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Most prevalent personal injury lawsuits

Most prevalent personal injury lawsuits

November 3, 2011

Legally, a personal injury includes any type of damage to someone’s person. While most people think of personal injury as being physical, many don’t know that it also extends to injuries to an individual’s emotions or financial situation.

While there are things you can do to prevent injuries from happening – such as wearing a seatbelt when driving – in most situations personal injury incidents are a result of external causes which you may have little to no control over. Some of the most common personal injuries are:

PRODUCT LIABILITY

Each year product liability injuries account for a significant percentage of all personal injury claims nationwide. A product may be considered legally defective if it was knowingly constructed poorly or sold with flaws where an injury may occur with regular use.

This year, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported an estimated 212,000 emergency room visits resulting solely from toy-related injuries. Additionally, the CPSC sees an estimated 200 to 300 product recalls each year – many which include children’s products and toys, but which also frequently involve household appliances and tools, automobiles, as well as safety equipment (such as smoke detectors). In fact just this month, the CPSC and Target announced the voluntary recall of a children’s frog mask, which when placed across a child’s face presented a suffocation hazard.

To keep you and your family informed on potentially dangerous and hazardous products, visit the CPSC’s website for an up-to-date list of recalled products atwww.cpsc.gov.

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE

Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional is negligent or fails to meet the standards of medical practice in his or her field, resulting in injury, death or damages (physical, emotional or financial) to the patient. This can take place in a variety of forms ranging from misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose, to hospital and emergency room negligence and medication errors.

An example of medical malpractice was a recent lawsuit naming the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where the hospital overlooked test results several times, and implanted a kidney infected with hepatitis C into a healthy patient. Another took place in Michigan, where the largest medical malpractice jury verdict was awarded to the family of a 15-year-old girl. The case was settled just this month when doctors were found negligent for inducing vaginal labor on the girl’s mother – crushing the girl and resulting in brain damage and other serious injuries which left the child a quadriplegic.

WORKPLACE INJURIES

While a majority of businesses care deeply about the safety and well-being of their employees and prominently display safety precautions on materials as well as regularly inspect and update equipment, there are some employers who are not as thoughtful and conscientious. The construction industry typically sees the most work place accidents where injuries range from lifting heavy objects or from dangerous equipment.

In 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded more than three million nonfatal injuries and illnesses in the private sector, resulting in over 933,000 days away from work. In most states, employers have a legal obligation to provide and maintain a safe and healthy work environment for employees. As of 1991, all California-based companies are required to have a written, effective Injury and Illness Prevention (IIP) Program for employees, which was designed to help employers provide better workplace protection and reduce losses from accidents and injuries.

Check your state guidelines as well as with your employer to find out what – if any – programs are in place to protect you on the job.

CAR ACCIDENTS

According to the U.S. Census Bureau there were 10.8 million motor vehicle accidents in 2009 – of which, 33,808 resulted in a fatality (California had the highest number of traffic fatalities at 3,081, while Arkansas has the fewest at 64).

As Americans spend an increasing amount of time in their cars, the number of traffic injuries has risen proportionately. Another leading source for the growing number of road accidents are driving distractions – namely from cell phone use while operating a vehicle. In fact, reports by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that 20 percent of crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving, with the greatest proportion of distracted drivers being under the age of 20.

Do what you can to prevent car accidents by placing your cell phone and other electronic devices out of reach while driving so you won’t be tempted to reach for and use them. And always be sure to buckle up – it really does save lives!

If you or someone you love has been injured and is seeking the help of a skilled, compassionate attorney, Leavitt, Yamane & Soldner can help. Our company can provide services unique to your situation, ensuring that your rights are upheld, the compensation you receive is appropriate and that your path to recovery is as quick and easy as possible. Call us today for a free consultation.

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