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Articles Tagged with Negligence

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Across the United States, thousands of people die every year as a result of fatal motor vehicle accidents. Those fatal motor vehicle accidents often have far-reaching consequences, both personally and financially. The loss of a loved one paired with funeral expenses and loss of earning can have a devastating effect on a family’s well-being. In some situations, a fatality in such an accident may be considered a wrongful death, and state laws allow for the deceased accident victim’s family members to claim compensation.

An instance where the death of a motorist was caused by the negligence or recklessness of another driver might be considered grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. The accident victim’s surviving family members may have the legal right to sue the other driver for wrongdoing and claim damages and compensation for their loss. This may include the recovery of lost income and benefits, along with compensation for pain and suffering.

Medical bills accrued prior to the death of the accident victim as well as wages lost as an indirect result of the accident can also be recovered in the event that the family chooses to sue for compensation. The compensation will be divided among the heirs. Such compensation can at least help the family members address some of the financial issues that come up after the accident.

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One person was killed recently in a multi-vehicle accident on I-35 in Moore, Oklahoma. According to an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper, the accident was caused by a vehicle traveling on the highway in the wrong direction. The trooper stated that a 21-year-old man from Norman, Oklahoma, was driving a car southbound in the northbound inside lane and collided head-on with another vehicle.

After the head-on collision, the 21-year-old’s car continued traveling until it left the roadway and hit a concrete barrier wall and a third vehicle. Debris from this collision hit a fourth car. Soon after the accident, emergency crews reached the scene.

The driver of the car that was struck by the wrong-way vehicle, a 42-year-old woman from San Antonio, Texas, was declared dead at the scene. The passenger in her vehicle was taken to a medical center and was reported to be in good condition. The 21-year-old wrong-way driver was admitted to OU Hospital in critical condition, while a passenger in his car refused treatment at the scene. The drivers of the third and fourth vehicles were not taken to the hospital.

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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.

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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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The untimely or accidental death of a loved one is always a challenging time. Besides the emotional pain brought by a sudden death, surviving families can suffer financial problems as well. When the death is caused by the wrongful or negligent conduct of another party, Oklahoma families have the right to seek justice and minimize financial repercussions by filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

What is a wrongful death lawsuit? A wrongful death lawsuit is a legal action that holds a person or entity responsible for the untimely death of a person due to medical malpractice, unsafe premises, a motor vehicle accident, a defective product or other negligence or wrongdoing. The lawsuit asserts that if not for the conduct of the entity or person, the fatal accident would not have happened. The plaintiffs can seek monetary damages including reimbursement for medical and funeral expenses, loss of financial support, loss of companionship, the grief of surviving children, parents and spouse, and the mental pain and suffering of the decedent.

Who can file the lawsuit? The personal representative of the decedent can file the lawsuit on behalf of surviving family members. It is generally recommended that the personal representative hire an attorney to prepare the lawsuit and represent the family’s interests in court.

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A routine visit to a chiropractor or a medical practitioner often results in minor health adjustments for Oklahomans; it often leads to a few reminders about living a healthier lifestyle and taking some medicine or supplements. However, when the visit results in a person’s death, there may be something wrong with the procedure that the person underwent. This is what is suspected after a man suffered a stroke and eventually died following a routine visit to a chiropractor.

The 30-year-old man went to his chiropractor for what was described as a “standard visit.” However, during his stay, he suffered an acute cerebellar infarction, which is commonly known as a stroke. Instead of calling 911 or taking him to a hospital, the chiropractor called the man’s father to pick him up. The man was eventually transported to an emergency room. After around six hours, he was transferred to another medical facility, where he succumbed to stroke. An autopsy indicated that the stroke was due to neck manipulation.

The state’s chiropractor association issued a statement regarding the man’s death. While they sent their condolences to the family, the association also stated that no medical procedure is without risks and emphasized that chiropractic practices have one of the lowest medical malpractice insurance rates.

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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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Oklahoma residents would probably agree that the loss of a loved one is never easy to accept. However, the reality is even more difficult to accept when the survivors see that another person’s negligence is the reason for their loved one’s death. Incidents such as this are fairly common when it comes to auto accidents. Distracted driving and drunk driving are two of the leading causes of fatal accidents. One such incident recently occurred in Tulsa.

According to reports, an accident on Peoria Avenue and First Avenue involving two cars claimed the life of one person. Police reports state that a man, who was driving under the influence of alcohol, failed to bring his car to a stop at an intersection and crashed into another vehicle. The driver in the other vehicle was killed in the crash while the passenger suffered injuries. The drunk driver and a male passenger in his car suffered minor injuries as well.

Reports clearly state that the man smelled of alcohol and, apparently, he admitted to driving under the influence. It was, however, not confirmed if his passenger was drunk as well. This gross negligence led to the arrest of the drunk driver. He was taken to Tulsa County jail, where he is facing charges, including first-degree manslaughter and DUI.

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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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