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Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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When a person in Oklahoma is injured due to the action of another, be it a car accident, medical malpractice or a workplace accident, his or her first priority may be seeking medical care and healing from his or her injuries. Unfortunately, healing can be expensive. After all, medical bills must be paid and the emotional toll an accident or act of malpractice can have can be incredibly damaging. Moreover, victims of accidents or malpractice can experience a great deal of pain and suffering. Therefore, in addition to healing, individuals who have been injured due to the action of another may also wonder if they can seek damages from the responsible individual.

When this happens, individuals may be interested in pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. However, did you know that there are certain time limits in which one can do so? These time limits are known as “statutes of limitations.” In general, the statute of limitations commences — or “tolls” when the injury takes place, although certain exceptions exist based on the “discovery rule,” which states that in some circumstances the statute of limitations may not begin tolling until the injury is discovered. It then runs for a certain period of time. Once that time limit is up, the individual can no longer bring a lawsuit based on that injury.

In general, in Oklahoma, individuals have two years in which to bring a lawsuit based on injury to the person. For example, individuals injured in car accidents have two years in which to sue the responsible party. In addition, individuals in Oklahoma have two years in which to bring a professional malpractice lawsuit.

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Today we will continue our overview of steps a Tulsa resident can take prior to filing a medical malpractice case. We discussed speaking to the physician directly about the issue, bringing the matter up to the medical licensing board and making sure your case falls in the applicable statute of limitations.

In addition to these steps, there are other steps a person who has been harmed by a negligent physician or medical facility can take if they are interested in pursuing a medical malpractice suit. While the laws vary between states, it may help to have a medical assessment performed, and file a “certificate of merit” if necessary. Having another medical professional go over the victim’s medical records can help ensure that the treating medical professional did indeed fail to adhere to the proper medical practices in the victim’s case.

In addition, while the victim of medical malpractice may initially wish to litigate the matter, it is important that such cases can take a lot of time and may be expensive. For these reasons, it may be in the victim’s best interests to reach an agreement regarding the case out-of-court. An out-of-court settlement can still compensate the victim for the damages he or she suffered without having to endure a trial and possibly gain nothing.

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It is only natural that when a resident of Tulsa goes to the doctor or hospital, that he or she expects to receive top-notch medical care. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Otherwise preventable mistakes – such as a wrong-side surgery, delay in diagnosis or misdiagnosis – occur, leaving the individual worse off than before they sought treatment. If all the right legal elements are met, it may be possible for individuals in such situations to pursue compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit. What are some of the initial steps one should take prior to pursuing such a claim?

The first step an individual may want to take in such situations, even prior to filing a lawsuit, is to reach out to the physician who made the mistake. This can help the individual learn more about the mistake and it gives the physician a chance to determine if a remedy for the individual’s situation is available. Sometimes a physician will voluntarily fix the problem at no cost.

Unfortunately, reaching out to the physician at issue may not always resolve the problem. When this happens, the next step an individual may want to take is to reach out to the medical licensing board. The board may be able to impose disciplinary measures and may be able to provide the individual with more information about how to proceed.

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Catastrophic injuries can take a number of forms from spinal cord injuries to multiple fractures to head injuries. Today we are going to look at one serious type of catastrophic injury: a burn injury.

Burn injuries can be very serious. While most people in Northeast Oklahoma have suffered minor burns sometime in their lives, some burn injuries can cause severe suffering and significant complications.

Third-degree burns can be especially damaging. These burns affect all the layers of the victim’s skin, and can even affect other body parts, such as internal organs, nerves, parts of the victim’s skeleton and the victim’s bloodstream. If a person suffers a third-degree burn, they should seek medical help as soon as possible.

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Children often suffer minor injuries while playing due to minor slips and falls. However, serious injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, can adversely affect their entire lives. One of the most common problems that brain injury victims, including children who have suffered from traumatic brain injuries, face is the lack of attention and concentration problems. While the studies on adults suffering from attention problems due to brain injuries have been widespread and well researched time over time, new case studies have shown that children have also shown delayed responses and lack of attention due to traumatic brain injuries.

A recent study was conducted to assess the effect that pediatric traumatic brain injuries had on attention as opposed to injuries to any other body part. The study found that parents as well as teachers of the students stated that there were higher levels of attention problems and anxiety recorded for kids with brain injuries even 18 months after the injury. In fact, researchers also discovered that brain injury victims also displayed external problems like aggressive behavior.

They also found that children who had suffered brain injuries had also lost consciousness and had reported post-traumatic amnesia after their injuries. Even kids who suffered only mild brain injuries had a higher risk of suffering headaches, seizures or nausea. These children also registered a lower IQ and displayed delayed attention spans.

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Physicians go through years of training to enable them to treat patients. For the most part, patients throughout the country, including those in Oklahoma, make the decision to trust their doctors and their expertise. This is one reason why patients can feel a sense of betrayal when doctors and other medical practitioners make errors or commit other forms of medical negligence. Fortunately, the law allows victims of medical negligence to seek compensation if these errors result in harm.

Negligence in a medical setting often causes catastrophic injury or injuries which ultimately turn fatal. Negligence can also result in injuries that create lifelong problems for patients, such as misdiagnosed diseases and birth injuries to infants. Such mistakes can not only result in psychological trauma but they may also create financial pressures with the burden of unexpected medical costs.

The legal process of filing suit alleging medical malpractice is not easy. Fortunately, the attorneys at Hawkins Law are experienced in bringing forth evidence in the form of patients’ medical records as well as the expert testimony of physicians in order to show a judge or jury that an injury was the direct consequence of medical negligence.

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Crush Injury syndrome, also often known as Bywaters’ syndrome, is rare in Tulsa and throughout the US. However, in some cases of accidents or for any other reason where the victim of the accident has been trapped for a considerable amount of time, the person might suffer from Crush Injury syndrome. Such injuries can lead to serious trauma to the head and skeletal muscles of the accident victim, which often leads to severe consequences.

In a case in which such renal crush injuries occur due to accidents, a victim and the victim’s loved ones often consult personal injury lawyers. These lawyers initiate a lawsuit against the guilty party to recover compensation for pain and suffering because of the defendant’s reckless and negligent act. In addition, the lawsuit can provide compensation for the exorbitant medical expenses incurred for treating and rehabilitating the victim.

Crush Injury syndrome often leads to various complications, which causes the victim’s death. State authorities in Tulsa are trained in such emergency operations to help such victims. In many cases, a victim may be vulnerable to Crush Injury syndrome, if the person has been confined for over four hours. In such cases, extreme pressure to the renal or spinal region can lead to serious injuries that may cause total or partial disabilities.

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Oklahoma residents can suffer catastrophic injuries which may lead to a loss of mobility. A spinal cord injury, or SCI, can make life difficult for an individual. The injured victim will need training, support and vocational rehabilitation to overcome the injuries and re-enter the workforce. Medical and rehabilitation costs can lead to serious financial concerns, which are often challenging hurdles for people with catastrophic injuries.

The pain and suffering can be mitigated if an individual is able to lead a successful career at work following the injury. Research has shown that an individual with a SCI is happier if the person has a successful work-life balance. There are state and federal laws that help protect individuals with SCIs. The Americans with Disability Act forbids employers from discriminating against any person with a disability. If the person has relevant skills and is capable with those skills in the workplace, the employer cannot discriminate against the person.

In order to qualify under the ADA, the person must have a disability that limits regular activities. An employer must also make reasonable accommodations for the disabled person; this is dependent upon the employers’ own financial resources.

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Many people would agree that living life with a traumatic brain injury is difficult because this type of injury can make even the simplest tasks seem challenging. Authorities in Oklahoma and the rest of the country understand these challenges and therefore, offer brain injury victims the necessary help so that they can regain their health and resume work in order to continue living normally.

In Oklahoma, the Department of Rehabilitation Services provides employment assistance to victims of traumatic brain injury through its Vocational Rehabilitation Division. The services provided by this division include counseling and guidance regarding job placements. The division also helps traumatic brain injury victims overcome their various disability-based barriers that they face when looking for a job.

According to existing rules, an individual is eligible for assistance from the Department of Rehabilitation Services if the person has a mental disability which prevents regular work. Additionally, that person should be able to benefit from the program in terms of employment and there should be enough evidence to suggest that the person applying for the services actually needs them. Applications can be filed at the department offices located throughout the state.

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Many Oklahoma residents are worried about the well-being of their loved ones who are placed in nursing homes. Probably the concern arises when people think about the level of attention and care those loved ones need against the various reported incidents of nursing home abuse and neglect commonly featured in the media. Though many incidents of nursing home neglect and abuse may not be fatal or cause great harm but there have been some cases of nursing home deaths.

However, a new bill introduced in the Oklahoma legislature may now make it possible for a nursing home to be held liable if a resident dies or suffers serious injury while in a nursing home setting. According to reports, the new law would create a review board empowered to investigate all cases of injuries and death at nursing homes in Oklahoma. The investigations would be targeted toward determining if the death or injury was a result of abuse or negligence.

According to reports, as many as 3,500 elderly Oklahoma nursing home residents die every year as a result of abuse or neglect. Moreover, Families for Better Care, which is a non-profit organization that rates state-owned nursing facilities, graded Oklahoma as “F” with an overall ranking of 49, making it among the worst states in the country for elderly care. The state’s effort to improve and provide the best possible care to elderly residents is long overdue and necessary to burnish the state’s reputation due to the harm suffered by the low ranking.