Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

surgery-resized-600The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently reported that a particular type of cancer has been linked to women with breast implants. The connection is being made between anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) and women who have received breast implants. Thus far the FDA has associated nine deaths to this form of cancer stemming from breast implants. In an official statement, the FDA reported that “All of the information to date suggests that women with breast implants have a very low but increased risk of developing ALCL compared to women who do not have breast implants”.  Exact numbers are difficult to determine because ALCL is being linked to a very specific type of procedure but the FDA has revealed that they have received reports of 359 cases associated with ALCL and breast implants.

 Investigation

 The FDA first discussed the potential risk associated between breast implants and developing cancer six years ago. However, at the time they did not have the technology to effectively research possible connections and draw any definitive solutions. Instead, the organization simply advised women who received implants to proceed with extra caution and regularly check with their doctor should they believe an abnormality occurred.  However, recent research has revealed that there is a specific link between cancer and those who received “textured” breast implants. Of the cases, the FDA specifically analyzed almost 88 percent of the cancer victims also received texture breast implants. Fortunately, for those affected by the disease, the FDA reported that ALCL is a particularly slow-growing cancer and if caught in the early stages, it is typically treatable.

trial-resized-600-300x201In life, certain people may not see eye to eye, and unfortunately, this holds true in attorney-client relationships as well. An attorney can be a vital asset during a personal injury claim, however, it is important to understand that an attorney-client relationship can be very complex. It is imperative that a person has complete trust in their attorney and feels as if their needs are being met, in the event that this is not the case it is possible to switch attorneys. Although not always the easiest thing to do you can “fire” your personal injury attorney once a lawsuit has been initiated. However, if you feel it is necessary, you should not be afraid to switch attorneys to the attorney you feel is best for you.  

 Consulting with a New Attorney

 It is important to remember that you have a contract with your current attorney, however, a judge will allow you switch attorneys should you feel the need. When you contact a new attorney it is important to let them know you are currently being represented by someone else. Once you have hired a new attorney it is important that you promptly notify your previous counsel of their dismissal.

Xray-doc-300x200Spinal cord injuries are often thought of as the worst possible injury a person can sustain. The repercussions of an injury to the spinal cord can be catastrophic and can cause paralysis or death. It is common for people to typically associate spinal cord injuries with severe accidents and acts of violence, and while these may be common causes of spinal cord injuries, a study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University has revealed that slips and falls are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries in the United States. The studied revealed that slips and falls account for nearly 42 percent of spinal cord injuries across the country.

 The researchers revealed that spinal cord injuries are actually on the rise across the United States. While this may shocking news considering the seemingly perpetual betterment of technology and safety procedures our country enjoys, the researchers attributed this trend to the fact that a large portion of new injuries involved the elderly. Thus, they believe the rise in injuries has been due to the aging of the baby-boomer population.

The Result of a Spinal Cord Injury

surgery-resized-600When an incident occurs in the state of Georgia where someone sustains an injury there are two common potential alternatives. In a situation where the injury was the result of an intentional act or violence, the defendant will face criminal prosecution in the form of battery or assault charges. Alternatively, if the injury was caused by an accident, depending on the situation, an individual can face criminal charges, a personal injury lawsuit, or both. Regardless of what side you find yourself on following an accident, it is always critical to seek the counsel of a personal injury attorney. Your attorney’s guidance can be invaluable as the legal proceedings unfold.

 Common Occurrences

 One of the most common examples of a scenario where an individual can face both criminal charges and a personal injury lawsuit is when a drunk driving car accident occurs. This is due to the fact that the individual will likely be subject to criminal drunk driving charges and, if the accident resulted in an injury, the at-fault party will likely be held liable to pay damages for pain, suffering, lost wages, and medical bills.

ambulance6-resized-600-300x201In 2016 there were 1,130 traffic fatalities in the state of Georgia, a harrowing statistic, however, no number can come close to encapsulating the immense pain and confusion associated with the sudden loss of a loved one. The shock of receiving this kind of news can be unbearable, and the unfortunate reality that the incident may have been caused by someone else can place extraordinary strain on a family. Fortunately, there are laws in place to help hurting families through these tough times. If you find yourself in a situation like this it is imperative that you reach out to a personal injury attorney who will be able to guide you through your situation. An attorney can be a voice of reason and will fight to ensure that you and your family receive the compensation you deserve.

 Wrongful Death Torts

 A wrongful death claim is a situation in which the plaintiff (the accuser) seeks damages from the defendant for causing a fatality. Georgia state statutes describe  “wrongful death” as a personal injury tort where someone’s reckless, negligent, or intentional action resulted in the death of another individual. In most instances a wrongful death is typically the result of a vehicle accident, criminal act, or medical malpractice; however, the claim is not dependent on how the individual died.  

truck2-300x214
The importance of large tractor trailer trucks to the economy is no surprise.  Tractor trailer trucks are indeed, vital to commerce.  However, with the size, weight and distance traveled by these trucks, there is a significant risk of serious injury or death when an accident occurs.

In fact, there was a 20% increase in the number of accidents over the past 20 years.  As reported by the Federal Motor carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 4,897 deaths occurred in crashes involving large trucks.  There were approximately another 130,000 people who were injured.

But, unlike your typical passenger vehicle accident, investigating and resolving injuries and deaths resulting from tractor trailer collisions is a totally separate matter.  For information on passenger vehicle accidents not involving a tractor trailer, see my articles on Auto Accident Whiplash Injuries, Spinal Cord Injury Accidents And Resources, and Compensable Damages In Injury Cases.

drugs
Consumers, under the law, are able to sue for damages for defective products as a result of negligence or strict liability.  Recovery can be based on defects in the manufacturing, inadequate warnings, fraud, defects in the design, and implied warranty (where the product is not fit for the ordinary purpose for which it was sold).

Toxic Tort litigation involving defective drugs is governed by both the FDA under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938 (FDCA), 21 U.S.C. §§ 301-1012, 42 U.S.C. §§ 262, 264, 266, 282, 284, the Public Health Service Act, as well as State law.

FDA approval of “new drugs” includes virtually all prescription drugs, as well as, some drugs which are sold over the counter.  And testing of the new drug may take up to 12 years or longer before FDA approval is obtained.

ambulance6-resized-600On a daily basis, people are injured, sometimes due to their own fault or often due to the negligence of another.  But, just because one believes that the other party is at fault, the burden remains on the Plaintiff to establish certain elements in order to prevail in a personal injury action.

These elements include: duty, breach of duty, causation and damages.  These same elements are applied to the auto accident/trucking accident case, slip and fall, nursing home negligence, medical malpractice, wrongful death, products liability, defective drugs, etc.

First, the Plaintiff must establish by law that the Defendant had a “duty” to crash5prevent the harm suffered by the Plaintiff.  If, for example, the injury is related to an auto accident, the “Rules of the Road” may establish that duty, for example, failure to yield while turning left, following too closely, etc.

wrongful death

In pursuing a “wrongful death” action based on negligence, the Plaintiff has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that (1) there was a duty to protect the victim from the harm suffered, (2) that the negligent party breached that duty, (3) that the negligent act of the defendant was the proximate cause of the harm suffered (i.e., causation), and (4), that the victim died as a result.  (In other injury cases, the Plaintiff must show duty, breach of duty, causation and damages.)

To prevail on the element of “causation“, the defendant must have been found to be liable where it appears that his negligence was the sole cause of the death complained of, or that his negligence put in operation other causal forces which were the direct, natural, and probable consequences of the defendant’s original act, or the intervening agency could reasonably have been forseen by the defendant as original wrongdoer.  Stern v. Wyatt, 140 Ga. App. 704, 231 S.E.2d 519 (1976).

O.C.G.A. § 51-4-1(2) defines “homicide” as including “all cases in which the death of a human being results from a crime, from criminal or other negligence, or from property which has been defectively manufactured, whether or not as the result of negligence.”

Other negligence is the breach of duty owed to the deceased at the time the homicide occurs and may thus be slight, ordinary or gross negligence depending on the facts of the case which determine the duty owed to the deceased.  Caskey v. Underwood, 89 Ga. App. 418 (1) , 79 S.E.2d 558 (1953).

Continue reading →