. The defendant admitted Eddie Matthews to the nursing home in 2008.

Within the next three years, the resident fell and fractured his right hip. He required surgery, and had a long and painful recover. The incident was then followed by another fall only a month later when the resident hurt his right hip once again. In addition to the two painful and tragic falls, the plaintiff claims that Eddie Matthews obtained bedsores from being poorly attended to while he was on bed rest after his accident. The plaintiff claims that the Gulf Healthcare Center continually failed to provide sufficient numbers of nursing personnel who could provide the needed care his relative needed.

He says that if the home was staffed properly, they would not have these serious problems. The plaintiff also claims that the GHC markets itself as an experienced and caring home for seniors, but then contradicts the claims by making poor decisions and harming residents. The plaintiff says that his relative has suffered physical pain, psychological distress, emotional distress, mental anguish, and medical expenses as a result of the nursing home treatment and deserves just compensation. If your loved one has been abused in a nursing home then you also have the right to sue. Contact a personal injury attorney today for more information!

Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits: What You Need to Know

Transvaginal mesh is a medical procedure which was originally thought to be a solution for millions of women who have Pelvic Organ Prolapse or Stress Urinary Incontinence. While the procedure was originally thought to be a helpful cure, it has caused thousands of women to suffer painful and devastating results. For many victims of transvaginal mesh, the results of the procedure were more painful and damaging than their original conditions.

Originally, the FDA approved a variety of transvaginal mesh procedures, hoping that they would bring about cures for millions of women worldwide. The FDA approved mesh products for pelvic floor repair, pelvic organ prolapse, and stress urinary incontinence. The FDA claims that the products had already been used in other parts of the body and proven safe and uncomplicated.

While the products may not have had any complications when used in conjunction with curing hernias or other medical procedures, they were never tested for their safety when used in transvaginal mesh surgeries. This small mistake has since turned into a massive problem, as trusting women went in for surgery and came out with disastrous results. The problems started in 1999, when Boston Scientific recalled about 20,000 ProtoGen mesh units because they were giving patients complications after surgery.

The FDA noted the recall, but failed to clear other similar products. The women who were complaining of pain said that intercourse had become particularly painful after their surgery and they were experiencing symptoms of vaginal erosion. More manufacturers began reporting that the mesh devices were bringing about complications after a Pelvic Organ Prolapse, and more women began calling in with concerns. The FDA eventually issued a health alert about mesh products in 2008, but it was merely a warning that claimed that complications were rare.

After this health report, about 2,800 women complained about pain after their surgery. In July 2011, the FDA issued another warning that specified that complications are not linked to a particular brand of mesh. The FDA eventually issued new standards in September of 2001, which require all companies that create mesh products to undergo rigorous testing before the product can be approved. The medical mistake has caused thousands to litigate against their doctors and the manufacturing companies that created the transvaginal mesh products.

Many of the lawsuits involve different mesh products from companies like Johnson & Johnson, AMS, Boston Scientific, or C.R. Bard. If you have had a transvaginal mesh implant and are now experiencing complications like millions of other women, then you will want to contact a Texas personal injury lawyer today for more information. We can brief you on your rights and investigate your case to see if you deserve damages for your suffering. Contact a lawyer at Zinda Law Group today to get started!

Study Shows BPA Leads to Birth Defects and Miscarriages

BPA is a component that is commonly found in plastics and many consumer products, but a new study is discouraging pregnant women from using anything container the substance. What is BPA? It is a low-grade estrogen that has been found in plastic water bottles, aluminum cans, and even heat-activated cash registers. About 92.6 percent of all people over the age of 6 have had detectable BPA exposure. The chemical has been associated with obesity, cardiovascular disease, prostate cancer, and neurological disorders in the past. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently banned BPA from sippy cups and baby bottles, but it can still be found in other containers.

According to Fox News, the plastic additive supposedly messes with women’s reproductive systems. It can cause chromosome damage, birth defects, and miscarriages. The study was completed with professors from Washington State University and the University of California, Davis. The professors used Rhesus monkeys as test subjects and found that when the females were exposed to higher levels of BPA they gave birth to babies with Down syndrome or other birth defects. Sometimes, the monkeys had a miscarriage instead.

In the past, professors have studied the effects of BPA on worms and rodents. The tests have merited similar results, but many have argued that worms and rats have no similarities to humans. Because Rhesus monkeys have reproductive systems that are very similar to humans, the study hits a lot closer to home. If you have used a specific water bottle or item with BPA, and you give birth to a child with defects or miscarry, then you may want to talk to a personal injury lawyer. You may be able to sue the company that created the product that brought so much difficulty into your life. Talk to a personal injury lawyer today for more information!