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Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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Medical malpractice is not something most Oklahomans associate with personal injury. In reality, a medical error can result in a catastrophic injury and leave a patient with physical and emotional distress and financial problems because of the expense of treatment. Victims and their families can pursue a legal remedy by filing a medical malpractice claim to seek some measure of justice and to assert their need for compensation to cover medical expenses and related damages.

In Oklahoma, victims need to file medical malpractice lawsuits within two years of their discovery of the medical error. Cases filed after this period are usually declared invalid. This statute of limitation, however, only holds for adults who are victims of medical mistakes. For children 12 or younger, the period is longer – seven years after the injury is discovered. For children older than 12, the period becomes more complicated. They have until age 19 to file a claim themselves or have one filed on their behalf by their parents or a legal professional. In all cases for those older than 12, they have a minimum of two years to file.

Oklahoma also has laws in terms of damages victims can receive. If the evidence shows that there was indeed negligence and malice on the part of the hospital or medical practitioner, then victims can be awarded punitive damages up to $500,000. If a court finds a defendant acted in reckless disregard, the amount is capped at $100,000. If a court deems that a defendant overwhelmingly acted with malice, reckless abandon and the intent to harm another person, then the court can award any amount it sees fit. Economic damages are not subject to limits.

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In June, many Oklahomans felt the same shock other Americans did when they heard of the truck accident in New Jersey that severely injured comedian Tracy Morgan and two of his friends. As it turns out, Morgan sustained a catastrophic injury that may leave him with permanent impairments because of brain damage. His legal team is continuing to pursue a personal injury case on his behalf against the company they believe was responsible for the accident.

According to an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, the truck driver, who was working for retail giant Wal-Mart, fell asleep while driving and hit the comedian’s limousine van stopped in a construction zone on the Turnpike. The truck driver was estimated to be going 65 mph where the posted speed was 45 miles per hour. The crash also killed one comic in the van.

A lawsuit filed in September holds Wal-Mart and the driver responsible. It seeks compensatory and punitive damages from the company. In response to the legal action, Wal-Mart claimed the limousine van passengers bore responsibility because they were not wearing seatbelts. In addition to facing criminal charges, the truck driver is being held accountable in a separate lawsuit.

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Any Oklahoman who has suffered an injury, even if it is a minor one, knows that there is a process that comes with the injury. First, he or she will undergo medical treatment and then the process of recovery will begin. Most injured parties will need money, as well as some time to heal. However, when a catastrophic injury occurs, these needs grow exponentially, which can leave an injured person’s future in jeopardy. In such a situation, our Creek County-based law firm is ready to help.

Oklahomans with catastrophic injuries, like a brain injury, loss of a limb, burn injury or fracture, will need an ample amount of finances to cover their medical expenses, recoup lost wages and pay for long-term care. Unfortunately, some defendants and insurance companies often aim to limit damages that compromise the needs of the victims. Our personal injury lawyers are aware of such claims and will do whatever is necessary to safeguard a victim’s future.

We understand the circumstances that catastrophic injury victims and their families face. Besides the financial disruption caused by the injury, there also are physical and emotional elements involved. Victims and their families can no longer enjoy the same activities they took pleasure in doing. Even the simplest of activities can be compromised. Defendants and insurance companies fail to see this. However, our skilled lawyers will make sure that the court realizes the extent of a victim’s suffering.

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Most people only know that burns can range in severity and are classified by three degrees-first, second and third. However, what many Americans, including those in Oklahoma, may not know is that a burn injury has many classifications and these types of injuries are a growing concern in the United States.

According to the American Burn Association’s 2013 fact sheet, there have been 450,000 cases of people receiving treatment for burn injuries across the United States. The figure was obtained through federal surveys, which gather data from emergency situations and hospital admissions. However, the figure could be much larger since other burn injuries could have been treated at private facilities or health centers in the community. On average, there are 3,400 deaths caused by burn injuries, fire and smoke inhalation each year. These categories of deaths are grouped together since it cannot always be determined if these kinds of deaths were due to burns, smoke inhalation or both.

Common knowledge dictates that burn injuries are caused by fires and while that is certainly true, burns also can be caused by other means, as well. Thirty-four percent of burns come from scalding liquids, nine percent occur after coming into contact with hot surfaces and four and three percent, respectively, are caused by incidents involving electrical power and chemical. Also, those injuries are not limited to a residential setting. Nine percent of burn injuries happen in the workplace, while another five percent happen on the street or highway.

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Four cables standing 32 inches tall are a common sight in Oklahoma highway medians. These simple cables almost always prevent cross over accidents. They are also cheaper than concrete barriers, so that state has installed 600 miles of the cable barriers and plans to put in another 100 miles.

A recent highway crash near Tulsa has the Oklahoma Department of Transportation double-checking the design and location of a cable barrier.

A southbound minivan went over the cable barrier and then crashed into an oncoming truck. The driver of the minivan suffered critical injuries after being trapped in her vehicle. The truck driver also sustained injuries. The accident caused a lengthy back up on busy Tulsa Highway 75.

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